With Christmas fast approaching, many people are frantically searching for the perfect gift to get their loved ones. The options are many and varied, and it can often be a stressful time to choose the right gift. Which is why a Damascus Knife Set is often an understated but highly appreciated gift once the unwrapping period has ended and the season has passed.
What makes the Knife Set Gift such a thoughtful one?
Most people spend a lot of time in the kitchen. The increasing costs of takeaway, in addition with a cultural shift towards healthy eating has led to a significant increase in the amount of time people are spending in their home kitchens.
It makes sense then that, given so much time is spent in the kitchen preparing meals and during food preparation, that the right tools need to be utilized. Much like a handyman will ensure to use a quality drill, the same goes when performing daily kitchen tasks. Which is why two fundamental traits that a kitchen knife set provides are what makes it the perfect gift for many.
Versatile Knife Options
Most amateurs will often make the mistake of using the wrong knife for the wrong kitchen task. This is normally not a result of a poor decision made, rather it is often a result of not having enough knives on hand to make the right choice.
Essentially it is going to be hard to have an enjoyable time during kitchen prep if you are using a paring knife to slice through meat cartilage.
Generally, a kitchen knife set should always feature:
- A Santoku knife
- A Chef’s knife
- A Utility knife
It needs to contain all the kitchen cutting essentials, and while the most important knives are obviously required, it should also contain pieces that aren’t frequently used but when called upon, can deliver results - such as a vegetable cleaver.
A good knife set does exactly that - it SETS you up to comfortably achieve any kitchen tasks that would ask of it, as well as achieving some tasks that will leave you surprised.
Quality knife products
While one would expect a professional chef to use only the highest quality knives possible, the same can be said of the beginner. If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense.
Were anyone to be able to get the most out of a blunt blade or knife prone to slipping, it would likely be the professional. An amateur on the other hand is unlikely to possess the technique and steady hand required to utilize a substandard product. That is why, providing a person who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, but who may have some unloved, uncared for knives essential is one who is going to benefit greatly from receiving a high-quality knife set.
Knives that are constructed with careful care, and using high grade Damascus steel are going to be much more effective in performing their tasks. Some of the obvious benefits include:
- Cleaner cutting
- Long-lasting effectiveness
- Less slippage thus less risk of injury
- Elimination of issues of rust
The Stars of your Kitchen Set
As previously mentioned there are a number of knives that should feature in any quality knife set. Each knife needs to perform at least one function to maximum effect, otherwise that product is merely chewing up space on the knife stand. In a little more detail, the stars of the show are:
It’s all in the name really. Santoku - meaning three virtues, or three uses - refers to its multi-purpose capabilities. In effect, it is best used for chopping, slicing and dicing. This means that it is very effective when used to chop or slice veggies, to cut or mince meat or when slicing through delicate cuts of seafood.
The Santoku Knife is typically shorter, thinner and lighter than a Chef’s knife which makes it a knife that is easy to use and maneuver. The downside, largely due to its length, being that it is less effective when used with dense foods. But that is OK because the knife set will generally include a chef’s knife to overcome this issue.
Generally considered the mainstay of the kitchen, and the go-to knife for most standard tasks, the chef knife is likely to get a lot of use. It is commonly used for tasks ranging from large to small. This includes smaller tasks like chopping up herbs and spices, through to larger tasks like fine slicing meats or spatchcocking a chicken.
It is the combination of finely performing small tasks plus effectively achieving more arduous kitchen tasks that make the chef knife such a universal kitchen favorite.
The most important element when it comes to a Chef's Knife relates to the quality of the steel that it possesses. There is no point having a knife that is designed to be used daily if the quality of the product doesn’t match the valuable characteristics that it possesses. Which is precisely why a chef knife made from Damascus steel can be such a valuable asset and the perfect holiday gift.
The Utility Knife
Even with a Santoku and Chef Knife in your possession, you can never look past the value that the Utility Knife can provide. This is why it is so often included in any kitchen knife set worth one’s salt.
This is especially true for the beginner. If your Christmas gift is for someone who has rarely spent time in the kitchen, the utility knife can be a saving grace. As it's smaller and lighter than the Santoku and Chef knives, many find a greater level of control when using it. The result is an enjoyable kitchen experience that cannot be beat.
After all, it is right there in the name. Utility. That member of the team capable of achieving anything asked of it, and why it is such a valued member of the team!
The Vegetable Cleaver
Rounding out the set is the Vegetable Cleaver. It is the most easily recognizable knife in the set and is a lot more than an aesthetically pleasing product. It may not look it, but it is just as versatile as the other knives discussed. Perhaps its most handy use is its prowess for slicing through those hard to cut vegetables like pumpkin or watermelon. In addition, it makes quick work of a range of meats and produces well-balanced, fine slicing of a wide range of vegetables.
Think of a kitchen knife as the most important colleague in the kitchen. If it's ineffective and doesn’t possess the necessary qualities, then it’ll make the kitchen user's job that much more difficult. It needs to be high-quality, and it needs to contain the kitchen essentials. Anybody that spends an ample amount of time in the kitchen is going to benefit from receiving a quality Damascus kitchen knife set under the Xmas tree on Christmas morning.