Choosing the Best Kitchen Knife for the Job: A Guide

You simply can’t cut a stake with a butter knife. Beyond that, it is much better to have a variety of knives for a variety of cutting, chopping, carving, or slicing tasks that you need to do at different times. Learning to choose the best knife for the job is particularly important if you enjoy cooking often. Consider this simple guide to a variety of knives that can make cutting tasks much more simple than using the same knife every time.

Knives for Meat

Carving knife. Turkey, chicken, roast and other large portions of meat can be carved into serving sizes or nice neat slices with this knife.

Boning knife. Use this tool to remove the bones from a pork and poultry as well as to trim the fat from these meats.

Steak knife. Cooked meats that have already been carved into a serving size can be cut with this type of knife.

Fillet knife. This tool is used for removing the tiny bones from delicate fish for the perfect fillet. You can also slice tender fish easily with this blade.

Vegetables and Fruit

Peeling Knife. This special tool is for removing the skin, shaping or cleaning rounded vegetables and fruits.

Paring knife. This short straight blade is used for garnishing, mincing, and peeling. It is a favorite used for small food art.

Decorating knife. Use this blade to make crinkled French fries and other decorative or fancy shapes in fruit, vegetables, butter and other foods.

Carving knife. This is not only used for meat, but can also be employed to cut larger fruits or vegetables.

Other Knives

Chef’s (or Cook’s) Knife. This is for dicing, chopping, and mincing practically any food. It is designed for balance and speed to make these cutting tasks easier.

Utility knife. This tool is a smaller, lighter all purpose blade similar to the chef’s knife.

Bread knife. The serrated edge on this blade is ideal for slicing Italian, French, or other types of bread loafs easily. You can also use it to slice cakes and pies.

Santoku Knife. This is a Japanese knife slightly different from the chef’s knife. It is also used to slicing, mincing, dicing and chopping, but it is primarily used on vegetables. This tools is also excellent for cutting cheese.

Cleaver. This large rectangular knife is most effective in cutting through tough meat or poultry bones.

Tomato knife. The serrated edge on this blade allows for the delicate slicing of a rip tomato without crushing the delicate areas beneath the skin. Unlike a steak or bread knife, it has a forked tip that can also help you serve the tomato or other delicate foods.

Why Use Multiple Knives?

It is essential to have a variety of these blades in your kitchen for the numerous meals, snacks, and desserts that are prepared at home. Having two or three knives may not cover all of your needs. It can be difficult, slow, and sometimes unsafe to use a dull overworked knife for everything.

For sanitary purposes, it is good to use a separate blade for meats, fish and poultry, which are normally cut raw. Using a different tool for vegetables can prevent cross contamination from occurring.

Naturally, if you are not a master chef or don’t do much cooking, you may not need a decorating or fillet blade, but you should at least have a few different knives for meat, fruits and vegetables, and a chef’s knife. Choose the right one for the job and your set will last much longer.