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Chefs’ Picks: 12 Most Useful (and Useless!) Knives

The knives you need and the knives you don’t.

The best all-around knife is a 9-inch chef’s knife. The most useless one is a “mezzaluna,” which looks like a half moon with the two handles on either end.—Lee Cooper, L’Abbatoir


My Wüsthof 8-inch classic Santoku and my new Wüsthof 5-inch Kitchen Surfer. I use them for everything, including things they aren’t meant for. Great balance and thickness.—Felix Zhou, Heritage Asian Eatery

Porsche or most ceramic knives are the most useless.—David Gunawan, Farmer’s Apprentice


A handmade Misono.—Michael Allemeier

Grapefruit knives are not necessary.—Simon Bouchard, Liquidity Bistro


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The Santoku is best by far, at least for the home cook. The most useless is a flexible boning knife.—Chris West, Homer Street Cafe


All-around best: Santoku. Most useless: flexible filleting knife.—Katsu Inoue, Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts

The most useless is the serrated tomato knife. If you keep your knives sharp, you shouldn’t have to buy a specific knife for tomatoes.—Colleen McClean


Miyabi Birchwood paring knife. I use it more than my chef’s knife. It’s very versatile and fits my hand well.—Adam Perrier

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