Zwilling J.A. Henckels Miyabi Birchwood Chef’s Knife $280
This knife was developed by Zwilling J.A. Henckels and Chef Rokusaburo Michiba (perhaps best known from Iron Chef). It is manufactured in Seki, Japan, and made from high-carbon SG2 steel. The blade is cryogenically treated at -321 degrees Fahrenheit to improve corrosion resistance. This knife is the most decorative of the bunch with its birchwood handle and will complete any kitchen task at hand. Available at Crate & Barrel.
Victorinox Fibrox 8-inch Chef’s Knife $45
Another chef-recommended starter knife: The wide, straight-edge blade is manufactured in Switzerland. The knife is conically ground, meaning it’s intensely sharp and requires rare resharpening. The no-slip ergonomic handle fits comfortably in hand. Much like the Dexter-Russell, this knife will assist in prepping most family meals—just don’t expect to get too fancy. Available at Crate & Barrel.
Wüsthof Epicure Slate Chef’s Knife $200
This straightforward and easy-to-use knife is cut from a single piece of steel. The blade is wide and has an invisible nonstick ceramic coating, which helps prevent food from sticking to the sides as you’re slicing and dicing. The handle is comfortable and smooth and fits seamlessly in the hand. This knife is a solid choice for experienced home cooks and beginners alike.
Exclusively available at Sur La Table.
Dexter-Russell Carbon Steel Cook’s Knife $45
The Grape’s chef/owner Brian Luscher recommended the Dexter-Russell as an affordable go to. “You could go buy the Lamborghini Veneno of hand-forged knives,” he says, “but it doesn’t mean you’ll be maxing out its potential on your Blue Apron weeknight dinner.” He raises a fair point. This all-purpose starter knife offers a soft and easy-to-grip handle and high-carbon steel blade with a honed edge. Available at amazon.com.
A good knife is useless unless the blade is well maintained. Head to kitchen mecca Sur La Table, and they’ll make sure the blade is ready to slice for $5 a knife. For a mom-and-pop option, try chef-recommended Veiga Knife Sales & Sharpening.
Practice your knife skills, and you’ll be a cut above.
Sur La Table
Knife Skills 101
Learn to mince, dice, brunoise, bâtonnet, and julienne. Also learn how to keep your knives sharp. $59.
Sharpen Your Knife Skills
Learn how to slice, dice, julienne, and peel like a pro. And then eat your culinary masterpiece. $55.