If you’re going to enjoy a delicious slab of beef – and spend some serious coin doing so - you don’t want the experience ruined trying to hack off a chunk of meat. The food, tableware, and cutlery should all echo this. It needs to be a complete dining experience. You need a good steak knife.
For a good steak knife to make the cut, it has to be sharp, comfortable, well-balanced, and sturdy. A steak knife must look good and feel elegant, and should have a little weight to it. It should feel like an extension of your hand. It should make you want to touch it.
Let’s see what’s out there…
There are basically three options for steak knives: Straight-Edged, Serrated, and Micro-Serrated.
STRAIGHT-EDGED STEAK KNIVES
Straight-edged steak knives, like the Wusthof Classic, are the cream of the crop. With a straight-edged blade, your knife will glide through your ribeye like butter, while retaining all those juices.
SERRATED STEAK KNIVES
When you think of steak knives, serrated knives are most commonly seen in restaurants. Serrated knives are only good if you like your steak well-done though. When you cut steak with a serrated knife, you’re ripping the fibres of the meat, making all those flavourful juices escape when you really want to keep them in. If you like a tender, juicy steak, serrated knives are not for you.
MICRO-SERRATED STEAK KNIVES
Because they have finer serrations, and more of them, these knives will cut more smoothly. But even micro-serrations will still tear the meat and release those delicious juices.
A steak knife needs to look and feel good. If you are going fine-dining, you want the Laguiole-style handles of bone, horn or wood. The iconic French knives are produced in Laguiole, and are the ultimate in beef-cutting luxury. Slim, sharp blades - with ergonomic, smooth, triple-riveted wooden handles – they feature the distinctive bee symbol at the heel of the blade.
If your vibe is more Western Steakhouse, you may want manly wooden handles. For a modern look though, the brushed aluminium styles are all the trend.
A good steak knife will make all the difference to enjoying your steak. If you’re buying a set for home, then its longevity you’re after. Serrated steak knives will never have to be sharpened, while micro-serrated knives will require so periodically.
Straight-Edged steak knives have the best quality steel, so you’re investing in knives you’ll have for +25 years. They will require sharpening every now and then, but it’s worth the effort.