About a year and a half ago, I told my husband that it was time I got myself a nice, high quality “chef’s knife”. At that time, all I had in my kitchen, knifewise, was a fairly crappy knife set we received as a wedding present a few years before. I had started cooking on an almost daily basis, which of course required a lot of chopping, mincing, dicing, slicing and all that. Needless to say, my “low caliber” kitchen knives were just not “cutting it”, no pun intended; which brings me back to my telling my husband that I needed a nicer set of knives or at least one good, top-quality all-purpose knife. Being an all things gourmet connoisseur, he told me in that I should make sure I chose a kullenschliff knife. “Kullensch-what? I said. It sounded like something Alton Brown would say.
Needless to say, I had no idea what a kullenschliff knife was but I was determined to find out, on my own. There isn’t much out there regarding the history of kullenschliff knives but I found enough information to at least know what it means and what their purpose is. Here is what I’ve gathered so far:
- Kullenschliff is not the type of knife but rather a specific design of the blade. It is a series of alternating oval scallops ground into both sides of the blade. These tiny grooves reduce drag on the knife, resulting in a paper-thin and incredibly smooth cut. The tiny grooves also allow food to slide off the knife without sticking.
- kullenschliff (kulle is Swedish for hill; schliff means sharpened in German oval scallops (kullar) .
- Sometimes referred to as Granton edges which have semi-circular scallops ground into the edge that alternate on either side of the knife and extend from the edge to the middle of the blade. This edge was designed and patented in 1928 by Granton Ragg Ltd.
- Pretty much any high quality knife maker out there has Kullenschliff knives.
- Make sure the grooves come right down to the cutting edge- Apparently if they run along the middle of the blade, they are not doing their thing.
Armed with my newly acquired knowledge about kullenschliff knives, I set out to find the best one for me. During my search, I also learned a lot about chef’s knives in general, and the Santoku knife in particular-but that’s another story. Anyway, since I was looking for a good, all-purpose, sort of do-it-all chef’s knife, I came to the conclusion that what I needed was a top-notch Kullenschliff chef’s knife. I purchased one from my favorite online kitchen supplies store and what a difference! I was so happy with my chef’s knife that my husband decided to buy me 10″ Kullenschliff roast knife at Thanksgiving time. It works great! I’m so delighted with the ease of use and the…well the awesomeness of having knives that chop, dice, slice and carve as smoothly and as beautifully as they look. I no longer hesitate to invest in durable, high quality cooking tools as they make my cooking experience even more enjoyable.