Let's stop with the chef knife hunt for a while, and today, we shop for steak knives. Of course, this begs the question: who else can command a greater authority on culinary products than America's test kitchen steak knives? With hundreds of chefs testing their recipes repeatedly in their 15,000 sqm kitchen in Boston, they deserve some street cred on putting a tag on the best kitchen cutlery on the market.
Today's article shines the limelight on steak knives. Naturally, it is preferable to use a special knife when working on meat, and steak knives are made precisely for this. Meat may be tough to cut with a standard table knife, but with the right steak knife in hand, you can work with that tenderloin without it looking like a crime scene afterward.
In addition, steak knives are about the same size as a standard table knife, but the blade is a little longer and more pointed. These meat knives have a superb edge since they are both honed and constructed nicely. But before we delve deeper into our selection of America's test kitchen knife sets, let us cover some of the basics of wise shopping.
If you are new at this, going with a well-known company is your best bet at quality. It will help if you get knives from reputable brands rather than inexpensive and low-quality ones to avoid wasting money. Some shady brands frequently use low-quality materials to create blades, such as tempered iron instead of steel.
Unfortunately, tempered iron knives can readily distort, crack, or rust due to the low cost of the material. When it comes to respected knife brands worldwide, German names are one of the indisputable brands both in the home and professional kitchens. Their products are subjected to stringent quality control that outshines knife brands from other countries.
Steak knives typically have one of the two-blade edges: straight or serrated. Serrated blades are used for cutting sandwiches, meat, and pizza, among other things. On the other hand, straight edges are ideal for peeling fruits, herbs, onions, and other vegetables. Unfortunately, serrated blades are harder to sharpen than straight blades and produce less precise and clean cuts. Serrated blades, on the other hand, keep their sharpness longer and cut faster than straight edges.
3. Blade Design
One of the most important considerations when purchasing a steak knife is ergonomics, which must conform to the natural curves of your hand. A good design means it is easy to control the knife as well as reduce hand fatigue. Furthermore, the knife's grip must be robust and firmly secured to the blade for the user's safety.
4. External Finishing
The exterior coating is a specific substance added by the manufacturer to prevent rust and external contaminants. This coating is typically applied to carbon steel blades because stainless steel blades are naturally resistant to rust.
However, if you sharpen the blade regularly, the exterior covering may wear away, which concerns many people about rust on carbon steel blades. To combat rust, anti-rust metals are sandblasted onto carbon steel blades. The blades are coated with an eye-catching metallic coating after sandblasting and will not corrode when sharpened repeatedly.
When selecting the best kitchen knife set, the material is also an essential consideration. A quality steak knife can handle large amounts of stress without deforming or shattering. Many people believe stainless steel to be the best material to resist corrosion. However, because of its flexible nature, it is prone to deformation under high pressures and temperatures.
To address the disadvantage mentioned above, the manufacturers have increased the thickness of the stainless steel blades. This increases the knife's weight, or heft, giving it better overall tensile and shear strength.
With that said, carbon steel is a superior material for the blade. Even when subjected to high temperatures and impacts, this material does not easily distort, allowing manufacturers to build lighter and thinner blades capable of withstanding tremendous heat and force.
The knife's size is highly personal, depending on the chef's work demands. The steak knives come in various sizes, and you should decide the dimensions of the knife by reading the specs rather than just looking at the photographs. Because these photographs are frequently illustrative and do not reflect the size, you may end up selecting the incorrect knife that does not fit your tastes or personal needs.
Now that we have all the basics covered, it is time to find you the best steak knives for your kitchen use.
Our Top Picks for the Best Steak Knives from America's Test Kitchen:
8-Piece Steak Knife Set by Amazon Basics
For our first stop, we have the eight high-quality, extremely sharp steak knives featured in the AmazonBasics Premium 8-Piece Steak Knife Set. The knives' sharp edges and one-piece construction guarantees a superior product, and its triple-rivet, full-handle design, provides an excellent balance and fit. This is not surprising since AmazonBasics is a growing brand that customers like because it provides high-quality items at a price that most people can afford.
This 8-piece set, however, has to contain at least one fault at a third of the price of a high-end knife set which is its edge with micro-serrations. As previously said, the micro dentures tend to wear out rapidly, and sharpening will make matters worse. Another disadvantage is the fact that they had to be cleaned by hand. With that in mind, this set is probably not intended for consumers who do not spend much time in the kitchen.
- Quality one-piece construction
- Superior balance
- Serrations are not very reliable in the long term
- For casual use
- Dishwasher incompatible
The Dalstrong Gladiator Series Steak Knives are razor-sharp, durable, and well-made. Each unit is built of ThyssenKrupp German steel with high carbon content. This variant has designed serrations manually honed to 16–18 degrees per side to provide the optimal blend of maximum resistance and blade sharpness.
With their considerable blade height, these knives give knuckle clearance for effortless chopping and meal preparation. It features a beautiful hand-polished satin finish blade. In addition, it has a considerable degree of flexibility and durability due to its tapered shape.
Even better, the DALSTRONG Steak Knives include chromium coatings to make them stain-resistant, as well as premium-quality laminated pakkawood handles for a firmer grip.
- High quality
- Construction with full tang
- Beautiful design element
- Lesser stain and corrosion resistance
These high-quality knives are designed to be both inexpensive and valuable, and they have some pretty fascinating features. They are manufactured of high-quality German high-carbon stainless steel and have fine edges that allow them to cut into meat cleanly.
The blades' ends have upswept points that assist you in removing the bones from your meat. Not only that, each piece is also well-balanced and straightforward to use. Furthermore, when in use, the Messermeister steak knives fit pleasantly in hand. These characteristics work together to make these knives practical and user-friendly.
- Made from a single piece of material
- Design that is modern and stylish
- Lifetime warranty
- Outstanding edge retention
- Hit-or-miss quality control
Victorinox Straight Steak Knives
The Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Rosewood Straight Steak Knives features a traditional design with hand-polished rosewood handles. To keep its sharpness, each knife is cold-tempered and conically ground.
The straight edge of this steak knife helps users cut the meat without shredding or harming the structure. Each knife's rosewood handle provides for easy and comfortable gripping. For added durability, this variant is weighted and well-balanced with triple handle rivets. Furthermore, it comes with a lifetime warranty against craftsmanship and material defects.
- Elegant design
- Cuts cleanly
- Lifetime warranty
- The wood is prone to splintering
It is not easy to nitpick the best kitchen knife set for 2021 that is worth your money. In the end, you have to go to your nearest knife store yourself and feel the actual steak knife in your hands. No amount of specs can convince you better than your gut feel. For your preference and safety in the kitchen, you have to make sure you choose the right steak knife yourself.
The steak knives described above are just a few to mention, but they represent that small percentage of manufacturers that never fail to produce top-quality products. Hopefully, after reading this comprehensive advice, you will know what to get for your next steak night.