Cooking is one of most ancient forms of art. Like every other art form which demands a pitch-perfect combination of skills and proper equipment, your cooking apparatus too need to be properly arranged in your kitchen. Kitchen knife is one of the most crucial tools for cooking purposes without a second thought. How often do you struggle with finding the right knife for a particular cutting job? Did you just buy a couple of high-end Sushi knives and found them losing their sharpness within just two weeks of moderate use? If the answers are a “yes”, let me tell you a simple solution to these problems- buy a knife block. Regardless of whether you’re a home cook or an assistant chef in a top-notch restaurant, you are going to benefit significantly by storing your kitchen knives in an orderly fashion.
Best Knife Blocks Reviewed
Knife Blocks without Knives
20 Slot Bamboo Universal Knife Block without Knives
Bamboo knife blocks are widely popular among professionals and home cooks alike, the reason being the perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality. The product under scrutiny comes with 19 hollow grooves, wide and large enough to store different sizes of knives. The added bonus is separate slots for a sharpening rod and a scissor, making it a complete kitchen accessory holder. Another prominent characteristic that gives this model an edge over its competitors is its non-skid rubber feet which ensure a clean countertop. If you have the experience of working in a professional kitchen, you know the importance of each second more than many people. Bamboo Universal Knife Block features angled slot edges to allow quick access to your knives, aiding faster cutting action.
Shenzhen Knives- In-Drawer 100% Pure Bamboo Knife Block without Knives
The most ravishing quality of Shenzhen Bamboo Knife Block has to be its base material- an environment-friendly, bacteria-resistant bamboo. You must be wondering what that is supposed to mean. Well, the bamboo used for designing this block is harvested before its decaying process begins. Harvesting bamboo at this stage ensures the minimal release of carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere. Not just that, it also extends the longevity of the products made from it. You know it is a genuine product when the manufacturer goes extra miles just to select the material. It can hold 10-15 knives. However, the numbers may vary depending on the size of knives you want to insert. Being an in-drawer model, it lets you store the equipment safely inside a drawer with other utilities. This feature will help you free up a lot of space on the countertop which can get really messy and crammed up at times.
In-drawer Bamboo Knife Block Holds 12 Knives Noble Home & Chef Knife Organizer
A very common complaint about knife blocks is that the knives point up or slide out even if the kitchen drawer is fully shut. If you’re a master of meeting with accidents, chances are too high that you’ll end up injuring yourself someday if you leave this issue unattended. The reasons why Noble Home & Chef Knife Organizer’s In-drawer Bamboo Knife Block is on my list are- one, it fits snugly in any standard sized kitchen drawer. Two, the thoughtful design of the block prevents the pointy side of the knives from protruding out of the gap of the drawer (if there’s any). It can easy hold up to 12 knives and also features a separate slot for your knife sharpener. The material used for creating the body is moso bamboo which is widely regarded as a premium quality bamboo. The slots are uniformly cut, and the carved design makes it easier to draw out the knives.
Knife Blocks with Knives
Cuisinart 15-Piece Stainless Steel Hollow Handle Block Set
This rock-solid culinary kit from the leading brand Cuisinart is made from a high-grade stainless steel. If you want something that’ll last you for years and will be fuss-free to maintain at the same time, this product deserves your attention. The set includes an 8″ chef’s knife, a 7″ Santoku knife, a 3.5″ paring knife, an 8″ slicing knife , a 3.5″ bird’s beak paring knife, a 5.5″ serrated utility knife, six 4.5″ steak knives, coupled with an 8″ sharpening steel and all-purpose household shears. The blades of these knives have been sculpted from high carbon stainless steel, a material known for its stupendous sharpness, sturdiness and edge retention capacity. Moreover, the rationally designed stainless steel handles provide a firm grip and excellent control over the action.
Chicago Cutlery Elston 16pc Block Set
Chicago Cutlery is a go-to brand in many restaurant kitchens in the U.S. This classic piece of incredible craftsmanship comes with an assortment of 16 knives viz. two 3-1/4″ paring knives, eight 4-1/2″ steak knives, 4-3/4″ utility, 6-3/4″ bread, an 8” slicer, an 8” chef’s knife to name a few. I loved the idea of giving a taper grind edge to each knife. This seemingly minuscule feature adds a significant amount of precision and accuracy to your cutting action.
Chicago Cutlery 1119644 Fusion Forged 18-Piece Knife Block Set, Stainless Steel
Another very reliable creation from the house of Chicago Cutlery. This knife block set is for you only if you’re a cook by profession or want to gift it to someone who feeds hundreds of mouths every day. I’m saying this because an assortment of 18 knives could be redundant in average home kitchens. Cut to the features; the 1119644 series comes armed with 18 knives, all of them made from professional-quality high-carbon stainless steel forged blades complemented by black comfort-grip poly handles. The material adds generously to the wear resistance, strength, and precision of the knives.
What is a Knife Block?
A knife block is a great way to stash your collection of different types of kitchen knives neatly. These are commonly made either from wood or stainless steel. I personally love the wooden ones because they add a nice aesthetic appeal to my kitchen counter. The angled block of timber or metal features a number of slots to accommodate knives of various sizes and shapes. Using a knife block is practically a far better alternative to storing sharp knives in a utensil drawer and definitely a saner idea than leaving them scattered all over the kitchen top.
Leading gastronomy experts will always recommend using this kit to prolong the lifespan and edge of your kitchen knife set. You can also purchase a knife block with knives included. While the basic models only include 4 to 5 types of knives such as a slicer, a utility knife, a paring knife, a bread cutter, a fillet and a butcher knife, many upscale knife block models offer a set of 30-35 types of knives. Unless you’re a gourmet chef who would cook Confit de canard almost every other day, there’s no need to cram up your cooking space with a large knife block set. In fact, one of the most important things to take into account while buying the best knife block is to keep in mind the types of knife you’ll actually require.
As discussed earlier, most knife blocks are constructed from wood and stainless steel, a few manufacturers also opt for acrylic. The most popularly used woods for this purpose are beechwood, cherry, bamboo, and walnut. Despite being durable and posing as a beautiful piece of eye-candy in your kitchen, there’s one disadvantage of these wooden models. The fact that it cannot be cleaned inside might be a turn-off for certain hygiene-freaks.
Types of Knives included in Knife Blocks
If you’re keen on buying a knife block set, it’s imperative to have a minimum idea of what types of knives are included in such models. Don’t go overboard with the knives unless you’re really going to need most of them for day to day cooking.
If you’re a home cook sharing a knack for preparing exotic meals, you’ll need-
- An 8 inch chef’s knives for all-round cutting tasks
- A bread slicer
- A 9-10” serrated knife
- A 3 1/4” – 3 ½” paring knife
- A utility knife
And for occasions like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and get-togethers:
- A carving knife
- A fillet knife
- A boning knife
- A santoku
Know Your Knives
The blade of a paring knife usually measures around 4 inches and tapers to a point, resembling a bird’s beak. It is a great kitchen essential for delicate tasks such as deveining shrimps and cutting out stunning garnishings.
All-purpose Chef’s Knife
A typical chef’s knife is a must-have for any cook. An 8-inch blade is considered to be an ideal match for such all-purpose kitchen knives. The one I own cuts, chops, dices, juliennes in seconds, I’m no pro chef, but it makes me feel like one. Look for a broad and heavy model to help you with bulk cutting as well as boning games.
Carving and Slicing Knives
These are merely two variants of chef’s knife. The names of these tools are quite self-explanatory. Long blades (typically 8-14 inches) help you carve out nice and uniform chunks of meat.
Santoku knives are the Japanese version of the classic chef’s knife. If you want to take your culinary expertise to a whole new level and explore the treasure trove of multi-cuisine, bag in this Japanese kitchen essential without wasting a moment. The extra wide blades and brutal sharpness of santokus facilitate chopping, mincing, dicing, slicing veggies and meat at sonic speed.
A utility knife is a cross between a paring knife and a chef’s knife as far as the size is concerned. Longer than the former and smaller than the latter, the ideal length of a utility knife would range from 4 to 7 inches. Available with both plain and serrated edges, these tools are applicable for miscellaneous cutting tasks we come across in the kitchen.
The Bottom Line
Choosing the best knife block for your individual needs in a market overloaded with options isn’t going to be easy. But the advantages of easy accessibility and proper maintenance of your favorite kitchen knives are totally worth the effort, isn’t it? An affordable means of safekeeping your knife set, knife blocks continues to be a favorite kitchen essential despite of the mega entry of several other advanced alternatives for the same purpose.