What’s the one thing you rely on most in the kitchen? You might not even realize just how much you use them, but your kitchen knives are one of the most important kitchen tools you own. They slice, dice, and chop your food, and when your knife or knives aren’t performing the way they should be, food preparation can be a struggle. Thankfully, it’s pretty simple to choose a great set of kitchen knives. All you need to do is take a look at the J.A. Henckels lineup of kitchen knives.
I just spent some time testing out the J.A. Henckels 14 piece Forged Premio Knife Block Set, the J.A. Henckels 12 piece Forged Premio Knife Block Set, and the J.A. Henckels 8 piece Fine Edged Statement Knife Block Set. Along with the the J.A. Henckels 2 piece Forged Premio Carving Set and the absolutely gorgeous J.A. Henckels International Allegro Flatware, these sets will be the smartest investment you can make in your kitchen.
Here’s a look at the sets I was sent to test and how they stand up to every day in-home food prep. You should also take a look at the gorgeous J.A. Henckels cookware you can find on Best Buy.
About the J.A.Henckels brand
J.A.Henckels the brand began as Peter Henckels and Johann Peter Henckels. They were knife-makers in Germany, and way back in 1731 Peter registered the ‘”Zwilling” logo that you see on all J.A.Henckels knife sets today.
Fast forward 287 years and you’ll find that J.A.Henckels International is a premier kitchenware company that produces cutlery, cookware, tableware, knife sets, scissors, and more.
Using J.A.Henckels International Allegro Tableware
Forks, knives, and spoons: you use them several times a day, but unless you’re signing up for a wedding registry, you may not really think about your tableware. My main criteria for an every day set is that it be durable, heavy, and dishwasher safe, and the J.A.Henckels Allegro service for eight fits the bill exactly.
The set is made from premium 18/10 stainless steel, and inside the box you get 45 pieces including 8 dinner knives, 8 dinner forks, 8 dinner spoons, 8 salad forks, and 8 teaspoons. There’s also a 5 piece hostess set with a butter knife, serving fork, slotted serving spoon, and 2 serving spoons.
When you unpack the J.A.Henckels Allegro service for eight, you’ll notice the sleek design. It’s classic, without a lot of embellishment. Each piece is weighty, so you know it won’t bend if you push your spoon through ice cream, and they honestly look amazing in your cutlery drawer or lined up and ready for dinner.
Cleaning the J.A.Henckels Allegro tableware is simple: just place them in the dishwasher. I wouldn’t recommend leaving these caked up with mustard or ketchup before washing. Because they are stainless steel, if they come into contact with acidic foods they can tarnish slightly.
I really enjoyed using this set of Allegro tableware, and when I’m ready to replace my current tableware in the very near future, this is exactly the set I’ll be choosing.
J.A.Henckels Forged Premio Knife Set Review
I was sent two J.A.Henckels Forged Premio Knife Block Sets to review: the J.A.Henckels Forged Premio 14 Piece Forged Knife Block Set and the J.A.Henckels Forged Premio 12 Piece Knife Block Set.
The 14 piece set includes a paring knife, serrated utility knife, a Grafton Edge Santoku knife, carving knife, chef’s knife, steak knifes, scissors, and a sharpening tool to keep your knives on edge. The 12 piece set includes a paring knife, serrated edge bagel and tomato knife, utility knife, Santoku knife, Chef’s knife, steak knives, kitchen shears, and the sharpening steel.
Both sets have a charcoal knife block that holds all of your knives. The 14 piece block also has two empty spots if you’d like to add in a few custom knives.
There are a few differences between the J.A.Henckels Forged Premio 14 Piece Forged Knife Block Set and the J.A.Henckels Forged Premio 12 Piece Knife Block Set. The 14 piece set includes 6 steak knives instead of the 4 you’ll find in the 12 piece set, and the 12 piece set includes a utility knife while the 14 piece set has a carving knife.
These sets are forged from high quality German stainless steel, they have professional stain finish blades, and 3 rivet handles. They feel strong and powerful, and they slice like a dream.
What is a forged knife vs a stamped knife?
A forged knife is made differently than a stamped knife. When creating a forged knife, J.A. Henckels uses a single bar of steel, and that steel is heated and shaped. A stamped knife is cut out from a large sheet of steel, heat treated, and honed for durability.
Due to the weight of the two, you’ll immediately notice the difference between a forged knife and a stamped knife. The forged knife is heavier, has a wider lip on the end of the blade called a bolster, and will have either a full or partial tang. The tang is where the blade extends into the handle, and it confirms durability and strength. You’ll notice on most forged knives that the handle has rivets.
In the case of these J.A.Henckels knife sets, all three, including the non-forged Fine Edge Statement knives, have full tang and rivets.
What type of cook would use the J.A.Henckels Forged Premio knife sets?
These knives are beyond what you’d find in your local department store. I’m a hobby chef, and after using them I don’t believe I’d need to replace this set for many, many years. If you’re just starting out as a novice cook, this set will grow with you.
They are ultra-sharp and easy to keep in that condition thanks to the included sharpening steel you can keep handy in your knife block. Just keep in mind that with sharp knives can come knife cuts, and I had a few myself when learning to to wield them.
Using the J.A.Henckels Forged Knife set
When you have this many different knives in your knife block, you never have a shortage of options to pull out during food prep.
I relied heavily on the chef’s knife for slicing and serving, but the paring knife really was my go-to as I’ve been doing a lot of peeling. It can take the skin off a mango while barely touching the fruit. It glides so smoothly, it’s almost like it’s melting the skin off.
The serrated edge knife for tomatoes and bagels comes in handy for making smooth cuts without mushing the tomato or crumbling the bagel, and I really enjoyed the steak knives. They are very sharp, and made cutting through cuts of BBQ beef very simple.
I took the kitchen shears out into the garden to cut microgreens and they were a dream to use, but these shears are also great for cutting raw chicken into slices. I recommend keeping them sharp by using the sharpening tool as well as not using them for anything that’s not kitchen or food related.
I had so much fun grabbing a new knife for everything I was cooking. Slicing and chopping was so easy I didn’t even pull out my food processor, and I found that having a set of high quality knives really makes the difference for food prep because you can move from task to task without struggling with dull knives.
When your knives do get dull you can grab the sharpening steel and sharpen them. There’s a recommended guide for using the sharpening steel on the side of the box and on the Zwilling website.
Testing the J.A.Henckels Fine Edge Statement Knife Block
The J.A.Henckels Fine Edge Statement knife set is a great set for someone who doesn’t need a forged set but still wants high quality, ultra-sharp knives. These knives have full tang construction, just like the forged sets, and the block includes every knife you’ll need for slicing, dicing, and cutting in the kitchen.
Included in the J.A.Henckels Fine Edge Statement knife set are a paring knife, tomato knife, 6 inch utility knife, a Santoku Grafton Edge knife, Chef’s knife, and sharpening steel. Just like the other two sets, this set includes kitchen shears.
These are stamped knives, so although they are made from high quality stainless steel, have a full tang, and have rivets, they aren’t forged in the same way as the Forged Premio.
Using the J.A.Henckels Fine Edge Statement Knives
These knives aren’t quite as heavy as the Forged Premio sets, but they are just as sharp and just as durable. I liked the feel of the forged sets a bit more than these knives, but I found the utility knife very handy for cutting salmon and the paring knife was so sharp I stabbed myself a few times.
This set would be perfect for someone who’s just starting to cook and wants to learn knife skills, and because I’m just learning how to properly slice and cut myself, I really enjoyed using them.
J.A. Henckels Carving Knife Set
I was sent the J.A. Henckels two piece carving set to check out as well, and I believe it would make a great addition to the 12 piece Forged Premio set or the Fine Edge Statement knives. The 14 piece Forged Premio set includes a carving knife, but you might want to also have the pronged meat fork to spear and hold any type of meat.
The J.A. Henckels carving set knife is 8 inches and constructed from forged stainless steel. It has full tang and rivets, and you can tell just by holding it that it’s a durable knife. Because you can place it in your knife block, you’ll also have both the prongs and the knife close at hand.
Cleaning the J.A.Henckels Knife Sets
These knives are dishwasher safe, but I recommend you wash them by hand. Because they are stainless steel they can rust if they get wet or you leave them in the bottom of your sink. Wash them by hand, dry them right away, and you’ll be ready to slice another day.
Overall thoughts on J.A.Henckels Knife Sets & Cutlery
What a difference an amazing set of knives will make when you’re doing food prep. There was no struggle, no sawing, and everything was easy to slice and cut. Even bone-in- chicken was no problem for the chef’s knife.
If I had to choose one set or the other, I believe I’d choose the 14 piece Forged Premio set. That set has two extra spots to expand upon your knife collection with additional knives, and the extra steak knives are useful when you have a large gathering.
All of the J.A.Henckels Knife Sets I tested are available online at Best Buy. If this is perfect for your kitchen, order them online and make food prep a breeze.