A knife is very significant to those who work in the kitchen or have passion for things that takes place in the kitchen. As for me, a graduate student that is fresh off the boat from culinary school, I really am very particular on the knives that I’m working with. The knives that I work with must be sharp, light and comfortable. I know most of you out there have the same mind set as well. Who would want to work with knives that aren’t sharp enough to cut through chicken meat right?
Well, today I’ll talk a little about the infamous carbon steel chef knife. There are many best cooking knives out there but the carbon steel knife is one of the best and it is much better than a regular stainless steel chef knife. So, we will talk about the good and the bad of having a carbon steel knife.
A carbon steel chef knife is much sharper and has a distinctive edge compared to the regular stainless steel knife. It doesn’t lose its sharpness and it maintains the tip and edge even after using it for several years. Carbon steel is light so it doesn’t strain your wrist while you parry, debone and cut through meat. Carbon steel consists of an alloy of an iron and a little more or lesser than a per cent worth of carbon. Most chefs use carbon steel knives to fillet various types of meat because it gives the clean and neat finish towards it. It slices it smoothly and the sharpness of it just blows your mind away.
There aren’t really many advantages in owning a carbon steel knife apart from it being sharp holds longer edge and stay sharp longer. It has more disadvantages towards it and it is really hard to maintain. Carbon steel knives are prone to rust and stain and it is very difficult to remove them in time. As time goes by, a patina (similar to oxidation) will form on the surface layer of the knife. If the patina is not treated, the knife will corrode and rust. You will need to lubricate the blade of the carbon knife after using it and let it rest a day so that patina will not form on its layer. The maintenance of having a carbon steel chef knife is really high and patina must be avoided in any way possible. If patina is found and your knife is oxidized, it will give a sort of metallic taste to the food you’re preparing but it is not poisonous.
Carbon steel knives are also expensive because of the material it uses and there aren’t many knives that are currently in production. Most of them are pre-ordered and only the Middle East and Asia has the most production number on carbon steel knives. So, if you really are into sharp knives and tired of sharpening it every time, you should get one but remember, you will need to take good care of it!