If you’re new to the kitchen game or just wanting to extend your cooking repertoire beyond cheese on toast, then the sheer number of types of knives is no doubt intimidating.
I’m going to walk you through the different kinds of kitchen knives out there to help you make well-informed purchasing decision to ensure that you start your culinary adventures in the right way.
There are many different types of knives that serve a variety of different functions around the kitchen. While many people believe that a basic kitchen knife can do almost any job, there are specialty knives for a reason. Each is considered to be the best kitchen knife for a specific task.
Chefs and knife connoisseurs will be the first to point out that a great set of knives can make a world of difference in the kitchen. After all, it’s been said that a craftsman is only as good as the tools he uses. The same can be said for knives in the kitchen.
Types of Kitchen Knives: Types of Knife Edges
One of the first steps to becoming a function cook is learning the different types of kitchen knives. While one knife might be perfect for one job, it might be clumsy and even dangerous for another. Each type of kitchen knife was created for a specific purpose around the kitchen, and it is understanding these different purposes and functions that will help you get the most out of your kitchen equipment.
The first thing that any aspiring knife enthusiast should learn about is the different types of knife edges. There are three different types of knife edges, with each of these edges having different tasks that they are uniquely useful for.
The most popular and most recognizable form of knife edge is the straight edge. This type of edge is especially useful for making precise and clean cuts. It can be used for different slicing tasks such as cutting through raw meat.
The second most popular knife edge is the serrated edge. These knives have sharp, pointy teeth along the edge that help cut through particularly difficult objects such as a hard bread crust or vegetables with a tough skin. The teeth along the edge allow greater pressure to be exerted on the object being cut.
The third type of knife edge is known as a granton edge. Some people also refer to this as a kullenschiff edge. This type of edge is unique because it has a straight edge with dimples imprinted along the side of the blade. Many people that a granton edge is actually an upgraded version of a straight edge because of its ability to slice through cheeses and meats without shredding the object being cut.
Types of Kitchen Knives: Types of Knives
Now that you have learned about the types of knife edges, it is time to move on to the different types of knives.
Paring knives are popular for their small size. The blade of a paring knife will typically be anywhere between 3 to 4 inches and will taper to a fine point. The advantage of paring knives is their ability to allow the wielder a greater amount of control than larger knives. They are the best kitchen knife for situations that require intricate work.
Boning knives are unique because of their curved blades. The curved shape of boning knives is makes this the best kitchen knife for removing meat from bones or for cutting fish and poultry. Like the paring knife, it is ideal for jobs that require precision and control.
One of the most popular forms of knives is the chef’s knife. It’s popularity can be traced back to the fact that it is considered to be the closest thing to a universal knife that can be found. Chef’s Knives can be used for just about any job around the kitchen.
Each chef has his own opinion about which is the best chef knife is. There are different lengths of chef knives. They come in 6, 8, 10, and 12 inch models. For those who require more precise cutting, the 6 inch model is usually considered to be the best chef knife. Conversely, people who like making fast cuts believe a longer model makes the best chef knife.
Many knife connoisseurs actually believe that the Japanese Santoku knife is the best chef knife. Although the Santoku is usually considered to be its own form of knife, the uses of the two types of knives are almost identical. The Santoku is usually considered to be the best kitchen knife for chopping food, as well as non-cutting functions such as cutting garlic.
A Santoku Knife
One of the most easily identifiable types of knives is the cleaver. The thick spine of cleavers allows for users to cut through tough meat or poultry bones. The best way to use this type of knife is to bring it down in a violent chopping motion. While other types of knives favor precision and finesse, the cleaver is the best kitchen knife for using blunt force.
Bread knives are usually 8 to 9 inches long and feature serrated edges. The serrations are relatively deep to allow for a greater amount of power and pressure. Obviously, bread knives are the best type of kitchen knife for cutting through hard-crusted bread.
Tomato knives are very similar to bread knives, except they are smaller and have finer serrations. The bread knife is too large and rough to finely cut through delicate tomatoes. The small size of a tomato knife allows it to be used for precise slicing and the fine serrations make sure that the cuts are clean.
A Tomato Knife
One of the most fundamental aspects of cooking is the art of cutlery. A great chef does not use the same knife for each task around the kitchen. Instead, he knows what the best kitchen knife is for each specific job.
There are many different types of kitchen knives, but it is important to know which is the best kitchen knife for getting the job done well. A good chef will know that a bread knife should not be used to make precise cuts of meat. Likewise, he will know that a small paring knife is not the best tool for slicing a tough loaf of sourdough bread.
Whatever job you are doing to prepare a meal, there is a specific knife that is the best kitchen knife for the job. The knowledge of each knife’s function is a fundamental imperative to becoming a great cook.