Chef's knife

In cooking, a chef's knife, also known as a French knife or a cook's knife, is a cutting tool used in food preparation. The chef's knife was originally designed primarily to slice and disjoint large cuts of beef. Today it is the primary general-utility knife for most Western cooks. A chef's knife generally has a blade eight inches (20 centimeters) in length and 11?2 inches (3.8 cm) in width, although individual models range from 6 to 14 inches (15 to 36 centimetres) in length. There are two common types of blade shape, French and German. German-style knives are more deeply and continuously curved along the whole cutting edge; the French style has an edge that is straighter until the end and then curves up to the tip. Neither style is inherently superior; personal preference will dictate the choice. A modern chef's knife is a utility knife designed to perform well at many differing kitchen tasks, rather than excelling at any one in particular. It can be used for mincing, slicing, and chopping vegetables, slicing meat, and disjointing large cuts. Chef knives are made with blades that are either hot-forged or stamped: Hot-forged: A hot-forged blade is made in an expensive, multi-step process, often by skilled manual labor. A blank of steel is heated to a high temperature, and beaten to shape the steel. After forging, the blade is ground and sharpened. Forged knives are usually also full-tang, meaning the metal in the knife runs from the tip of the knifepoint to the far end of the handle. Stamped: A stamped blade is cut to shape directly from cold rolled steel, heat-treated for strength and temper, then ground, sharpened, and polished. The blade of a chef's knife is typically made of carbon

steel, stainless steel, a laminate of both metals, or ceramic: Carbon steel: An alloy of iron and approximately 1% carbon. Most carbon steel chef's knives are simple carbon iron alloys without exotic additions such as chrome or vanadium. Carbon steel blades are both easier to sharpen than ordinary stainless steel and usually hold an edge longer, but are vulnerable to rust and stains. Some professional cooks swear by knives of carbon steel because of their sharpness. Over time, a carbon-steel knife will normally acquire a dark patina, and can rust or corrode if not cared for properly by cleaning and lubricating the blade after use. Some chefs also 'rest' their carbon-steel knives for a day after use in order to restore the oxidizing patina, which prevents transfer of metallic tastes to some foods. While some cooks prefer and use carbon steel knives (especially in Asia and the Middle East), others find carbon steel too maintenance-intensive in a kitchen environment. Stainless steel: An alloy of iron, approximately 10-15% of chromium, nickel, or molybdenum, with only a small amount of carbon. Lower grades of stainless steel cannot take as sharp an edge as good-quality high-carbon steels, but are resistant to corrosion, and are inexpensive. Higher grade and 'exotic' stainless steels (mostly from Japan - as used by Global, Kasumi and others) are extremely sharp with excellent edge retention, and equal or outperform carbon steel blades. Laminated. A laminated knife tries to use the best of each material by creating a layered sandwich of different materialsЧfor instances, using a softer-but-tough steel as the backing material, and a sharper/harder - but more brittle - steel as the edge material.