Chef's Shoppe


Chef's Shoppe
2320 Troy Road
Schnuck's Plaza, Near Target
Edwardsville, IL 62025

618.659.9840

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Knives and Sharpening

What should you look for in a knife?  Regardless of its price a knife should feel good in your hand.  A sharp knife is a cook’s best friend - it can make a big task like making a pot full of vegetable soup something to look forward to with pleasure rather than dread.  A sharp knife is safer than a dull one.  Remember, a good sharp knife cuts quickly and easily and should be treated with respect and admiration.  

Forged Knives
The best knives are forged.  Wusthof is at the top of our list of forged knives.  A forged knife will have some heft and the blades should not easily bend.  A forged knife has steel from tip-to-tip. The manufacturing process is more extensive than a pressed knife and requires much more steel to make.  The forged German steel of a Wusthof knife keeps its edge well and if well maintained it will last a lifetime. Wusthof knives are an investment, so if your budget doesn’t allow the investment of a full set, start with a good Chef’s Knife.  Wusthof makes it easy by always offering at least one cooks knife with special pricing.  

Another quality forged line is Mercer.  Mercer is mostly found in culinary schools and is perfect for culinary students or the avid cook who just doesn’t want to pop for the more pricy Wusthof.

Pressed or Stamped Knives
Pressed knives are stamped from a sheet of metal.  The manufacturing process is much more simple and less steel is used which allows for the lower pricing.  Choose a brand such as Victorinox, (formerly sold under the Forschner brand) treat it well and it will be your friend for years.  Cook’s Illustrated often places this brand in its list of favorites because of performance and price.

Other pressed knives to consider are Zyliss and Kuhn Rikon.  Both come in bright colors and most with their own blade cover.  They are inexpensive, sharpen well, and their bright colors make them fun to use.

Ceramic Knives

There is quite the buzz about ceramic knives and with good reason.  They are lightweight, thin, smooth, and require less effort to hold onto as they glide through food.  The ceramic can stay razor sharp for years if cared for and used properly.  The pricing for ceramic knives has dropped in recent years, which makes them affordable.  Kyocera is the brand we carry and they come in a wide range of handle colors and purpose types.

The downside to ceramic knives is that they are ceramic, which means they need to be treated with extra care because they can easily break.  These are not “all-purpose” knives, meaning you would never choose a ceramic knife to cut chicken bones or crush garlic. Eventually, depending on use, they might need sharpening.  The manufacturers of knife sharpeners are working on in-home sharpeners for ceramic knives but currently Kyocera suggests returning their knife back to them and they will sharpen and return the knife.

Knife Covers and Shields

If you do not have a block to store your knives, always use a blade cover for protection.  This includes protection for you - a loose un-covered knife in a drawer is dangerous.  It also includes protection for your knife - an un-covered knife gets dull and damaged roaming around in a drawer with the rest of your tools.


Sharpening
We sell several sharpeners and steels for in-home sharpening ranging from electric to hand held.  All will help you hone or sharpen your blade for on-going maintenance.  We also suggest professional sharpening once a year.  Our professional sharpener is a Tru-Hone which is the professional sharpening tool suggested by Wusthof.  We charge $3 per knife (straight edge only).  When you bring in four knives, you pay for three and the fourth is free.