Choosing Your Perfect Chef Knife

KnifeHeader2To all kitchen savvy folks, you know your prime partner in this gastronomically specialized area is the kitchen knife. In performing your usual food preparation tasks like chopping, slicing, mincing, among others, you know you want to be able to carry these out with all the finesse similar to that of a ballet dancer’s sway of the arms and hands. With a knife that perfectly suits your preference, this is a graceful, highly gratifying and smooth performance, and with execution so well defined that it would be like you are pirouetting across the kitchen. Imagine that.

Your kitchen knife is characteristic only to you. This might not be a knife that is for the next chef. So you must understand that in determining the knife that you need, you must first know and envision how this perfect knife would fit and feel on your hands. Coming to find it might require the utmost scrutiny but it will be well worth the effort as this is a personal investment that you make for your culinary art and is a crucial part of the armament that adds to your culinary flair.

The most reliable place you will likely find your knife is in the kitchen section, and especially if they have a more specialized section for chefs. You may look online or from brochures and read about what various knives are marketed or being endorsed by renowned chefs but avoid availing or purchasing knives online unless if you are certain of it, as truly finding your best-suited knife entails for you to actually have it in your hands. When you are in the kitchen section of the store, ask the sales representative attending all the questions that you need to be answered regarding the knife that you are looking for. They might point you to certain kitchen knives that they need to be endorsed and you can be open to trying them out but in the end, it must be you who decides for this. Usually, these specialized sections allow their customers to sample items, like performing tasks with the knife on a chopping board. There is a wide range available for you to try, so take note of how it fits in your hand and when you move it about as you perform several actions like dicing, until you have narrowed down your knife choices to one that is within your means.

In looking for your perfect knife, your first assessment goes into determining how it feels and fits in your hand. Grasp that knife firmly and fully around its handle and move it about. This should already give you an initial sense of how feels and fits. Some knives can cause you to be intimidated straight away, so you know that is not the knife for you. The knife for you is one that feels and fits naturally and enables you a smooth flow of performing tasks with it. If a knife that does feel and fit right, then get on with the next knife option. Here are some characteristics of the perfect knife that you need to include in your assessment.

#1 Weight.

In trying various knives, determine and differentiate the feel of each of their weight. Different chefs will require different kitchen knives, depending on their preference or what they are most usually specializing in cooking. So what you are looking for in a knife answers to what you feel and need it to be, whether it is a light knife or a heavyset kind of knife.

#2. Balance.

Balance is the relationship of motion between you and your knife. If a knife is working against you or you have to deliberately exert more effort than you should in just performing certain food preparation tasks, then you might have to consider other choices. More so, if a knife instead has a hazard of potentially injuring you because it is cumbersomely weighted on your hand, then this is also not the knife for you. Do not think you will get used to it in time, as this is not how it should be. The perfect knife for you will already accomplish that concern the moment you are trying it out on the chopping board.

#3. Size.

Depending on the type of versatility you are looking for and prefer or the kind of specialized cooking that you do, a knife’s size will vary from chef to chef. Some will prefer a long knife that can yield volumes in tasks, while others will want a short knife that will give a sense of swiftness in performing tasks.

As an experienced chef, it is also important to note the essential parts of your knife and include this in your assessment to finding that perfect knife for you.

#1. Handle.

A great handle as already stressed is one that feels and fits right in your hand and ensure you a sense of safety with its use. If you find yourself straining to grip it while you are simply slicing, or if just holding it at certain angles prove to be cumbersome, then it’s not your perfect knife. Pay attention and care of the space on the knife’s underside that you do not end up hitting your hand on the opposite flat surface while you are chopping. The knife’s blade height influences this. A knife might have an indentation or mold to aid with gripping, but this is only something optionally suitable, which may or may not work for you.

#2. Bolster.

That part of the metal where the knife handle and the blade connect is the bolster. This stabilizes the entire knife’s composition and give the knife additional strength, as well as serves as a protection for your hand when you are gripping the knife. Some knives will not have bolsters or others only partially. The advantage of this works in how to sharpen kitchen knives to the entire length of the blade. When you grip the knife, study the slope of the bolster in relation to the blade. Some are more remarkably set, but regardless of this, the end point should be that it does not dampen with the way or manner with which you are performing tasks with the knife. So if you prefer knives with no bolsters, note of the best way to sharpen kitchen knives such as these, which you can find certain guides for whether from the sales representative or the manufacturer’s guide.

#3. Heel.

The thick and broad part of the knife’s edge makes up the heel. Here is where all ends of the force are pushed, like if you have to work with hard animal parts, for instance when you chop rind or other similar parts. If the heel knocks hard on either side when you rock it, then this is not the knife for you.

#4. Spine.

The length on the top side of the knife, opposite the blade, is the spine. Take note of how the edges are set, feel if it is smooth, blunt, or other that might cause your hand to get irritated. Also note if it is tapered off to the tip, as this would be better to work with than one that is thick.

#5. Edge.

The sharp side of the knife is referred to as the edge. A great knife will be sharp straight from manufacturing. To assess for sharpness, cut or slice the knife through a piece of paper, and note if that cut was swift and clean. Try it on food too, when you have the chance for it. Study the blade’s length and note the kind of curve it has from heel to the tip. If it has a gentle curvature, then this can enable the knife to move smoothly when mincing or chopping.

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For any kind of knife that you would choose, always be advised on how to sharpen a kitchen knife and note of the differing techniques that is the best way to sharpen a kitchen knife, especially the one you’re taking into your kitchen. When you have the perfect knife in your hand, you want to keep it maintained. It is not necessary to sharpen knives each time you use it, but honing it regularly whether on stone or steel is a necessity.

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