There are so many different knives to choose from, and if you don’t know their purpose, it can become tricky. However, each type of knife has its purpose. If you find yourself using any random knife for a specific purpose, and find that the result is lacking, then chances are you are not using the correct type of knife. For instance, if you use a random knife to debone meat but cannot do the job correctly, you are using the wrong knife. How many types of knives are there? There are so many options to choose from, and they all have various purposes. However, the two knives that we are looking at today are ceramic knives and steel knives. Which one is better? Let’s go over the overview of both types of knives right now. Let’s briefly go over the summary of the ceramic knife.
The Purposes And Characteristics Of The Ceramic Knife
When you are looking to slice foods thinly, whether they are meats, vegetables, fruits, bread, or other baked goods, you need a knife that will do the job of providing thin slices. You also want to use a knife that will cut right through the foods without you facing any struggle. That is why the ceramic knife is the perfect knife to do that job. The blade is exceptionally sharp because of its ceramic composition. By the way, the ceramic material the knife consists of is not the same type of material that makes up your coffee mug or your kitchen, hallway, laundry room, or bathroom flooring.
The type of ceramic that the knife composes of material called zirconium oxide or zirconia is the second hardest material globally, comes after diamonds. That is why ceramic knives are incredibly sharp. Ceramic knives are as strong as razors, and they can remain sharp for a very long time as long as you take excellent care of these knives. However, when it does come to sharpening, that can be a tricky job. However, many professionals can sharpen your ceramic knives. You can also sharpen the blades yourself, but you need diamond stones as the tool to make that happen, and it takes time and patience to learn and to do.
Ceramic knives are also lovely for aesthetic purposes as you can have them of different colors of the rainbow, which can light up your kitchen. The other appealing thing about ceramic knives is that they are very lightweight and easy to use when cutting through food. However, they can be so light that you may not feel like you are holding onto something. They are also relatively easy on the wallet, which means that they are relatively inexpensive.
Another thing that ceramic knife owners like about these blades is that they lack pores, and as a result, they do not absorb odors, and they are also not difficult to clean. These knives are dense and not porous means that you can give them a quick and light scrub with warm water with light detergent and dry it off with a clean cloth, and the knife is clean and odor-free.
Therefore, you can cut through the fish’s flesh as a smelly food and quickly rinse the knife after completion. Then you can cut through fruits or vegetables without having to worry about the odor passing to them. The blade also does not rust since there is no metal part of its composition.
However, one thing to remember about ceramic knives is that they are extremely brittle and break very easily. That often comes with a lightweight product. You have to be very careful about using the knife, cleaning it, and storing it. Any misuse of it will cause it to shatter. That is why you do not want to debone your meat with a ceramic knife, as that is not its purpose. The blade will easily break. Unfortunately, the ceramic knife is not versatile, and you cannot use it on foods that are difficult to cut, such as frozen foods or through bones. It will break. Ceramic knives are incredibly fragile, and you must handle them with care. What about steel knives? Let’s go over the overview of steel knives.
The Purposes And Characteristics Of The Steel Knife
Unlike the ceramic knife, the steel knife is versatile as they provide many purposes as metal is sturdier than ceramic. A variety of knives for different purposes all have a steel blade. Examples include the chef’s knife, the boning knife for removing meat from bones and gristle, and the fillet knife to remove fish scales. You can also do many more types of food preparation with metal knives than with ceramic blades.
For instance, you can use steel knives for cutting cakes, pastries, fruits, vegetables, and other baked goods for decorative purposes. You can create fun shapes of food by using steel blades. Steel knives may be heavier to the touch than ceramic knives. However, that can have some advantages as you know you are holding onto something as you are cutting through food, unlike using ceramic knives.
However, there are some disadvantages to steel knives, such as the fact that they often need sharpening. However, they are easier to sharpen in most instances than ceramic knives, and you can always hire a professional to do the job. Steel knives also rust, and they are porous, which means they are more challenging to clean and end up absorbing odors quickly. That is why even after washing a steel knife, if you used it to cut fish before cleaning it, you can still transfer the taste of fish onto other foods you use for cutting with the same knife. When you wash the steel blade, you have to put more effort into scrubbing the knife with warm water and light detergent. Yet, at the same time, you do not need to worry about it breaking, unlike you do with the ceramic knife.
Steel knives are more expensive than ceramic knives, so it is harder on your wallet. However, which knife is better? The ceramic one or the steel one?
Is The Steel Knife Better Than The Ceramic Knife?
The answer to that is, it depends. It depends on the purpose. If you are only looking at thinly slicing foods that are not too hard and don’t need to do anything such as deboning, then the ceramic knife is the way to go. If you need to use the knife for various purposes that range from cutting frozen or hard food, removing bones and scales, or cutting foods into different shapes, you need the correct type of steel knife. The ceramic knife and steel knife have their advantages and disadvantages and purpose. The best thing to do is to have two kinds of knives for different functions if you are active in the kitchen.
There’s a lot of choices and even more information out there when it comes to kitchen knives. But one of the biggest choices you have to make, especially when you’re buying a quality set, is whether to go ceramic or steel.
There are defined pros and cons for both, and a definite reason why you should favor one or the other, depending on what you plan on using them for. So keep reading to find out what the differences in ceramic knives vs steel knives are, and the definitive answer over which one you should buy.
Ceramic Kitchen Knives
Ceramic kitchen knives are created with a completely different process than standard knives. Normal blades are created by forging metal into the required shape, usually by pouring molten metal into a mold, then grinding an edge onto it.
Instead, ceramic knives are made from dry pressed zirconia powder, which is then fired at extreme temperatures in excess of 1000 degrees to seal it together. This results in an incredibly stable, incredibly hard blade that holds an edge far longer than standard metal, but comes with its own downsides.
Ceramic Knife Pros
- Ceramic knives are sharper than steel, in every way that matters.
- Exceptionally sharp edge that lends itself well to cutting vegetables and boneless meat
- A ceramic knife is made of one of the toughest materials known to man, so holds an edge far longer, and needs much less sharpening
- The ceramic material itself is almost impossible to stain, and it’s basically invincible when it comes to things like acid wear and salt corrosion
- Clean, non-porous metal doesn’t hold bacteria, so less risk of illness
Ceramic Knife Cons
- Brittle edge is liable to chip or even shatter if mistreated
- Incredibly hard to sharpen at home
- Because of the vulnerability of the blade, care should be taken around boned meat
Ceramic vs Steel Knives
Compared to ceramic knives, there are several reasons why you might consider buying stainless steel kitchen knives or a knife set instead.
Stainless Steel Knife Pros
- Knives are robust and tough enough to be used to debone, cut through bone and press garlic with the flat
- Because they’re more resistant, stainless steel knives are fine to wash in the dishwasher.
- The versatility of use means that you don’t have to worry about breaking your expensive investment.
- Stain and corrosion resistant, if looked after correctly.
- Great for cutting sashimi.
Stainless Steel Knife Cons
- Need to be sharpened regularly to hold a decent edge
- Steel is porous, which means it can hold bacteria, as well as odors from food
- Blades just aren’t as sharp as ceramic, which means it’s not as good at preventing your eyes from watering when cutting onions.
When should I choose a ceramic knife over stainless steel?
From looking at the above list, it’s obvious that ceramic knives far outperform stainless steel but just aren’t suited for certain roles.
Because the blade is fragile and prone to chipping, a ceramic blade should never be used on meat that has bones of any thickness more significant than a hair. But for material that doesn’t threaten the blade’s edge, a ceramic knife is far superior to a standard steel blade – the same way ceramic cookware is superior to other types.
In normal kitchen situations, eg cutting vegetables and non-boned meat like chicken, a ceramic knife will always outperform a steel blade, cutting through quicker and cleaner, requiring much less effort on your part.
But a set of steel knives is far more versatile, able to be used in every situation a ceramic knife can be used in, plus more. And in terms of performance, you’re really not losing too much.
In general and for most people, a decent set of stainless steel knives will be enough. There’s no need to buy a ceramic knife unless you spend a significant amount of time in the kitchen. The same goes for steel cookware.
But if you’ve already got a decent set of steel knives and you feel like treating yourself, or you want a useful and interesting treat for Christmas this year, then a ceramic knife will be a fantastic addition to your kitchen set.
A decent ceramic knife won’t even cost too much. They’re generally not much more expensive than a top quality steel knife, and treated well, they will last for ages. If you’re someone who loves their cooking, you can think of it as an investment.
Whatever you decide between ceramic knives vs steel knives, just know that when it comes to knives, the main thing that matters is quality and comfort. If you’re comfortable using it, and it does the job you need it to do, that’s all that matters.
After learning about the differences between steel knives and ceramic knives, you understand that both knives serve different purposes. What you must do before shopping for either cutter is to review brands and go with expert recommendations. You want knives that will last you a long time, and as long as you take proper care of them, a good-quality knife will potentially last you decades.
You will also want to do more extensive research on the best type of knife to purchase based on how you plan to prepare your food. Even steel knives can have different functions that can significantly impact the result of the cut of your food.