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The Porsche of kitchen knives

The Porsche of kitchen knives

There’s no one perfect knife but for my money, German knife brand Henckels takes pole position as Porsche of the kitchen. Founded in 1731, Henckels is the oldest kitchen knife manufacturers in the world for domestic and professional use. You can have all the fancy appliances, but a blunt, poorly designed kitchen knife can dull the joy of cooking.

For those in the know, Henckels are the epitome of prestige, according to New York Times, Gordon Ramsay, and Le Cordon Bleu. They are constructed from high-carbon stainless steel, hard metal that, once sharpened, tends to stay that way … even with minimal care. 

German knives like Henckels are typically double-bevel knives (meaning both sides are angled inward, meeting at the blade’s edge). The blades are thicker than those of Japanese knives, with more of a curved shape to facilitate a rocking motion. Most have the same angle on both sides, which makes them easier to sharpen (and that’s advantageous because you’ll need to sharpen them often).

I’ve used Henckels chef knives for more than three decades and the way they effortlessly slice everything from roasts to root vegetables (as if through butter) still takes my breath away. Some purists favour carbon steel knives, which may take a sharper edge initially but won’t hold it for as long, and they are more likely to chip.

When it comes to choosing a knife, the most important thing is to be introspective about how you cut. Ask yourself, are you an aggressive cook who loves to speed through tasks (as in, there’s always a bit of garlic peel in the pile of not-so-finely chopped garlic on your cutting board), or are you meticulous and careful, plucking each tiny thyme leaf from even the littlest stalks? Even if the difference isn’t that dramatic, think: Do you value speed or precision and sharpness? If you chose the latter during this self-reflection, then you can’t go past a Henckel.