You buy the perfect cut of beef, tenderize it, marinate it with the best oils and spices, and cook it to absolute perfection. Once you take that steak off the grill, you can’t wait to sink your teeth into it…
And then you discover that the steak knives that you have are ripping through the meat and destroying it. You feel like it is taking longer to cut a small slice to eat than it did to shop for, prepare and cook the steak. Nothing could be more frustrating. That’s why you need good quality steak knives.
If this experience is one that sounds familiar to you, it is time to start shopping for a new set of steak knives.
Buying a new set of steak knives may sound like a simple task, but it is actually a bit more complex than you might think. There are so many different types of steak knives on the market, which can be difficult to determine which ones you should buy.
To help you on your quest for finding the best steak knives, we have put together this informative guide. In this guide, you will find all of the information that you need to purchase the best set of steak knives for your specific needs.
We have looked at different types of steak knives, construction, materials and various other pertinent components about steak knives to help you find the best options out there.
After reading this guide, you will have all of the information that you need to make the best informed decision when purchasing your steak knives, and you will know how to keep them in good condition so that your investment will last you a long time.
The Importance Of A Good Steak Knife
You may be thinking that a steak knife isn’t all that important. After all, there are other knifes that can cut through steak, so why bother having a specialized knife that is dedicated to cutting only steak?
For one thing, steak can be difficult to cut through. Even if it is the best cut of meat, it is still coarser than other types of meat, such as chicken, pork or veal. While you may be able to use another type of knife to cut through steak, doing so can be difficult.
You could end up spending a lot of time trying to maneuver the knife to slice off a piece of meat. You may also find that it is difficult to cut your meat to the proper size with other types of knifes.
In short, having a steak knife allows you to have a better dining experience. Because these knives are specifically designed to handle the texture and consistency of steak, you will have a much easier time slicing through your meat. This means you will spend less time trying to cut your steak and more time enjoying it.
What Are Steak Knives?
Steak knives are specialized table knives. They have sharper blades than other types of knives that you would use to eat a meal, such as a butter knife. Outfitted with sharper blades than other knives, steak knives are specifically designed to cut through pieces of meat, which tends to be a more difficult task than cutting other foods, like vegetables or bread.
Types Of Steak Knives
In order to choose the best steak knives for your needs, you first need to understand that there are different types of knives. Each type offers a different construction and provides different benefits.
Steak knives can be differentiated by the type of blade they have. There are three main types of steak knives:
- The serrated edge steak knife
- The straight edge steak knife
- The hollow edge steak knife
Below, you will find a more detailed look at each of these three types of steak knives, including how they are constructed and the benefits that they offer.
The Serrated Steak Knife
Serrated steak knives have a blade that features a sort of zigzag design; a design that represents teeth, if you will. The serrated edge of the blade allows the knife to move through meat with ease.
The primary advantage of serrated edge steak knives is that their blades do not have to be sharpened often. The blade can have serrations of serrations of various sizes, and the larger the serrations, the less often you will have to sharpen the knife. In fact, the best quality serrated steak knives can be used for almost a year, if not more, without needing to be sharpened.
What is the difference between the sizes of the serrations? Steak knives that have small serrations have smaller spaces between the teeth. Typically, small serrations are very well defined and stick out further from the edge of the blade. Blades that have large serrations have larger gaps between the teeth. The teeth aren’t as noticeable as small serrations.
Steak knives that feature smaller serrations do become dull quicker than those that have larger serrations; however, they do not become dull as quickly as steak knives that have a straight edged blade.
Though serrated edged steak knives do not need to be sharpened as often as knives that have straight edge blades, which may be appealing, the downside is that they don’t cut through the meat as smoothly as straight edged steak knives. This means that you may have to apply a little more effort to cut through your steak if you are using this type of knife.
The Straight Edge Steak Knifes
As the name suggests, straight edge steak knives are knives that have a straight edge on the blade. Many chefs and top restaurants regard steak knives that have a straight edge as the best type of steak knife.
Why? – Because they cut through meat with much more ease, and they create a cleaner cut. Because the straight edge knife cuts so smoothly, it allows more juice to stay inside the meat. In other words, you will be able to enjoy the taste of your meat much more when you slice it with a straight edged steak knife.
On the downside, straight edge steak knives become dull more often than serrated edge steak knives. As they cut through the meat and make contact with the surface of the plate that the steak is being served on, the blade is more susceptible to dulling.
You will notice when the blade is starting to dull because it will be more difficult to cut through your meat. Generally, steak knives that have a straight edged blade need to be sharpened a few times a year in order to ensure their optimal performance.
The Hollow Edged Steak Knife
Steak knives that have a hollow edge feature hollow indentations on the edge of the blade. These hollow edges create air pockets, which allow the knife to glide through various types of meat with ease; even the thickest chops and steaks can easily be cut through with a hollow edged steak knife. The hollow indentations also prevent food from getting stuck to the knife.
While they do cut through meat very well, hollow edged steak knives are very difficult to sharpen In fact, it is highly advisable to send these steak knives to the manufacturer or to a professional to have them sharpened.
Considerations To Make When Choosing Steak Knives
There are several considerations that you are going to want to make when you are shopping for a set of steak knives. These considerations will allow you to choose the best steak knife set for your specific needs.
Some of the factors that you are going to want to consider include the materials the knives are constructed of, the care that is required, and the cost, among other things.
To learn more about these factors, and others, that we think are the most important to take into consideration when you are shopping for a set of steak knives, please keep on reading.
The Material Of The Blade
Once you determine what type of steak knives you want to purchase, the most important consideration you should make is the type of materials that the blades of the knives are constructed out of.
The blade of a steak knife is constructed of two types of materials: high carbon steel and stainless steel.
High carbon steel is usually the preferred material. It is much easier to sharpen than stainless steel, and it withholds its sharpness for a longer period of time. If high end steak knives are what you want, than you should opt for high carbon steel blades.
On the other hand, stainless steel blades usually thought to be much more convenient than high carbon steel. Though the typically have to be sharpened more often than high carbon steel, stainless steel doesn’t rust, which is why many people prefer blades that are constructed out of this material.
Because the material does not rust, you can easily toss them in the dishwasher to clean them. High carbon steel is susceptible to rust and needs to be hand washed and dried immediately after washing to avoid rusting and staining.
The Material Of The Handle
The material that the handle is constructed of is also an important consideration to make. The material used on the handle will not only have an impact on how comfortable the knife will be in your hand while you are using it, but it will also have an impact on the look of the knife.
Fully forged steel is one of the most common materials used for steak knife handles. This material offer a seamless look, as the entire length of the handle is built from a single piece of metal.
Not only does this material give the knife a great look, but it also improves the overall construction of the knife; generally, steak knives that have handles that are constructed of fully forged steel are very durable and will last a lifetime without falling apart. The downside of fully forged steel is that it can be difficult to find, and it tends to be costly.
Wood is another common material that is used for the handles of steak knives. In fact, wood is one of the most popular materials for a steak knife handle. Generally, people find that wood is much more comfortable to hold, as it is soft, and therefore easier on the hand.
The wood can also be designed in a variety of ways; it can be plain and simple, or it can be more intricate and feature detailed designs. Though there are several types of wood that are used for the handles of steak knives, some of the most common types include rosewood and ebony.
The downside of a wood handle is that it can be difficult to maintain, and it can become warped, chipped or otherwise damaged.
High grade plastic is yet another material that is used for the handles of steak knives. The main advantage of plastic handles is that it tends to be much less expensive than wood or fully forged steel. It also is easier to care for, as it can be placed in the dishwasher.
On the downside, plastic doesn’t exactly look appealing, and even though it is usually durable, it can be susceptible to damage; for example, it may chip or ‘fray.’ When that happens, the plastic can become sharp and pose a danger to your hand as you are cutting.
The Feel Of The Steak Knife
It important to choose a steak knife that feels good in the hand. It should be comfortable and easy to maneuver. If it isn’t, you are going to have a more difficult time slicing through your meat.
In order to ensure that the steak knives you are considering have a comfortable fit, test them out before you buy them. Hold them in your hand and pretend you are cutting through meat. Doing so will allow you to get a good idea of how the knife will feel when you are using it.
The Weight Of The Steak Knife
You also want to consider the weight of the steak knife. A knife that is heavy will be cumbersome and difficult to operate. Again, make sure you pick up the steak knives that you are thinking about buying before you actually purchase them. Hold them in your hand for a while to get a good idea of their weight.
Not only is it more difficult to cut through your meat with a heavy steak knife, but the knife also has the potential to damage the plates you are using. Should the knife fall out of your hand, for example, there is more of a risk that the plate will chip or break if the knife is heavy.
If you are purchasing a steak knife that is constructed out of two types of materials -one material for the handle and one for the blade – you are going to want to pay attention to the tang. The tang refers to the distance that the metal from the blade of the knife runs through the handle.
Full tang knives feature blades that run straight through the end of the handle. The blade is secured into the handle with metal rivets. This is the ideal construction, as it ensures that the knife will stay in one piece. While full tang is the better choice, it usually has a higher price tag.
A partial tang is another option. In knives that feature a partial tang, the blade only goes half way up the handle. Epoxy or some other bonding material, as well as fasteners, are used to secure the tang to the blade.
A partial tang is much less durable than a full tang. As pressure is applied to the blade, there is a much greater risk that the blade will bend and separate from the handle, and eventually fall apart.
The Size Of The Set
When you are shopping for steak knives, you should also consider the size of the set. Steak knives are usually sold in sets of four or six; though there are set that are available that can come with up to 10 steak knives.
Make sure that you consider how many place settings you want to accommodate with steak knives. If you have a larger family, for example, you will do better to purchase a larger set of knives.
When you are shopping for steak knives, particularly when you are shopping for them online (which is extremely convenient,) make sure that you pay attention to the number of knives that come in the set so you can ensure you purchase enough to meet your needs.
The Cost Of The Steak Knives
Lastly, an important factor to consider when purchasing steak knives is the cost. Everyone has a budget, and you want to make sure that you stay within your means.
If you want to purchase a high quality steak knife, you can expect to pay somewhere in the range of $50 to $100. The materials that the knives are made out of and the tang will impact the price (full tang knives tend to be more expensive than partial tang knives.
Caring For Your Steak Knives
High quality steak knives are an investment, and you want to protect that investment. In order to do so, you need to properly care for your steak knives. Failure to do so will result in your knives becoming dull, rendering them virtually useless when you try to cut through your meat.
Additionally, not properly caring for your steak knives could lead to damage that will also impact their performance and their longevity.
So, how do you properly care for steak knives? Here are some guidelines to keep in mind that will allow you to keep your knives in the best possible condition so that you can get the most use out of them for the longest period of time.
Keeping your steak knives in tip-top condition requires proper storage. Carelessly storing them will result in the blades rubbing against each other, and the blades can also rub against other materials. When the blades rub against other materials, they will become dull pretty quickly.
When you store your steak knives, don’t store them loosely in a cutlery tray or a draw; instead, store your knives in specialized area, such as a knife storage box, a knife block or a case that is constructed of soft fabric. Doing so will prevent the blades from rubbing against one another, and against other materials
Washing And Drying
Though stainless steel steak knives can be washed in a dishwasher, if you want to ensure that they stay in good condition, you should wash and dry them by hand. Doing so will prevent damage to the knife, and will keep the blades sharper.
To make sure your steak knives will cut through your meats with ease, you are going to need to sharpen them. Each time you use your knives, the blade dulls. You will notice that the blades are becoming dull when it become taxing to cut through your meat.
Use a high quality sharpener when sharpening, and follow the instructions offered by the manufacturer. You can also opt to send them out the manufacturer to have them sharpened, or to a professional that specializes in sharpening.
Now you know everything there is to know about steak knives and are ready to not only purchase a set, but you are prepared to care for them, too. With a great pair of steak knives, you will be able to enjoy tastier meals and an overall better dining experience.