There are many types of kitchen knives. These are universal knives, which can be used with equal success to cut almost all types of products, and specialized, sharpened (in the literal sense of the word) for some specific types of kitchen work. Why do we need special kitchen knives, if there are universal ones, you ask? And it’s all about ease of use.
Each type of knife is designed for a specific type of kitchen work – cutting or slicing meat, chopping herbs, fruits, and vegetables. There are special wavy bread knives with which even the softest bun can be cut into neat even pieces without crumbling; and there are knives for butter, pizza, cheese … There are a lot of options. But, to be honest, many of these varieties are worth buying only if you have to use them often.
So today we will help you figure out what types of knives are most in demand for everyday cooking, and we will tell you which set of kitchen knives is still worth having in your kitchen. So let’s go!
1. Damascus Chef’s knife
A chef’s knife, also known as a Damascus chef’s knife, a Damascus knife, and a chef’s knife is the main kitchen tool that will be useful not only to sophisticated chefs who often experiment a lot with cooking different dishes but also to ordinary users. The chef knife is versatile, so it works well with almost all products.
It is equally convenient for them to cut fresh or frozen meat, chop vegetables, fruits, or herbs, chop fresh garlic and chop cabbage heads. The only thing a Damascus chef’s knife is not suitable for is slicing bread since the even edge of the blade will not save you from crumbs. Although with due skill it can also be adapted for this task.
What should be a Damascus chef’s knife?
Chef knives are always large and heavy, with a wide, slightly rounded blade. The length of the blade of a chef’s knife can be from 15 to 25 and even 30 centimeters, and the width is about 4-6 centimeters. The shape of the blade of a classic chef knife is conical, with a curved cutting edge, so the blade swings easily on the cutting board during shredding, which is especially convenient when cutting greens. The tip of the blade is necessarily pointed, and the thickness of the metal can vary from 2 to 4 mm.
The secret to the convenience of using chef’s knives is to use the appropriate part of the blade for different tasks. The middle part of the blade is used to cut large hard foods, such as root vegetables, hard vegetables, and large pieces of meat, into medium-sized pieces. The tip of the blade cuts what needs to be finely chopped, for example, chop onions and carrots for frying. But if you need to chop something literally into crumbs – cut strips of zest, garlic cloves, fresh herbs, then it is most convenient to use the heel of a knife.
Helpful Hint: Extra-large chef knives (30 cm or more) are only useful if you use a large kitchen counter and appropriately sized cutting boards for cooking. But small chef’s knives with a blade length of less than 20 cm will be convenient only for a miniature hand.
2. Japanese chef’s knife santoku
Here we should talk a little about another popular variety of chef’s knives – Japanese santoku blades since these subspecies of chef’s knives have important differences. Firstly, the thickness and length of the santoku blade are less than that of French chef’s knives. The most common blade length is from 12 to 20 centimeters. And here just large knives are very convenient because santoku with a blade length of about 20 centimeters is as versatile as possible – with such a knife you can cut and chop almost any food.
Secondly, there are shallow grooves on the blade of the santoku knife. They allow products to slide off the surface of the blade more easily while cutting into thin slices, preventing sticking to the blade. Thirdly, the cutting edge of the Japanese chef’s knife is more even, so it will not work much during a quick shredding. Therefore, for example, for quick cutting of greens, you will have to adapt to the features of such a knife.
Santoku knives are best suited for cutting vegetables, meat, fish, and poultry. And due to the thin blade, cutting is more accurate than when using a French chef’s knife.
3. Bread knives
Love crispy homemade bread, but hate the crumbs flying around as you cut it? Then you need a good bread knife. Thanks to the special shape of the serrated blade, these kitchen knives easily cut through hard food with a soft inside, without turning a brittle golden crust into an unappetizing mountain of crumbs.
And also bread knives do an excellent job of cutting soft foods (the same biscuits, cakes) and fruits and vegetables with hard skins and juicy pulp – pineapples, watermelons, melons. With a serrated kitchen knife with a thin blade, you can even carefully cut tomatoes into thin slices.
What does a proper bread knife look like? The blade of a bread knife is long and flat, without bending, and the blade length of a good bread knife should be at least 25-30 centimeters. The cutting edge is not smooth, like conventional knives, but necessarily wavy or even serrated, similar to a saw. Accordingly, such a knife should not be cut, but saw. So you do not have to make efforts while cutting the bread into slices, and the bread crust practically does not crumble in the process.
4. Fillet knife
Another type of kitchen knife that we will tell you about today is fillet knives, they are also boning or bone knives. The blade of a boning knife is always very thin and long, with a slightly curved blade. The tip of the blade may be slightly raised. The main feature of such knives is a flexible blade, which makes it convenient to cut pieces of meat from the bone, separate fish fillets from bones and skin, and cut meat and fish into thin slices. The blade length of a boning knife is usually about 20 centimeters.
Such knives are not intended for cutting through the bone, but only for separating the meat pulp from it. It is also impossible to cut frozen or even just solid foods with them. In general, a boning knife is a very handy thing, but you should buy it only if you cook meat or large fish often and in large quantities according to a recipe that requires such cutting of ingredients. In other cases, it is not advisable to buy it – buying an ordinary chef’s knife will be a much more convenient and versatile solution.
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