There are many knives from different countries, but few have come close to the reputation of German kitchen knives. Indeed, in the international cutlery scene, it seems to be only a choice between German knives and Japanese knives. Any chef will testify of their unique qualities both for function, aesthetics, and durability.
The best German knives will be a welcome addition to your kitchen whether you are looking for precision or a workhorse.
What kind of knife do you need to cut brisket?
Cutting a brisket is not as straightforward as it looks. It calls for both a sturdy as well as a precise knife. The meat is fibrous, which is why it is slow-cooked for hours. It, however, ends up with a softer inside, and any rough cutting will damage it. Given that quality brisket is often expensive and you also have a mind of a neat presentation, it is recommended you buy a specialist knife for the task.
German knives come from high-quality steel, which allows manufacturers to design the best kitchen knife for brisket cutting. When you want to buy such a knife, here are the things to consider.
The type of blade
There are four types of blades to consider here; straight blades, Granton blades, serrated blades, and scalloped blades. Each has different properties and thus is suited for different purposes.
- Straight blades: Most kitchen knives will have straight edges. They feature a straight and uniform edge that does not have any indentation or serrations. Of the four types of blades, these are the most versatile. They can do an excellent job of cutting brisket only if they are sharp. Otherwise, you will struggle starting cuts and getting through briskets, increasing the chances of messing up.
- Serrated blades: You use serrated blades primarily for tearing. While this makes them excellent for tough meats and bread crusts, they are not recommended for use on briskets because they do not provide finesse. As a result, they will rip through brisket, leaving torn fibers and uneven brisket slices.
- Scalloped blades: These blades have hollow edges thanks to the vertical indentations, which are evenly spaced. As a result, they combine the best of both straight blades and serrated ones. It is easier to start cuts and get through the brisket and with little risk of tearing fibers. You, however, need to be careful with using scalloped blades on tender briskets.
- Granton edge: The best type of blade to use is a Granton edge. Granton blades are originally a trademark of knives made by Granton Knife Company from the U.S. Eventually, other companies copied this design customizing it to their knife models. This kind of blade has small dimples or indents but still manages to retain a straight edge. It allows for clean thin slices without a struggle for starting cuts or pushing through the brisket.
The best German knives for cutting brisket are sharp as possible. It is the only way you can cut through brisket smoothly and uniformly. While some kitchen knives can come from the box sharpened, not all do, and you also need to sharpen them periodically to maintain the sharpness. Dull knives have three setbacks:
- They will not cut through the brisket.
- They will smash or shred the bark/crust, which spoils the slices.
- They can squeeze the moisture out of the brisket affecting its quality.
Weight of the knife
There are several things to consider under the weight of the brisket knife, but often it comes down to personal preference. A heavier knife may be preferable as it provides more stability. It is also easier to use for cutting since it falls with more force. On the other hand, a lighter kitchen knife has a freer flow and maybe more useful if cutting through several briskets.
Length of the blade and handle
Any chef would recommend using a long blade, ideally 14 to 16 inches. The size of the brisket will determine how much longer the blade should be. The goal in cutting up brisket is to have uniform slices. A long blade allows you to achieve this because you can make several passes while the knife is in the same groove. This aspect reduces the chances of tearing, uneven or off-center cuts.
For the handle, the length should be long enough to fit for your entire hand to allow for good grip and comfort.
The advantage of using German knives is that you get to enjoy the quality of German steel. Generally, the knives use high carbon stainless steel in their makeup, which gives them durability and the ability to maintain their sharp edge. They also have excellent resistance to corrosion and stains.
The kitchen knife's handle material affects its visual appeal, its comfort, and safe use while cutting brisket. There are many types of materials used on German kitchen knives with different properties. Here is a review of three of the main ones
- Wood: Wood's strongest points are its comfortable feel and aesthetics. However, its once-popular use is declining as it can trap bacteria, and it does not last for long. Those still looking for its comfort and looks have to resort to composite alternatives like Pakkawood, which is warp and resistant to moisture.
- Stainless Steel: It has several positives, including being easy to maintain and is also highly durable. The only downside is that it may become slippery if wet, but you can always wipe dry. It is also excellent at providing balance in case you are using a long blade.
- Plastic: Plastic provides the advantage of being dishwasher safe, and more importantly, offers a slip-resistant grip.
Comfort and safety
Safely Cutting brisket requires you to be comfortable with the knife you are using. It is why the knife’s handle should properly fit in your hand and provide a non-slip grip. The knife should also be sharp enough to prevent the risk of slipping and also be well-balanced. Weight can also be a factor determining comfort, especially if you will be cutting a large amount of brisket.
How good are German knives?
Over the centuries, German knives have carved and maintained a lofty reputation as the best in the industry. Solingen in Germany is regarded as the knife mecca of Europe and the larger western world. Innovative designs and build integrity are all factors that have helped them stay ahead. Some of the areas they excel in and which make them unique include;
- Thick blade design and bolster: German kitchen knives come with a thick blade and have a bolster. The bolster serves as the connection point of the blade and handle, and the steel widens at this point. As such, it adds weight that helps balance the knife, and it also protects your hand from the sharp blade.
- Full tang construction: German knives come with full tang construction, which sees the steel run from the tip of the blade to the end of the handle. This construction promotes durability and balance, which all increase efficiency.
- Razor-sharp blades: The knives usually come with an edge angle between 14 and 22 degrees on each side. This angle allows for a razor-sharp edge.
- High steel quality: German knives’ blades are made from steel with a high content of chromium. As a result, they are highly resistant to rust and chipping.
- Have a wide blade: these knives feature a wide blade that is also slightly rounded. Because of this feature, it is easier to use the rock chop technique when cutting. It is also easier to use these knives to carry ingredients.
- Soft steel: German knives often use soft steel compared to Japanese knives. The downside to soft steel is that it will dull faster compared to hard steel. The positive is that it has higher durability, and it does not chip easily.
- Comfortable and strong handles: While different brands use different materials for their knives, the knives, in general, feature sturdy handles that are also hefty enough to balance the heavy blades. The handles also have ergonomic contours for comfort and a safe grip.
- Heavy blade: The German knives are usually heavy since they are constructed using more steel. You can notice the material more on the bolster and tang areas. This extra material gives the knives extra robustness and makes them more durable.
What is the best German steel for knives?
A distinctive factor about German knives is their use of stainless steel. German manufacturers prefer stainless steel for their knives. Steel has to have a minimum of 13 % chromium content to be stainless steel.
The chromium content makes these knives resistant to rust and corrosion. They are also easier to maintain. The chromium content also makes the steel softer, ensuring the knife has a sharp edge and is also easier to sharpen.
The high quality of stainless steel also means the knife is less susceptible to breaking or chipping. This hardy nature makes German knives more suitable for heavy chopping and cutting tasks. Stainless steel has one downside though, it cannot hold the sharpness for long and will require honing more regularly. Thankfully, sharpening it is easy.
Another option is the use of high-carbon stainless steel. This option allows you to have the advantage of high carbon steel and stainless steel. Thus, your knife can stay sharper for a long while at the same time, being resistant to rust, corrosion, chipping, and breaking.
Is German steel better?
Yes, in the sense that it offers more advantages to the knife compared to most other options. As a result of German steel, their knives have more qualities desired in the kitchen or at a chef’s workstation. They can handle a heavier workload, do not chip or break even with tough material, and are resistant to rust. They are also resistant against corrosion from food acids and cleaning detergents.
German knives set
There are several top knife-making brands from Germany. Most come from the Solingen region, and they have been in the industry for several generations. They all have unique practices but share the same German tradition of making knives. Here is a look at some of the best German kitchen knives from each manufacturer.
Friedr. Dick or simply F Dick is a household name among chefs and cooking enthusiasts with several products ranging from knives to other utensils. It is known for its innovative German steel uses as it seeks to offer both sharpness and durability among different aspects.
The Superior series was designed for professional use, so you are guaranteed high-quality standards. Besides the magnetic case, the set comes with
- A 6-inch sausage fork
- A 10-inch utility knife that has a serrated edge
- 8.5-inch Chef’s knife
- 7-inch flexible filleting knife
- 6-inch boning knife
- 4-inch kitchen knife
These knives are lightweight and come with hygienic plastic handles that are proofed with rivets. It features a sharp V-shaped cutting edge, and it is made from high-quality X55CrMo14 high-quality alloy. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.
This is another item from the Superior series, and it offers much value. In addition to the elegant and sturdy wooden block, you get;
- Sharpening Steel
- Vegetable Knife
- Larding Knife
- Boning Knife
- Chef's Knife
- Bread Knife with a serrated edge
- Sausage Fork
- Stamped Kitchen Shears
- Kitchen Knife
The knife has excellent stability as the blade is seamlessly connected to the handle. It is also made from quality steel alloy, which gives the knife durability, longer edge retention, and also high resistance to corrosion and toughness.
The ErgoGrip series is all about safety, functionality, and comfort. The six-piece set comes with;
- 7-inch Butcher’s knife
- 9-inch butcher’s knife
- 7-inch sticking knife
- 6-inch sticking knife
- 5-inch boning knife with a narrow blade
- 7-inch trimming
All the knives come with polished and laser-tested edges, which give them extra precision. The handles are non-slip, with no abrasion, and there is no gap between the plastic and steel. They also have an extra-wide rest for the thumb giving you extra comfort.
The Premier Plus is the best series from F Dick, as this top-class chef knife proves. It is perfectly balanced and uses stainless chrome-molybdenum-vanadium steel. It is then further treated by ice-hardening steel and has a longer edge retention ability. Since it is forged from one piece of steel and comes with a seamless bolster, you get more stability. Other excellent features are;
- A laser tested cutting edge that has polish honing
- It has a design that promotes hygiene and easy maintenance
- It is versatile and will do an excellent job at most cutting and slicing tasks
- Made in Germany
- It comes with a lifetime warranty
Wusthof has been around the scene since 1814 and under the Wusthof family for over seven generations. The company serves 80 countries worldwide but has committed to keeping its factories in Germany. It employs a unique 40 step manufacturing process for each of its knives.
This knife makes elegance look easy, and on top of such appealing looks, it is also hardy and long-lasting. The shape and sharpness make it ideal for cutting thin slices from hard ingredients like fruits, vegetables, meats, and carving roasts.
The Classic Ikon Black series have balance and ergonomics as some of the defining qualities, and this knife has that in abundance. Other features include;
- Extremely sharp and maintains the sharpness for long
- It has a seamless and hygienic handle fit
- It is made in Solingen, Germany
- It comes with a lifetime manufacturer warranty
The Classic Ikon series is available in knife sets, too, and if you want your German kitchen knives collection, this 3-piece set is an excellent place to start. Inside the sleek gift box, you will find a 20cm cook’s knife, a 20cm carving knife, and a 9cm paring knife. This three-piece set has all the unique qualities you expect from the Classic ikon series, including;
- It has a double bolster that provides excellent balance
- It has an ergonomic handle that is held in place by double rivets and does not have any joints.
- It has a full tang, and it is made from a special stainless steel alloy.
The Classic series is a bit different from the Classic Ikon series. This 3-piece knife set comes with a 20cm cook's knife, which will handle most of your meal prep roles as it is adept at mincing, chopping, slicing, and dicing.
You also get a 20cm bread knife that will slice through all soft and hard bread without crashing. Finally, there is the 9cm paring knife that is versatile than most, whether you are cutting vegetables or mincing, onions, shallots, and herbs.
This 2-piece set is a demonstration of the innovative ideas at Wustoff and will benefit both a chef’s kitchen or a cooking enthusiast. It includes a 17cm scalloped Santoku knife which is inspired by the Japanese’ Cook’s knife style.
The hollow edge adds to the knife’s efficiency. You also have the 8cm paring knife whose straight edge gives you extra control whether you are mincing, peeling, or dicing. It is also handy when doing your food decorations.
The knives have a seamless and hygienic handle. They are also robust and have extraordinary sharpness, which you can easily maintain.
Zwilling J.A Henckels
Zwilling J.A. Henckels is a company of variety with over 15 collections, each having unique characteristics. It even has a series that is inspired by Japanese knife-making traditions. It uses SIGMAFORGE, proprietary technology for forging.
This is the ideal knife for trimming and portioning both cooked and raw fish and meats. It is also ideal when you have to make long slicing movements. The Four-Star series is one of Zwilling's best-selling series globally. The knives are made using plenty of modern technology and high carbon stainless steel, ensuring they excel in every metric.
This four-star 3-piece set includes a 20cm Chef's knife, a 13cm utility knife, and a 10cm paring knife. All the knives are made using the company's SIGMAFORGE technology and from a single piece of steel. The knives have the strength and optimum balance. The knives are sharpened at an acute edge angle of 30 degrees which gives them their extreme sharpness.
Suppose you want an extensive Zwilling J. A Henckels German kitchen knives collection, then this is the set for you. On top of the sturdy bamboo block collection, you also get;
- A 20cm sharpening knife
- A 13cm utility knife
- A 16cm slicing knife
- A 10cm paring knife
- A 21cm sharpening steel
The knives are precision-forged from one piece of high-carbon stainless steel. The blades are also ice-hardened, hand sharpened, and polished at 15° on each side. They all have excellent weight distribution and will transform your meal preparation experience.
The pro series has Chef quality knives. This three-piece set has a 9cm vegetable knife, a 16cm slicing knife, and a 20cm Chef's knife. The knives are all made from high carbon special formula stainless steel. They have a 55-57 Rockwell hardness rating making them corrosion resistant. You will enjoy their ergonomics and the straight out-of-box sharpness that is also easy to maintain.
Finding the best German knives in the market may not be straightforward as it seems, especially if you are in a country that the manufacturer does not ship. Some marketplaces only sell counterfeit knives lying they are from German steel.
If you are looking for genuine German kitchen knives, then House of Knives will make your work easier. We have a wide collection of German knives from the leading brands. Not only are they genuine, but you can make your comparison from one place and pick what suits you best. Visit us today and enjoy a seamless shopping experience.