The Chef’s Blog

Why you should season your steak before grilling

Why you Need To season your steak before grilling

There are many ways to grill a steak. Some people like to put a rub on their steak before cooking it, while others like to use a marinade. However, one of the most important steps in grilling a steak is seasoning it correctly. In this article, we will discuss why it is important to season your steak before grilling and give you some tips on how to do it correctly!

Seasoning a Steak Before Cooking

One of the most important steps in grilling a steak is to season it correctly before cooking. Steak seasoning adds flavor and helps to tenderize the meat. It also helps to prevent the steak from sticking to the grill and makes it easier to flip. When you season your steak, you should use a liberal amount of seasoning. You can use any type of seasoning that you like and we’ll get into this in more detail a bit bit later, but if this is as far as you get we definitely recommend using a steak rub or salt and pepper. Steak rubs are available in many different flavors, so you can choose one that you think will taste good on your steak. If you are using salt and pepper, we recommend using coarse ground black pepper and Kosher salt.

Season Steak for Grill

Now that we’ve gone over why it’s important to season your steak, let’s talk about how to do it. If you’re using a steak rub, simply massage the rub into the steak with your hands until it is evenly coated. If you are using salt and pepper, generously season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper. You want the steak to be well-seasoned, but not so much that the seasoning overpowers the taste of the meat. Once your steak is seasoned, you can either cook it immediately or let it sit for a bit so that the flavors can meld together. If you have time, we recommend letting it sit for at least 30 minutes but we think the ideal time is around 2 hours, so you’ll want to keep it in the fridge while you’re seasoning your steak.

Season Steak Overnight

You can season steaks for longer but we think after 2 hours offers the point of diminishing returns meaning the enhanced flavor you’ll get won’t be proportional to the extra time required to impart it.

Herbs and Spices for Steak Seasoning

As we mentioned earlier, you can use any type of seasoning that you like on your steak. If you are looking for something a bit more unique than salt and pepper, there are many other options available to you. Some popular choices include garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and chili powder. You can also use fresh herbs, such as rosemary or thyme. If you are using fresh herbs, we recommend chopping them up finely so that they distribute evenly on the steak.

Of course cooking your steak with fresh herbs and fresh garlic will enhance your steak with incredible flavor too but this means you’ll need a cast iron skillet when you are cooking your steak on the grill.

The Best Steak Seasoning Recipe

If you are looking for the perfect steak seasoning recipe, look no further! This is our go-to recipe and it never fails to disappoint. This recipes is for a steak of around 12 ounces.

Ingredients:

– ½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon paprika

– ¼ teaspoon chili powder

– ½ teaspoon black pepper

– ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions: Simply mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl and apply liberally across all surfaces of your steak. Then place the steak on a wire rack and place this on a baking tray. Put this in the fridge and leave for at least 2 hours. When you are ready to cook your steak take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes. This is important as it will help the steak to cook evenly. Preheat your grill to high heat and then place your steak on the grill.

To cook your steak rare, grill it for two minutes each side or until well seared. Then turn the heat down to medium and cook for a further three minutes each side or until cooked to your liking. Remove from the grill and let rest for three to five minutes before serving. It is always important to rest your steak after cooking as this allows the juices to redistribute evenly throughout the meat.

To Conclude

If you follow these simple tips, you will be well on your way to grilling the perfect steak! Seasoning your steak is an important part of the process and should not be overlooked. We hope that this article has helped you to understand why seasoning your steak is so important and has given you some ideas for how to do it.

Happy grilling!

FAQs

What spices go well with steak?

There are a lot of different spices that can go well with steak, depending on your personal preferences. Some popular options include garlic, rosemary, thyme, and pepper. You can also experiment with different spice blends to find something that you really enjoy. Steak is a versatile dish, so feel free to get creative with your seasoning!

When should you season a steak?

There are a few schools of thought on this one. Some people say that you should season a steak right before you cook it, while others say that you should season it hours (or even days) in advance.
One rule of thumb is that if you’re going to season your steak hours or days in advance, you should do so with a dry rub (a mixture of spices, herbs, and salt). If you’re going to season it just before cooking, then a wet marinade (containing oil, vinegar, or citrus juice) is the way to go.

The Best Nakiri Knives (Reviews and Buyer’s Guide)

The Best Nakiri Knives of 2022

When was the last time you were slicing up a pepper, only to find that the skin was still intact? Or struggled crushing a particularly fat clove of garlic under your chef’s knife? Or tipped chopped onions all over your stovetop trying to get them in the pan? These common kitchen problems can be solved by the addition of one kitchen knife to your arsenal: the nakiri knife. In this article, we take a closer look at nakiri knives and check out the top nakiri knives to buy in 2022.

Best Overall
Shun Cutlery Classic Nakiri Handcrafted Kitchen Knife

Material: VG Max steel 
Length: 6.5 inches 
Weight: 7.5 ounces 
Rockwell hardness: 61±1 HRC 
Tang: Full 
Edge bevel: 16 degrees

Nakiri Knives – Everything You Need to Know 

Before we look at our top choices for nakiri knives in 2022, let’s learn a little bit about nakiri knives, and the things you need to know to choose the right nakiri knife for you. 

What is a Nakiri Knife? 

Nakiri’ means ‘leaf cutter’ in Japanese, and a nakiri knife is a Japanese-style knife similar to a Western chef’s knife. However, looking at it, you’ll notice one key difference: the rectangular edge with a flat blade. If you’ve ever been caught out trying to slice up a pepper, only to find that the skin was still intact, you can blame the curved edge of your chef’s knife – the curve actually makes it much harder to cut through vegetable skins. The flat blade of the nakiri, on the other hand, makes a more complete contact with your chopping board, resulting in cleaner cuts. 

Often likened to a Chinese cleaver, a nakiri blade is lighter and with a straighter blade. Compared to a similarly sized santoku knife or gyuto knife, a nakiri knife will tend to have a little more heft and perhaps a slight forward balance, due to the extra steel on the blade. This is what makes nakiri knives perfect for hard to chop veg like root vegetables, because the knife does plenty of the work for you. 

A nakiri knife is an ideal choice for chopping the following: 

  • Cucumber 
  • Cabbages 
  • Carrots 
  • Garlic 
  • Mushrooms 
  • Onions and leeks 
  • Peppers 
  • Potatoes 
  • Tomatoes, if you don’t have a tomato knife 
  • Zucchini, butternut squash, and other summer squash 
  • Typical fruits such as apples, pears, oranges and lemons 
  • Hardier fruits like pineapple, melon or pomegranate 

This list is by no means exhaustive – pretty much all fruits and veg are fine! 

How to Use a Nakiri Knife 

The joy of using a nakiri knife is that there is just one easy cutting method to master. It’s as simple as chopping up and down, and you can slide forwards or backwards as you move up and down if that’s easier for you. Christine Lau, executive chef at Kimika in New York City, demonstrates in the video below: 

(Nakiri knife is 8:08-9:17) 

This motion is perfect for giving a bit more power when cutting harder veg, but is also great for more controlled, smaller cuts like mincing garlic. It might feel a little unnatural at first, particularly if you’re only used to rock-chopping, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to tackle any veggies that come your way. 

It’s important to make sure you stick to a wooden or plastic chopping board when using a nakiri knife, as a glass or stone board will blunt your blade much quicker, and increases the risk of chipping your blade. The trick is to motion up and down through your veg, not to bash your chopping board! 

What to Look For When Buying a Nakiri Knife 

If you’re looking to buy a nakiri knife, there are a number of factors to take into account to ensure you get a knife that suits you. 

Blade 

The blade of a nakiri knife can range from about 4.5- to 8.5 inches, but the most popular blades are in the 6.5- to 7-inch range. The length and width of the blade makes chopping hard veg easy. The best material for a nakiri knife is stainless steel, ideally with a high carbon content, as this will help to increase the blade’s hardness and edge retention so you won’t have to sharpen the knife as often.1 However, this increased hardness does make the blade more chip-prone, so try not to chop on hard surfaces, and only use the nakiri knife for vegetables, never bones or frozen food. 

Unlike many Japanese knives like the usuba knife, the nakiri knife should be double-beveled. This means that the blade is ground at an angle on both sides, giving a balanced cut that can be used by left- and right-handers. Single bevel knives are great in some situations, however, if the nakiri knife you’re looking at isn’t double-beveled, we wouldn’t recommend it.2 For an overview of Japanese knives with single bevels, check out our guide to the best Japanese knives

Size and Shape 

The most important thing about a nakiri blade is its shape, specially chosen for chopping vegetables. Most nakiri knives do have a similar shape, but there are often subtle differences between different brands or collections. 

A hollow or Granton edge will have indentations on the side of the blade. These help to reduce friction when chopping, and also work to prevent thinner slices of food sticking to your knife.3 A hammered tsuchime finish can have the same effect, with the addition of visual impact, much like Damascus steel. We recommend a nakiri knife with a hollow or hammered finish, but go for a regular straight edge if that suits you better. 

A nakiri blade has no pointed end, meaning you can use the entire length of the blade’s edge, helping to increase your chopping efficiency. The rectangular blade of a nakiri knife is perfect for scooping up vegetables once you’ve chopped them, and the blade’s height helps to provide knuckle clearance, improving your comfort and giving you more space to chop larger bits of veg. 

Weight 

The nakiri knife is typically heavier than other Japanese knives, such as santoku or usuba knives. This extra heft can be useful when slicing more dense fruits and vegetables, like melons or squash. A nakiri knife that is too heavy will be ineffective for smaller, more delicate vegetables though. What you’re looking for is a balance between heft and maneuverability – a tool that you’d feel comfortable delicately mincing garlic with then moving straight onto breaking down a butternut squash! 

Handle

The handle is another essential component of your knife, despite the fact that its often overlooked in favor of the sharpest or best-looking blade. We like to think of the handle as the bit of the knife you’ll get closest to, and it’s essential that it feels comfortable and safe in your hand when chopping, to avoid discomfort when cutting for longer periods and to prevent any more serious injuries. 

There are two main types of handles: Japanese ‘wa’ handles, which can be octagonal, D-shaped or oval, and Western-style handles, which will more closely resemble the handle of a typical German-style knife. Whatever your preference, you’re looking for a handle that fits your hand size and allows you to get a good pinch grip on the blade. Other things to look out for are easy-to-clean materials that are durable and won’t harbor bacteria. Finally, the handle of a knife can be an aesthetic statement – take into account how your kitchen and other kitchen tools look, or go for something that will stand out! 

Price 

A final thing to consider is your personal budget. To some, spending upwards of $100 dollars on a knife that should only be used on vegetables might seem crazy. However, if veggies are a big part of your diet (and they should be!) it might be worth considering a specialized knife. Japanese knives are typically long-lasting if they’re treated with appropriate care, so there’s every chance your nakiri knife could be a lifetime investment. 

The Best Nakiri Knives in 2022 

Now that we’ve covered everything you need to know about nakiri knives, let’s take a look at our top picks for nakiri knives in 2022. 

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Overall
Shun Cutlery Classic Nakiri Handcrafted Kitchen Knife
Shun Cutlery Classic Nakiri Handcrafted Kitchen Knife

Material: VG Max steel 
Length: 6.5 inches 
Weight: 7.5 ounces 
Rockwell hardness: 61±1 HRC 
Tang: Full 
Edge bevel: 16 degrees

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Best Budget Pick
Henckels CLASSIC Christopher Kimball Edition Nakiri Knife
Henckels CLASSIC Christopher Kimball Edition Nakiri Knife

Material: Stainless steel 
Length: 6.5 inches 
Weight: 6.9 ounces 
Rockwell hardness: 54-57 HRC 
Tang: Full tang 
Edge bevel: 16 degrees 

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Best Value for Money
ZWILLING Four Star Nakiri Knife
ZWILLING Four Star Nakiri Knife

Material: High carbon stainless steel 
Length: 6.5 inches 
Weight: 8 ounces 
Rockwell hardness: 55-58 HRC 
Tang: Concealed full tang 
Edge bevel: 11 degrees

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Best Hybrid Style
WÜSTHOF Classic IKON Hollow Edge Nakiri Knife
WÜSTHOF Classic IKON Hollow Edge Nakiri Knife

Material: High carbon stainless steel 
Length: 7 inches 
Weight: 7.5 ounces 
Rockwell hardness: 58 
Tang: Full tang 
Edge bevel: 10 degrees 

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Most Stylish
Shun Cutlery Premier Ideal Chopping Vegetables and All-Purpose Chef, Professional Nakiri, Handcrafted Japanese Kitchen Knife
Shun Cutlery Premier Ideal Chopping Vegetables and All-Purpose Chef, Professional Nakiri, Handcrafted Japanese Kitchen Knife

Material: Alloy steel 
Length: 5.5 inches 
Weight: 8.2 ounces 
Rockwell hardness: 60-61 HRC 
Tang: Composite full tang 
Edge bevel: 16 degrees

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Best Overall
Shun Cutlery Classic Nakiri Handcrafted Kitchen Knife

Material: VG Max steel 
Length: 6.5 inches 
Weight: 7.5 ounces 
Rockwell hardness: 61±1 HRC 
Tang: Full 
Edge bevel: 16 degrees

‘Shun’ (pronounced ‘shoon’) is Japanese word which describes the exact moment that a vegetable is at its very best, a fruit is at its sweetest, or a piece of meat or fish is at its most flavorful.4 This concept is central to Japanese cuisine, and a philosophy that Shun Cutlery echo when crafting its kitchen equipment. 

This 6.5-inch nakiri knife from Shun’s Classic range is handcrafted in the city of Seki in Gifu, Japan, famous for its 800-year history of bladesmiths crafting knives, swords and cutlery. 68 layers of stainless steel surround a VG-MAX cutting core, Shun’s exclusive steel formula, giving a beautiful Damascus pattern. Extra tungsten helps to craft a sharper edge, added chromium lends corrosion resistance, and additional cobalt and carbon give strength and durability to the cutting core, which is sharpened to a 16-degree angle on both sides.5 This results in a sharp blade with great cutting power. Of course, this extreme sharpness, alongside a Rockwell hardness of 61±1, comes at a cost – this blade is the most likely to chip or break of all the blades in this list.6 

The ebony PakkaWood handle, a combination of hardwood veneers and waterproof resin, is waterproof, highly durable and won’t harbor nasty bacteria. In Japanese knifemaking tradition, the handle forms a D-shape that fits comfortably in your right hand. Shun claims that 60 percent of left-handers have no issue with the handle, but if you’re left-handed, you might want to reconsider. 

Overall, this is a fantastic nakiri knife that stays true to the Japanese style. Shun also offers a registration system and lifetime free sharpening (provided you cover postage to Tualatin, Oregon), making this knife our top pick for the best nakiri knife. 

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Best Budget Pick
Henckels CLASSIC Christopher Kimball Edition Nakiri Knife

Material: Stainless steel 
Length: 6.5 inches 
Weight: 6.9 ounces 
Rockwell hardness: 54-57 HRC 
Tang: Full tang 
Edge bevel: 16 degrees 

Professional chef Christopher Kimball has dedicated his career to teaching cooking on TV, radio and award-winning cookbooks and magazines for over 30 years. His experience is central to the Christopher Kimball Edition range by Henckels, which features knives expertly designed for simple, effective everyday cooking. 

This nakiri knife is designed to be the perfect choice for slicing, dicing and chopping fruits and vegetables. The sharp, slender, satin-finished blade is made from high-quality German stainless steel. It feels really light and holds a sharp edge well. The sides of the blade are wide and rectangular, making transporting food easy, but it would have been nice if they were hollowed as food can occasionally stick to the blade. 

The fully-forged blade transitions seamlessly to the handle, and the blade is balanced perfectly here, helping with maneuverability. The polycarbonate plastic is triple-riveted for durability and feels great in the hand, ensuring fatigue-free chopping. 

You might be interested in knowing that despite being constructed from German steel, this knife is actually manufactured in Spain – this is to drive down manufacturing costs, and Henckels appears to have passed these savings on to the consumer. This high quality but affordable nakiri knife takes our best budget pick award. 

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Best Value for Money
ZWILLING Four Star Nakiri Knife

Material: High carbon stainless steel 
Length: 6.5 inches 
Weight: 8 ounces 
Rockwell hardness: 55-58 HRC 
Tang: Concealed full tang 
Edge bevel: 11 degrees

Manufactured in Germany, Zwilling’s Four Star series is their best-selling knife range worldwide. This collection of knives provides exceptional performance with comfortable ergonomics, and each knife is hand-finished and honed by artisan knifemakers. 

The 6.5-inch blade, forged from a single piece of high-carbon stainless steel, is ice-hardened through Zwilling’s patented ‘friodur’ process, which results in a 55-58 HRC blade with an incredibly sharp 11-degree edge that stays sharper for longer, whilst remaining durable and resilient. Usually, it’s a trade-up between hardness and durability, but this ‘friodur’ process seems to really get the best of both. 

The handle is made from polypropylene, and the generous bolster transitions seamlessly to the handle while giving finger protection and overall balance to the knife. A concealed full tang provides strength and further helps to balance the blade. The handle is ergonomic and really comfortable to hold, and the shape also prevents fatigue when chopping for longer periods of time. 

Overall, this nakiri knife from Zwilling’s Four Star range seems to punch well above its price in terms of overall performance – it’s hard to pick an area that Zwilling seem to have compromised on. The high quality at a fair price helps this nakiri knife to secure our best value for money award. 

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Best Hybrid Style
WÜSTHOF Classic IKON Hollow Edge Nakiri Knife

Material: High carbon stainless steel 
Length: 7 inches 
Weight: 7.5 ounces 
Rockwell hardness: 58 
Tang: Full tang 
Edge bevel: 10 degrees 

Wüsthof is one of the most well-known German knife companies, which has been crafting traditional German-style knives in Solingen for centuries. Knives made in Solingen, known as the City of Blades, have been honored for their outstanding quality and craftsmanship for some 2,000 years.7 For this nakiri knife, Wüsthof have combined their German heritage with a Japanese influence, resulting in a fantastic hybrid-style knife perfect for chopping vegetables. 

This starts with the 7-inch blade. Employing their Precision Edge Technology used on their more traditional German knives, Wüsthof have crafted a blade with an enhanced sharpness and exceptional edge retention, meaning that you won’t need to hone or sharpen your knife as much – useful for chopping through hard veggies like potatoes or squash. However, this nakiri knife is designed with a thinner blade than their traditional knives, and a hollow Granton edge is employed to help stop your vegetables sticking to the blade. A 10-degree double-beveled cutting edge is sharp, and the 58 HRC steel means it will hold an edge. 

All knives in the Classic Ikon series feature a double bolster design. The balance of Japanese elegance and lightness and German heft here gives the nakiri knife a refined hybrid look and feel. The handle is made from polyoxymethylene, which is highly durable and resists fading or discoloration. It fits in the hand well and is comfortable to use, and feels secure even when your hands are wet from washing vegetables. 

Wüsthof cutlery is corrosion- and dulling-resistant – you can guarantee a greater working life for your knife by sticking to wooden or plastic chopping boards and handwashing after use, as recommended by Wüsthof. Treat your blade with care and Wüsthof will stay true to their limited lifetime warranty. 

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Most Stylish
Shun Cutlery Premier Handcrafted Nakiri Japanese Kitchen Knife

Material: Alloy steel 
Length: 5.5 inches 
Weight: 8.2 ounces 
Rockwell hardness: 60-61 HRC 
Tang: Composite full tang 
Edge bevel: 16 degrees

Another entry from Japanese brand Shun, this time from their Premier series, the first thing you’re likely to notice about this nakiri knife is the beautiful tsuchime (tsoo-CHEE-may) finish. The striking liquid effect is achieved by hammering the layered Damascus steel, then applying a mirror blade polish for extra shine. Shun describes this look as ‘at once rustic and sophisticated’, and we couldn’t agree more. 

However, the real beauty is in this blade’s performance. The 5.5-inch blade has a high-carbon VG-Max core, sharpened to a 16-degree double bevel. This cutting core has a Rockwell hardness of 60-61, meaning that it will retain its edge for a long time. However, it’s also more likely to chip, so be extra careful when storing your knife, and never chop on hard surfaces like glass or stone chopping boards. That striking tsuchime finish also provides air pockets between the blade and your food, which helps to stop the food sticking to the blade. 

The handle is made from a walnut Pakkawood, and the symmetrical palm swell nestles into the hand to provide confident control for both hands of all sizes – and it’s perfect for lefties too! The composite full tang construction provides strength whilst the embossed endcap and brass ring provide both balance and beauty. 

Overall, this knife is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a nakiri knife and want to make a visual impact in your kitchen. Again, Shun offers its registration system and lifetime free sharpening if you cover shipping costs. The high quality and magnificent look of this nakiri knife make it our most stylish pick. 

The Final Verdict 

That covers our top choices for nakiri knives. We’ve looked at a range of blades that should suit all kinds of needs, budgets and use cases, but our top choice overall is the Shun Classic 6.5-inch nakiri knife. Shun’s construction remains true to the Japanese knifemaking tradition, and the blade is hard, sharp and highly effective at chopping a wide range of fruit and veggies. The quality construction will last for years if treated with care, and Shun also offers a free sharpening service and limited lifetime warranty, providing extended care and giving you peace of mind. 

One thing to note is that we found no real difference between this Premier Shun knife and the Classic series with regards to how they hold an edge, how likely they are to chip, and ease of sharpening, so if you don’t mind splashing out the extra cash for a more stylish blade, know that you’re not making any compromises with quality other than the shorter blade length. 

Best Overall
Shun Cutlery Classic Nakiri Handcrafted Kitchen Knife

Material: VG Max steel 
Length: 6.5 inches 
Weight: 7.5 ounces 
Rockwell hardness: 61±1 HRC 
Tang: Full 
Edge bevel: 16 degrees

FAQs 

Q: Why do I need a knife just for vegetables? 

A: The short answer is, you don’t. A multi-purpose kitchen knife like a chef’s knife or a santoku knife will be absolutely fine for any vegetable chopping you need to do. However, if you find yourself cooking with a lot of veggies (which you should be!) it can be really useful to have a specialized tool that you know you can use to chop vegetables quickly and effectively. 

Q: Can I use a nakiri knife for cutting meat? 

A: The nakiri knife is specially designed for chopping vegetables, so it’s not ideal for cutting meat really. You probably won’t have any trouble slicing through chicken breasts or filleted fish, but it’s not the best knife for the job. Despite its cleaver-like shape, you should not use a nakiri knife for chopping bones under any circumstances – you’d be pretty likely to chip or damage the blade. For more on different knives and their duties, check out our kitchen knife guide

Q: Can I use a nakiri knife for sushi?  

A: The nakiri knife is perfect for slicing vegetables delicately, but if you’re looking to make sushi from scratch, there are a couple more knives that should be on your radar – we’d start off with a yanagiba knife and take it from there. For more information, check out our guide to the best sushi knives.

References 

1 Matt Davidson (15 December 2021), ‘Knife Steel Composition Chart’. Accessed at: https://knifeinformer.com/knife-steel-composition-chart/

2 Hasu Seizo (26 June 2020), ‘Single Bevel Knives vs Double Bevel Knives’. Accessed at: https://hasuseizo.com/blogs/japanese-kitchen-knives/single-bevel-knives-vs-double-bevel-knives

3 HDMD (16 December 2021), ‘What is Granton Edge?’. Accessed at: https://blog.hdmdknives.com/granton-edge.html

4 Shun (n.d.), ‘At the Peak of Perfection’. Accessed at: https://shun.kaiusa.com/what-does-shun-mean

5 Matt Davidson (15 December 2021), ‘Knife Steel Composition Chart’. Accessed at: https://knifeinformer.com/knife-steel-composition-chart/

6 York Saw & Knife (n.d.), ‘Guide to Rockwell Hardness’. Accessed at: https://www.yorksaw.com/rockwell-hardness/

7 Messervertrieb Rottner (n.d.), ‘History of the City of Blades, Solingen’. Accessed at: https://messervertrieb-rottner.de/en/wissenswertes/geschichte-der-klingenstadt-solingen/

Oishya Sakai Kyuba Japanese Chefs Knife Review – 8.2 inches (21 cm) Gyuto

Sakai Kyuba Japanese Chefs Knife Review

If your knife is blunt and old and you understand the importance of having a good knife in the kitchen, we hear you and understand where you are coming from.

That is why today we are reviewing the Oishya’s Sakai Kyuba Japanese Chef’s Knife. The Sakai Kyuba is a 8.2 inches (21 cm) Gyuto blade that is a perfect all-round blade. Read on if you’d like to know more about this beautiful, razor-sharp Japanese chef’s knife and to learn if it is the right knife for you.

Japanese Knife and ingredients

Sakai Kyuba Gyuto Knife Review

Japanese kitchen knives are distinct from their Western counterparts because of the different cooking styles they’ve evolved from. This doesn’t mean, however, that these distinct schools do not often influence each other and the Gyuto knife is a perfect example of this marriage of disparate ideas. The Gyuto is the Japanese version of the classic Western Chef’s knife. This means you could easily use a Gyuto as an all-rounder in the kitchen while retaining certain Japanese characteristics that offer something else when required.

The Oishya Sakai Kyuba Japanese Chef’s Knife is an excellent example of a Gyuto knife and the company behind it, Oishya, is an excellent example of the mixing of two worlds ethos that birthed the Gyuto style of blade in the first place. Oishya is a Western facing company that deals directly with Japanese blacksmiths. This hybrid company spanning two worlds offers kitchen enthusiasts and home chefs in the US and Europe the chance to own expertly crafted Japanese knives, crafted in Sakai near Osaka in Japan, without having to find and deal with independent blacksmiths.

The Sakai Kyuba 8.2 inches (21cm) Gyuto is Oishya’s flagship knife and if you would like to learn more about it, read on for our full review of the Oishya’s Japanese Chef’s knife.

Click Here And Use Code: helpfulchef for a $25 Discount When You Buy The Oishya Sakai Kyuba Japanese Chefs Knife

Pros

  • Excellent construction materials
  • Small batch craftsmanship
  • Supports independent Japanese blacksmiths
  • Beautiful aesthetics

Cons

  • Price tag reflects the artisanal nature of the blade

Knife Construction

When you buy a high-quality kitchen knife you are well within your right to expect it to last for decades, possibly even generations. Japanese knives are no different here with the lightweight philosophy not betraying any sort of drop in quality with the drop in weight. Japanese knives are built for agility and precision and their lightweight nature is designed to prevent the chef’s arm from tiring after prolonged use.

Japanese Gyuto Knife

Steel

The Oishya Sakai Kyuba blade delivers on this high-quality yet lightweight philosophy with a VG10 Stainless steel core forged into 46-layer Damascus steel. This gives the blade a Rockwell Hardness Rating (HRC) of 62, which, for the laymen out there, means it is very hard. Practically, a harder blade will hold its edge for longer without needing to be re-honed or re-sharpened. The trade-off, however, is that harder knives will be more brittle meaning they are more likely to chip. This means a knife like the Sakai Kyuba needs to be treated with respect while in use and cleaned carefully and stored appropriately once the cooking is done. However, if you do look after it, you can reliably expect cutting, slicing and chopping with the Oisya Gyuto knife to be an effortless endeavor for a long time to come. It is good to see that the company backs this up with a lifetime guarantee.

Origin and Craftsmanship

“Our mission is to bring beautiful, premium quality and unique handcrafted products that last. In a time of fast-paced technology and disposable fashion, we are proud to support groups of small artisans who pride themselves on vigilance and respect for the craft that no machine can replicate. All Japana products are handcrafted using the finest materials and created in small batches to check for quality and ensure they are made to last. We do not use ready-made materials and we do not mass-produce.”

Oishya Website

Oishya is very proud of the traditional craftsmanship that goes into its knives. The Oisyha website claims the design of their knives draws on a 600-year-old Japanese knife making tradition that stems from Sakai, near Osaka which is where the blades of these knives are made today. Impressively, Oishya backs up these claims with videos too, which means you can actually watch Japanese blacksmiths building these knives by hand.

The knives are built in small batches and each Sakai Kyuba knife takes around 3 months to build as the craftsmen have to go through over 220 steps for every blade. Every blade is then engraved with Sakai Kyuba 堺久馬, which, as I’m sure Mary Shelley would approve of, is actually the name of the knife maker, rather than the knife.

Handle

The handles are made in Europe from a European maple burl and stabilized with resin to ensure they are strong enough to hold up to everyday use and waterproof. The colored handle versions of the knife have dye added to the resin, which changes the color of the wood in parts and creates a marble-like effect. The results truly are stunning.

Dimensions

As mentioned earlier, Japanese knives are distinct from Western knives in a number of key ways. The first is weight, they weigh much less than Western knives. Another general characteristic of Japanese knives is extended length, although this obviously depends on the style of knife in question. As an all-rounder and Japanese variation of the Western chef’s knife, the Sakai Kyuba falls into this bracket.

Weight

The Sakai Kyuba weighs in at a mere 158g, which is almost 90g lighter than the Western blade I tend to use an everyday chopper. The saving in weight comes from the quality of the VG10 steel allowing for a much thinner blade and the Japanese style of having a smaller tang running through the handle of the knife and doing away with the bolster. The result is a very easy to use and light-in-the-hand that you can use for hours without feeling too much strain.

Length

At 8.2 inches or 21cm long the Sakai Kyuba is longer than the Western knife I tend to use as my all-around chef’s knife. This increased length is useful for slicing delicate foodstuffs such as fish fillets as it allows for longer and smoother slices rather than having to use a saw-like action, which could cause damage.

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Performance

As I’ve mentioned a little, I’ve been comparing the Sakai Kyuba to my everyday chef’s knife, which is a 7-inch Arcos Santoku/chef’s knife hybrid.

In comparison, the Sakai Kyuba feels incredibly light in the hand and straight out the box, the blade was razor sharp. It has held its edge incredibly well over the last few weeks too, which is a good sign looking forward to the future.

You can feel the hardness in the blade too when comparing it with the steel used in the Arcos blade. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Arcos, but the steel used to make the Sakai Kyuba is of a very high quality and it shows.

The balance point of the knife falls about an inch from the butt of the blade. This means to get the most out of it you would be better holding the handle firmly and pinching the blade just above the butt. Our guide to kitchen knives goes into how to hold your knife in more detail.

Japanese chef knife chopping vegetables

As mentioned, the Sakai Kyuba is razor-sharp and its build makes it able to take on most kitchen chopping, cutting, and slicing jobs without too much hassle. Vegetables like onions and carrots were easy to slice into thin batons and julienne without problems. One thing I noted, however, was the beaten groves to the top of the blade didn’t really have any practical effect on the chopping action. I was hoping that these would prevent the vegetables from sticking to the blade, but I didn’t notice much of a difference. They do look great, though, it has to be said.

Finely slicing tomatoes is a job that many knives struggle with, but there were no problems for this Gyuto. The blade easily sliced an ultra-fine slice of tomato without me even having to hold the blade in place, a true show of how fine and sharp this blade really is. The Sakai Kyuba effortlessly sliced through a standard piece of A4 paper too, which is another favorite test of the knife reviewer.

Japanese chef knife sushi

With fish and meat, again the Gyuto was a marvel. I like to cure salmon and often come unstuck when slicing off fine strips of the salty flesh, but with the Sakai Kyuba I was able to make the dish look truly special on the plate, something I was very proud of, I must say.

My only hesitation with this Japanese Gyuto comes to chopping through bones, like with taking a chicken apart for example. This might just be a mental block on my part here, but I felt much more comfortable breaking down the chicken with my Arcos than I did the Sakai Kyuba. The lightweight and very hard blade was always in mind during these jobs, ever fearful of chipping the blade while, in comparison, I wielded the Arcos with abandon. I must say though that the blade held up throughout all my tests, maintaining its sharpness and not chipping at all.

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Other Considerations

The other main things to consider here are the price of the blade and the packaging it comes in. Let’s have a look at these details now.

Packaging

Oishya has done a great job packaging their signature Gyuto knife, delivering it in a purpose-built wooden box with a sliding lid. The knife fits almost perfectly and looks fantastic on show. It’s not quite perfect, however, and I was quite disheartened to hear the expensive piece of kitchenware banging away inside the package when I took the delivery. You can see in the picture below (I’ve padded in the blade using a couple of pink pieces of paper) that we are talking about the finest of margins here, but I must admit that it did leave an impression.

Gyuto Knife in a box

Price

There is no getting around the fact that the Sakai Kyuba comes with a rather heavy price tag that will likely put it out of reach of most home chefs. At the end of the day, however, you can see and feel where that money goes. This is a hand-crafted blade made of some of the best Japanese Steel and adorned with beautiful European wood. Yes, this is an expensive knife but it is a knife that will catch people’s eyes when they walk into your kitchen and that will invigorate your cooking passion. Also, if you look after it, this is a knife that you will proudly pass not your children too.

Final Verdict

I have to say that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time reviewing the Oishya Sakai Kyuba Japanese Chef’s Knife. Its lightweight strength has made it a real pleasure to use. It does come in at a high price, but its quality holds up and it has everything needed to become a generational piece of kitchenware for your family. Fortunately, we’ve teamed up with Oishya to bring all Helpful Chef readers a $25 discount when they buy the knife after reading this review.

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How to hone a chefs knife

If you’re like most home cooks, your knives are the most important tools in your kitchen. And just like any other tool, your knives need to be maintained if you want them to last. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to hone a chef’s knife using a honing rod. We’ll also discuss how to keep your knives in good condition so that they stay sharp for years to come!

Why It Is Important To Keep Your Knives Sharp

When you regularly use a kitchen knife it will likely dull over time. There are a number of reasons for this including:

– The type of knife: Some knives are simply more prone to dulling than others. For example, carbon steel knives will usually need to be sharpened more often than stainless steel knives.

– How you use the knife: If you regularly use your knife for tough tasks like chopping through bone or frozen food, it will dull faster than if you only use it for slicing vegetables.

– The quality of the knife: A high-quality knife that is made from good materials will usually stay sharper longer than a cheap knife.

For all of the above, your knife will dull, which will make it harder to slice and chop. If you use your knives for everyday tasks then it is important to keep them sharp. Dull knives are more dangerous than sharp knives because they require more force to cut through food. This can lead to an increased chance of slipping and cutting yourself. Yes, it is true that a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one.

Why Is My Knife Dull?

If your knife isn’t sharp it will be because of one of two possible reasons. The first reason is that the sharp edge of the blade has worn down over time and needs to be resharpened. If you looked at your knife under a microscope, rather than seeing a sharp point you would see rounded nub. With this being the case there is less pressure at the point of cutting, slicing, or chopping, which means you have to exert more force tp break through. To fix this you need to take the knife to a professional or use a sharpening stone at home and grind away that nub into a sharp point again.

The second reason your kitchen knife might be dull is that the blade has become misaligned. This means the edge has started to curl over and that it is the outside of the curl that at the point of pressure rather than the sharp edge. To fix this, however, all you need to do is realign the blade and straighten it up again. To do this, you need a honing rod, otherwise known as a honing steel.

How To Hone A Chef’s Knife

Honing is different than sharpening in that it doesn’t remove any metal from the blade. Instead, it simply straightens out the edge so that it’s once again aligned with the rest of the blade. To hone your knife, you’ll need a honing rod and a kitchen towel.

First, wet the kitchen towel and wrap it around the honing rod. This will help to keep the rod from slipping out of your hand while you’re working.

Next, hold the honing rod in your dominant hand and the handle of the knife in your other hand. Place the blade against the honing rod at a 20-degree angle.

Now, using even strokes, draw the blade down the length of the honing rod. Be sure to apply pressure and keep your strokes even. Do this for about 15-20 seconds, then switch hands and do the same thing on the other side of the blade.

Once you’ve done this, you can test the sharpness of your knife by slicing through a piece of paper. If it cuts cleanly, then you’re all done!

If your knife still isn’t as sharp as you’d like, then you may need to repeat the honing process or it may need sharpening.

How often should you hone your chef knife?

It really depends on how often you use it. A good rule of thumb is to hone your chef knife every time you use it. If you’re a professional chef who uses their knives all day, then you may need to hone them several times throughout the day. However, if you’re only using your knives at home a few times a week, then honing them once a day, or before or after every use, should be sufficient.

How to keep your kitchen knives sharp: A Quick guide to knife maintenance

– Keep your knives out of the dishwasher. The high heat and harsh detergents can damage the blades.

– Don’t store your knives in a drawer. This will cause them to dull faster because they’re constantly rubbing against other objects.

– Instead, store them in a knife block or on a magnetic strip.

– Use a sharpening stone to periodically sharpen your knives. This should be done every few months, depending on how often you use your knives.

In Conclusion

A dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one and can lead to decreased efficiency in the kitchen as well as nasty cuts and bruises. By honing your chef’s knife regularly, you can keep it sharp and safe to use. Follow the simple steps outlined above and your knives will be slicing through food like a hot knife through butter in no time!

FAQs

Which way do you hone a knife?

You can hone a knife in either direction, but most people find that honing the knife away from the body works best. This is much safer than pulling the blade towards your body.

How do you hone a Wusthof knife?

Wusthof knives are made of high-carbon steel and can be sharpened with a honing steel or diamond sharpener. First, you’ll want to make sure your knife is clean and dry. Next, hold the honing steel horizontally in your dominant hand and the knife in your other hand. Place the blade of the knife against the honing steel at a 20-degree angle. Draw the blade down the length of the honing steel, maintaining that 20-degree angle. Repeat this process 10 times on each side of the blade. Finally, use a sharpening stone or diamond sharpener to put a fine edge on your knife.

Which knives do professional chefs use?

Do you ever wonder what knives professional chefs use? What are the different types of knives and why do they use them? In this blog post, we will take a look at the different knives that professional chefs use in their kitchens and discuss the benefits of each type. Professional chefs use different types of knives because each type of knife is designed for a specific purpose. For example, the chef’s knife is designed for slicing, dicing, and mincing, while the paring knife is designed for peeling fruits and vegetables or trimming away small areas of food.

What are the most common kitchen knives?

The most common kitchen knives are the chef’s knife, paring knife, carving knife, bread knife, and utility knife. Each have their own specialized use cases. Let’s have a look at the benefits of using different types of knives, they include:

– improved accuracy – by using the correct knife for the task at hand, you can achieve more accurate results;

– increased efficiency – using the correct knife will help you work faster and more efficiently in the kitchen; and

– reduced risk of injury – using the wrong knife for the task can increase the risk of cuts and other injuries.

Different knives have different jobs

What knife is used most by chefs and cooks?

The chef’s knife is the most popular knife used by chefs and cooks as it is a versatile all-purpose knife. The blade is curved so that it can be rocked back and forth as you chop, making it easier to cut through food. It is also a relatively heavy blade, which makes it good for chopping through tougher food items and performing more taxing tasks such as cutting through bone or breaking down a chicken, for example.

What is a chef’s knife used for?

A chef’s knife can be used for a variety of tasks in the kitchen, including slicing, dicing, and mincing. It is a versatile knife and professional chefs will use it for most cutting tasks. There are different types of chef’s knife available too. There are three main types of chef’s knives: French, German, and Japanese. Each type has its own unique features that make it ideal for specific tasks.

French Chef’s Knives

The French chef’s knife is curved and has a pointed blade, is heavy, and tough. It is ideal for slicing and dicing vegetables and fruits.

German Chef’s Knives

The German chef’s knife is very similar to the French chef’s knife and has become the dominant style of Western chef’s knife in the world today.

Japanese Chef’s Knives

The Japanese chef’s knife, also called a Gyuto knife, has a curved blade, is lighter than its Western counterparts and is good for slicing sushi. It is also great for chopping vegetables and meat.

What Knife brands Do Professional Chefs Use?

Each chef has their own preference when it comes to choosing a knife brand. Some chefs prefer German knives while others may prefer Japanese knives. It really depends on the individual chef’s preferences. There are many different knife brands that professional chefs use, such as Henckels, Wusthof knives, and Global. Other brands include Shun, MAC, and Mercer. Let’s have a look at twhat brand knives do chefs use:

Henckels

Henckels is a German knife company that has been making knives since 1731. They offer a wide range of kitchen knives, including chef’s knives, carving knives, bread knives, and utility knives.

Wusthof

Wusthof is another German knife company that has been in business since 1814. They make a variety of knives, but are best known for their Classic Ikon line. This line is made with a high-carbon stainless steel and has a full tang. The blades are also laser cut, which gives them a sharp edge.

Global

Global is a Japanese knife company that has been making knives since 1985. Their blades are made from high-quality stainless steel and their handles are ergonomically designed to provide a comfortable grip.

Shun

Shun is a Japanese knife company that was founded in 1908. Their blades are made from high-quality stainless steel and their handles are made from bamboo or PakkaWood. They offer a range of different knives, including chef’s knives, paring knives, and Santoku knives.

MAC

MAC is a Japanese knife company that was founded in 1966. The company is known for their high-quality knives, which are used by professional chefs all over the world.

MAC knives are made of high-carbon stainless steel, which makes them durable and able to withstand a lot of wear and tear. They also have a razor-sharp edge that can easily cut through even the toughest ingredients.

Mercer

Mercer is an American knife company that was founded in 1818. The company is known for their affordable, yet high-quality knives, which are used by both professional chefs and home cooks alike.

Mercer knives are made of stainless steel, which makes them resistant to rust and corrosion. They also have a sharp edge that can easily cut through even the toughest ingredients

In Conclusion

So, which knives do professional chefs use? It really depends on the individual chef’s preferences and the task at hand.

The chef’s knife is the most versatile of all the knives and can be used for a variety of tasks such as slicing, dicing, and mincing. The paring knife is a smaller version of the chef’s knife and is perfect for tasks such as peeling fruits and vegetables or trimming away small areas of meat. The carving knife is ideal for slicing cooked meats, while the bread knife is perfect for slicing through crusty breads without crushing the interior. The utility knife is a multipurpose knife that can be used for tasks such as chopping vegetables or slicing cheese.

FAQs

What knives does Gordon Ramsay use?

There are a lot of different knives that can be used for different purposes. A good chef knows how to use a variety of knives and knows which knife is best for the job at hand.
A chef’s knife is the most essential knife in any kitchen. It’s a multipurpose knife that can be used for slicing, dicing, chopping, and mincing. Chef Ramsay uses a variety of chef’s knives depending on what he’s cooking. He might use a French or German-style chef’s knife, or he might use a Japanese santoku chef’s knife.

Which chef’s knives and brands do top chefs use?

There’s really no definitive answer to this question since different chefs have different preferences. Some of the more popular brands among professional chefs include Wüsthof, Shun, and Global, but there are many others that are also well-regarded. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, so it’s best to try out a few different types and see which ones you like best.

what knives do michelin chef’s use

Contrary to popular belief, most professional chefs do not exclusively use expensive chef’s knives. In fact, many chefs (especially those who work in busy kitchens) prefer to use cheaper kitchen knives because they are easier to maintain and are less likely to chip or break.
That being said, there are certainly some chefs who swear by their high-end chef’s knives, and there is no doubt that a good quality knife can make a big difference in the kitchen. So if you’re looking for a knife that will last you for years and hold up under heavy use, it might be worth investing in a top-of-the-line model. Just be sure to take care of it properly so that it doesn’t lose its edge!

What is a hollow edge knife?

What Is A Hollow Edge Knife?

A hollow edge knife (also called Granton edge blades) is a type of blade that has been specifically designed to reduce the amount of friction when slicing through food. This makes it easier to cut delicate items without crushing them, and also prevents the food from sticking to the blade. If you are looking for a knife that can make precise cuts with minimal effort, then a hollow edge model may be perfect for you!

Why Are Some Knives Hollow?

Some foods and ingredients are incredibly soft and delicate. This means slicing them without damaging them is a difficult task. With harder, delicate foods like bread, you can use a serrated knife to saw through them but with softer foods like raw fillets of fish or a slow-cooked brisket this type of action would likely tear away huge chunks, leaving a mess of what you’re cooking.

This is why many people opt for kitchen knives that have a hollow edge when preparing these types of dishes. The lack of friction makes it much easier to get clean, precise cuts without having to worry about crushing the ingredients.

What Are Hollow Edge Knives Used For?

Hollow edge knives are often used in professional kitchens because they make it possible to quickly and easily slice through large quantities of food. This is especially useful when preparing sushi or sashimi, as the thin slices need to be cut with precision in order to avoid tearing the fish. They’re also excellent knives for slicing brisket.

If you’re an amateur chef who is looking for a knife that can help you create restaurant-quality dishes, then a hollow edge knife may be a good option for you! However, they can also be used in more traditional settings – for example, if you’re making a roast and need to slice it into thin pieces.

Can you sharpen a hollow edge knife?

Yes, you can sharpen a hollow edge knife. However, it’s important to use the correct type of sharpener in order to maintain the blade’s unique design. If you’re not sure however, then consult a professional or take it to a local store for assistance. If you are confident, however, this video will show you exactly what you need to do to sharpen your hollow edge knife safely and effectively:

In Conclusion

A hollow edge knife is a great option for anyone who wants to make precise, delicate cuts without having to worry about damaging their food. They’re also perfect for slicing large quantities of food quickly and easily. If you’re looking for a high-quality kitchen knife that can help you achieve restaurant-grade results, then a hollow edge model may be the perfect choice for you!

FAQs

Are Santoku Knives Hollow Edge?

Yes, Santoku knives are hollow edge. This means that the blade has a concave edge, which is ideal for slicing and dicing. The hollow edge also allows the knife to glide through food more easily, making it a great choice for those who want to avoid sticking and tearing.

Are hollow ground knives better?

There are pros and cons to both flat ground and hollow ground knives. A flat ground knife is stronger because the edge is thicker and more substantial. It can also be sharper because there is a more consistent angle from the spine to the edge. However, a hollow ground knife is easier to sharpen because the concave surface creates a sharper edge. Additionally, it has a finer cutting edge because the blade is thinner; this makes it ideal for slicing delicate items like tomatoes or onions. In general, I would say that a hollow ground knife is better for most kitchen tasks, while a flat ground knife would be better for heavy-duty work like cutting up a chicken.