Are you a new homeowner, or are you in the process of updating your cutlery? Are you looking for a new pair of steak knives?
Steak knives do a lot more than your average kitchen knives. That’s why they’ve been a staple in American households for almost a century.
Steak knives feature serrated blades and wooden handles. They are the only type of sharp knives you can find on a typical American kitchen table. Steak knives are used to easily cut through meats like steak, chicken, and beef.
What should you be looking for in a steak knife set?
Let’s take a look.
A straight edge steak knife has a single long, smooth cutting edge. These knives are excellent for cutting through soft and hard foods such as meats, fruits, and veggies. A straight edge can also help you cut through a tenderloin or porterhouse cut perfectly.
A straight edge will cut through foods in a few strokes, requiring less work on the cutter’s part. Straight edge knives typically need to get sharpened often, although they are easier to sharpen than serrated knives.
Serrated steak blades are scalloped along the edges. They are designed to cut through foods that have a tough exterior. Serrated steak knives are great for slicing through crusty loaves of bread, although they won’t slice through steak as easily.
Serrated steak knives don’t need to get sharpened as often as straight-edge blades, but they are not as easy to sharpen. They won’t blunt as easily when they come in contact with ceramic plates.
Knife blades come in a variety of sizes, and they’re usually between five and seven inches long. Shorter blades may have a higher cutting quality. They also have more flexibility and tend to be easier to maintain.
Longer-blade knives are often used in high-end restaurants. They make for a nice presentation, but don’t always result in a cleaner cut.
You’ll want to think about balance when choosing a steak knife. For example, you’ll want the handle to be proportional to the blade, and you want the knife to be easy to pick up. The blade should be at a straight angle from the handle.
Before purchasing a knife at your local store, feel free to hold a few, and make sure the balance feels right. You won’t want to feel like either the blade or handle are too heavy. You’ll also want to look at the blade from the side of the handle and make sure it doesn’t seem to angle away.
Remember that, if you’re a regular steak eater, the balance of your knives will be critical to you creating and enjoying those perfect slices.
A popular material for steak knives to get made from is high carbon blade steel. It’s able to hold sharpness for a long time. High carbon steel blades are also easy to open.
The high carbon content, however, can also make blades more prone to rusting. You can prevent this by hand-washing the blades often and drying them completely before putting them away.
Stainless steel blades are also popular. Restaurants use them often because they’re easy to maintain. High-quality stainless steel blades can dull faster than high carbon blade steel, so you need to shop carefully.
Steel handles are sometimes used for steak knives. This turns the knife into one long piece of metal, so it will be less likely to break apart. Steel handles are, however, less common and more difficult to find.
Wood steak knife handles are quite popular. They are used in homes and restaurants and always look sophisticated.
Wood steak knife handles will rot if they’re not carefully cleaned and maintained. You should make sure to thoroughly dry them after washing them.
Resin wood handles are heavy and strong. They are also highly resistant to water, heat, and salt.
Some folks don’t like the look of resin handles. You will need to shop carefully to find one with a classic appearance.
Pakkawood is also used often for steak knives. It’s made from dense wood that’s stable and water-resistant.
Pakkawood handles are black or clear. The colors are designed to enhance the natural grains of the wood.
Caring for Your Steak Knives
It’s important not to store steak knives loosely in a drawer, as this will dull them quickly.
Many inexpensive knives come with sheaths, which can help you protect them. Knife blocks are also popular. These prevent the spread of dirt and keep knives from clashing against one another
Be sure to wash your knives by hand right after you use them. Otherwise, water, acid, and chemicals can destroy the blade. Dry them with a cloth immediately afterward to prevent rusting.
Be careful not to leave your knives in the sink as they can quickly rust and corrode. You also won’t want to put them in the dishwasher unless they are dishwasher safe. Otherwise, they can become chipped and useless.
Your steak knives should get sharpened once every 1-2 years. You can do this yourself using a sharpening iron or whetstone.
If you’re uncomfortable sharpening your knives by yourself, local cooking stores will do so for only a few dollars. They can help recreate your angle precisely. Professionals will also remove no more metal than is necessary, ensuring that you’re knife’s shape and life are preserved.
Choosing steak knives involves doing a little shopping and homework. With the right balance, materials, and blades, your knives could be bringing you delicious meals for years to come.
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