A Guide to Kitchen Knives
A set of "professional quality" kitchen knives can set you back anywhere $3,000-$5,000 dollars. Knives with a celebrity endorsement get priced even higher. The reality of modern steel and blade making technology makes those costs ridiculous and unnecessary.
Most professional chefs would tell you to forget the knife set and instead choose two or three high-quality kitchen knives that will stay sharp and precise for your kitchen use. The rest of the knife set usually goes unused anyway.
A few high-quality kitchen knives that you've specifically chosen will last you much longer and serve more purpose in your kitchen than any block of celebrity-endorsed kitchen knives. Sharper and more precise kitchen knives will keep your hands and fingers safer too.
We want to show you a guide to kitchen knives and how to choose high-quality knives that will last years in your kitchen. Since you are here with us, we assume you love seafood as much as we do! We will show you our best Japanese knives to keep in your kitchen for making delicious seafood.
How to Choose a Kitchen Knife:
When choosing knives, you should first consider what you are doing in your kitchen. What type of cooking happens in your kitchen? Are you a professional chef? Do you host a lot of large dinner parties? Do you have goals to learn how to cut and serve homemade sushi?
Think realistically about what kind of cooking happens in your kitchen so that you don't waste your time buying unnecessary and expensive kitchen knives that you won't use.
Kitchen Knives and What They Do:
Here's a rundown of what type of kitchen knives are out there and what they do in your kitchen. Use this to help you choose which blades might best suit you for your cooking needs. You'll find many of these on our carefully curated selection of Japanese knife styles.
These are general knife types. You'll find these kinds of knives in a variety of stores and online markets that specialize in knives. Being in the seafood market, we have come to love Japanese kitchen knives and the quality of a Damascus knife. Keep reading, and we will tell you more about Damascus kitchen knives. For now, an overview of knife styles will help you start the process of choosing a kitchen knife.
Kitchen Knife Styles:
Chef's Knife: A Chef's knife is the most common type of kitchen knife. You most likely already have one in your kitchen. As an all-purpose tool, a high-quality and sharp chef's knife will help you with most general food prep in your kitchen. A chef's knife can slice, dice, or chop veggies and meat. The blade of a chef's knife is curved. This curve in the edge is for rocking back and forth while chopping and slicing. When considering new knives for your kitchen, a high-quality chef's knife should be on your list.
Bread Knife: A bread knife has a long blade with serrated edges. Bread knives help you cut through delicate food items without crushing or squishing them. Slicing through bread with a bread knife will help your bread stay tall and fluffy. Softer produce can be cut with a bread knife to help keep that produce from squishing down. If you eat a lot of breads and other soft foods that need cutting, you need a high-quality bread knife.
Utility Knife: A utility knife is similar to a chef's knife in that it serves many purposes in your kitchen. A utility knife is smaller and stiffer than a chef's knife. Use a utility knife to core apples and other fruit, trim fat off of meat, and other cutting and chopping needs. A utility knife is smaller than a chef's knife but larger than a paring knife, making a good go-between when you need something smaller but not too small.
Paring Knife: A paring knife is a smaller multi-purpose tool for your kitchen. With a shorter blade, you can be more precise with your cutting. Use a paring knife for delicate chopping and deveining shrimp. With a paring knife, you can peel and cut fruits and vegetables. The smaller handle and blade of the paring knife gives you more control over the blade. When slicing grapes or other small foods, you might find yourself reaching for your paring knife instead of your chef's knife.
Santoku Knife: A santoku knife looks and feels similar to a chef's knife. A santoku knife has a slightly shorter blade with a flat edge rather than a curved edge. Santoku knives are lighter than chef's knives, and some home cooks and chefs prefer them to the curved blade of a chef's knife.
Nakiri Knife: The Nakiri knife originated in Japan. The blade has a wide, squared-off edge. With a Nakiri knife, you can easily slice through vegetables, even length-wise, without using any kind of sawing motion or push and pull motion. This knife is primarily used for cutting vegetables and isn't great for cutting meats and other foods. So, if you are a big veggie eater, you may want one of these knives in your kitchen.
Meat Cleaver: The meat cleaver is the biggest knife you'll often see in a kitchen. This knife helps you cut through thick cuts of meat or cut through ribs with ease. The thick and heavy blade of the meat cleaver can help you cut through poultry bones when needed. If you're into grilling big cuts of meat or diving up cuts of chicken, having a good-quality meat cleaver in your kitchen will help you prepare and enjoy more meat.
Butcher's Knife: Used most commonly for meat processing. This knife can help you cut and slice through meat and fish. If you're into fishing or cooking whole fish, this knife can help you process your catch with ease. Use this knife to split, strip, or cut your fish and other meats into fillets. Many hunters and fishers keep a Japanese fishing knife like a butcher's knife on themselves when fishing to help them process their catch.
Carving Knife: A carving blade is a long thing blade with a pointed tip. A carving blade can help you slice through cooked or uncooked meats with precision and accuracy to achieve evenly thin slices. Whether you're carving a Thanksgiving turkey or slicing salmon for sashimi, a Japanese slicing knife can help you in your kitchen.
Boning Knife: A boning knife with a long thin, and flexible blade is perfect for removing bones from fish when preparing to cook or grill fish in your kitchen. Consider keeping a Japanese boning knife in your kitchen if you suscept that you will be making a lot of poultry and fish and need the flexibility of an excellent knife to remove small bones.
Fillet Knife: The fillet knife is a long thin, curved blade knife that helps chefs easily remove the skin off of fish. Slightly more challenging to use, it takes practice to correctly and adequately handle a good-quality fillet knife. Japanese filleting knives are helpful if you plan on cooking and eating a lot of fish, or if you like to fish yourself. Being able to process and fillet your fish is made more comfortable with a good quality Japanese fish knife.
Peeling Knife: This knife is specifically designed to help you quickly and easily peel produce, including fruits and vegetables. Many chefs use either a paring knife or a vegetable peeler for this purpose, so a peeling knife may not be on the top of your wish list.
Trimming Knife: A trimming knife is similar to a pairing knife but slightly curved and usually somewhat longer. A trimming knife helps you plan on attempting to make decorations or designs with your food items. Practicing sashimi art is made easier with a Japanese steel knife made for trimming.
Those are some basic kitchen knives that you will find sold individually for home use. Finding a good quality stainless steel knife doesn't have to break the bank and cost you thousands of dollars. The best steel knife is one that you will use regularly and won't sit in your kitchen drawers because you don't need it.
The best steel for knives:
While its difficult to replicate that original Damascus steel used two thousand years ago by Japanese steelworkers, knife makers and engineers worked diligently since the 1700s to try and replicate the best steel for knives.
Our Japanese steel knives will help you create delicious and intricate sushi, carve salmon or tuna fillets, and create other fantastic meals in your home kitchen. When looking for a Japanese cooking knife, make sure you evaluate what kind of cooking you do in your kitchen. It would be best if you didn't end up with many expensive knives that you'll never use. Instead of buying the whole set, consider a few high-quality individual knives that will serve multiple purposes for you in your kitchen.
We've carefully curated a selection of Damascus steel knives that we think would complement your kitchen perfectly when it comes to cooking and eating seafood. Japanese cooking knives are high-quality, look beautiful, and feel good in your hand. From forging the best steel blades to carefully constructed handles, we think that a Damascus steel knife is one of the best Japanese chef knives you can buy.
Japanese Damascus Knife:
Damascus knife blades are famous for their signature appearance of waves and patterns in the steel blade. Over two thousand years ago, Japanese Damascus knives were made using a steelwork process that has been lost to humanity. Around the 1700s, the technique for making Damascus chefs knives went lost. Since then, people have tried to replicate the ancient method of forging Japanese knife types.
The type of steel used to make a Damascus chef's knife no longer exists. Wootz steel came from India over two thousand years ago. Today,
a Damascus steel chef knife is made by forging layers of iron and steel together. Iron and steel hammered and folded together create the best Damascus kitchen knives with very similar properties to the original Japanese chefs' knives made using Wootz steel. So, while you can't find the original ancient Japanese chefs knives made from Wootz steel, except in museums, you can buy Japanese cooking knives made using iron and steel bonded together using modern-day Japanese chef knife techniques.
When you shop through our variety of Damascus knives for sale, you can be confident that our carefully selected knives will meet your needs in the kitchen. We offer only the best Damascus chef knives, so you won't be wasting your money on weak blades and uncomfortable handles.
We want you to have the best available for you to buy, but we also want you to be able to take care of your Damascus filet knife or your chef's knife so that they last you years in the kitchen.
How to Care for a Japanese Sushi Knife:
Damascus steel is among some of the most prized steel for kitchen knives in the world. The layering of steel and iron creates incredibly durable and robust steel knives for kitchen use. While choosing a knife for your kitchen is a careful and logical process, it's also essential to know how to care for those knives after you bring them into your kitchen. To keep your blades in good condition, you want to follow proper care, washing, and Japanese knife sharpening to keep your knives like new.
How to Wash a Damascus Knife:
Damascus knives and most high-quality kitchen knives should never go through the dishwasher. A simple handwashing in warm soapy water is all your knife needs to stay clean and sharp. Running a high-quality kitchen knife through the dishwasher can dull the blade and ruin the handle. Knives with wooden handles will quickly become ruined in the dishwasher as being exposed to high amounts of hot water for three-hour cycles can cause wooden handles to swell and even splinter.
With handwashing, a Japanese chef's knife, be careful of the blade edge, as they are sharp and can become slippery in soapy water. Keep your kitchen knives away from children and keep an eye on older children when having them help with the dishes.
Using a Cutting Board:
Knives are meant to be used with a cutting board, after all, cutting against a hard surface is how you get your precision and don't cut your fingers and hands while cooking. But did you know the surface of your cutting board can dull your blade much faster if you're using the wrong kind of cutting board?
Many modern kitchens use stone surfaces for clean lines and modern appeal. When builders design kitchens, they often leave homeowners with custom marble cutting boards from the leftover marble or stone used in their countertops. While these cutting boards look beautiful and match your kitchen, that hard cutting surface can do a number on your knife edges.
Landing your knife blade on that hard-stone surface repeatedly while cooking will dull and ruin your knives. Wooden cutting boards are the most forgiving when it comes to saving your blades and their sharpened edges. When it comes to cooking meat and seafood, we realize that bacteria is an issue, and it's challenging to sanitize a porous surface such as wood properly. A plastic cutting board is more forgiving than marble or stone and more easily sanitized than wood.
We recommend two different cutting boards in your kitchen. Using wood for cutting vegetables and fruits can help prolong your Japanese steel knives and reserving a plastic cutting board for cutting and slicing through meat and fish.
Avoid stone or steel cutting boards unless you're using your kitchen for commercial use when sanitation takes precedence over the life of your kitchen knives.
Sharpening a Damascus Knife:
Making a Damascus knife by forging two metals together creates micro-serrations on the edge of your blade, which can be challenging to sharpen if allowed to dull or if your knives are damaged. The best way to keep your knife sharp for years to come is the proper use and proper washing techniques.
Should the time come that you need to sharpen your Damascus knife, Whetstone sharpening is better over any pull-through style sharpener that often comes with kitchen knife sets.
Learning how to sharpen your kitchen knives using a Japanese Whetstone can be challenging.
Whetstones come in three different varieties for different purposes:
Arato Whetstone (rough grit): Often used to repair severely damaged or chipped knives. Arato can help you fix a broken tipped blade or create a new edge on your blade.
Nakato (medium grit): A medium grit whetstone will sharpen your blade and keep your edge in good shape, prolonging your investment.
Siageto (fine grit): A fine grit whetstone will help you finalize the sharpening process and remove any burrs created in the sharpening process. Much like finish sanding, a fine-grit whetstone will finish sharpen your knifes blade edge.
Whetstones often come double-sided so that you have a medium grit and a fine grit edge to sharpen your Japanese knives properly. You will not often need an Arato whetstone unless your blades have gone years without being sharpened.
Whetstones are first soaked in water to prepare the stone for sharpening. It can be difficult at first to get the correct angle on your blade when using a whetstone. People are often taught by placing two coins on top of one another on the whetstone to show the user the proper angle and height to hold the knife blade.
You can always have your knives professionally sharpened, but if you want to sharpen your Japanese cooking knives properly, you should consider learning how to use a whetstone.
The Bottom Line:
The best way to care for your Japanese knives and prolong your blade's life is to use all three care techniques in concert with one another.
- Proper cutting surface
- Proper washing technique (no dishwasher)
- Proper sharpening technique when needed.
Following these easy steps will help you make your knives last longer and stay sharp.
We offer a variety of knives to help you properly cut, slice and prepare your favorite seafood meals. We offer various Japanese knife styles with multiple blade lengths and handle styles to meet your needs.
When it comes to making sushi and sashimi, we offer a sushi knife that will help you cut and style beautiful plates of sushi and sashimi. Just as it's essential to use the right tools to fix your home, it's just as important to use the right knives to create beautiful meals. Knowing which knives can do specific kitchen jobs can make your cooking more comfortable, faster, and more beautiful.
The hammering and folding of forged metals create durable and long-lasting Damascus blades that you can use in your kitchen for many years.
We want you to feel confident that you know you're getting the very best when you order your Damascus knives from Global Seafoods. Should there be any issues with your blade when it arrives, get in touch with us, and we will replace it or refund your money!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Where to point your blade when cutting food?
While your cutting technique will vary depending on the knife you are using and the type of food you are cutting, here are a few essential safety tips to keep yourself and your knife safe.
When cutting, point your blade tip toward your foot and lift your blade upwards by the handle. Using firm even pressure, keep the tip of your knife in contact with your cutting board while you press downwards with the handle. Keep your non-cutting hand on the spine or unsharpened edge of the blade to avoid cutting your fingers and hands.
How to sharpen a kitchen knife?
When it comes to high-quality kitchen knives, think of yourself as honing the blade rather than sharpening. We recommend that you never use any pull-through knife sharpeners, which can ruin your blade's edge. Japanese kitchen knives should be sharpened using a Japanese whetstone to sharpen your edge and repair any damage done to your knife blade.
When must a knife be cleaned and sanitized?
For proper sanitization, you should clean a kitchen knife for several different reasons.
- After each use.
- Every time you change a food item you are cutting.
- After any interruptions during the cutting and food prep process.
- After one hour of constant use.
We never recommend that you run a Japanese kitchen knife through the dishwasher. A dishwasher will dull and damage your blade and will also ruin the handle of your Japanese knife. Handwashing using hot water and a proper cleaning solution such as kitchen soap will be excellent for cleaning your kitchen knives. Our recommendations are for home use only. Please be sure to consult with proper sanitation guidelines should you be using your kitchen knives for commercial food prep sold or given away to the public.
What knives do professional chefs use?
There are thousands of knives on the market available to professional chefs and home cooks. Many chefs have favorite knife styles that they prefer. The style of knife you choose depends heavily on the type of cooking you plan on doing. A BBQ chef will have a very different set of knives than the chef who runs a vegan kitchen. A sushi chef will have a different set of knives all together to slice and curate beautiful plates of sushi and sashimi properly.
Knowing what you plan to create in your kitchen will help you make the best decision for you when it comes to choosing a kitchen knife. Having a few high-quality all-purpose Damascus kitchen knives will go a long way in your kitchen rather than wasting your money on an expensive set of kitchen knives you will likely never use.
The feel of the handle and the blade's length will depend on your personal preferences and on what you want to get out of your kitchen knives. We recommend starting out with one or two blades to see how they feel while cooking before you invest in several high-quality blades for your kitchen.
A guide to Kitchen knives:
We hope this guide helped you learn some of the basics of knife styles to get you started on your seafood cooking journey. Having the right knife and the best quality steel will help you create culinary masterpieces using our high-quality wild-caught seafood.
When you order from Global Seafoods, you can rest assured that you're getting only the highest quality products that we've carefully curated for your seafood kitchen. When you order kitchen supplies from us, we guarantee you'll be happy with your choices. Should there be any issues with your knives upon arrival, get in touch with us so that we can replace or refund your purchase.
Follow our simple care and use tips, and you'll get years of use out of these high-quality Damascus steel knives. We don't want you to have to keep ordering knives, because these knives should last you years in your kitchen. We hope you enjoy cooking and eating seafood as much as we do. We would love to hear about some of the fantastic meals you are making at home with our wild-caught seafood and high-quality knives.