When you are ready to buy knives for doing different tasks in the kitchen, it is important to keep in mind that there is a different type of knife for executing each type of task. Whether it is for boning meat or slicing apples, there are different types of knives that are to be used. Read on to find out a list of knives and other accessories that are must-haves for every kitchen.
Commonly Used Kitchen Knives
Given below are brief descriptions of some of the different types of kitchen knives that are used and their functions.
Alternately known as the Cook’s Knife, it is the most versatile one among all the different types of knives. The knife is curved in that it allows a more precise cut on the board because it can be rocked. The blade is heavy and broad and can be used for a variety of tasks including chopping (also of bones), dicing, slicing and mincing. The most common available size for a Chef’s knife is 8 inches (20 cm). Alternately, other sizes between 6 and 12 inches (15 and 30 cm) are also available.
This is a small knife that comes in handy for the more precise cutting jobs such as peeling, slicing smaller vegetables and fruits and trimming. De-veining a shrimp gets easier when using a paring knife. So does removing seeds from jalapeno. Shaped much like the Cook’s Knife, it is smaller in size typically ranging in length between 2 and 4 inches (6cm and 10 cm). It is an indispensable work-tool in any kitchen.
This type of a knife is serrated and helps to cut slices out of a soft loaf of bread without tearing or squashing it. This knife is also helpful in cutting tomatoes and other citrus fruits. The first sample of this kind of a knife was an exhibit at the World’s Colombian Exhibition in the year 1893. One other patented design (of Joseph E. Burns from Syracuse in New York) has groups of serrations in the form of inclined cutting edges perpendicular to knife’s blade. Each group has serrations in the opposite directions separated by smooth-edged blade. This helps to cut the bread neatly in both directions. This knife cuts with much less pressure than that of a normal scalloped knife. There is no horizontal force like that of a wood-saw either. These knives are usually between 6 inches to 10 inches (15cm to 25 cm) in length.
Commonly Used Meat Knives
There are different types of meat knives that are used.
Also called the Slicing Knife, this type of knife is most useful in slicing cooked meat, fish or poultry. It is a large thin knife (than a Cook’s/Chef’s knife) that enables the user to carve precise thinner slices out of large roasts of cooked meat. The typical length is between 8inches and 15inches (20-38 cm).
These are made with plain or serrated edges and works like a Carving Knife. However, they are narrower and longer. The blades may be scalloped (Granton edge) in some cases and it makes separation of meat an easier task. The tips of such knives may be blunted or rounded. A person can use the Slicing Knife to cut meat from barbecued venison, beef or pork. They work well to cut thin slices of ham or even fish.
This is a large knife whose blade is rectangular in shape and often used by butchers in their trade to cut into meat and bones with a single swift stroke. They can also be used to slice firm vegetables. The blade is thick (from the spine to the edge) and heavy. The knife has a sharp beveled (convex) edge. However, a lighter version is normally a part of most kitchens. These are about half a foot long (6 inches). The heavy-duty version is found in most restaurants that prepare their own meat. The cleavers are hung from a hole on the end of the knife. Also called the Butcher’s Knife, it is a part of the accessories kit of every chef to cut large slices of meat.
The Boning Knife is used to remove meat and poultry from the bone. The blade is made thin and flexible so that it is able to reach into smaller spaces with ease. It is curved inward to give more precise cuts. It is generally between 12 and 15 cm long. Whereas a flexible one works better for fish or poultry, a stiff boning knife is more useful when it comes to pork and beef.
Other Kitchen Accessories
Given below is basic information about other cutlery items that find a lot of use and ought to be present in every kitchen.
This helps to straighten the blade of a knife. It is also known by the name of butcher’s steel. It is a rod that is crafted from either ceramic or steel and is about a foot long (it can be longer). It is between 6 and 12 mm thick. The knife blade is usually honed after it is sharpened using a knife sharpener. It straightens curved edges of the blade and improves its cutting ability.
Kitchen Scissors or Kitchen Shears find numerous uses in a kitchen. From snipping herbs to trimming pastry dough, they are used for many a job including cutting twine and other food preparation tasks. They are usually manufactured using high-grade stainless steel. This is done to maintain hygiene as well as prevent rusting or suffer oxidation of any kind. Sometimes they come with additional functional units such as a bottle opener or bottle-cap openers built into the handles of the kitchen shears.
A cutting board is one on which food to be cut is placed on. Made of wood or plastic, they help to save the counter tops from disfigurement and also save the knife’s edges. It is a must-have for every kitchen. Rarely one can find cutting boards made of glass. However, these are used for decorative purposes anyway.
Wrapping up, there is no one best kitchen knife available that can do all the tasks. It a good idea to have one of each of the knives mentioned earlier that make the different kitchen tasks easier.