Updated: Feb 24
If you invest in one cooking tool, this should be it.
Ask any skilled chef in the event that they had been stranded on a desert island and will solely carry one kitchen device, they usually'd in all probability decide a chef's knife. Whereas other kitchen knives, like serrated knives and paring knives, have extra individualized makes use of, a great chef's knife can do all of it, from slicing and dicing to extra sophisticated duties, like carving a hen and cutting a pineapple.
On the subject of chef’s knives, there are two primary classes to select from: German knives and Japanese knives. They don't seem to be as dissimilar as one might imagine (and lots of knives truly mix features of each kinds!), however listed here are the important thing factors of differentiation price noting:
German knives: Heavy and thick, particularly on the bolster (the place the blade meets the deal with), German knives can be utilized for every little thing from mincing garlic to slicing by means of hen bones. They've thicker blades that are typically curved to facilitate rocking and are produced from softer metal, so that you’ll must sharpen steadily.
Japanese knives: Light-weight and razor sharp, western-style Japanese knives are likely to have a thinner blade and straighter edge than their German counterparts, making them ultimate for exact duties like cleanly slicing cucumbers or tuna. And since they’re crafted from tougher metal, they'll sometimes go longer between sharpenings however could also be liable to chipping or cracking.
How we check chef's knives
Our consultants within the Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab examined to search out the most effective kitchen knives available on the market. We examined with dwelling cooks in thoughts and evaluated how properly every knife lower and retained an edge after slicing and chopping by means of onions, hen, cooked steak, carrots, and cheddar cheese. We sliced basil into positive ribbons, minced garlic and parsley, and sliced tomatoes. Essentially the most spectacular knives had been tremendous sharp and made paper skinny slices of tomato with no effort in any respect.
We additionally checked the consolation of the deal with and grip and the general expertise utilizing the knife: We cherished knives that rocked forwards and backwards simply and ones that required little strain to chop by means of meat.
Throughout testing, the small print that stood out essentially the most had been how the handles felt in our hand and the load of the knife. Whereas heavier ones felt extra sturdy, they drained our arms when it got here to slicing arduous elements like carrots. The bigger dealt with, lighter knives gave us extra management, whereas the smaller handles knives allowed us to slice rapidly and thinly.
Our High Lab Choose is the Wüsthof 8-inch chef's knife. For starters, it is razor sharp and tremendous versatile, and it was one of many solely knives in our check that might cleanly slice tomatoes, chop onions, and bone a hen with ease. Beneath rounded up the top-tested knives that we predict are universally interesting for everybody's wants — listed here are those that made the lower!
1)Best Overall Chef's Knife: Wusthof Classic 8-Inch Chef's Knife
This Wüsthof 8-inch chef's knife is razor sharp and tremendous versatile. It was one of many solely knives in our take a look at that would cleanly slice tomatoes, chop onions, reduce up carrots, bone a hen, and create skinny ribbons of basil. The German traditional is absolutely solid and has a full tang, which helps it really feel completely balanced and ergonomic in your hand. It is dishwasher secure (a rarity for cutlery), however we suggest hand-washing to increase its lifespan.
2)Best Value Chef's Knife: J.A. Henckels Classic 8-Inch Chef's Knife
This wonderful J.A. Henckels Basic Chef's Knife has the heft, form, and efficiency of a splurge-worthy chef's knife however comes at a a lot nicer worth level. It is a quintessential, all-purpose instrument that does an ace job of blitzing parsley into mud, dicing onions, or deboning a hen.
3)Best Chef's Knife for Beginners: Pampered Chef 8-inch Chef's Knife
Pampered Chef's distinctive bolster makes it very simple and cozy to carry. It virtually guides you to carry the knife precisely how it is best to (by pinching the underside of the blade.) The deal with sits within the middle of your palm, making this knife a real extension of your hand.
This absolutely solid, high-carbon German metal knife reduce by nearly each process very simply. It additionally comes with a protecting plastic overlaying, making it further protected to retailer.
4)Sharpest Chef's Knife: Global Santoku 7-Inch Chef's Knife
Global's Santoku is all stainless steel, so there aren't crevices that trap food. The blade also has hollow notches along the edge, so veggies don't stick as they're cut. This Japanese knife excelled at all tasks but wowed us with its ability to power through chicken bones. Also worth noting that it was one of the sharpest knives we've tested.
5)Best Multi-Purpose Chef's Knife: Misen 8-Inch Chef's Knife
This multi-purpose knife from direct-to-consumer company Misen is made of Japanese AUS-8 high carbon stainless steel, which means it's tough, durable and super sharp.
The sloped bolster encourages the user to hold the knife properly (with a pinch grip), but regardless of how you hold a knife, you'll find the Misen knife feels balanced, sturdy, and comfortable in your hand. It's beautifully designed — knives of this quality typically cost upwards of twice as much.
6)Best Chef's Knife for Small Hands: Shun Classic 6-Inch Chef's Knife
Shun's lovely chef's knife actually glides by way of ripe tomatoes with its sharp edge. The rounded black pakkawood deal with is comfy even for small palms to get round, and if an 8-inch measurement (the commonest size of a chef's knife) feels extreme and heavy, we predict the 6-inch blade on this one will likely be an ideal match.
7)Longest-Lasting Chef's Knife: Kramer by Zwilling 8-Inch Chef's Knife
The Kramer by Zwilling J.A. Henckels Chef's Knife is one of the top selling knives on Amazon. We've been using the same one for years and can vouch that it stays sharp a long time between honings. It does just as excellent a job at slicing through delicate ribbons of basil as it does plowing through a rough-and-tough butternut squash.
8)Best Ergonomic Chef's Knife: Victorinox Rosewood Forged 8-Inch Chef's Knife
The Victorinox Rosewood Cast Knife would not simply look lovely. In our testing, it made fast work of chopping parsley, slicing tomatoes, dicing onions, and even boning a hen. The knife's attractive rosewood curved deal with offers you a snug, ergonomic grip.
9)Sturdiest Chef's Knife: Mercer Culinary Renaissance 8-Inch Forged Chef's Knife
This Mercer Culinary chef's knife felt good in our hand from the second we picked it up. It felt sturdy and never too heavy. With its high-carbon, no-stain German metal blade, it effortlessly sliced by means of tomatoes and minimize carrots — we barely had to make use of any stress as a result of the blade was so sharp! It sliced by means of onions very simply, too.
10)Most User-Friendly Chef's Knife: Made In 8-inch Chef's Knife
When there is a product everybody's speaking about on the web, we all know we now have to get our fingers on it. The Made In 8-inch Chef's Knife didn't disappoint. Along with being very fairly to have a look at, it carried out each chopping job effectively. We liked how simply it diced onions and the way easily it sliced celery.
The Chef's Knife could also be purchased individually or as a part of a 3- or 4-piece set. It is available in cute packaging that's not solely secure and straightforward to open, but additionally instructs you how you can maintain the knife and how you can use your entire blade like a professional.
11)Most Versatile Chef's Knife: Wusthof Classic Craftsman Knife
We nearly really feel like we're dishonest by together with this knife in our "Finest Chef's Knives" story. This 7-inch Craftsman is a chef's knife, boning knife and carving knife in a single. Meaning it might carry out all of your chef knife duties, like chopping and slicing, in addition to boning and filleting with the tip and clear slicing with its "hollow-edge design."
This knife was a top-performer in nearly each check. It was further sharp and lower by hen greatest. It even lower by bone with out even attempting. We additionally particularly loved slicing tomatoes and slicing carrots with this knife — it was nearly too simple!
How to choose the right chef's knife
When shopping for the best chef’s knife, it’s important to hold them and get a feel for them if you can. Here's what to consider:
Handle: The first thing you’ll likely notice are the different handles and how they attach to the blade. Some are made of wood/wood composites, some of plastic, and some of metal. The type of material affects the weight of the knife, the feel of it, as well as the price.
Tang: Some knives also have a full tang, which means the blade runs through the handle and helps balance it.
Bolster: How the blade flows into the handle, aka the bolster, is another point of differentiation. Some are angled, while others are straight. We found that angled bolsters allow for a more protected grip, better for novices, while straight bolsters allow for a more controlled grip for chef’s who like to pinch the heel of the blade.
At the end of the day, finding your go-to chef's knife is largely based upon personal preference. What might feel, say, perfectly balanced to one cook may feel heavy to another. Our best words of advice: Look for a knife that feels like an extension of your hand and keep it sharp.