A Cut Above: Choosing the Right Knife

by zesty on August 16, 2012 · 19 comments

Well the end of the week is here and what a week it was.  Lets end the week with an educational post to take you through the weekend.  I get a lot of questions about what knife to use when you are chopping versus what knife to use to slice bread etc.

This post will give you the basics of what knife to use depending on the task in the kitchen.  Just be aware that not all knives are created equal.  The length, width and edge of the blade as well as the shape of the tip are suited for specific culinary tasks.

Before you slice; think twice.

Slicing Knife

slicing Ranges roughly from 8-18 inches in length, with a thin, narrow blade to ensure smooth slices with a single stroke.  This is excellent for carving meats on Sunday dinner or when cutting those huge vegetables or even cakes and pastries.

Bread Knife

slicing Pretty self explanatory, the serrated or scalloped edge is designed to cut cleanly through tough materials such as bread crusts and some vegetables.  It is ideally used on food that has a  hard outside and a soft tender inside such as a loaf of homemade bread.

Chef’s Knife

slicing Maybe the most used knife in the kitchen – the chef’s knife is ideal for a large range food preparation.  It is usually around 8 inches in length, the cutting edge is shaped to allow a rocking motion on a cutting board  – making it the chopper of choice.  I also like to use the blade to crush garlic and other herbs.  The tip is good for paring and peeling fruits as well.

Santoku Knife

slicing I place this knife somewhere between a chef’s knife above and a butchers knife.  It is great for cutting. mincing and slicing.  The indentations on the blade are designed to prevent food from sticking to it as you slice.  I love that feature.

Utility Knife

slicing As the name states… is really a must have in the kitchen for all jobs.  It is great for peeling, slicing and cutting.  It is traditionally about 5-7 inches in length.

Paring Knife

slicing Highly versatile and a must have as well.  The paring knife is great  for cleaning, paring, peeling and slicing of small fruits and vegetables.

In Summary

So there you have it.  That is my take on the 6 common knives in the kitchen.  As for me- I feel if you only have three types of knives… they should be the:

  1. Chef’s Knife
  2. Bread Knife
  3. Paring Knife

I hope you have a great weekend! I have a few fun and delicious things in store for you for next week – Stay tuned!

Take care


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