If you find yourself in the kitchenware department of a shop, you will realize that there are dozens of different types of kitchen knives. In order to buying the right knives, you need to understand what exactly each knife does and how to determine quality. Here are the basic types of kitchen knives and what they are for.
- The Chef Knife. Chef knives are the all-purpose knives of the kitchen. You can use this type of kitchen knife for mincing, slicing, chopping and dicing. They are useful in practically all types of cooking from hot kitchen to baking.
- The Utility Knife. The utility kitchen knife is a few inches shorter than the chef knife and is also narrower. It also is an all-purpose knife but works best for peeling fruits and vegetables, cutting lettuce, carving and any other cutting activity.
- The Paring Knife. This knife looks like a little utility knife and is used for small cutting activities where a chef or utility kitchen knife would simply be too bulky. It comes in handy for delicate tasks which require precision such as making decorative cuts, cutting or peeling small fruits and so on.
- The Bread Knife. This is another kitchen knife essential and is used to cut baked goods such as bread and cake. It has a serrated blade which makes the cutting process easy. Although it only serves a few purposes, you will realize how important it is nonetheless after having tried to cut bread with a chef knife.
- The Cleaver. The cleaver is the most intimidating of kitchen knives. It is a huge and heavy knife which is used to cut through bone. If you buy bone-in meat in bigger chunks and section it yourself, you will need a good quality cleaver knife.
- Specialized Knives. Specialized knives are those that perform very specific tasks. You may be inclined to believe that you need them all but if you only perform these kitchen tasks rarely, you can always improvise with a basic kitchen knife. Specific knives include those for boning, filleting or specialized slicing, while others include the tourné, sheep’s foot and the clip point.
Things to Consider When Buying Kitchen Knives
Choosing good tools needs a little know-how and accepting the fact quality kitchen knives are not cheap and that you must be willing to spend a certain amount of money to avail of good quality ones. Japanese kitchen knives for instance are known for their great value for money.
Here are some things to consider:
- Consider what type of knives you actually need. Before you will be tempted to buy an entire kitchen knives set, consider first which ones you truly need. This will allow you to save money and invest in quality rather than quantity.
- Consider the materials. Most people would say that the best kitchen knife is made of high carbon stainless steel. Carbon makes the blade strong and tough while the stainless steel prevents it from rusting and decoloring. For boning and filleting, a titanium knife would be more practical as these are much lighter and more resistant. As for the hilt, it should be solid and well-joined for safety.
- Consider comfort. Remember that kitchen knives are potentially dangerous. Be sure to feel comfortable with the knives you are buying. They should not be too heavy and must be well-balanced to promote efficiency and ease. They should have a comfortable yet firm grip. Consider the length too. For chef knives for instance, it is suggested that beginning cooks start with an 8-inch (or 200 mm) knife to get a feel of it before buying a bigger one.
When shopping for knives, it is best to do a little research first. Understand the anatomy of the knife and see what brands and shops are highly recommended. If you are looking for kitchen knives online, be sure to buy from a reputable handler. If you are looking for kitchen knives in Canada, there are many online shops that deliver to your doorstep.