Three Things to Consider Before you Buy Steak Knives
How to choose the best steak knife set for you, or as a gift for a steak lover.
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There’s something primally satisfying about sitting down to a good steak dinner. Not only does steak taste great and satisfy your hunger, it’s also good for you. Just a three-ounce piece of beef provides more than half of the daily value of protein. It also supplies 41 percent of the vitamin B12 daily value, which boosts energy, helps form red blood cells, supports bone health, and even improves your mood by helping to synthesize and metabolize serotonin, the lack of which can cause depression.
But that steak dinner won’t lift your mood much if the knives you set out are a mismatched assortment that you’ve collected over the years, with bleached-out handles, rust stains, and cutting edges that would be challenged by a slice of white bread. And it’s embarrassing to invite guests over for a steak dinner and have to watch them grimly saw away at their meat with your old, cheap, dull-edged knives. Give your and your guests’ biceps muscles a reprieve, and get that serotonin flowing, by using this guide to find the best steak knife set for your tastes.
Serrated Steak Knives
One great advantage of having a utensil slot full of serrated steak knives is that you’ll always have a sharp blade at your disposal for anything from slicing baguettes and quartering tomatoes to cutting toast and chopping broccoli. Grab one, use it, and drop it into the dishwasher. If that’s your style, look for serrated steak knives that are dishwasher safe and made of rust-resistant steel so that the finish won’t develop stains from repeated washing.
Special Occasion Steak Knives
If you take your beef seriously and consider a steak dinner—even one in the backyard—a special culinary event, invest in serrated steak knives made of high-quality steel. Besides looking good on the table, such knives are sturdy and remain super-sharp for a long time. You may need to hand-wash such knives in order to prevent stains from occurring and to keep the blades sharp, but that’s a small price to pay for knives that will last a lifetime. In fact, the better-quality steak knives come with a lifetime warrantee.
Straight Edge Steak Knives
There’s a reason why old serrated steak knives are dull as butter knives: they’re difficult to sharpen. That’s because serrated knives cut by tearing through food instead of slicing through it, and the sharp indentations—the gullets—require a special tool to sharpen. Sharpening those gullets is difficult, too, so most people just get rid of their old serrated knives and buy new blades.
Straight-edge blades are easy to sharpen and can be touched up in seconds with a steel. Another advantage of a straight-edge knife is that it cuts food smoothly, compared to serrated knives. These are knives that make great gifts because they’re typically high-quality blades and can be honed to their original sharpness. They’re also very handy if you need a small knife for dicing and mincing, which are difficult to do with a serrated blade. Look for knives with a riveted full tang (meaning the part of the steel behind the blade runs completely through the handle). If you’re a committed steak lover, or are buying knives for one, those are the ones to get.