We talked to Sergio Menchaca of Texas Sage Forge about his thoughts on which knives are essential for any home chef.
Great knives are a chef’s first tool in crafting a delicious meal. Just like with cookware, there is no one knife that can do every task in your kitchen. All of our Knives are full tang, meaning the hilt and blade are forged from a single piece of Stainless Steel. This makes them considerably more durable than our competitors’ knives, which are often made from two pieces welded together.
There are so many knives to choose from, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, which is why we compiled a list of the five essential knives every home chef should have in their kitchen, with the help of our friend Sergio Menchaca of Texas Sage Forge.
“The Chef’s Knife is classic, every cook should have one, period,” says Menchaca. If you’re picturing a cooking knife, chances are the image in your mind is a Chef’s Knife. It’s a great, all-purpose knife with a long blade, ideal for chopping vegetables. The curved underside helps the blade rock against your cutting board, making mincing and slicing easy. Because of its full tang construction, it is also strong enough to slice through tough root vegetables or break down an entire chicken.
“For people who prefer a smaller knife, try a Santoku. It’s a typical Japanese house knife, great for chopping vegetables,” say Menchaca. While it is slightly smaller, our Santoku Knife is just as powerful as our Chef’s Knife. Our Santoku features scalloped edges and a flat blade. The slight divots in the steel are designed to help reduce food sticking to it. Santoku Knives are great for thinly slicing vegetables and can also be used for things like scoring dough. Reach for this knife over the Chef’s Knife when you need a little more precision and control.
If you’re looking for the perfect tool to make short work of stir fry vegetables, look no further. “Nakiris are really popular right now,” says Menchaca. “It’s part of the large knife trifecta that any home chef should have.” Our Nakiri Knife has an even flatter blade than the Santoku as well as a blunt, squared off edge. It’s best to use an up and down chopping motion rather than a rocking motion, as that will yield the most precise cuts. It would also be a great knife to use for the roll cut technique.
“They can be a bit of a pain to sharpen, but it’s worth it to have a Serrated Knife for bread, especially if it’s a good one,” says Menchaca. “If you buy a cheap one, you might as well just throw it out. It’s not worth the time or effort to sharpen it,” he laughs.
Also known as a Serrated Knife, our Bread Knife was designed in partnership with Chef Nancy Silverton, so you know it’s made by a baker, for bakers. The serrated teeth grip onto any loaf of bread, holding it secure while you cut even slices. Its wide blade works with skinny baguettes and round loaves of sourdough alike.
“Most of the time, the Paring Knife is the workhorse in the kitchen that most people don't realize,” says Menchaca. “Don’t underestimate the Paring.”Not every task requires a large blade, but you do want even your smallest knives to be crafted with care. Our Paring Knife is great for cutting fruit, even tricky tasks like supreming citrus. When it comes to any small and precise task, this Paring Knife is the perfect choice and beats the cheap, flimsy grocery store knives you may have been relying on for years.
No matter the task, we have a perfect knife to suit all of your cooking needs. Take a look at our more specialized knives for things like oyster shucking or purchase a set to help jumpstart your collection.