Matt Potter 3 p.m., Jan. 24
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What exactly is a chef’s knife? Why do I need one?
A Chef’s knife is an all-purpose knife used for chopping, slicing, and mincing; its blade is usually between 8 and 14 inches long. Chef knives are the workhorse of the kitchen; if you can only have one good knife, this is the one to have. The best chef’s knives are made of high-carbon stainless steel which keeps its edge longer and won’t rust or discolor. Another metal commonly used in the making of chef’s knives is carbon steel. This metal is softer, making it easier to sharpen as they go dull more easily. They also have a tendency to rust and discolor over time, but this does not affect the knife’s ability.
Chef knives fall into one of two categories, Western or Eastern. Western knives are typically German styled with a curved section at the front of the blade allowing for the up and down rocking motion. There is a French styled chef’s knife which is straighter and more triangular allowing for a slicing type of motion. Both knives are excellent companions in the kitchen. Eastern knives are based on Asian design with the most popular being a santoku knife. This knife has hollow, beveled indentations ground into the blade so food won’t stick to the blade during the cutting stage. Asian knives are sharpened on one side of the blade only. These are excellent knives though they may be difficult to have sharpened.
The benefits of a chef’s knife are too numerous to list. This knife does it all; chop, dice, mince, slice and whatever you decide you’d like to do with it. A good knife will cost about $100.00 and is well worth the investment as they will last for a lifetime if properly maintained. My favorites Wusthof Classic and Henckels 4 star both 8 inches in length.