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How to Properly Use a Serbian Steel Chef’s Knife
As someone that knows their way around a kitchen, you’re likely familiar with all of the old standards, from traditional chef knife’s to pairing knives and every blade in-between.
Yet one knife may have stayed off of your radar; the Serbian Steel Chef’s Knife.
Traditionally a blade heralding from Serbia, France and Germany, the Serbian Steel Chef’s knife has a long and storied history. Once all but forgotten by modern-day chefs, this unique blade has recently made a resurgence in popularity among novice and professional chefs alike.
In this guide, we’ll not only cover the features that make Serbian Steel Chef’s knife such a special and advantageous tool to have in the kitchen, but also how to wield it with maximum efficiency to get more done.
What is the Serbian Chef Knife?
As the name implies, this knife is a type of chef’s knife. Chef’s knives, also known as a ‘cook’s knife’, are one of the most versatile knives in the kitchen. It’s not designed to be superior in any one food preparation task, but can handle almost anything you throw at it with ease. For this reason, the chef’s knife is often referred to as the ‘workhorse’ of the kitchen, and is a good ‘fall back’ if no other specialty knives are within reach.
The Serbian Chef Knife, which also goes by ‘Almazan Kitchen Knife’, ranks among the most capable of chef knives. Visually similar to a meat cleaver with the tip cut off at an angle, it’s broad face and hefty weight can seem a bit intimidating to those who are unaccustomed to it’s unique design.
- Originating from Serbia, Germany and France
- Is a type of chef knife
- Offers superior edge retention requiring little upkeep
- Usually weighty and hefty
- Similar in appearance to a meat cleaver
- Incredibly tough build
- Ergonomic design
- Impressive balance
- Blade length between 6-12”
What Makes the Serbian Chef Knife so Appealing?
The Serbian Chef Knife is heralded for its superior strength. Hand forged and ground to perfection using traditional blacksmithing techniques, this blade offers a unique rigidity and density that makes it superiorly capable in any hand.
Undeniable Sharpness and Edge Retention
The word’s ‘everlasting sharpness’ have been used to describe Serbian Steel Chef’s knives from Vertoku. Manually sharpened by talented blade artisans with decades of experience, each blade is ground using natural knife grinders mined from the Balkan Mountain Ranges of Serbia itself.
Known for its usefulness in a wide range of scenarios, the Serbian Steel Chef’s knife is a highly capable blade. Useful for chopping, slicing, dicing, mincing and more.
Despite it’s larger size and heft, the Serbian Steel Chef’s knife is surprisingly precise, much more so than a standard chef’s knife. This is largely due to the knife’s balance, sharpness and ergonomics.
How to Properly Use a Serbian Chef Knife
Get a Grip – proper hand positioning
The right grip is important. Not only does it empower you to wield the knife with authority and confidence, but it also enables you to achieve more precise cuts and reduce the risk of slipping or injury.
Your Knife Hand
With your index finger wrapped around the blade, place your thumb on the opposing side. This is where most of the pressure of your grip will be placed and how you’ll be able to achieve more precision cuts.
The rest of your fingers should curl around the handle leading back towards the hilt. These fingers should provide additional grip, balance and support, but not be so tightly gripped that it makes your index and thumb grip irrelevant.
What to Do With your ‘Guiding Hand’
Your guiding hand is the hand NOT holding the Serbian Steel Chef Knife. However, it is just as important for both safety and reliable cuts to get this right.
As the name suggests, the position of this hand is meant to help safely guide both the knife and the food items being cut. With the knife’s blade moving up and down (often in rapid succession) it is critical that this hand be positioned with care.
Referred to as a ‘claw grip’, you will make a fist (but not closed all the way), curling your fingers inward and gripping the food item with the tips of your fingernails. This keeps them out of harm’s way, while also controlling the food item in question.
In this position, your first knuckle will rest against the side of the knife’s blade, aiding in keeping the blade perfectly perpendicular to the cut.
Alternate Grip for your Serbian Steel Chef Knife
Known as a ‘modified claw grip’, this position places your first knuckle on your guiding hand so that it is snug against the food item being cut. Your fingers are still curled inward, keeping them away from the business end of the blade, but the knife’s blade itself rests against the second knuckle on your hand, rather than the first.
Making Cuts with the Serbian Steel Chef Knife
Cutting with the Serbian
Once you have secured the cutting board so it won’t slip, and you have mastered your hand grips, its time to make your first cuts.
Cuts should be made with an up and down rocking motion while keeping the tip planted to the cutting board. Continue this motion from front to back, focusing on an up and downward trajectory. Do not saw back and forth.
Chopping and Mincing with the Serbian
When mincing or chopping food items, place one hand atop the blade’s spine for added stability and guidance. This enables you to feverishly rock the blade up and down over the food items without the risk of getting any fingers in the way or having to ‘feed’ the food item underneath the blade for each downward cut.
Ready to Make the Serbian Steel Chef Knife a Part of Your Kitchen?
There are many chefs who prefer the Serbian over traditional chef’s knives. Given its versatility, impressive looks, edge retention, durability and performance, we can see why.
If you’ve been on the hunt for a Serbian Steel Chef’s knife to add to your own collection, consider our Full Tang Hand Forged Serbian Steel Chef’s Knife.