The one knife you really want is formed like a torpedo. It’s 100 p.c stainless-steel, unspoiled by even a particle of plastic, however nonetheless made for nearly any kitchen, anyplace. After consulting 25 specialists — cooks, restaurateurs, cookbook authors, James Beard nominees, and an iconic knife seller — I can confidently say that should you’re going to purchase one knife, it needs to be the World G-2. It’s a chef’s knife, which implies it’s an all-purpose tool in a class of five- to eight-inch blades that cowl nearly your entire chopping wants. You possibly can spend lower than $10 and greater than $1,200 on a chef’s knife; this one prices $100. That value buys you one thing that seems like a bit of engineering in your hand, when it seems like something in any respect.
To be clear, our panelists didn’t unanimously decide the World G-2: Some cooks desire heavier knives or shorter knives or knives that value as a lot as a settee. Precise cooks describe what they anticipate of their knives in just a few methods. “Actually, what you need is a knife that’s sturdy, that holds its edge a very long time,” says restaurateur Tim Love, who owns a number of meat-centric eating places in Texas, together with Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in Austin and Fort Value, and who likes World’s merchandise. Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen says virtually the very same factor: “My favourite knife is the World G-2; it holds a pointy edge very effectively.” Different cooks extra rapidly seek advice from the scale of the blade as essentially the most important high quality: “In case you’re utilizing a knife always, you need it to really feel snug,” provides Amanda Cohen, the chef-owner behind New York vegetarian restaurant Grime Sweet. “It needs to be your pal,” and your pal, Cohen says, received’t be too lengthy or heavy for a petite chef doing the arm work.
A number of knives gained sufficient mentions to rise to the highest, so I examined these at dwelling on a Waldorf salad for lunch and a roasted hen with carrots for dinner, with the logic that between the crunchy produce (apples and celery within the salad; carrots for the primary dish) and the juicier however sinewy hen, we’d be asking the knife to essentially carry out.
The World handed each Love’s and Cohen’s checks in my kitchen: The stainless-steel appeared simply sturdy sufficient to final for years, and whereas some blades over six inches lengthy can really feel unwieldy should you’re doing something in need of butchering a deer, I discovered the eight-inch — however nonetheless ultralightweight — World G-2 to be appropriately sized for unusual fruit and veggies. And whereas it will get frequent shout-outs from reviewers for working finest on produce, it halved the entire roast hen in a single easy stroke. Beneath stress from the blade, the basis finish of a carrot snapped off swiftly and easily.
World knives are made in Japan, in an specific homage to samurai warriors. The G-2 has an uncommon dimpled deal with that seems like a bicycle grip. This identical deal with is hole, which explains the knife’s mere 7.84 ounces. These attributes — samurai-inspired and hole — imply the entire thing feels prefer it disappears into your hand whenever you use it. And whenever you’re achieved with it, it’s forgivingly simple to wash and good-looking to show.
Our silver medal goes to the Wüsthof Traditional Chef’s Knife, which is comparably sized and priced in opposition to the World G-2. (The knife pictured right here is six inches; an eight-inch knife prices $128 on Amazon.) It was really helpful by, amongst others, Alison Roman, creator of final yr’s cookbook Eating In. Her take: “Wüsthof is sort of a basic-bitch model, however they do a very good job.” I discovered the burden a bit of too heavy in comparison with the G-2, and the blade form a bit too aggressive, like a hatchet. However as we’ve talked about, some cooks and folks desire that type of weight.
Picture: Jed Egan
It’s doable to blow your whole paycheck on a cutlery assortment, however you actually don’t must. Moderately than strive plenty of on-sale low cost variations, we advise going with this santoku-style chef’s knife really helpful by Justin Devillier, of La Petite Grocery in New Orleans. He likes the Kai, which Williams-Sonoma sells for $10 for a five-incher, or $12 for seven-and-a-half, for its hand really feel and reliability. It additionally has a black plastic deal with that retains the knife light-weight. “For a house cook dinner who’s very leisure and weekend warrior–ish, you don’t need to pull out some crazy-heavy factor that shatters should you drop it,” he says.
In case you solely have room for one knife in your life, the World G-2 is the one to get. However when you get into cutlery (it could rapidly turn out to be an obsession), you may begin wanting to construct a group. So for this information, we dug into meat knives, fish knives, and cheese knives; knives for cheapskates; knives for plutocrats; and knives for youths. We even have recommendation on caring in your brand-new blade and clarify why Japan is to knives what Italy is to sports activities automobiles. All that and a few extra, beneath.
In alphabetical order: Hugh Acheson, restaurateur and Prime Chef decide; Nyesha Arrington, chef at Native in Santa Monica, California; Richard Blais, winner of Bravo’s Prime Chef All-Stars; Swati Bose, co-founder of Flight Wine Bar in D.C.; Elizabeth Chubbuck, senior VP of gross sales at Murray’s Cheese; Amanda Cohen, chef-owner at Soiled Sweet in New York; Tim Cushman, chef at O Ya in Boston; Justin Devillier, chef at La Petite Grocery in New Orleans; Saori Kawano, founding father of Korin knives; Tim Love, Texas chef and restaurateur; Angie Mar, chef-owner at Beatrice Inn; Rahanna Bisseret Martinez, Prime Chef Junior finalist; Matt McClure, chef on the Hive in Bentonville, Arkansas; Ryan McDonald, chef at Good Fortune in St. Louis; Harold Moore, chef-owner at Harold’s Meat + Three in New York; Erik Niel, chef at Simple Bistro in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Ken Oringer, chef and restaurateur in New York, Boston, Bangkok, and Dubai; Deb Perelman, chef and founding father of Smitten Kitchen; Alfred Portale, chef at Gotham Bar and Grill in New York; Alison Roman, creator of Eating In; Sujan Sarkar, chef at Baar Baar in New York; Peter Shelsky, co-owner of Shelsky’s of Brooklyn; Lucas Sin, chef at Junzi Kitchen in New Haven, Connecticut; Michael Solomonov, chef of Philadelphia Israeli restaurant Zahav and newly opened Miznon in New York; Claire Welle, co-owner of Brooklyn butchery and bistro Otway.
That is the way you reward a knife. When a chef says you desire a blade that “retains an actual edge,” mentally exchange that phrase with “a blade that stays sharp.” In case your blade is so boring that it slides off tomato pores and skin and hacks its manner by means of meat, you both have a poorly made knife, or a superb knife that’s misplaced its edge.
Cohen says cooks, typically males, over six toes tall will typically desire an eight-inch knife, whereas cooks round 5 toes tall will go for five-inch knives.