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Chefs Knife

A chefs knife is a knife used primarily in the kitchen and preferred by professional chefs. A chefs knife is also called a French knife. The chefs knife is used for food preparation. These knives have a typical blade length of eight inches and width of one and a half inches.

The blades of a chefs knife

A chefs knife comes with two types of blades: the German type and the French type. The German type has a curved tip. This allows the chefs knife to rock up and down, which is especially useful when chopping food with the blade's belly and heel. The French style is triangular and best when pulling the chefs knife inwards, towards the user. This allows the food be sliced inwardly, instead of being chopped.

A chefs knife provides versatility in the kitchen. It is not specialized for one type of kitchen task. The chefs knife can be used for slicing, mincing and chopping any kind of food, from meat to vegetables to fruits.

To maximize the multi-purpose nature of a chefs knife, users often sharpen its length differently, depending on the section's general use. The chefs knife's tip is very sharp and with an acute cutting bevel. This section is used more for mincing and precision work. The middle section is only moderately sharp as it is used mostly for chopping and slicing. The back end is thick and blunt, and used mostly for disjointing beef.

A chefs knife's blade can be made of carbon steel, stainless steel, laminated steel and ceramic. Carbon steel chefs knife sharpens easier. The sharpness also lasts longer than with other blade materials. However, maintenance is tedious with a carbon steel chefs knife. The chefs knife can easily acquire stain and rust. In time, the knife will form a dark patina. The carbon steel chefs knife need to be regularly cleaned and lubricated. A stainless steel chefs knife does not sharpen as well, although there are expensive versions that are very sharp. The advantage with stainless steel knives is that these do not affect the color and taste of food, does not corrode as much and are inexpensive. A chefs knife's blade can be hot-forged or stamped.

A chefs knife's handle can be made from wood, plastic or steel. Those with wooden handles are more preferred because of the good grip these offer and the way they look.

Choosing a chefs knife

When selecting a chefs knife, you should consider the cost, the amount of maintenance needed, as well as how the knife grips into your hand.

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