Types Of Kitchen Knives
How many kitchen knives does one household need? That is a question often put to budding home chefs. There are many kitchen knives sets available, offering a host of different knives. Some of these sets come in blocks, others in cases and you can also buy your kitchen knives individually. While the knife set with every type of kitchen knife may look fantastic, you’ve got to ask yourself if you really need every single knife in that set. You may very well use every knife in a set of kitchen knives, but in reality, you may only need a few. We’ll look at the ones you need, and the ones you may find useful.
The Chef’s Knife
One knife that simply must be in every kitchen is the classic chef’s knife. This versatile knife is usually the one that will see the most kitchen action. Chef’s knives come in different sizes, but there is generally only an inch or two between them.
A chef’s knife is mainly used for meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. Its long blade does a lot of the hard work for you and it will be the knife you usually reach for when you are preparing food for your meals. As good as this knife is, there are some applications you shouldn’t use it for. Don’t try to de-bone a chicken or use it as a butchering knife. If you do, you will find yourself replacing your chef’s knife with alarming regularity.
The Serrated Knife
A serrated knife is usually the best knife for cutting bread and, for this reason, it’s often referred to as a bread knife. That’s a little misleading though, because the serrated knife can do so much more. These knives are ideal for fruits and vegetables that are soft and often difficult to cut through. The serrated teeth almost grip the surface of the food you want to slice making the job much easier. A perfect example of this is the humble tomato. These are often difficult to cut with any precision, but when you gut with a serrated knife, you can get uniformly perfect slices. Use the serrated knife for other fruits and vegetables as well as those crusty loaves of bread.
The Paring Knife
Every kitchen must have a paring knife. While the chef’s knife does all the difficult slicing and dicing, the paring knife is the one chef’s use for all the fine detailed work. A paring knife is especially useful when you want to make decorations out of fruits and vegetables so that you can delicately carve those intricate details. You may try to use a paring knife for those really hard vegetables like carrots and turnips but you will find that this delicate little blade won’t have the weight to cut through these tough root vegetables.
The Boning Knife
If you’ve ever de-boned a chicken or a leg of lamb, you’ll know how important the knife is for this chore. A boning knife has a particularly sharp tip and the blade is quite slim. Although it is called a boning knife, you shouldn’t actually try and cut through bones. The purpose of the boning knife is to cut around the bone to remove the flesh from the actual bone. If you have a good, sharp boning knife, you will be able to remove the meat from the bones with a minimum of waste.
The Meat Cleaver
A meat cleaver is useful for actually chopping through joints of meat such as pork or lamb. It’s literally an axe for butchering meat. Where a boning knife is used to cut around the bone, a cleaver is designed to hack through the bones. This is perfect for when you want to cut through a leg of lamb or pork but keep the bone to retain extra flavor during cooking.
The Carving Knife
A carving knife is essential for slicing through roasts and hams so you get beautiful slices that look enticing when you set them on a platter. A carving knife is longer and thinner than a chef’s knife but its length makes it ideal for slicing large pieces of meat.
The Filleting Knife
If you don’t really like eating whole fish, but you like having fish for dinner, you can always fillet them with a filleting knife. This is a thin knife with a pointy tip that can help you expertly remove the bones and cut perfect fillets. The most common use for a filleting knife may be to fillet fish, you can also use it for check fillets and pretty much any other meat you like.
Cutting a whole chicken with a knife is a sure-fire way to get a mangled looking bird. Unless you plan on deboning your chicken, you should use kitchen scissors to cut each chicken piece better than Colonel Sanders. With kitchen scissors you can easily separate all the different pieces of chicken so you have the perfect drumsticks, wings, thighs and breast pieces. We’re certain you can use kitchen scissors for things other than cutting chicken, but the main purpose is to cut a chicken into nice pieces.
No matter how many great kitchen knives you have, they’re not very useful if they aren’t sharp enough. There is nothing worse than trying to cut steaks or prepare your vegetables with a blunt knife. To keep your knives sharp and ready for efficient work in the kitchen, your knife set must include a honing blade. Honing blades do take some skills and patience to learn how to sharpen your knives properly so, if you don’t want to waste your time doing this, there are many knife sharpeners available that are easy to use and give you nice sharp blades.
When looking for the perfect knives, make sure you always choose the best quality you can afford. Look for knives that have been honed from a single piece of stainless steel and make sure the handle is comfortable in your hands. Grab your knife and get cooking.