Kitchen Knife Types

Kitchen Knife Types

How many different types of knives do you own? Chances are, you’ve got quite a few knives in your kitchen drawer or in a block on the counter. But do you know the difference between a chef’s knife and a paring knife, plus the proper way to use each one?Here’s a simple guide to some of the most common types of knives for cooking and their purposes. Illustrations via CakeSpy Learn to slice & dice produce like a pro — absolutely FREE! Become faster and more accurate with your knife work with these FREE HD video lessons. Join now and get lifetime access to tips you can rewatch anytime, anywhere.Enroll FREE Now » The big four According to chef Brendan McDermott, instructor of the FREE online mini-class Complete Knife Skills, there are four key knives that should be in every cook’s kitchen. With these types of knives on hand, you can perform just about any cooking technique. Chef’s knife A chef’s knife has a blade between 6 and 14 inches long and 1 ½ inches in width. They have a curve that becomes more pronounced near the tip. Originally, this type of knife was intended to slice large cuts of beef. However, its many functions, from cutting meat to dicing vegetables, make it an extremely useful multi-purpose knife in many kitchens. Serrated utility knife This type of knife has a blade between 4 and 7 inches in length. It may look like a bread knife, but it’s shorter and sharper. It cuts cleanly through delicate fruits and vegetables without tearing them, and works well for small slicing jobs such as bagels or cutting sandwich fixings. This knife can also be referred to as a “tomato knife” or “sandwich knife”. Paring knife The paring knife has a short blade, typically between 2 ½ and 4 inches long, and an edge that looks like a smaller, plainer version of a chef’s knife. Its simple, straightforward and sharp blade is ideal for intricate work such as peeling fruit or vegetables, deveining shrimp, or creating delicate garnishes. Boning knife Composed of a thin, somewhat flexible and curved blade measuring 5 to 7 inches long, the boning knife is designed to get into small spaces to detatch meat from bone. More firm blades will be more effective for cuts of beef, whereas a more flexible blade will be better suited for cuts of chicken. An extremely flexible version called a filet knife is preferred for delicate fish. Large knives Sometimes, you need to cut something large. These are just the knives to do it. Bread knife  A bread knife looks like a longer, more exaggerated version of a serrated utility knife. Its serrated grooves are specifically designed to cleanly slice through bread without crushing it. Bread knives can have a classic knife handle, or may have an offset handle which keeps the chef’s knuckles from knocking the bread while slicing. Carving knife Measuring between 8 and 15 inches long, the carving knife resembles a thinner, stretched-out chef’s knife. Its length and very sharp edge allow precise, thin slicing of meat, especially denser, larger items such as a roast. Cleaver The knife most likely to be seen in a horror movie is the cleaver, a large, usually rectangular knife. It has a very heavy, thick blade which narrows to a sharp edge. It is primarily used for splitting or “cleaving” meat and bone. While a cleaver is necessary for restaurants which prepare their own meat, it is largely not considered an essential home kitchen tool. Small knives A variety of small knives can be employed for finishing work and details. Fluting knife With a short, straight blade measuring 2 to 4 inches long, a fluting knife looks like a shorter, slightly sharper-angled version of a paring knife, and is used for delicate peeling or creating decorations. Mincing knife A mincing knife looks like a miniature version of the blade in Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Pit and the Pendulum”. But its culinary intention bears no evil: it’s meant to finely mince vegetables and herbs by moving it in a rocking motion. Peeling knife Related to the paring knife is a curved blade known as a “tourné” knife, this short blade curves downward, but is not as exaggerated as a hook. It can be used to remove skins and blemishes from fruits or vegetables, and is used to make a specific cut called “tourné”, especially with root vegetables. Trimming knife Resembling a miniature boning knife, the trimming knife is generally under 3 inches long and is used for a variety of small tasks such as removing meat from bone in delicate or small areas, or can be used to create garnishes such as radish roses. Specialty knives There are also a number of specialty knives available which are suited to specific tasks. While the numbers are many, here are some examples of specialty knives. Cheese knives Cheese knives are designed for, well, slicing a variety of types of cheeses; it’s nice to have a set around for a wine and cheese party. Knives designed for soft cheeses will have perforated holes, which keep the cheese from sticking to the knife; sharper knives will be used for harder cheeses. Decorating knife Designed to make decorative cuts, decorating knives have a simple pattern in the blade. One of the most common decorating knives is adorned with a zigzag blade, which yields prettily cut food which can be used decoratively or for garnish. Grapefruit knife A long, flat, dull blade which somewhat resembles an artist palette knife but with a serrated edge, is used in the kitchen for separating the fruit from a grapefruit from the peel and pith. Some fancy versions have a double blade, one on either side of the handle, one used for the peel, and one for the inner membrane.You might also enjoy our posts on how to hold a knife and how to cut vegetables. Learn to slice & dice produce like a pro — absolutely FREE! Become faster and more accurate with your knife work with these FREE HD video lessons. Join now and get lifetime access to tips you can rewatch anytime, anywhere.Enroll FREE Now »
kitchen knife types 1

Kitchen Knife Types

Kitchen Knives – Blade Styles and Uses Knife Types Cutting Boards Sharpening Name Brands Maintenance Whats New Home Kitchen Knives Blade Styles and Uses Kitchen Knife Edges Wavy (Serrated) Edge – especially useful for cutting soft products with a hard crust (bread) or tough skin (sausages and tomatoes). The teeth of a wavy edge knife allow greater pressure to be exerted on the object being cut and are generally thinner than a plain edge blade. Straight Edge – recommended for cutting raw meat, slicing salmon and chopping vegetables. A straight edge can be sharpened using a sharpening steel. A straight edge is useful for making very precise or clean cuts and should be razor sharp to get the best performance. Granton Edge – or “kullenschiff” edge, has hollowed out grooves on the sides of the blade. These grooves fill with the fat and juices of the product being sliced, which allows for thin, even cuts without tearing or shredding the meat. The grooves also help shed the material being cut fom the blade helping to reduce sticking. Click images for larger view. Paring Knives The paring knife is a vital part of any set of kitchen knives. A paring will usually have a thin 3 to 4 inch blade that usually tapers to a point. Paring knives are used for intricate work and allow for a greater amount of control than a larger knife. In general, all paring knives (with the exception of the bird’s beak) can be used for basic utility work in the kitchen. Paring knives come in various styles, each with a particular function: Bird’s Beak – for peeling any round fruit or vegetable such as an apple or orange. The bird’s beak parer is also good for intricate work like fluting or other precise carving. Chef’s – use as a miniature cook’s knife. Sheep’s Foot – this unique parer has a straight cutting blade. Works well for peeling and paring food. Wavy Edge – use to cut a crust or skin with a soft inside. Perfect for tomatoes. Clip Point (Granny) – use to perform tasks like removing eyes from potatoes or pits from olives. Also good for peeling fruit and vegetables. Paring/Boning – use to remove meat from bones and other detailed cutting jobs. Click images for larger view. Boning Knives The boning knife is an ideal kitchen knife for removing meat from bones and cutting fish or poultry. Boning knives can have different widths of blades as well as varying stiffness. The curve of the blade offers greater control when making precise cuts. Use a narrow boning knife on ribs and chops to cut easily through bone and cartilage. Use a wide boning knife for chicken and pork. Use a curved boning knife for a better working angle when cutting close to and around the bone. Click images for larger view. Chef’s Knives The Chef’s knife is one of the most used kitchen knives and can be used for everything from chopping to slicing fruits and vegetables. Most chef’s knives have a broad blade that curves upward towards the tip to allow the knife to rock for fine mincing. The spine of the blade is thick to add weight and strength. Many chef’s knives with have a bolster, or metal collar, between the blade and handle. The bolster helps prevent the knife from slipping. Chef’s knives come in blade lengths of 6, 8, 10, and 12 inches. Longer blades can be more difficult to control, but make for faster cuts. Shorter blades allow for greater control, and are generally suited to chefs with small hands. Click image for larger view. Carving and Slicing Knives Carving and slicing knives are generally used for slicing meats. These knives usually have long blades that allow for cleaner cuts, and pointed tips. One exception is the roast beef slicer that has a round tip. Slicing and carving knives can be 8 to 14 inches long, and have thinner blades than chef’s knives. The thinner blade means chopping with a carver or slicer can damage the knife; a sawing motion is ideal for cutting with one of these knives. A long blade allows large pieces of meat to be cut into clean, even slices. Some slicing and carving knives will also have a granton edge. Click image for larger view. Bread Knives The bread knife is thick-bladed knife used for cutting loaves of bread. Bread knives generally have 8 to 9 inch blades with serrated edges for cutting through thick, hard crust. The serrations on a bread knife are very deep, and are too large to cut fruits and vegetables effectively. Click image for larger view. Santoku Knives The Santoku knife is the Japanese version of the chef’s knife. The santoku is excellent for chopping vegetables and the wide blade works well for scooping sliced food off a cutting board. The santoku can also be used to slice meat, and has a narrow spine for making thin cuts. The wide blade can be used to scoop diced vegetables or other ingredients into a pot or bowl and is also good for crushing garlic. The curved blade helps the rocking motion used for chopping food, and a santoku can be used on most ingredients such as fruit, vegetables, and even meat. Some santoku knives will also feature a granton edge. Click image for larger view. Cleavers The cleaver knife is wide-bladed, thick-spined knife that can be used to cut through meat or poultry bones. The cleaver uses its weight to cut through tough food with a chopping motion. The thick, heavy blade on a cleaver is not meant for slicing, but its width makes it ideal for pulverizing meat, or crushing seeds or garlic. Click image for larger view. Chinese Cleavers The Chinese cleaver knife is wide-bladed, narrow-spined knife that can be used to chop through meat and vegetables. It can also be used to remove meat from bones, and like the santoku is good for scooping ingredients into cookware. Chinese cleavers are good for tenderizing meat and crushing garlic, and other tasks that involve slicing. A Chinese cleaver should not be used to split bones since the blade is thinner. Click image for larger view. Utility Knives Utility knives are mid-sized knives used for miscellaneous cutting. The blade is anywhere from 4 to 7 inches, larger than a paring knife but not as larger as a chef’s knife. The utility knife is good for cutting larger vegetables and sandwich meats that are not large enough for a chef’s knife. These knives can come in plain and serrated edges, and are sometimes referred to as “sandwich knives”. Click image for larger view. Tomato Knives The tomato knife is similar to the bread knife except it is smaller and the serrations are finer. The blade will have a serrated edge for easily cutting through tough skin and a forked tip for picking up slices of food. Click image for larger view.

Kitchen Knife Types

Kitchen Knife Types
Kitchen Knife Types
Kitchen Knife Types
Kitchen Knife Types
Kitchen Knife Types

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