Here's a great question from Heather. This is as basic and practical as it gets. Time for chef's knife recommendations!
My chef's knife is awful! I had trouble cutting butternut squash when I roasted vegetables for The Kitchn Cure. I got my chef's knife as part of a knife block set but I am looking to buy a good quality chef's knife. I've heard good things about Global's chef knife but I've never tried it out or held it.
Do you have any recommendations? Are there certain things I should look for when buying a chef's knife?
Heather, this is a question that will have lots of answers. We recommended that all Cure-Takers get equipped with a good skillet and chef's knife, and for good reason. A good chef's knife is absolutely paramount; an experienced cook will feel like their knife is almost an extension of their arm.
Here are couple things to consider, though. Not all chef's knives are created equal, of course, but they also are not one-size-fits-all. I have very small hands, and some otherwise great knives don't work well for me because I can't handle them well. I currently have (and love) a very economical pick that was highly rated by Cook's Illustrated: the Victorinox 8-inch Chef's Knife. These have lighter handles and I find the 8-inch length just right. If you have larger hands they also make a 10" version. Mine only cost $22.99 on Amazon, and it's been a favorite kitchen tool for over a year now.
I also really like my Santoku-style knife for certain tasks.
So do make sure you find something that fits your hands and your cooking style. Here's a great roundup of several different sorts of chef's knifes:
Also see this list from an experienced cook of a reader:
I don't have any experience with the Global brand, but I bet our readers will chime in with plenty of suggestions.