There isn't a more useful tool than the kitchen knife, which is why so many chefs and home cooks feel that it's worth splurging on a nice one (and taking proper care of it). Ina Garten, author of the new Modern Comfort Food cookbook, says knives are her favorite kitchen-related gifts to both give and receive, and there's one brand in particular that she swears by.
"I often use Wüsthofs, but I think there are so many good ones," she tells Food & Wine. "Because comfort is another factor, not just the blade itself. You want workhorse knives that you just know are going to be great."
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We feel the same. We tested several popular brands of chef knives and, indeed, deemed Wüsthof's Classic 8-inch Cook's Knife ($150; amazon.com) the "Best Tough Workhorse." Our pick for the best overall knife was the MAC Professional Series 8-inch Chef's Knife with Dimples.
When gifting a knife, Garten says choosing a specific type would be lovely, like a paring or slicing knife.
After investing in a nice knife, or receiving one as a gift, upkeep is key. If you want to continue using it for decades to come, there are several chef-recommended tricks for making sure your knives stay sharp and rust-free.
To buy: Wüsthof's Classic 8-inch Cook's Knife, $150; amazon.com
5 Wüsthof Knives and Knife Sets on Sale Right Now
Wüsthof Classic Carving Set
A 9" carving knife and a 12 1/2" carving fork perfect for everything from roast chickens to holiday roasts.
To buy: $152 (usually $314); williams-sonoma.com or amazon.com
Wüsthof Classic Ikon 3 1/2-Inch Paring Knife
The classic paring is the workhorse your kitchen needs. The handle is contoured for a comfortable but durable grip.
To buy: $70 (usually $100); amazon.com
Wüsthof Gourmet Burger Knife, Set of 4
For anyone making burgers at home more often than usual, this is a great gift.
To buy: $60 (originally $176); williams-sonoma.com or amazon.com
Wüsthof Gourmet 16-Piece Knife Set
One of the finest full knife sets you can buy, with a blade for just about every purpose (peeling, paring, spreading) and the ever-useful kitchen shears.
To buy: $350 (list price $661); williams-sonoma.com or amazon.com
Wüsthof Stainless-Steel 8-Piece Steak Knife Box Set
The ultimate dinner set and gift-worthy purchase. Get the box in acacia or black.
To buy: $100 (usually $120); williams-sonoma.com
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