A good chef knife set can be a chef’s best friend in the kitchen and will vastly improve the cooking experience. All knives are manufactured as either stamped or forged. Stamped knives are generally thinner and 15-20% lighter than their forged counterparts. Because of their lack of weight they require more hand exertion and work on the part of the chef. Stamped knives are also less expensive then comparable forged knives. Forged knives require a more exacting and precise manufacturing process which results in a finished knife which has better balance focused on the front of the blade.professional chef knives is an excellent resource for this.
As recently as the 1950’s, most quality knives were made from carbon steel. And although it maintained a fine edge and had a good weight balance, carbon steel was prone to discoloration and corrosion in response to acidic foods. New advances in metals have led to knives being primarily constructed of either stainless steel and hybrid which is a high carbon stainless steel, which is now widely considered to be the best material for blades.
Tangs are the portion of the knife that extend into the handle. Better quality knives feature tangs that extend the full length of the knife while less expensive knives have partial tangs.
The most basic chef knife set for a budding chef may consist of the following:
Chef’s Knife: This is an all purpose knife with a large broad blade and can be used for chopping, slicing and perhaps carving. The blades can range from 6 inches to 16 inches depending on the manufacturer. This is a knife that should be considered a staple of any kitchen.
Bread Knife: This knife features a long serrated blade which is essential when cutting bread. For ease of cutting thin slices of breads or cakes, look for a heavier bladed knife.
Paring Knife: This knife is a small knife used for peeling, dicing, and slicing. The blade length is usually 3 to 4 inches. Paring knives come in an a extensive variety of styles.
Boning Knife: The boning knife is essential for de-boning meat easily. It consists of a thin flexible blade.
When considering of a chef knife set for your kitchen think about cost, construction, size, quality, weight, balance and comfort. Choose wisely because a good set of sharp knives can be a life-long friend in your kitchen for years to come.