Your Simple Guide to the Different Kitchen Knives and Their Usage
Types of Kitchen Knives
Do the different types of knives set for kitchen confuse you? We get it, you see all of those versatile types of knives and don’t know when and how to use them. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
The chef’s knife, also known as a cook’s knife, is the absolute star and a must-have in the kitchen. Many chefs say that it should feel like an extension to your arm. These knives are usually between 20 and 25cm long, although you can get one as short as 15cm and as long as 35cm, it depends on your skills and knowledge. It may take some time for you to get used to its size, but the bigger the blade, the safer it is. It’s a long edge knife, the blade is curved and rounds up at the tip. This makes it very versatile and efficient in the kitchen.
It’s more frequently used because of its multipurpose, you can do almost all of the prep for the meal with it. It’s ideal for chopping, mincing and dicing all of the fruits, vegetables, herbs and meats. It will become your favourite knife to use in a short time, and the more comfortable you get with its balance and weight, the faster you’ll work. But don’t use it on small produce. Its size doesn’t make it precise enough.
A paring knife is basically a shorter version of the chef’s knife. It can be used for the same tasks but on a smaller scale. It might be small but it’s incredibly useful. The blade is shorter but super sharp, and the standard size for a paring knife is 9cm. The length makes it perfect for tasks that require precision such as trimming meat, peeling fruit and vegetables, slicing cheese and tomatoes, cutting strawberries, garlic and citrus, deveining shrimp, removing seeds and creating a garnish.
This knife is not designed to be used on hard produce, so don’t use it with hard vegetables such as carrots, beets, squash, celery root or parsnips. It doesn’t have enough weight to cut easily through these foods and if you try, you’ll use an unsafe amount of force making you tighten your grip and increase the pressure, which can be dangerous and cause the knife to slip, leading to injuries.
This is a very convenient and practical knife to have – we’re sure it will become your favourite from the knives set for kitchen use.
Just like the name itself suggests, these knives are utilitarian, a class of their own. Having them in your kitchen knife set is a blessing. They are multi-purpose and can do almost anything. Their size comes in between a chef’s knife and a paring knife. With a length of 15cm and a choice between a serrated version and a straight-edged variation, these knives are able to handle different tasks around the kitchen.
They’re great for slicing and chopping vegetables, fruits and some tender meats, mincing herbs and shallots, cutting sandwiches and even opening bags and packages around the house. Chefs call it a “knife of all trades” and it truly is. You’ll be reaching for it over and over again.
A boning knife is created to separate the meat from the bone. It efficiently debones cuts of meat and reduces waste. Starting from a 7cm anchovy, through any kind of fish, to a 50kg side of pork, this knife will make deboning an easy task by cutting through connective tissues and joints. Because it’s narrow, thin and flexible it allows you to move with the curves of the meat with ease. And the pointed tip will be of great help in taking the skin off fish.
Boning knives can be found in two versions, flexible boning knife and stiff boning knife. The flexible version is better for deboning and separating the meat, and the stiff boning knife helps you break down big pieces of meat, like beef and pork, into smaller cuts. Just remember, boning knives are not designed to cut through bones but around them.
Bread knives have long and serrated edges. This design allows the cut to be soft and clean without sacrificing the integrity of the bread or tearing it apart. In a way, it grips the food and doesn’t allow damage. Despite what the name suggests, this knife is not designed to slice just through bread. Moving it like a saw without any pressure is the best way to use this knife. It works good with other baked goods, like cake, but also with fruits and vegetables like watermelon or bell peppers. The sawing motion you’ll do doesn’t allow the inside of the food to be compromised. Maintaining and keeping a bread knife sharp can be a difficult task because it requires a special sharpening tool, but when you look at all of the usages it has, it’s worth the effort.
This is a knife that you’ll probably use less than the others unless you make roasts often. A carving knife is perfect to have for clean and precise cuts. Beef, pork or roasted turkey will be sliced any way you want them, thick or thin. They are long, narrow and taper to a point. The indentations on it make the meat slide off and don’t stick on the blade. Whether you’re a roast-meat lover or not, this knife is a must-have in your cooking knife set.
Materials Used for Knives
The material the knives are made of can have a huge impact on their durability, sharpness and strength. Let’s see what are the best options.
Stainless steel is the most popular material for knives. The base for the knife is carbon and iron and chromium is added for a shiny finish and to make it stainless. It is strong, durable and rust and corrosion-resistant. The only downside is that they have to be frequently sharpened.
This type of knife is non-metallic, non-magnetic and super light, which many chefs prefer. They are durable and don’t require sharpening very often. Another good side is that they are considered to be more hygienic than metal knives. Ceramic allows for the blades to be printed with different colours and patterns, so many chefs can have a unique set of knives. Their biggest flaw is their fragility. If dropped, they can chip or break, so handling them well is a must. Another thing is the sharpening. Ceramic knives require a special tool for sharpening because regular whetstones can damage them.
By being one of the hardest materials on the planet, titanium is a perfect choice for kitchen knives. It’s not magnetic and it’s rust-resistant. Titanium knives are highly durable and if cared for properly, will last for many, many years.
These knives are usually made from two types of steel combined and forged together to get a seriously strong and durable knife, and a wavy pattern. Damascus steel knives are resistant to shattering, sharp and last for years. This makes them a perfect choice for hard-working chefs and big households.