A chef's knife is the best ingredient in your kitchen
You use a chef's knife to cut vegetables, meat and fish. But also finely chopping herbs, crushing pepper corns and peeling cloves of garlic is easy with this all-rounder.
Looking for a good chef's knife?
When you purchase a chef's knife you need to pay close attention to the type of steel, the blade and the shape and material of the handle. Want to learn more about choosing the right chef's knife? If so, continue reading!
The blade of a chef's knife
You recognize the chef's knife by its broad blade that tapers into a point. The shape of the cutting edge of a chef's knife is, with its slightly curved line, very characteristic. The rounder the curve, the better you can use 'rocking' movements with this knife. For this cutting technique the chef's knife is moved up and down alongside the finger. During this process it is always in contact with the cutting board. That is how the 'rocking movement' emerges.
There are small chef's knives with a blade length of 16 cm up to large chef's knives of even 36 cm! For most cutting tasks in the kitchen a chef's knife with a 20 cm blade will be big enough. Professional chef's often use a longer blade. Chef's knives have a heigh blade of approximately 4 to 5 cm to make sure you can place the fingers of the hand you use to hold the ingredients against the side of the blade. This way you can work safely and quickly. Want to learn more about this cutting technique? Learn all about it in our topic: five tips to safely and efficiently use a chef's knife.
Blade with dimples
Not only the edge of a chef's knife, but also the side is available in different versions. Most knives have a smooth side, but there are also chef's knives that have dimples in the blade. Wüsthof even produced a chef's knife with holes in the blade. This doesn't only look beautiful, it also has a function. Air in the dimples and holes works as a non-stick layer between the knife and the food. But do dimples help against sticking? We have the answer.
The handle of a chef's knife
Of course the knife needs to feel great in hand. That is why you should closely look at the design and thickness of the blade. And please note: there are knives that are specifically made for left or right-handed users. In addition to the shape the materials used are very important.
Chef's knives with a wooden handle need a little extra TLC. Fortunately maintaining a wooden handle is not difficult at all. We will tell you all about it in our how-to: how do you maintain a wooden handle? Knives with a wooden handle are not dishwasher-proof. Do you want to be able to clean your knives in your dishwasher? If so we advise a knife with a plastic or stainless steel handle.
Tip: even though a lot of chef's knives are dishwasher-proof, we recommend you wash the knives by hand.
Properly store your chef's knife
If you put your chef's knife in a drawer you run the risk of it touching other steel objects. This is not recommended for the sharpness of your knife. Also, grabbing in a drawer that holds sharp kitchen knives isn't very safe. That is why you should use knife guards, a drawer insert or, even better, a good knife magnet or knife block.