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Thread: Steak Knives

  1. #1
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    Default Steak Knives

    It's time to buy some new steak knives for the table. My current set, well over 20 years old, came with a Henckels block set. I basically destroyed them by putting them in the dishwasher before I knew better. They don't hold an edge anymore, despite professional sharpening. I'd also prefer something with more heft.

    I'm looking for a good quality steak knife set. The only brick and mortar shops I have nearby are Bed Bath Beyond and Sur La Table, so my options are somewhat limited. I'm willing to go to the internets to buy but only based on strong recommendation from those who actually have the knives. So let's hear what you have to say.

    And I promise not to put them in the dishwasher!
     

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    Default Re: Steak Knives

    Just say NO to serrated knives.

    OPINEL #125 STEAK KNIFE - La Coutellerie

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    Default Re: Steak Knives

    So... Confession. I put mine in the dishwasher. Not that they're great knives, but I never heard not to. Big no no?
     

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    Default Re: Steak Knives

    Quote Originally Posted by Bingomck View Post
    So... Confession. I put mine in the dishwasher. Not that they're great knives, but I never heard not to. Big no no?
    from what I've read ("Knives Cooks Love" pretty cool book if you're into kitchen gear) -- and my experience supports it-- the combination of heat & things banging together combine to ruin the blade. One or two washings probably won't do it but repeated abuse certainly kills the edge. The last time I took them to the sharpener, the guy looked at them and said "You put these in the dishwasher, don't you?"
     

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    Default Re: Steak Knives

    Don't put them in the sink either. Ceramic is tough on a blade and if you happen to stick your hand in soapy water containing sharp blades don't be surprised if they bite you.

    I've always wanted a set of these. I own one of their pocket knives well made and very sharp.
    Frank Beshears

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    Default Re: Steak Knives

    I think steak knives are semi-disposable; lasting longer than a bread knife, but less than fine kitchen knives. Here's why: you can't make them out of hard steel or put a fine edge on them. Because you are putting them in the hands of guests, and giving them a destructive surface to cut on (ceramic, glass or stone plates), a hard steel will chip, and a fine edge will roll. Although it might be cute to give everyone a tiny 7 inch hone to straighten out the edge themselves (kidding.)

    My suggestion is to get a set you like aethetically, put a thick compound bevel on them (in the 15/20 or 20/25 range) and use them a ton without worry. Even cheap knives cut like razors when sharpened appropriately for the type of steel and use.
     

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    Default Re: Steak Knives

    We got serrated Henckels for our wedding, and have added 4 non serrated Le Thiers with wood handles, which are miles better. They cut like the proverbial hot knife through butter. I hand wash them.

    The Laguoile are nice- you see them or knockoffs thereof in many restaurants in France.
    If the Opine, are as good as their pocketknives, they're worth a shot too.
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    Default Re: Steak Knives

    I started making my own knives and plan to do a whole set of steak knives. I am using 1080 steel, heat treated and tempered, full tang, and have a selection of hardwoods to make handles with.
     

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    Default Re: Steak Knives

    Thanks for the info Bobonli. Will make sure I treat the nice ones better...
     

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    Default Re: Steak Knives

    I have always thought that if you need a steak knife to cut your steak then there is a problem with the steak.
     

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    Default Re: Steak Knives

    Quote Originally Posted by maunahaole View Post
    I have always thought that if you need a steak knife to cut your steak then there is a problem with the steak.
    Exactly, I was always told that "you either need good knives or good steak, but not both"

    ... But I must admit that I am a belt and braces guy, so I ignore my own advice.
     

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    Default Re: Steak Knives

    Quote Originally Posted by maunahaole View Post
    I have always thought that if you need a steak knife to cut your steak then there is a problem with the steak.
    So . . . with a t bone or a ribeye . . . you hack away with a fish knife or a butter knife or you braise it?
     

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    Default Re: Steak Knives

    Apparently suburban NYC is experiencing a steak knife shortage after the holidays. None of the usual brick and mortar shops have stock to inspect/fondle. So online it will have to be...

    Any other recommendations other than the ones listed above?

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    Default Re: Steak Knives

    I've got a set of these, which I picked up a few years back at the kershaw warehouse sale for about 40% of the WS advertised price.

    Shun Classic Steak Knives, Set of 4 | Williams-Sonoma

    You can find them on line reasonably if you look.

    They are great knives.
     

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    Default Re: Steak Knives

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobonli View Post
    Apparently suburban NYC is experiencing a steak knife shortage after the holidays. None of the usual brick and mortar shops have stock to inspect/fondle. So online it will have to be...

    Any other recommendations other than the ones listed above?
    We have two of the ones listed above, both received as gifts. One set -- when we got married -- comes from Henckels. Plastic handles, very fine serrations, cuts well enough (still . . . and no, not the way a properly sharp chef's knife cuts), but the rivets have fallen out on two of the knives. Cheap, doesn't look great, but in their defense, functional and . . . well, I'd never put a chef's knife or a paring knife in the dishwasher, but I do it with most of our table cutlery and view these as table cutlery, so they've been through it. The other set is Laguiole. My brother and his wife had some blowout excursion to the Inn at Little Washington -- he liked the knives and thought I'd like them and bought a set as a gift. And I do like them. They're much nicer than the Henckels, IMO -- both the blade and the overall fit and finish of the knife . . . but, then, I looked on-line recently and they're considerably more expensive. But lots of things work fine and, as folks have said, it's a steak knife to hand to family and friends, who will cut through meat to the plate, not a fine utility knife that you're going to use at the table. Trade-offs are inevitable.
     

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    Default Re: Steak Knives

    Thread resurrection!

    A fairly inexpensive option - Victorinox Swiss Classic. A few months ago I bought two sets of the round tip serrated version, which for some reason on their website is listed as a 'tomato and table knife' and not under the steak knives category. They also make a pointed tip version, as well as non-serrated. The folks on Serious Eats recommend serrated FYI.



    These particular knives:

    Pros:
    • CRAZY sharp blade. I mean, super-duper sharp. Also nice and thin blade.
    • No maintenance. Stainless blade and plastic handle means it's dishwasher safe.
    • ~$6 per knife on amazon is pretty reasonably IMO
    • Knife of choice in some commercial establishments. I've seen them used at a few sandwhich shops like Subway.
    • Textured handle doesn't get slippery.
    • Handle is thin, so they store easily and don't take up much space in a drawer.


    Cons:
    • Visually it's not going to impress anyone.
    • Very light, thin handle doesn't feel substantial.


    Summary :: functionally great, super easy to live with, but it's a utilitarian piece of kit that isn't going to impress anyone with it's look or feel. But they do work really, really well. It's the 105 of steak knives.
    Last edited by dgaddis; 04-16-2018 at 10:13 AM.
    Dustin Gaddis
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    Default Re: Steak Knives

    No serrated knives. They just detract from the quality of the meat. The cuts literally affect the taste and texture of the meat.

    I've had my own carbon steel steak knives made by a knife maker in Arkansas. They are plain but superb and you can keep them so sharp you don't even have to draw the knife to move it through a steak. I recently was given a set of Shuns and I have to admit they are superb. Any of the high-end Japanese steak knives in layered steel will do great, but my carbon steel knives did as well. The secret to good steak knives is sharpening them well. I've never known a commercial knife sharpener to know how to do them right; they take a very shallow bevel like on surgical instruments and need to be honed well after a final sharpening with a hard black Arkansas or a superfine high grit Japanese stone.
    Lane DeCamp

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    Default Re: Steak Knives

    We started using some Japanese Petty knives for our steak knives. So much better than the serrated steak knives we had.
    I also sharpen them with stones, one is cheap and soft so it gets dull quickly. But the blade is really flat so it's a breeze to sharpen.
     

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    Default Re: Steak Knives

    Just make sure Houston does not get his hands on one of these.
     

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    Default Re: Steak Knives

    Quote Originally Posted by Lionel View Post
    Just make sure Houston does not get his hands on one of these.
    It is really hard to type "eat me" with a metal splint on my left ring finger.

    However, I am also in the camp of no serrated knives. We have a set of French steak knives. Now I know what you are thinking, "The French are not known for their sharpness" (this was carefully worded for maximum impact) but the Laguiole steak knives are really nice.
    ***Instagram***
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