Top tips for buying steak knives

There is a school of thought that says a well cooked steak shouldn’t require a steak knife. I don’t subscribe to that. I think a fresh piece of steak, cooked medium rare does very well being cut by a streak knife. It is still tender and juicy but a little too much for your average dinner knife.

If you eat steak regularly, you could do with a set of steak knives. They make short work of any type of steak and leaves you free to cut your meat however you like. There are a couple of key elements to choose a steak knife though.

Choose your blade

Serrated or straight? You’ll see both in most good kitchen stores. There is no right answer here as long as they are both sharp. Traditionally we use serrated blades but there is no rule. Blunt serrated blades can tear your steak so buy good quality ones if you go that way.

What metal?

There are also two main types of blade material, stainless steel and carbon steel. Carbon steel is easier to sharpen and stays sharp for longer but is more expensive. Stainless steel is cheaper but will need regular sharpening to keep them maintained.

What-tang?

The tang is where the blade material travels the length of the knife and is wrapped in handle material. You should only ever buy full-tang steak knives as short or half-tang won’t last anywhere near as long. The blade in half-tang isn’t as strong either.

Handle material

Handle material is down to personal choice. As long as the blade goes all the way through to the end, wood, plastic or plain steel is fine. Don’t soak wooden handles though as they could rot. A lot of people I know buy their steak knives to match their existing dinner service. Be selective about your materials and you’ll be fine.

Keep steak knives sharp

We don’t ask a lot of our steak knives. They are kept in a box most of the time and only brought out to cut steak. Then washed and put back. Remember to check sharpness and hone them with a kitchen steel regularly. A dull knife will tear, not cut and nobody wants that!

A good quality steak knife is like any kitchen knife. It’s an investment that will provide a return in convenience and easy of use. Buy quality, buy once and as long as you bear in mind the above points, you should be fine!

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