If you're going to cook, you need a good knife. One that's designed for the task at hand. Using an overworked, dull paring knife you've had for years to cut through a ribeye you're about grill is the culinary equivalent of driving a nail with a screwdriver. But as anyone who's stepped into a kitchen store will tell you, trying to find the right blade for your needs can be confusing and expensive. This isn't Top Chef—you don't need a massive, hand-forged cleaver or a specially-made Japanese fish blade. You want a simple, versatile and affordable set that will make quick work of slicing and dicing. You want this trio of knives from Schmidt Brothers Cutlery.
German stainless steel
Stain and rust resistant
Jordan and Jared Schmidt come from a long line of restauranteurs, army cooks and farmers but that doesn't mean they're old fashioned. With their ergonomic line of steel cutlery, the brothers are taking a modern approach to traditional European knife-making. Last year, they partnered with West Elm for an exclusive line of affordable basics for the home cook. A recent at-home test proved that these lightweight and comfortable blades are made with the same integrity as the brothers' main line. Their 8" chef's knife sliced through a chicken with ease and the slim slicing knife cored a ripe tomato with zero resistance, while the serrated bread knife neatly sawed through both a doughy ciabatta and an oversized watermelon. In short, this is a sturdy trio of workhorses that will stand-up to the rigors of daily use.
Basic knife set,
$50 by Schmidt Brothers