Steak knives are some of the essential knives to have around your kitchen. Their name is self-explanatory – they are ideal for dealing with steak. However, they have a plethora of different purposes and can be used for other jobs as well. You do have to understand their profile and overall uses, though.
From many points of view, the steak knife might be the only sharp knife around a modern kitchen. Every other knife has a specific role, and most of them do not come with a super sharp tip. While not a general rule, many of these knives come with serrated blades.
Choosing the best steak knife set that fits your budget, let’s say under 100 USD might look easy – after all, there is not much to consider. But then, these knives come in all shapes and sizes, so finding the right option might be a bit challenging. You need to understand the mechanics behind these things to make an informed decision.
So, what should you know?
2020’s 3 Best Steak Knife Sets Reviewed
Bellemain Premium Steak Knife Set -Best serrated steak knife
Bellemain’s best steak knife set features four identical units that will make the difference. They are razor sharp out of the box – surgical grade. The sharp tip will help you start a cut, while the edge will ensure a clean and neat cut. Each unit is made of stainless steel – rust and abrasion-resistant.
Ice-tempered steel is more qualitative than its heat-tempered alternative. It will maintain the edge sharpness for a longer period. The hollow ground comes into play by reducing the sticking problems. Other than that, each knife has a five-inch blade – more than enough for most pieces.
Not only are these knives extremely efficient, but they also look good. You have a bit of elegance and a beautiful black handle. All units are full tang, meaning you only have one piece for rigidity and strength. Handles are ergonomic and less likely to slip out of your hand.
- Can maintain sharpness for ages
- Rigid and strong
- Good looking design
- Surgical grade
- Serrated blades may slightly tear the meat at times.
Home Hero Steak Knives Set -Great serrated steak knife set
The best steak knife set from Home Hero comes in to impress your guests. At first, everyone will be stunned by the dark, yet elegant appearance of these knives. Second, your guests will love how easy these knives can cut through the meat. There are eight knives in this set.
The blade is serrated, but you can still get a neat cut, without the meat sticking to the blade. Each knife is super sharp. The nonstick profile is given by the coating, which is as dark as the actual handle. Blades are made of stainless steel. Both the steel and the coating will face rust and corrosion with no issues at all.
These knives have polypropylene handles – sturdy and durable. The grip is firm and easy. Although they are rated to be dishwasher safe, it might be wiser to wash these knives manually to extend their lifespan.
- Beautiful design
- Nonstick coating
- Durable and strong
- Comfortable and firm grip
- Might tear hard meat
Messermeister Avanta Fine Edge Steak Knife Set – Best straight blade steak knives
Messermeister respects chefs’ desires and recommendations when it comes to knives. Its best steak knife set brings in four identical units. They may look a bit old fashioned, but they will ensure a comfortable, clean, and neat cut.
If you are not happy with the classic pakka wood handles, you can order the set in more options – black or stainless steel handles. Each of these knives measures five inches in length. You have German high carbon stainless steel – rust resistance, easy maintenance, and edge retention.
Since the edge is straight, you will have no problems sharpening a knife. All units are well balanced due to the forged bolster, while the fully exposed tang guarantees for rigidity and strength. Handles are nonslip too.
- Full tang construction
- Straight edge for clean cuts
- Available in more handle options
- Great edge retention
- Handles may feel a bit uncomfortable for large hands
Types of steak knives
There are not too many criteria to classify steak knives. While they do have different sizes and slightly different shapes, they follow the same overall principles. If there is one aspect that can make the difference, that is the blade.
You can generally choose between serrated and straight blades. The final result will be similar, but the actual cutting operation will be different. Understanding the similarities and differences between these styles will make you better at slicing through the steak.
The serrated blade is considered to be a great cutting option. It features a series of teeth or ridges on the cutting edge. While this is the ideal option for bread, it may not always help with steak. It will get the job done much faster and easier, but those teeth will tear the meat. In other words, the final result will not be very good looking. Instead, stick to roasts and bread.
Apart from making the job easier, serrated blades also tend to maintain their sharpness for a longer time. This is because the edge exposure is smaller. Maintenance is relatively low, but when it comes to sharpening them, you will most likely need a professional.
A straight blade is classic. There are no funky shapes or ridges, but just a perfectly straight edge. It is sharp, thin, and efficient. This option is more suitable if you care about the final look – the result is clean and neat. The straight knife will work on most meats.
Compared to serrated blades, straight blades require more maintenance. You will have to sharpen them regularly – based on how often you use the knife. You should sharpen it every two to four weeks.
From a completely different point of view, steak knives may also be classified by the operation – some of them are electric, while most of them are manual. While the electric alternative seems to make things easier, the truth is most chefs will always choose the manual option.
How to Choose the Best Steak Knives Set for Your Kitchen
Finding the best steak knife asks for a little research and education. There are small things to pay attention to.
The balance is often overlooked when trying to get the best steak knife set. Most people pay attention to materials, designs, and styles, rather than the balance. Sure, other things matter too – the blade, the sharpness, and so on. But the balance is responsible for how good the knife is – ease of use and cutting efficiency.
So, how can you tell whether or not a knife is well balanced? Take a look at the knife. Do the handle and blade look well proportioned? If you can touch the knife and try it out in person, pick it up. What does it feel like? Is it comfortable? How would it feel after an hour of constant use?
What about the angle between the handle and the blade? Is it straight, or do you have an angle?
The size does matter when it comes to picking the best steak knife set. There are lots of options out there. Most knives go between five and seven inches, but you will find blades out of this range too. A small blade will ensure good cutting quality, though. A longer blade looks better, but it is not as efficient.
Shorter blades are also easier to use and provide flexibility and control. You get a clean-cut, but you have to focus a little if the piece of meat is too large. Other than that, maintenance and sharpening will be relatively simple as well.
Quality steak knives are usually made of stainless steel. Not all steel is the same. There are three popular options – hard carbon, tempered, and cold. If you want rigidity and robust operation, a cold steel blade will make the difference. Is maintenance your main concern? Opt for a tempered blade, as it is super simple to clean. High carbon is the lightest option.
Along with the overall construction, the material is one of the main things to influence the price and quality of a knife, so it requires lots of attention.
The handle will not necessarily affect the efficiency of your cut – at least not directly. You usually have two options – wood (different types) and stainless steel. There are other options like various types of plastic or rubber too.
There are two things to keep in mind. First, you want a comfortable handle. You do not want any pains after a few cuts. Second, you want a good grip – ideally, it should be a nonslip handle. It will prevent accidents and ensure a clean cut due to the extra control.
The overall fit is given by the build. How well are the parts put together? Are they stable? Are there any gaps? Overall, the best steak knife should look seamless. It should look fit and made of one piece, even if there are at least two pieces in it. If you can see any gaps – especially around the part where the handle and blade meet, chances are you have to look elsewhere.
At the same time, a good fit keeps dirt, water, and food out of the knife. If you have gaps, all these contaminants will reduce the quality standards and lifespan of your unit.
Last but not least, do not overlook the tang either. You can have a short or long tang. Simply put, this is the blade projection.
If you get a short tang, it means the blade does not go all the way to the end of the handle. Instead, it stops around the middle and usually features a rivet. Using and abusing the knife on a daily basis may reduce its efficiency, as it could fall apart. Sure, there are a few top options out there that will keep you going for ages, but overall, a long tang is the preferred option.
A long tang is more durable, secure, and rigid.
Where should I place the steak knife in the place setting?
Just like any other piece out there, a steak knife has its particular location in a setting. It is hard to find a general rule because there are more factors to consider. For example, it depends on what kind of food you serve and what the other courses include.
Generally speaking, you should place the steak knife to the right of the plate. Make sure the sharp edge faces the plate.
Can I clean a steak knife in the dishwasher?
While many knives will come as dishwasher safe, most experts do not recommend washing them in this manner. The dishwasher is very abrasive, and no matter how qualitative your knife is, it may still affect the blade and its efficiency.
Stainless steel should normally be kept out of dishwasher machines. Instead, get some regular dishwasher liquid and wash the unit with warm water. Make sure it is perfectly dry before storing it away, even if the material is rust-resistant.
Does leaving a good knife in water dull it?
Throwing your steak knife in the sink and leaving it there can, indeed, damage it. There will be other things (from plates to spoons) banging against it, causing the blade to dull a little. Soaking can also cause mild damage to high carbon steel, so it is highly recommended to wash a good knife as soon as you are done using it.
As a short conclusion, deciding on the best steak knives set is normally a matter of personal preference. What works for some people will not work for everyone else. Make sure you get a set from a reputable manufacturer, and it can match your other tableware.