Most chefs and home cooks agree: a good knife is the most important tool in the kitchen. If one makes the investment upfront and doesn’t skimp on maintenance, a good knife can last a lifetime.
How does one select the perfect knife? Even if we narrow it down to the category of chef’s knives, there are literally thousands of options. High-carbon stainless steel knives such as Wusthof or Henckels are commonly cited as favorites. We have carried Henckels for many years and have recently started carrying Wusthof. Both companies offer excellent options for high quality knives. However, in recent years, a surprising new contender has entered the arena.
We’re not going to lie, when we first saw Kyocera’s collection of white bladed ceramic knives, we thought they looked dull and plastic. How could anything with a name evoking fragile porcelain possibly stand up to such strong traditional carbon-stainless knives? We decided to try it out for ourselves and took the knives home for a test. Turns out, this knife was just as sturdy, sleek and sharp as its shinier metal counterparts while offering even more benefits.
Kyocera’s ceramic knife blades are made of fired zirconium and then hand-sharpened to a razor’s edge. (There is a fascinating video covering the whole process from Discovery Channels “How Do They Do It” here: Making a Ceramic Knife. The ceramic becomes nearly unbreakable and softer only than diamond in addition to being considerably lighter than metallic blades. Kyocera provides a lifetime guarantee on all of it
s ceramic cutlery and offers sharpening for just the cost of shipping and handling. Despite its strength, ceramic knives are not meant to cut through bone or frozen items.
But how do Kyocera’s ceramic knives really perform in the kitchen? Stunningly! We were initially deceived by the knife’s almost toy like appearance but as soon as we got to cutting, we were in love! The lightweight knife made us feel like we could dice forever and its amazingly sharp blade cut through vegetables effortlessly. You can imagine our joy when even soft summer tomatoes slid into perfect slices, with barely a tear and with none of the dull-bladed struggle.
We used our new ceramic knife to prepare a nutritious salad from Nava Atlas’ cookbook, Mad About Greens. The book is a collection of 125 predominantly simple recipes for fresh, vegan fare with a focus, of course, on leafy green vegetables. While we chose a straightforward massaged kale salad (which we adapted to be raw, just for kicks!) there’s a lot more to be explored within the pages of the book. It provides an awesome opportunity to add more greens to your diet.
The Kyocera removed kale ribs with ease and left exceptionally clean cuts while never bruising or causing other unwanted discoloration (in this or other tests like chopping herbs). It also had no problem with sticky dried fruit. We loved watching the kale turn a vibrant bright green with a quick massage and honestly, enjoyed the entire experience.
It’s amazing the difference a good knife can make.
You’ll find a selection of Kyocera’s lovely ceramic knives in our cutlery section and Mad About Greens, in addition to a wealth of other cookbooksin our upstairs loft.