Types & Uses of Kitchen Knives

Types & Uses of Kitchen Knives

The truth of the matter is that you do not need all of the knives that you have in your home right now. Some knives are somewhat multipurpose. Knives are one of the most basic, yet most important tools of the kitchen. There are so many types of kitchen knives and uses, that it is difficult to decide which is the most suitable for us. A good quality knife definitely increases kitchen efficiency, as well as improves culinary skills.


The Chef’s Knife

When you think kitchen knives, a chef’s knife is what comes to most people’s minds. A chef’s knife is as personal to a chef as is his/her spouse, perhaps more so; a good one may be even harder to get and keep. There are many ways to use a chef’s knife, and thus, many different blade types. Blades can be broken down based on the style of blade: French style or Japanese size, which ranges anywhere from 7-8 inches long to 12-14 inches long.


Serrated Knife Uses

A serrated knife, with an average blade length, is especially useful for foods with waxy surfaces such as tomatoes, pineapples, watermelons, citrus, and peppers. They're also great for cutting cake layers. The jagged edge can grip and penetrate those slippery exteriors, while the flat blade of a chef's knife slip and slide across the surface.

Using a sawing motion with the knife allows the teeth along the blade to grip and cut through ingredients, which is also why a serrated knife should not be used to slice smaller items such as fresh herbs, garlic, or berries.


The Utility Knife

Utility knives often come with a scalloped edge for flexibility in cutting. It works flawlessly for cutting soft as well as hard veggies, from tomatoes to squash. It is also very useful when you want to prepare lettuces, cabbage, and sandwich meat.


Hand Forged Knife

Cutlery forged by hand is top-of-the-line in quality. Manufactured from a solid piece of steel, these knives are heated, tempered, sharpened, and finished almost entirely by hand. A forged knife typically are stronger, which have a raised area between the handle and blade that enhances strength, stability, and comfort in your hand.


Paring Knife Uses

It's best for slicing and mincing items that are too small for an 8-inch to 10-inch blades such as mincing garlic, hulling strawberries, or peeling fruits and vegetables.

Avoid using paring knives to cut very hard vegetables such as carrots, celery root, or parsnips. These smaller knives don't carry enough weight to easily slice through the foods, which may prompt you to increase the pressure or tighten your grip as you're cutting.


The Kitchen Shears

These are basically a pair of scissors, except that since they’re for various uses in the kitchen, from snipping herbs, cutting veggies to sectioning chicken, and even outdoor work, the shears usually come with extremely strong and sharp blades.

 

Cleaver

The cleaver is not actually a knife; no kitchen would be complete without a good cleaver. It’s thick, heavy, and the square-shaped blade is tasked with the chore of chopping up meat or bone. It can also dice and chop veggies, and open a lobster, just about anything that doesn’t require fine work. With a growing blade, thickness comes extra weight that drives a sloping edge into whatever gets in the way, without much fear of edge damage.

Many people prefer to buy cutlery sets instead of individual ones. However, you will sometimes find yourself giving up quality in the name of quantity. Be sure to research your knife set thoroughly before purchasing it, and only buy one containing knives you will actually use.

 

 

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