Cooking is an art, and this art requires you to use a lot of different accessories and knives. Professional chefs are highly concerned about their knives and don’t take cooking lightly. The appropriate kinds of kitchen knives may simplify even the most challenging chores.
To achieve perfection in your cooking work, having various types of knives is essential. Each of these knives has its specific uses. These include chef’s knives, cleavers, utility knives, and many more.
Every kitchen requires a pair of high-quality knives for everything from chopping and slicing to trimming and peeling. So, today we will discuss all the different knives you must have along with their usage.
What are the different types of kitchen knives and their uses
Numerous kitchen knives are available, each with its intended usage, which makes it confusing to choose the perfect knife. So, to have all your cooking work done perfectly, it is essential to use the right knife for the work. Keep on reading to know more.
This is the most common type of knife, which is a must for all kitchens and is quite versatile. While they can be as little as six inches and as big as 14 inches, chef’s knives usually are eight to 10 inches in length.
These knives have a right triangular form, with a straighter and one curved side and a tip that is exceptionally sharp. Additionally, it is extremely easy to use, so even amateurs can use it without any hassle.
You can use a chef’s knife for a variety of tasks, including dicing, chopping, and slicing vegetables, meat, poultry, and even fish.
- Very easy to use for amateurs
- It can be used to cutting vegetables as well as meat and fish
- Very comfortable to hold due to its wide handle.
- Not suitable for carving cooked meat
A boning knife is another helpful knife that is used for removing bone from any meat. These knives generally measure anywhere from 3 to 8 inches, have somewhat different blade thicknesses, and have a long, thin blade that is perfect for the boning procedure.
A boning knife comes in two varieties: flexible and stiff, and each has a particular use. Flexible blades are more helpful in carving bone from poultry and fish, whereas stiff blades are more suitable for hard meat like beef.
You can effortlessly glide through meaty bends and penetrate deep inside the surface with the long, thin blade to remove the bones from meat, fish, and even chicken.
- Can save you time by making rapid cuts
- By accurately removing the bones from the flesh, they allow you to cut costs.
- Has a very long lifetime
- Not all types of boning knives are suitable for all task
A paring knife, which is often the tiniest of all the many kinds of kitchen blades, is a small knife with big action.
A paring knife is an ideal tool for intricate tasks that demand precision, such as peeling and trimming. If you only cook occasionally, investing in a paring knife and a chef’s knife should suffice for most kitchen needs.
It is simply a little chef’s knife with a short blade that is very sharp which gives better flexibility and accuracy. Generally, these knives typically have a blade that is 3 to 4 inches long and has a very sharp tip.
A paring knife’s small size makes it ideal for tasks like peeling, trimming, and slicing shallots and garlic. It can additionally be used to remove the veins from shrimp and make beautiful garnishes that call for exquisite precision.
- Minimal and lightweight design
- Ideal for precision cutting
- Excellent for peeling and trimming
- You cannot use it for larger cutting work
The utility knife is a versatile kitchen tool that is longer than a paring knife yet smaller than a chef’s knife, making it an excellent all-purpose blade for various kitchen tasks.
It is offered in both regular and serrated blade varieties. They usually come in 6 inches in length. This little piece of cutlery features an extremely thin, razor-sharp blade.
Eliminating seeds and carefully peeling, chopping, cutting, and slicing Moreover, this knife is common in most kitchens and is superior to a chef or utility knife for tasks requiring greater accuracy.
These knives are ideal for carefully slicing fruit or chopping up fruits, vegetables, seafood, tender bits of meat, and sandwiches, thanks to their shape. You can also use them for deveining shrimp.
- It can be used for almost all regular kitchen tasks
- Smaller than a chef’s knife
- Very sharp, which allows fine cutting
- Cannot be used for cutting hard meats
You cannot use normal knives for cutting bakery items like bread and cakes; you will often mess up the shape. So, this is when the bread knife comes in handy.
Using its serrated edge, it can cut bread without ripping the loaf or destroying the crumble layer. Often, these kitchen knives are merely a more robust variant of serrated knives.
The blade of a bread knife typically ranges from 7 to 12 inches in length. When using a bread knife, it’s essential to keep the blade perpendicular to the bread and saw back and forth in a gentle motion.
While a shorter blade works well for smaller baked items like muffins or croissants, on the other hand, a longer blade is best for slicing into bigger bread loaves or cakes.
- The serrated blade of a bread knife allows for the accurate cutting of bread.
- You can use this knife for cutting all other bakery items like pastries, cakes, and more.
- A bread knife won’t slip easily because the serrations on the blade can grasp the bread.
- Bread knives with high-quality serrated blades can be expensive
Carving knives are designed for operations like cutting up turkey or ham and feature narrow blades that create a sharp tip. Usually, they feature a long, narrow blade that is between 8 and 14 inches long, with 9 to 12 inches being the most normal length.
As this knife has a thin blade, it can make precise, clean cuts through meat without tearing or shredding it.
Additionally, the blade is often tapered, with a broad base for control and balance when cutting and a thin end that makes it simple to enter into the flesh.
These knives come in handy for making clean cuts on a roast, ham, or turkey. They can also be used to chop up beef brisket, pig shoulder, and roast pork.
- The long, thin blade of a carving knife allows for better control while cutting.
- Allows to make precise cutting
- The fluted blade of certain carving knives helps to keep meat from clinging.
- Carving knives are usually not suitable for tasks other than carving meat
Cleavers are the heaviest kitchen knife on our list and usually have a broad, rectangular blade. These knives can weigh up to several lbs and have lengths ranging from 6 to 12 inches.
Although this knife isn’t extremely widespread in domestic kitchens, they are really useful for precisely chopping bones and meat. A cleaver knife’s blade is thicker than the blades of the majority of other kitchen knives, making it more robust and damage-resistant.
In addition, when tackling tough portions of meat, the larger blade makes fast work of slicing through delicate tissue and tiny bones.
The common uses of a cleaver include cutting tough pieces of meat and large and tiny bones. These knives are also quite useful for chopping through cabbages.
- Provides extreme force for cutting through hard bones and meat
- A cleaver knife’s thick and heavy blade makes it durable and resistant to damage.
- You can use the cleaver to smash garlic and shallots too.
- Can be hard to use due to its heavy weigh
Things to Consider When Choosing Kitchen Knives
No matter what type of kitchen knife you buy for your kitchen, when choosing the best kitchen knife, it is important to know how to choose the perfect one. Not choosing the right knife can make your knives go bad more often. So, keep on reading to know more.
Your cooking needs
The first thing you will need to consider when buying a kitchen knife is your cooking requirements. If you cook regularly, chances are you make straightforward meals often and occasionally larger and more sophisticated ones.
As a result, you probably won’t require a whole set of professional kitchen knives. So, you can choose one or two knives, such as a chef’s knife and a paring knife.
Additionally, If you are a pastry chef, you must keep a bread knife along with a paring knife. However, if you are a versatile cook, you should get 4/5 different types of knives.
Type of Blade
Blade type should also be considered when buying kitchen knives, which will play a huge role in your knives’ performance. Normally most knives are made from any of the three types of blades; High-carbon stainless steel, stainless steel, and carbon steel.
Stainless steel is rust-resistant and easy to maintain, but it doesn’t hold an edge as well as carbon steel. Although carbon steel is sharper and can maintain blade sharpness longer, it requires more maintenance.
On the other hand, the best and most expensive option is High-carbon steel, which offers sharpness and lower maintenance.
Weight of the knife
The knife’s weight has an impact on its balance as well as control. Generally, the ideal weight of the knife depends on your comfort level, whether you can use a heavy knife or a lighter one.
A heavier knife can be tiring to use for extended periods, but it can be more useful for cutting tough meat and bones. On the other hand, lighter knives are easier to control and balance but may not have enough heft for cutting through tougher ingredients.
Price is another key factor for choosing a knife; the ideal knife for you depends highly on your budget. Kitchen knives can range from budget-friendly to high-end. So, make sure to choose the knife which comes within your budget.
Professional kitchen knives are very sharp, so if you are not careful enough while using them, there can be serious accidents. Thus, having a proper grip when working with kitchen knives is important.
As a result, you must choose the handle well for your kitchen knife. Make sure to look for a handle that fits comfortably in your hand, has a good grip, and is made of durable material.
How To Keep A Kitchen Knife Sharp
To ensure precise cutting and other knife related works, you must keep your kitchen knife sharp. It is quite easy to keep a kitchen knife sharp at home; just follow the methods below.
A honing rod is a must to have for any home kitchen; it doesn’t actually sharpen the knife, instead it realign the blade. This also helps in maintaining sharpness for a long time.
After every 3 or 4 uses, use a honing steel to realign the edge of the knife. Hold the honing steel vertically and run the blade of the knife down the steel at a 20-degree angle on each side of the blade.
Use a Knife Sharpener
You should also get a proper knife sharpener to keep your knife sharp and to help you get accurate cuts. There are many different types of knife sharpeners available including whetstone, metal bricks, electric sharpener and more.
As each sharpening tool is different, the method of using it also varies. Follow the instructions that come with the sharpener. Typically, you run the blade of the knife over the sharpening stone, maintaining a consistent angle.
Make sure to sharpen your knife at least two times every year however if you use your knife more frequently you might need to sharpen it even more.
Proper Storage of knife
Another reason for dull knives is improper storage. Knives should not be stored in a drawer with other materials or left laying around since they risk being damaged or worn out.
You should have a separate storage area only for your knives. So, you can either use a wooden block like the one in the photo to store the knives or a drawer specifically designed for storing knives only.
Make sure the knives do not bounce with each other in the drawer as this can chip the blades causing damage to them.
Kitchen knives come in many different types; hence, choosing the perfect one according to your work is essential. Below, we will talk about all the FAQs related to today’s discussion, which will help you understand this more easily.
How often should I sharpen my kitchen knife?
The frequency of knife sharpening depends on how often you use them. If you use your knives regularly, then knives should typically be sharpened at least 2 times a year. However, make sure to hone them every three to four uses for the best results.
Can I put my kitchen knives in the dishwasher?
Kitchen knives should never be washed in the dishwasher. The intense heat and harsh detergents can harm the handle and blade. Additionally, the knives can also become twisted in the dishwasher.
So, you should hand wash with soap and water, ensure the blade is pointed away from you, and then dry them immediately.
How do I know when it’s time to replace a kitchen knife?
Generally, all knife blades have a limited lifespan, and they will wear out with time. Usually, the knife’s lifespan will become shorter as you use the knife more.
Moreover, if you notice that the blade doesn’t sharpen even after sharpening it, you should replace the knife. Also, you should replace the knife if the handle is chipped or damaged.
Kitchen knives come in many different shapes and types, so choosing the correct type of knife can be confusing. While choosing the proper knife for your kitchen, it is crucial to understand what kind of work you will do with the knife.
If you try to use a knife that isn’t intended for that work, you can end up damaging the knife as well as messing up your cutting and cooking. So, it is crucial to find a suitable knife.
Moreover, if you have no issues with the budget, we will recommend you have a set of all different types of knives. This way, depending on your cooking needs, you will always have the required knife.