Unless you’re a chef, chances are you don’t know much about Chef’s knives, including how much they measure, much less how you measure them. However, if you use them quite often, this information might be helpful to you. From how you measure Chef’s knives to what type of knives you use for what activity, we answer all questions you might have about Chef’s knives.
So, How Are Chef’s Knives Measured?
The short answer is that Chef’s knives are measured by the blade’s length from the tip to the heel, not including the handle’s length. But there is a bit more to it. You need to understand the right length blade for the task and the most suitable knife for you.
What Is a Chef’s Knife?
Before diving in, it’s essential to clear up the true definition of a chef’s knife. A chef’s knife has a broad and sharp blade, and you can use it for various kitchen tasks. However, the type of food you cut with it all depends on the length of the knife. As mentioned previously, this is why it’s essential to know the precise measurement of your knife.
What Size Chef Knife Is Right for Me?
The size of the chef knife you use all depends on a couple of things. For one, what type of food you are cutting with it. The next thing to consider is your height. If you are under 5’5″, you’ll probably want to use a six-inch knife. If you’re a little bit taller than that, an eight-inch blade will suit you. The taller you are, the longer the knives you should use.
When it comes to food, specific knives are used with certain types of foods. For example, you can use five-inch knives to slice boneless meat, cut bagels and buns, and slice vegetables and herbs.
On the other hand, a seven-inch knife is ideal for cutting more demanding food such as prime meats, common vegetables, disjointing some cuts, slicing herbs, and chopping nuts.
The biggest knife you can use is a 12-inch knife, which can be used for slicing and carving dense meats, slicing herbs, and chopping nuts.
To find out our top picks on Chef’s knives, please have a look at our article on the ultimate kitchen essentials.
Different Types of Chef’s Knives
As you may have already guessed, several different types of kitchen knives can be used, depending on what you need. When it comes to everyday cooking, a paring knife, a utility knife, and a carving knife, as well as a chef’s knife, are all essential.
If you are a baker, a chef’s knife, paring knife, or bread and cake knife are perfect for you. If you’re someone who loves to cook but are still trying to hone your skills, you should be using either a chef’s knife, paring knife, bread knife, utility knife, carving knife, or all of those mentioned above. You are considered an aspiring chef if your goal is to improve your cooking skills and enjoy entertaining in the kitchen.
If you are a professional chef, chances are you don’t need any reminding of the type of knives you will need to create a gourmet meal. But just in case you forgot—a chef’s knife, paring knife, utility knife, boning knife, carving knife, cleaver, and butcher knife are just some of the many knives you may find yourself using regularly.
What to Look for When Buying a New Chef Knife
As mentioned previously, choosing the right knife for you all depends on your skill level and what you are planning to make. A few things you may want to consider when shopping for your knives are their shape, size, and functionality. A chef’s knife is larger than other kitchen knives because they are meant to be easy to rock back and forth while you’re chopping.
The sharpness of the knife is also essential. The last thing anyone wants is to cook with a dull knife. The good news is, you can always purchase a knife sharpener to make sure your blades stay as sharp as possible.
The essential knives to keep in your kitchen are a chef’s knife and a serrated bread knife. You may also want to consider having a utility knife and a paring knife for when you need to cut fruit or anything else into smaller pieces.
For those of us who like a bit more of a hands-off approach, we’ve recently reviewed the best electric meat slicers. Why bother with a knife when you can use a machine?
Tips on How to Care for Your Chef’s Knife
Chef’s knives don’t come inexpensive, which means it’s crucial to take care of them as best as possible to avoid having to buy brand-new ones. Some types of high-end knives have certain specific requirements to make sure they stay in tip-top shape, but for the most part, kitchen knives are pretty easy to keep.
One of the first things you want to do is hone and sharpen them regularly. This should be done as often as possible, preferably before and after every few uses.
To sharpen your knives, you may need to be a bit more skilled. You can purchase a knife sharpener to do it yourself or have it done by a professional.
Another thing to make sure you are doing is washing your knives right after every use. Unfortunately, when you leave knives to dry on their own, they can begin to accumulate rust. Speaking of washing, be sure to wash all of your kitchen knives by hand as they are not dishwasher safe. By hand washing, you are also able to double-check that you didn’t miss any food or other particles while washing them.
Whether you’re a pro or an amateur cook, having a nice set of knives at home is vital for any cook. As mentioned previously, the best way to look for knives suitable for your kitchen is to know their length and what type of food you’re preparing. This way, you will have all the utensils you need to make any meal you desire.
By considering these two things, you will indeed find the perfect set of knives for you.