As a professional chef or serious home cook, having the right knives in your kitchen can make all the difference in the quality and efficiency of your cooking. Professional knives are designed with precision, durability, and performance in mind, making them essential tools for any serious culinary enthusiast. In this article, we will introduce you to the top 5 professional knives you need in your kitchen.
Wüsthof classic cook’s knife
Wüsthof’s cook’s knife is a classic German-style knife that is highly regarded for its durability and balance. The bolster, located between the blade and handle, ensures that neither the blade nor handle feels too heavy, indicating a well-balanced knife.
I personally appreciate the traditional French-German design with a full tang and three visible rivets. The curved end of the blade makes tasks such as mincing herbs much easier. Additionally, the handle is smooth and comfortable to hold, without any sharp edges digging into the palm. With a Rockwell rating of 56, the broad blade can be used to crush garlic cloves without any risk of injury. Overall, this knife is an excellent choice for those looking to take their cooking skills to the next level.
Global 8-Inch Chef’s Knife
This versatile chef’s knife is made of lightweight stainless steel, making it a sharp and easy-to-handle addition to any kitchen. However, if you prefer the weight of a heavier knife, this may not be the best choice for you. The high-carbon stainless steel blade is strong enough for cutting meat and precise enough for delicate cuts, with a super sharp straight edge tip. Unlike wooden-handled knives, this one is made from a single piece of stainless steel, including the handle.
The handle is ergonomically shaped and features a dimple pattern for added grip, making it easier to hold for smaller-handed chefs. To achieve the perfect balance and weight, the handle is weighted with sand. While machine washable, hand washing is recommended to protect the sharpness of the blade. This knife is an investment, but it comes with a lifetime warranty against defects and breakage.
Mac Knife Hollow Edge 10″
The Mac Hollow Edge 10″ chef’s knife is uniquely designed for optimal functionality. Featuring a hollow edge and dimpled imprints, this Japanese knife allows for swift and precise vegetable cutting without the hassle of a cluttered cutting board. Additionally, the Mac’s fine-angled tip and thin profile make it ideal for breaking down meat and achieving clean cuts. With a weight of 7.7 ounces and a 50/50 weight distribution, this knife is perfect for experienced users looking to enhance their knife skills. Despite its Japanese origins, the Mac incorporates western design elements, making it a versatile and highly effective kitchen tool.
Kikuichi Elite Warikomi Damascus Tsuchime 7” Santoku Knife
The Kikuichi Elite Warikomi Damascus Tsuchime 7” Santoku Knife is a beautiful fusion of Eastern and Western styles. This smaller version of a Western chef’s knife boasts a Japanese blade and a Western handle, making it perfect for chopping, slicing, and dicing. The hand-hammered finish not only adds to its stunning appearance but also helps food release from the blade for effortless cleaning and safe cutting. Handcrafted in Japan, this contemporary and adaptable chef’s knife is a testament to Kikuichi’s 750-year legacy of excellence.
HOBO 15-Piece Japanese Knife Set Kitchen Knife Set with Wooden Block
As a skilled chef, one knife may not cut it for you. That’s why HOBO’s 15-Piece Japanese Knife Set Kitchen Knife Set is the perfect choice for those seeking an extensive collection for all culinary endeavors. This set includes a sophisticated wooden block and each blade is crafted with meticulous attention to detail, featuring hand-polished edges and precise tempering. With this premium selection, you’ll have every tool necessary for any cooking task.
For those who are dedicated to cooking, it is essential to invest in superior professional knives. A top-notch collection of knives not only enhances the accuracy and efficiency of your cooking, but also endures for several years with appropriate upkeep and attention.
How to Choose Professional Knives: A Comprehensive Guide
Professional knives are essential tools for any chef or culinary enthusiast. Whether you’re a professional chef or just a home cook who takes cooking seriously, having the right set of knives can make a huge difference in the quality of your dishes. However, with so many different types of knives available on the market, it can be overwhelming to know which ones to choose. In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to help you choose the best professional knives for your needs.
Consider the Type of Knife You Need
Before you start shopping for professional knives, it’s important to consider the types of knives that you need. Different knives are designed for different purposes, and having a variety of knives can make your cooking tasks much easier and more efficient. Here are some of the most common types of knives and their uses:
Chef’s Knife: This is the most versatile and essential knife in any kitchen. It can be used for chopping, slicing, and dicing a wide variety of ingredients, including meat, vegetables, and herbs.
Paring Knife: This small, lightweight knife is ideal for peeling and slicing small fruits and vegetables, such as garlic, onions, and strawberries.
Bread Knife: This serrated knife is designed for cutting bread and other baked goods without crushing them.
Utility Knife: This knife is a smaller version of the chef’s knife and can be used for more detailed work, such as trimming meat and poultry or slicing cheese.
Boning Knife: This knife is used for removing bones from meat, poultry, and fish.
Santoku Knife: This Japanese-style knife is similar to a chef’s knife but has a shorter blade and a more lightweight design. It’s great for slicing, dicing, and mincing.
Cleaver: This heavy-duty knife is designed for chopping through bones and other tough materials.
Choose the Right Blade Material
The material of the knife blade is an important consideration when choosing professional knives. The two most common materials used for knife blades are stainless steel and high-carbon steel.
Stainless steel blades are durable, resistant to rust and corrosion, and easy to maintain. They are also less prone to staining and discoloration. High-carbon steel blades, on the other hand, are harder and hold an edge better than stainless steel blades. They are more susceptible to rust and discoloration, however, and require more maintenance.
Other blade materials include ceramic and Damascus steel. Ceramic blades are lightweight, sharp, and easy to clean, but they are more brittle and prone to chipping than other materials. Damascus steel blades are made from multiple layers of steel, creating a distinctive pattern on the blade. They are extremely durable and hold an edge well, but they can be more expensive than other materials.
Check the Blade Length and Width
The length and width of the blade are important considerations when choosing professional knives. The length of the blade should be proportional to the size of the user’s hand, and the width of the blade should be appropriate for the task at hand.
For example, a chef’s knife with a blade length of 8-10 inches is ideal for most tasks, but a shorter blade may be more appropriate for users with smaller hands. Similarly, a wider blade may be better for chopping and slicing larger ingredients, while a narrower blade may be better for more detailed work.
Consider the Handle Design
The handle of a professional knife should be comfortable and ergonomic, allowing for a secure grip and easy maneuverability. Handles are typically made from materials such as wood, plastic, or metal.
Wooden handles are comfortable to grip and can be aesthetically pleasing, but they require more maintenance than other materials and can be prone to cracking or warping.
Plastic handles are lightweight, durable, and easy to maintain, but they may not provide as much grip as other materials. Metal handles, such as those made from stainless steel, are strong and durable, but they can be heavy and may not be as comfortable to grip for extended periods of time.
Another important factor to consider is the shape of the handle. Some handles are designed with a straight or slightly curved shape, while others have a more contoured shape to fit the hand more comfortably. It’s important to choose a handle that feels comfortable and secure in your hand.
Look for a Full Tang Design
The tang of a knife refers to the part of the blade that extends into the handle. A full tang design means that the blade extends all the way through the handle, providing extra strength and stability. This is important for professional knives, as it helps to prevent the blade from bending or breaking during use.
Check the Blade Edge
The type of blade edge is another important consideration when choosing professional knives. There are three main types of blade edges: straight, serrated, and hybrid.
Straight edges are the most common and versatile type of blade edge. They are ideal for slicing, chopping, and dicing a wide range of ingredients. Serrated edges, on the other hand, are designed for cutting through tough materials such as bread, tomatoes, and citrus fruits. Hybrid edges combine the benefits of both straight and serrated edges, making them ideal for a variety of tasks.
Consider the Weight of the Knife
The weight of a knife can have a significant impact on its performance. A heavier knife can provide more power and momentum for chopping through tough materials, but it may be more tiring to use for extended periods of time. A lighter knife, on the other hand, may be easier to maneuver and control, but it may not have as much cutting power.
When choosing a professional knife, it’s important to consider your own preferences and the tasks you will be performing. A good balance between weight and maneuverability is key.
Look for Quality Construction
Quality construction is essential for professional knives, as they will be subjected to frequent and heavy use. Look for knives that are well-balanced and made from high-quality materials. The blade should be firmly attached to the handle, with no wobbling or movement.
Consider Your Budget
Professional knives can range in price from a few dollars to several hundred dollars. It’s important to consider your budget when choosing knives, but also keep in mind that investing in a high-quality set of knives can save you money in the long run by lasting longer and performing better.
Try Before You Buy
Finally, it’s always a good idea to try out a knife before you buy it. This may not be possible for online purchases, but if you’re shopping in person, ask to hold the knife and try it out. Make sure it feels comfortable and secure in your hand, and that you’re able to maneuver it easily.
In conclusion, choosing professional knives can seem overwhelming, but by considering the type of knife you need, the blade material, length, and width, handle design, tang, blade edge, weight, construction, budget, and trying out the knife before you buy, you can make an informed decision and choose the best knives for your needs. Investing in a high-quality set of knives can make a significant difference in the quality of your dishes and your overall cooking experience.
What are professional knives?
Professional knives are high-quality knives designed for use by chefs and other culinary professionals. They are typically made from high-quality materials and are designed to be durable, well-balanced, and able to hold a sharp edge for extended periods.
What types of knives are considered professional knives?
There are many different types of knives that are considered professional knives, including chef’s knives, paring knives, utility knives, bread knives, boning knives, and many others.
What materials are professional knives typically made from?
Professional knives can be made from a variety of materials, but high-quality stainless steel is a common choice. Other materials used for professional knives include carbon steel, ceramic, and Damascus steel.
What is the difference between a professional knife and a regular kitchen knife?
Professional knives are typically of higher quality than regular kitchen knives. They are designed to be used by professionals who need reliable, high-performance knives in their work. Professional knives are usually made from higher-quality materials, are better balanced, and can hold a sharp edge for longer.
Are professional knives expensive?
Professional knives can be more expensive than regular kitchen knives due to their high quality and durability. However, the cost can vary depending on the brand, the materials used, and the specific type of knife.
How do I care for my professional knives?
To care for your professional knives, it’s important to keep them clean and dry when not in use. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials when cleaning your knives, and be sure to store them in a safe, secure place.
Do I need to sharpen my professional knives?
Yes, professional knives need to be sharpened regularly to maintain their performance. It’s recommended that you sharpen your knives every few months, or more often if you use them frequently.
Can I sharpen my professional knives at home?
Yes, you can sharpen your professional knives at home, but it’s important to use the right equipment and technique. You can use a sharpening stone or a honing rod to sharpen your knives, but it’s best to seek professional guidance if you’re not sure how to do it.
Can professional knives be repaired if they are damaged?
Yes, professional knives can often be repaired if they are damaged. However, the extent of the damage will determine whether the knife can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced.
Are professional knives suitable for home cooks?
Professional knives can be a great choice for home cooks who are serious about cooking and want to invest in high-quality kitchen tools. However, they can be more expensive than regular kitchen knives, so it’s important to consider your budget before making a purchase.