heston blumenthal santoku kitchen knife

heston blumenthal santoku 18cm kitchen knife

When people find out you write about food in a blog like this, after some initial shuffling embarrassment the questions start: why do you do it? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Slightly easier to answer is: got any tips in the kitchen?

Because the best answer I can give is to get yourself one or two really good knives. Bin the ones you picked up in Matalan; save up a bit and buy a good brand (and a sharpening steel!). I probably only use a small knife for fine cutting, a large one for general work like dicing vegetables, and a bread knife. What’s the best brand? Like many of these things it’s personal preference; I really like Henckels, lots like Global, others swear by Sabatier. But what do the chefs use?

For as long as I can remember Heston has been a fan of Tojiro knives. He even asked for a set of them as his luxury item on Desert Island Discs in 2006. I’d love to own one but they’re priced a little out of my range. Thankfully Grunwerg have released the Heston Blumenthal Kitchen Knives range, styled on the Tojiro knife, which is far more affordable.

heston blumenthal santoku kitchen knifeI was sent one of these Santoku knives, and they are absolutely beautiful. A lovely weighting, not too heavy but well-balanced. When I slid it out of the box after a quick sharpening I pounced on an onion, slicing, dicing and chopping. It cut through with no effort at all. If I had one criticism it is one common to many of this kind of knife, and that’s the steep angle of the blade encourages moist food to stick to it. As you slice through a cucumber for example the slices will stick to the knife and sometimes they roll off all over the place. What’s difficult to get across is just how much easier a decent knife makes things: you can cut quicker, cleaner and finer. You will genuinely save yourself time in the kitchen with a decent knife, and this blade is an excellent choice.

With thanks to Hannah for the knife and Helen for tipping her off!

6 comments

  • I’ve got the paring knife from this Heston range (also via the lovely Hannah) and I’ve been dead impressed with it – I now realise how chefs manage to do that high speed chopping movement across a vegetable, it’s because they’re using decent knives like these and it makes all the difference!

    Now I just need to save up for some others from the set and learn to look after them!

    • You are dead right, you can move so much faster with a knife that whizzes through the vegetable. Now to work on the accuracy…

    • yes, memories of that bit at the start of masterchef where some fella’s cutting a chilli with the greatest of smug-ease taunts me in the twilight hours and its all down to a great knife and (possibly) an even better sharpening steel! My mum says my knives are “too sharp” (?) and therefore dangerous. She hasnt owed a sharpening knife the whole 30 years ive known her, and i think she only acquired one new knife in the time that ive known her and she doesnt seem to understand that the blunt knives are the ones that are the most dangerous. Silly Billy-ette

      • I’ve learned this week that 20 degrees is the perfect sharpening angle.

        • Not for Heston knives Gary… they are 3 layer steel knives so they need a 10 to 15 degrees max angel and with a ceramic sharpener NOT STEEL!

          • Hi Aurel. Thanks for the feedback. I hate to be a terrible name-dropper but Heston himself gave me this advice for these knives when I went to his knife launch party. Don’t forget this isn’t his beloved Tojiro, but the next level down. Always pays to check with the manufacturer though.

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