DiGiovanni began cooking at the age of eight, learning to bake to fulfill his sweet desire when most children were still clamoring for candy bars. DiGiovanni started working in a restaurant in high school, motivated by his grandmother and great-grandmother, both “amazing chefs,” he says.
He has since interned at Benu in San Francisco, and he has also spent time in the kitchen at Cambridge’s famed Waypoint. He eventually dropped out of culinary school and enrolled in Harvard, creating his focus, “Food & Climate.” At the moment, Nick is working with brands like Brigade Kitchen, and Nick appears to be using Santoku knives and knives made with German steel technology.
Start Cooking and Cutting Like Nick
One of the strengths of a home chef is his knife set. Really – the quality of the knife is important because preparing the ingredients is half the battle. Crushed and uneven ingredients will have an impact on the final cooking and presentation of the food. That’s why it’s essential to have good knives whenever you cook – they’re that important. Today, we will present you with three blades that are comparable to what professionals like Nick use. These brands are also well-known for producing budget-friendly knives for home chefs who want to work with sharper and more durable blades than usual.
Cutting with sharp knives requires less force than cutting with dull blades. The less physical force causes minor damage to the food, as attentively inspecting the cut can be seen. In addition, delicate products, such as herbs, will last longer if you slice them cleanly. In contrast, a dull knife will break more of the cells surrounding the incision, causing drooping and discoloration to occur faster.
On the other hand, a dull knife slows you down, whereas a sharp knife makes preparation more accessible and more fun. It’s easy to foresee what a sharp blade will do, and it will not slip when it strikes or is drawn across the food’s surface. This allows you to easily manage the blade’s movement through the food, giving you more control over your chopping or slicing. A dull knife will slip, making it challenging to handle and increasing the chance of it falling into your finger.
You will eventually cut yourself seriously with a dull knife. Stones for sharpening knives are about the same price as a good knife. We believe this is an excellent purchase, as a complete set of pricey but dull knives is pointless. A few passes at a sharpening service can set you back more than a set of stones, which should last you a lifetime.
DALSTRONG Shogun Series 8″ Chef Knife
DALSTRONG is one of the strongest contenders for chef’s knives because they’ve integrated plenty of technologies that rival other companies easily. The manufacturer combines the latest technologies in culinary manufacturing with age-old methods like the Honbazuke method of polishing steel.
The Shogun Series 8″ Chef Knife also possesses a mirror polish with a ‘scalpel finish’ on edge. The surgical scalpel is known for making swift cuts to tissue, and a scalpel finish on a chef’s knife means you will be able to work on those tougher cuts of meats and harder vegetables with ease.
This knife also has a full-tang design which helps with improving precision and swift slicing with minimal effort. We like the fact that they also adopted a triple-rivet strategy on this knife; riveting is the best way to secure the handle to the metal. Triple riveting ensures a lifetime of use, which is best for knives like this.
They’ve also added a military-grade material for the handle, and the knife has an ergonomic grip. An ergonomic grip is crucial for seniors who might be struggling with non-ergonomic handles. In addition, with less pressure on the wrist, you will be less tired during prepping of ingredients, and subsequently, you will have a better time cooking in the kitchen.
Our verdict: This is a good choice for home cooks who want to advance their cooking and reduce their prep times in the kitchen. The Damascus steel design is a big jump from regular knives and is a good starting point for home cooks who want to improve their cutting game.
Zelite Infinity Damascus Steel Japanese 8″ Chef Knife
Zelite has already become a household name in advanced knives, and their newly redesigned Zelite Infinity chef’s knife finds good company with other Damascus steel kitchen blades.
The price point isn’t bad either, as Zelite has proven its mettle year after year with other knife series and models. Simply put – you can’t go wrong with a Zelite knife. They’re hard-wearing and lightweight, and they also cost less compared to other brands.
Zelite put a lot of thought into this knife – it is a 67-layer chef’s knife with a durable G10 handle that also happens to be ergonomically designed. But, according to the manufacturer, the difference might not be immediately apparent when you place this Damascus steel knife beside other cheaper knives that are also branded as Damascus steel.
However, the manufacturer encourages people to compare the performance of this knife with the performance of other knives after a few weeks of regular to heavy use. This is true – many knives, even the cheapest ones, will have super sharp edges initially. But the real test of quality will be in the weeks that follow, and poorly constructed knife edges will easily fold onto themselves and require honing and sharpening more frequently.
Our verdict: Zelite brings delight, and if the manufacturer states that there should be contrasting with other knives after a few weeks, then that may well be the ultimate test of quality for this Zelite chef’s knife.
Shun Classic 8″ Chef Knife (VG-Max Cutting Core & Ebony PakkaWood Handle)
Suppose you want a knife with a more advanced design and offers more than just a sharp stainless-steel edge. In that case, we recommend the Shun Classic 8″ chef’s knife. While the price point is higher than its branded counterparts, the Shun Classic 8″ chef’s knife has been integrated with tungsten for an improved edge, chromium for a better mirror polish that also has higher corrosion resistance, and carbon plus cobalt for higher strength during stress or use.
This hybrid knife is a good choice for home chefs who want better corrosion resistance and strength. However, you must be more mindful of knives with super sharp edges. Super sharp edges have a higher risk of metal folding, causing a dull edge over time. It would help if you let the blade work and avoid knocking the edge against hard surfaces (like a rigid cutting board) to maintain the sharpness of the knife’s edge.
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