We all know how important a good knife is, but to be honest I know very little about them myself. I found myself in a tough spot when wanting to buy my friend a set of good knives for her kitchen. Luckily today I invited my a special guest to give us all some tips on what knives make a great gift.
Thank you Lucas!
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Buying a gift for the cooking enthusiast in your life can be quite the challenge. Nevertheless, the most timeless idea will always come in the guise of reliable and high-quality cooking knives. Fortunately, there are plenty of options on the market to fit any budget and preference, from German and French to Swiss and even Japanese models.
According to legendary French chef Jacques Pépin, everything a chef truly needs as far as cooking knives are concerned is represented by “an eight-to-twelve inch cook’s knife, a six-inch utility knife, and a paring knife.” Throw in a versatile slicer and your kitchen is all set and ready to work in unison with its own personal home chef.
- Chef Knife
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Chef Pépin didn’t put a good chef’s knife at the top of the list for nothing. It’s the most important asset for any functional kitchen due to its incredible versatility. Its main uses included chopping, mincing, dicing and slicing, but so much more can be done with the right blade. Just make sure the make and model you choose suits the person you are gifting it to.
Going over a few chef knives reviews, you will find that there are plenty of options on the market that fit any budget and preference. For lovers of the timeless Japanese style, the Zelite Infinity Alpha-Royal Series is an excellent choice. If a classic French approach is more your loved one’s speed, then go for the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Pro S 31021-203.
The Swiss also do it particularly well, and the Victorinox Fibrox Pro 45520 is proof enough of that. But if you’re looking for the one chef knife to rule them all, you can’t ever go wrong with a classic Santoku design. The best one in this category surely has to be the Wüsthof Classic Santoku WU4176, so if you’ve got 175 dollars to spend, choose to spend them on it.
- Paring Knife
A paring knife is indispensable for cooking< because it handles all the precision work that needs to get done in the making of a meal. Its 2 to 4-inch blade is great for peeling fruits and vegetables, slicing garlic cloves, coring apples, removing pepper ribs, and general controlled cutting. That’s why every good home chef needs one in their arsenal.
Buying something that fits the person you are giving it to is always more important than picking the most expensive option on the market. There are great inexpensive alternatives out there, such as the 7-dollar Victorinox 3.25-inch Forschner, or the Wüsthof Pro-Line Paring Knife for some diversity.
And if you’re looking for something a bit more elegant with a high-end feel, the Japanese are who you should rely on. Both the Mac Knife Chef Series Paring Knife 4-Inch and the Tojiro DP 3.5-inch Paring Knife. They are situated at the 40 to 50-dollar price point, which is still a decent price for a gift, but it will make your friend, partner or family member feel truly special.
- Utility Knife
The Williams Sonoma cutlery buying guide describes the utility knife as the perfect middle ground between a chef’s knife and a paring one. It is smaller than the former but still bigger than the latter, and its specialty is everyday tasks that range from cutting sandwiches all the way to slicing meat and back.
The serrated model is the most common one. Good choices in this category would be the Wüsthof Classic 5-Inch Serrated Utility Knife, the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Pro Serrated Prep Knife or the Global Ukon 6-Inch Serrated Utility Knife. Their prices range from a classic 50 dollars all the way up to 100.
However, these are all on the costlier side, so if you’re looking for a gift on a budget, Victorinox is still the way to go, with their amazing Fibrox Pro 4-Inch Utility Knife which feels high end but doesn’t break the bank at all. In fact, it will set you back a mere 10 to 15 dollars depending on your retailer of choice.
And if you want to go all out for your very own master chef, and you also happen to have around 300 dollars to spend on a gift, the Shun Hikari 6-Inch Utility Knife is the way to go for sure. Its dual-core stainless steel blade and sleek PakkaWood handle will add to the kitchen both aesthetically and functionally.
- Bread Slicer
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Although chef Pépin didn’t mention this one in his famous words of wisdom, a versatile bread slicer is also a good addition to one’s arsenal of cooking knives because it can be used for so much more than that. Because it’s very sharp, it gracefully cuts through anything from chunky fruit and blocks of chocolate to prime rib.
Hands-down the best choice in this category is the Tojiro Bread Slicer 270mm F-687, coming to you straight from Tokyo, the capital city of Japan. Victorinox is no longer the cost-effective choice here, but their Fibrox Pro 10.25-inch Serrated Curved Bread Knife is worth the 55-dollar price tag down to every penny.
Regardless of whether you’re a big spender or can’t afford to break the bank, you will still find the perfect knives for the chef in your life. Any of the afore-mentioned options makes for an amazing present for any occasion, so what are you waiting for? Go out there and get them the gift of a lifetime.
Article written by Lucas Ferguson