Ultimate Guide to the 5 Best Knives in the Kitchen September 8, 2017
On your road to unstoppable, it helps to know what tool to use for every step of the recipe. Get the lowdown on our test kitchen’s best knives and set yourself up for chopping success.
1. Paring Knife
Small but mighty
BEST FOR: Close-hand tasks like trimming, slicing, and peeling small produce.
BLADE LENGTH: 3-4″
The paring knife is one of the smallest must-have blades, but don’t underestimate its versatility. It’s your go-to choice for both peeling and slicing that perfectly ripe mango, and its size makes it perfect for making super precise cuts. Don’t be afraid to use it for lots of other purposes though, like removing chile pepper seeds or coring tomatoes.
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BEST FOR: Everyday tasks like mincing shallots and herbs, as well as cutting veggies or slicing meats.
BLADE LENGTH: 4-5″
This is the knife you’d use to cut the crusts off that peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Its manageable size makes it great for accuracy when it comes to mid-size produce, like cucumbers and potatoes. And you can count on your utility knife in your day-to-day for slicing cheese and meats, too.
If you’re asking yourself why you don’t have one yet, STOCK UP HERE.
BEST FOR: Slicing, dicing, and mincing — the cutting trifecta that the Japanese word santoku itself represents.
BLADE LENGTH: 5-7″
Its wide blade is ideal for sliding those chopped veggies from the cutting board onto the sheet pan, and its narrow spine makes it easier to manage small cuts along the way. The blade itself often has little divots to keep food from sticking, and with a relatively flat edge, it won’t rock back and forth on your cutting board.
STOCK UP HERE to add our test kitchen’s #1 Santoku knife to your butcher’s block.
4. Cook’s Knife
Jack of all trades
BEST FOR: The full gamut of basic cooking tasks, from mincing to chopping and everything in between.
BLADE LENGTH: About 8″
Also known as a chef’s knife, this kitchen essential stands up to tough meats and veggies like a champ. And thanks to its tapered point and curved blade edge, it allows for maximum flexibility when it comes to just about anything. With a broad range of kitchen uses, you can count on this knife to get the job done with no fuss.
Trust us, you need one of these in your corner. STOCK UP HERE.
5. Steak Knife
Main course maven
BEST FOR: Cutting meats like steak, chicken, pork, or chops.
BLADE LENGTH: 4-6″
The only must-have knife that belongs at the dinner table. Fire up the stove top, sear the steak with a touch of juicy nectarines on the side, and dig in with a steak knife at every place setting.
STOCK UP HERE on our favorite set of four.
At the end of the day, even the best knives are only as helpful as you use them and as durable as you care for them. That’s where our Head Dietitian, Rebecca, and Wüsthof’s Executive Chef, Mike, come in.
- Even if the knife says dishwasher safe, it’s always best to hand wash. . . ta-da! This blade brush is a total game changer.
- Keep sharp knives separate from the rest of the utensils to avoid scratching the blades.
- Every blade need sharpening, so invest in a reliable sharpener. Use the internal ceramic rods to hone and finish the blade frequently (hello, clean slices), and the carbide blades occasionally (hello, new pristine edge).
- Always use them on appropriate surfaces like this beautiful, sturdy, Fresh Fam cutting board. Wood is the gentlest material for your blades, but plastic cutting boards work, too — especially, when they’re color-coded and perfectly stackable.
Ready to put your knives to work? Cook these 15 delicious tomato recipes to slice n’ dice your way to dinnertime.