Knives come in all shapes and sizes. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with all the choices available. What do the different names mean? Why does this blade have a different shape, weight, or thickness, then another? And for those knives designed for specific jobs, how and why is that design ideal for that job?
An inward curving narrow blade, from 4-8 inches, provides better control when separating meat or poultry from bone or filleting fish.
A serrated blade grips the bread and holds it in place, preventing crushing or squeezing while sawing through the loaf. These versatile tools can also be used for portioning fruits and vegetables, especially those with softer skin.
These long, flat knives are used to segment large pieces of meat or poultry, either before or after cooking. The length of the blade ensures a smooth, complete slice in one stroke.
The most essential tool for heavy-duty jobs and high-frequency tasks. These 8-12 inch blades handle everything, from chopping up vegetables to slicing up chunks of meat. Chef knives are probably the most utilized utensil in your cook’s arsenal.
Unlike the precise utility of the boning knife, the thick, rectangular blade of the cleaver is designed to hack through bone with a single strike. The cleaver can also be turned upside-down, with the spine used to crush or tenderize before the cutting begins.
When it’s time to get down to the fine details, a small 2-4 inch blade with a more pointed tip is necessary. Especially when trimming or peeling smaller items, a quality paring knife is essential for your kitchen.
Once the heavy-duty work is done, 5-8 inch utility knives are next for those easier, less intensive jobs around the kitchen. When the food is ready for the customer’s plate, your cook is reaching for the utility knife to make the final cut.
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