An Overview On Steak Knives
If youre a carnivore, youll want to consider adding a set of steak knives to your dining set.
Meat-eaters only need apply when we are talking about steak knives, says our expert , dining editor of Better, a lifestyle website and print magazine. need to be kept super sharp to cut through thick proteins.
This is especially important if your main source of protein comes from meat and poultry. Traditional dinner knives arent going to be sharp enough to cut through a thick steak or chicken breast.
As you shop for the best set of steak knives, keep the following features in mind:
Start off examining the steak knifes blade. Most are made from a quality stainless steel that resists rust and corrosion. Depending on the how the knives are forged, however, they may come sharpened with the need to be resharpened every so often, or they may not require sharpening at all, like the AmazonBasics Kitchen Steak Knife Set, 8-Piece.
Youll also want to check the blades edges. Straight edges are nice if youre looking for clean cuts, while micro-serrated edges are designed to assist you with cutting through tougher meats. There are also models, like the Emojoy Steak Knives, that feature rock-hollow dimples, which help guide the beef and poultry off the knife after its been cut.
Our Pick: Messermeister Avanta Pakkawood Set
The Messermeister Avanta Pakkawood steak knife set was our clear winner. No other knives came close to matching their combination of performance, price, and quality of construction. Their blade-edges are well-formed, smooth, and extremely sharp they cut even the toughest steaks as well as knives we tested that cost five times as much, which cant be said for most others in their price range. Their handles are finished with pakkawood, a durable resin-impregnated natural wood usually only found on more expensive knives. And unlike any other knives we found at the price, they feature full-tang construction: A single piece of steel forms the blade, bolsters, and handle. This adds strength , balance, and heft. The latter is an aesthetic concern, but an important one: 2015’s test revealed that a knife weight of around 80 grams feels just right in the hand. The Messermeisters weigh 89 gramspleasantly robust, and significantly nicer to hold than the lightweight knives typical at this price.
No other knives came close to matching their combination of performance, price, and quality of construction.
Also unique to the Messermeisters price range, their handles are finished with pakkawoodan industry term for resin-impregnated natural woodinstead of the more-common cheap plastic or unfinished wood. Pakkawood is strong, durable, and stablebasically, it doesnt absorb water or dry out and expand or shrink accordinglybut retains the rich and variegated look of natural wood.
Wusthof Wusthof Classic 5 Hollow Edge Nakiri Knife/vegetable Cleaver
- WÜSTHOF CLASSIC SERIES 5 Hallow Edge Nakiri Knife with Full tang triple riveted synthetic polypropylene handles that resist fading, discoloration, heat and impact. The WÜSTHOF Classic Series has been our best-selling series for generations
- PRECISION FORGED WÜSTHOFs Classic Series Knives are forged from a single block of High Carbon Stainless Steel and tempered to 58-degree HRC. The Precision Edge Technology yields a blade that is 20% sharper with twice the edge retention than previous models
- VEGETABLE KNIFE The hollow edge is crafted with evenly spaced vertical indentations, which create small air pockets between the blade and the food. These small air pockets gently push food off the blade and reduce friction and drag. This knife allows cooks to effortlessly prep a wide array of fresh produce, including starchy vegetables like potatoes, which tend to stick to a knifes blade
- DURABLE WÜSTHOF Cutlery is crafted to resist corrosion and dulling. This German made Kitchen Knife set Comes with a limited Lifetime Warranty. WÜSTHOF Classic Series Knives feature a full bolster and finger guard
- CENTURIES OF TRADITION Family owned for seven generations, WÜSTHOF was founded in Solingen, Germany over 200 years ago. WÜSTHOFs cutlery carries the Solingen name, a designation reserved for products that meet the strictest quality standards
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Upgrade Pick: Wsthof Classic Ikon Set
*At the time of publishing, the price was $300.
Our testers all favored the Ikon’s classic understated elegance.
The Wüsthof Classic Ikon steak knives arent cheap, but they are the cheapest of the three high-end sets that we tested. With little to distinguish between the high-end sets on performancewhich was universally exceptionalaesthetics played the largest role in this pick, and our testers all favored the Ikon’s classic, understated elegance. Their razor-sharp blades have the ideal upswept shape. The unique double-concave curves of their satiny black POM handles fit the hand wonderfully both our smallest and our largest tester found them the most comfortable to hold of all the knives we tested. Their full-tang construction adds strength and, at 77 grams/2.6 ounces, pleasing heft. Lastly, their construction is flawlessas it should be for the price. Because in truth, its the flawless fit-and-finish, more than anything else, that separates an exceptional luxury steak knife from a really great mid-priced oneand that you pay for.
One criticism: the Ikons come in a simple, clear plastic box. Its sturdy enough to use for knife storage but left us wishing for something more distinguished-looking, particularly if the knives are intended to be a gift. For about $100 more, the blackwood-handled Ikon steak knives come in a walnut case its unfortunate that this is not an option for the standard model.
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Notes On Materials And Construction
If youve spent more than a few minutes researching knives, youve likely run into a bewildering fog of jargon and technical specifications. Heres a quick guide, which applies to steak knives, chefs knives, and everything in between:
The phrase high-carbon steel is basically marketing hype: every steel alloy used to make knives is high-carbon. You can ignore the phrase it if its used, and you neednt worry if its not. Do note, however, that if a knife is listed only as high-carbon or carbon steel, it will easily rust. To be sure your knife is rust-resistant, make sure it is also listed as stainless.
Stainless steel is steel alloyed with at least 12 percent, and usually 14 to 18 percent, chromium. The chromium forms a dense layer on any exposed surface which rapidly oxidizes, preventing oxidation of the steel underneath. There are multiple types of stainless steel, some more corrosion-resistant than others all those used on our recommended knives are high-performing: extremely corrosion-resistant, capable of taking and holding a sharp edge and easy to re-sharpen.
There are thousands of different steel alloysmixtures of iron, carbon, and any of 20 or more other elementseach designed for a different purpose. Knife alloys alone run into the dozens, and the names are alphabet soup: AEB-L, VG-10, 19C27, ZDP-189. My advice is: ignore them all, at least for steak knives. Whatever alloy a good manufacturer chooses will perform perfectly well.
Wusthof Classic Ikon Knives
Wusthof Classic Ikon knives are incredibly effective cutting tools. These strikingly handsome knives are razor-sharp and long-lasting, forged from tough German stainless steel. Each Classic Ikon knife has a hand-polished blade that delivers easy, smooth cutting. The contemporary handle design of the Classic Ikon Wusthof knife has a wood grain look with three rivets to provide extra strength and durability. Classic Ikon knives are easy to use thanks to a well balanced blade and handle. Even if you’re cutting pounds of veggies, their great balance keeps your forearm and hand from tiring.
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Wusthof 9729 Gourmet 4
|Item dimensions L x W x H||32.5 x 2 x 3.6 centimeters|
- WÃ¼sthof GOURMET laser-cut knives are crafted in the companyâs factory in Germany
- Well-balanced and durable, WÃ¼sthof GOURMET knives are made of high-carbon stainless steel.
- WÃ¼sthof GOURMET knives feature a new handle design made of a highly durable synthetic material â Polyoxymethylene (POM
- Polyoxymethylene â which has a tighter molecular structure to resist fading and discoloration
- The WÃ¼sthof Four Piece Steak Knife Set includes four 4 1/2″ Steak Knives.
Wsthof Classic Seven Piece Knife Block Set
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Why You Should Trust Us
Ive been cooking for myself and for crowds since I left high school between that and various stints in construction and landscaping, Ive come to appreciate well-made, well-designed hand toolsincluding knives. And having wasted money on crummy, expensive knives more than once when I was younger, I have a particular regard for knives that truly justify their price .
For my own needs and as a journalist, Ive researched deeply into knife-making materials, knife design, and knife performance over the years Mark Richmond, owner of Chef Knives to Go, has been particularly helpful on several occasions. Our 2015 guide, researched and written by Wirecutter deputy editor Christine Cyr Clisset, produced a wealth of information also incorporated here. Christine gathered reviews from Americas Test Kitchen , Saveur, and Serious Eats she learned about knife styles and materials from Dexter Ewing of BLADE magazine and Howard Nourieli of Bowery Kitchen Supplies and she spoke to Rick Gresh, then the executive chef at David Burke’s Primehouse in Chicago for practical advice on steak knife performance and care.
Finally, weve now tested 15 different steak knives on 16 pounds of beef in two real-world test sessions, involving a dozen Wirecutter staffers and friends. If theres a question about steak knives, however obscure, weve asked it and found the answer.
Wusthof 9731 Classic 4
|Item dimensions L x W x H||26.7 x 14.2 x 2.5 centimeters|
- Four steak knives with 4-1/2-inch blades ideal for meat slicing
- Forged high-carbon stainless-steel blades, hand-honed for razor-like sharpness
- Traditional-style composition handles are triple-riveted for strength. These dishwasher-safe knives each are made from one piece of steel, so you can use them as often as you like, and you won’t end up with a wobbly handle.
- Dishwasher-safe. Forged from 1 piece of steel for maximum strength.
- Lifetime guarantee
|26.67 x 14.22 x 2.54 cm 317.51 Grams|
|4.8 out of 5 stars|
|Best Sellers Rank|
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This set contains four 4 1/2″ Steak Knives.
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What Experts Didn’t Like
Full reviewCulinary Expert
Chernoff is the dining editor of Better, a lifestyle website and print magazine. Her journalism started in the test kitchens of Weight Watchers Magazine. She holds a BA in English from Yale University and is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. She has spent the last few decades styling, photographing, teaching, developing recipes, editing, thinking and writing about food.
Budget Pick: Chicago Cutlerys Walnut Tradition Set
Chicago Cutlerys Walnut Tradition steak knife set is the best low-cost set out there. The knives are not perfect by any metric: the blade-edges are coarse and uneven at 60 grams/2 ounces, theyre a bit lighter than wed like and the fit-and-finish is indifferent. In fact, they appear just to be industrial-grade boning knives with steak knife handles slapped on. Put it this way: if the Messermeisters give you more than you pay for aesthetically, these give you exactly what you pay for, and not a penny more.
They work far better than the serrated blades you usually have to settle for at this price.
But theyre built to last and they work perfectly welland, more importantly, they work far better than the serrated blades you usually have to settle for at this price. Theyre a great choice for outfitting a crowd, taking along on country picnics, or while car camping. Not fancy, perfectly functional, and if you lose one, youll shed no tears.
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Who Needs A Steak Knife Set
Even if you havent seen the movie, you probably know the line: First prize is a Cadillac … Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is youre fired. Alec Baldwins speech is cinema legend. Its also insightful. Glengarry Glen Ross premiered in 1984, when there was nothing more quintessentially American than big cars, lost jobsand steak for dinner. Of course second prize is a set of steak knives! Almost everyone would have appreciated themif not the circumstances they arrived under.
Today, second prize would be something else. Americans are eating less meat in general, and less beef in particular, so not everyone needs a set of steak knives these days. But if you eat meat regularly, you really should have one. Its amazing how much nicer it is to slice a tenderloin or chop with a well-made blade designed for that purpose. And that will hold true even if youre already using a cheapo set of serrated steak knives, let alone if youre hacking away with the dull table knives that came with your silverware.
A nice set of steak knives also dresses up a place-setting, so if you like to entertainor just like to make a fancy meal now and thenyou may appreciate owning a set, too. Finally, one thing that held true in 1984 still holds true in 2015: steak knives are a special gift for the right person. You can even spend Cadillac money, if youre feeling extra generous.
Wusthof Classic Two Piece Carving Set One Size Black Stainless Steel
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Wsthof Gourmet Seven Piece Starter Block Set