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The Chef Knife is one of the most important tool in the Kitchen. If its one knife, you should have in the kitchen, its a chef knife. Western chef knife are curved with a natural belly. This lets you rock chop and cut food. Where as Japanese knife are usually straight edge to tap chop food. Combining the two, the Japanese develop a hybrid of the two blades, the Gyuto Chef Knife. It uses a thinner profile with a harder steel. The end result is a knife that glides through food instead of wedging. To enthusiast, the Best Gyuto Chef Knife uses carbon steel, but for the average user, stainless steel might be better.
Why you need a Gyuto Knife
How you cut and prepare the food, will affect the result when cooking. Food that is cut too big will be under cooked, food that is too small will be overcooked. A gyuto knife is supposed to be an all purpose knife that can do all. The blades are larger so that it can cut a wide range of food. Using a paring knife on a watermelon is not at all effective. Whiles its not the best at cutting small food, its still more useful than a small knife.
How to Use a Knife
To use a knife, I recommend you utilize a pinch grip. A pinch grip is where you pinch the spine of the knife with your thumb and index finger. Some people grip the knife like a sword. That method is unsafe because the blade can easily rotate in your hand. With your non dominant hand, use a claw shape and keep the side of the knife next to your knuckle. This claw grip acts as a guide while you cut. With experience, you can get faster much like those you see in videos.
Cleaning and Care for a Gyuto
Perhaps one of the most difficult about the Gyuto are cleaning and care. Unlike pure stainless steel knives, these are high in carbon. They rust more readily than stainless steel. A lot of people get the wrong idea and just assume its defective. However, its a inherent property of the metal, they simply rust. The advantage to carbon steel is that its harder and hold on to the edge better.
Some Gyuto uses Stainless Steel Cladding that resist rust. These are more forgiving and generally recommended for the average user. Else wise, you will be constantly drying the knife after every use. Something that most people are not use to.
Washing a knife, stainless steel or carbon, should always be done by him. Even stainless steel knife can rust if you leave it soaking in water. I recommend drying it with a paper towel after use and prior to storage.
You can wash it with sponge and water. I recommend rinsing it off after cutting acidic food like Orange or Lime.
What Length Gyuto Knife?
Unlike western knife, the Japanese uses mm to measure their knife. For example, 210mm knife will equate to roughly 8.2 inch and 240 mm will be around 9.4 inch. For the truly skilled, the 240mm knives are recommended. They offer the best range and lets you cut larger food with ease.
However, I personally prefer the 210mm model. Its the pefect balance between usability and length. However, some people might find the 180mm knife (7 Inch) to be more usable. The one you choose should depend on your preference. I recommend grabbing a few to see how it feels.
Gyuto vs Santoku
In the west, the Santoku is actually more popular than a gyuto. The Gyuto is a shorter knife with a flatter blade. Instead of a rock chop, you tap chop. The tip is more rounded to seem less intimidating.
In terms of functionality, the Gyuto is the better choice. However, thanks to Rachel Ray, the popularity of the Santoku is much higher than the Gyuto. I recommend the Gyuto Knife.
Best Gyuto Chef Knife Life
Below, you will find a list of some of the best Gyuto Chef Knife on the market. There are a few different models available, choose one that best suits you.
Mac Knife Professional 8 Inch Hollow Edge Chef Knife (Best Overall)
Mac Knife Pro is one of the most balanced and polished knife on the market. The spine is thin so that knife sails through food. It has granton edge so that food wont stick to the sides. Best of all, its well balanced so that it feels weightless when using it. This is the perfect knife for both rock and tap chopping.
Miyabi 210mm Gyuto (Hardest Knife)
This knife by Miaybi uses SG2 steel which is one of the hardest knife on the market. It has a rockwell hardness of 60 hrc plus. This means it holds the edge well, however, it will develop microchips if you are not careful. Another advantage is that its simply beautiful. The birchwood has a fantastic marbling that will not disappoint.
Tojiro DP Gyutou – 9.4 (Best Buy)
Tojiro uses steel similar to the top manufacturer. However, the price is much more obtainable to the average user. The balance and performance wont disappoint as well. Best of all, it uses a stainless steel cladding so that it wont rust. While its not as hard as other knives, this means its also more ductile and durable.
The Gyuto Chef Knife is the Japanese take on the Chef Knife. It has the ability to both rock and tap chop. The blade are thinner and it slides through food easier. In my experience, the model by Mac Pro is best. But of a truly beautiful knife go for Miyabi. If you just want something functional, then go for Tojiro. It has the performance of the more expensive option.
Looking for more knives? Check out our articles on the Best Nakiri Knife.