3 essential stainless steel kitchen knives
Cut all foods with only 3 knives
Whether you decide to prepare a meal with vegetables, meat, fish, pie or cake, you need to have the proper tools to help you cut all of the ingredients your recipe calls for with ease, rapidity and comfort.
Sometimes it is difficult to have a complete set of kitchen knives in your home, because of lack of space or sufficient funds for purchasing the proper kitchen utensils. It is true that a sharp, robust knife often has a rather hefty price tag...
However by learning basic information about the modern cutlery world it is possible to avoid these obstacles. For example, by learning about the basic types of stainless steel kitchen knives you will be able to select ones that allow you to prepare every dish your heart desires. Different stainless steel kitchen knives are designed for completing specific cooking tasks. Moreover they can be used in a wide variety of ways. For your convenience, we have compiled a list of these knives for you. They are the chef’s knife, paring knife and bread knife.
3 indispensable knives
Opt for a stainless steel chef’s knife: the king of kitchen knives
This is probably the most commonly used knife in the modern kitchen. It is also known as a kitchen knife! If there is one knife that you must have for cooking sumptuous and delicious dishes, this is the one! The chef’s knife is, without a doubt, the most versatile knife available on the market. Its broad and rigid blade varies in length from 15 to 25 cm and allows you to achieve the following tasks:
- Cut a wide variety of fruits and vegetables (specifically small to medium sized): tomatoes, apples, oranges, cucumbers, zucchini, carrots, potatoes and many more
- Cut all different types of meats. It even allows you to remove bones, even though a specific knife for this task, called a boning knife, exists
- Finely chop other foods such as onions, mushrooms, fresh herbs, etc. or to use its tip to prepare delicate dishes like fish fillets
If you are unsure about what kind of chef’s knife is right for you, we recommend that you choose one with an intermediate sized blade or one with a Japanese blade such as the famous Santoku. The Santoku is considered to be the leading Japanese chef’s knife in Europe. In both cases, you may also want to opt for a stainless steel kitchen knife - we explain why in the second part of this article.
The paring knife
The paring knife is a small kitchen knife that is very handy for preparing countless dishes and was designed for making small cuts. Its blade allows you to make highly precise cuts. It is used to cut fruits and vegetables, using the following cutting methods:
- Removing pits
The paring knife is a kitchen knife, which is usually made of stainless steel. It is easily recognizable by its short, pointed and rigid blade, ranging from 8 to 10 cm.
Chefs are very grateful for having this serrated kitchen knife on hand in the kitchen. Why choose a bread knife rather than another? Simply because bread is a staple food and a good bread knife is useful for cutting all different types of bread, including: hard and soft crusted bread, sandwich bread, rolls, baguettes, rustic country breads and countless others.
The bread knife’s blade is surprisingly versatile. For example, it can be used for cutting the follow foods:
- Soft-fleshed fruits and vegetables: tomatoes, pineapples, pumpkins, etc.
- Roasted meat
The bread knife’s blade usually ranges from 18 to 30 cm in length. When selecting one listen to your gut feeling and opt for one that is comfortable to hold.
Quality makes a difference
Why choose a stainless steel kitchen knife?
The environment in a kitchen is very humid and acidic. Cooking with fruits and vegetables and washing knife blades increase the chance of corrosion and plays a detrimental role is decreasing the longevity of a kitchen knife’s blade.
It is very important to select high-grade stainless steel kitchen knives whose blade is completely corrosion resistant when purchasing a kitchen knife.
Chromium-rich martensitic stainless steels are the best on the market.
The powers of chromium
In cutlery, quality steel is judged by its iron and carbon content. The steel’s percentage of chromium determines its level of corrosion resistance.
In the final alloy, the higher the percentage of this element, the better your stainless steel kitchen knife will be. Chromium is therefore an essential material used to create stainless steel. The chromium content in a finished product of stainless steel can range from 12% to 17%.
The physical properties of martensitic stainless steels are superior to those of ferritic stainless steels. Martensitic stainless steel undergoes a heat treatment process called quenching, which reinforces its cutting capacity and overall strength.
Very high-end stainless steel
Finally, austenitic stainless steel contains nickel and chrome (18% to 20% of the latter) and is an excellent material for manufacturing high-end kitchen knives. The GDD (Générale de Découpage) based in Thiers manufactures this type of steel (Alenox X46Cr13), which used by TB Groupe in several of its recently launched cutlery collections, including the Auguste collections of professional-grade table knives and the Nuance flatware collection.