There are many different types of kitchen knives, which can make selecting the right one much more challenging. By understanding the various types, it becomes easier to choose the correct one for a given situation.
To begin with, you need to understand the various types of edges that can be found on knives.
Wavy or serrated edges are ideal for cutting items that are soft, but have a hard crust (like bread) or a tough skin (like tomatoes and sausages). The teeth improve the pressure you can put on the object and these knives are typically thinner than plain edges.
Straight edges are perfect for chopping vegetables, slicing salmon, or cutting raw meat and are sharpened with sharpening steel. The straight edge helps with clean or precise cuts and is best when razor sharp.
The granton edge is also known as the kullenschiff edge and includes hollowed out grooves along the blade’s sides. The grooves let you get even, thin cuts without shredding or tearing meat as the juices and fat fill the grooves; they also reduce sticking.
One of the essential types of kitchen knives is the boning knife, which is used to take meat off bones or cut poultry or fish. These can vary in terms of blade width and stiffness with the curve improving control for precise cuts.
- Narrow boning knives easily cut through the cartilage and bone on chops and ribs.
- Wide boning knives are ideal for pork and chicken.
- Curved boning knives offer an improved angle for cutting close to the bone.
Paring knives are typically thin blades between three and four inches that taper to a point. They optimize the control, making them perfect for intricate work and are typically good for basic utility kitchen work. This is one of the types of kitchen knives that comes in multiple styles, with each serving a function.
- Bird’s Beak: These peel around apples and other fruits or vegetables and can also help with precise carving such as fluting.
- Chef’s: these are miniature cook’s knives.
- Sheep’s Foot: This parer features a straight blade and is ideal for paring or peeling food.
- Wavy Edge: This is good for tomatoes or similar foods with a soft inside and protective crust or skin.
- Clip Point (Granny): These can peel produce or remove pits from olives or eyes from potatoes.
- Paring/Boning: These help with detailed cutting, such as removing meat from bones.
Chef’s knives are one of the types of kitchen knives that are the most versatile, letting you slice produce, chop, or do anything in between. The majority feature broad blades curving upwards so the knife rocks to mince finely. The blade’s spine is typically thick, adding strength and weight. A large number of chef’s knives have a bolster (a metal collar) between the handle and blade that prevents slipping. They can measure 6, 8, 10, or 12 inches with longer blades letting you cut faster and shorter blades improving control.
Slicing And Carving Knives
These knives are typically used to slice meats as they have pointed tips and long blades to improve the cleanliness of the cut. (Although the roast beef slicer features a round tip). These blades are thinner than chef’s knives and are between 8 and 14 inches long. Thinner blades should be used with a sawing motion and long blades let you cut meat into even slices.
These are typically thick-bladed and 8 to 9 inches long, featuring serrated edges to cut the crust. The serrations tend to be very deep.
Tomato knives are like bread knives, but smaller and with finer serrations. The forked tip helps pick up slices while the serrated edge cuts tough skin.
This is a Japanese chef’s knife and the narrow spine helps slice thin cuts. The wide blade lets you scoop out ingredients or chop garlic, while the curved blade assists you with chopping via a rocking motion.
Cleavers are thick-spined and wide-bladed and rely on weight to cut through bones or other tough food. It can also pulverize meet or crush seeds. Chinese cleavers are similar, but narrow-spined and can also take meat off bones or scoop out ingredients, but shouldn’t split bones.
These are mid-sized and one of the most versatile types of kitchen knives. They can be between 4 and7 inches and help cut large vegetables or sandwich meats. They are also known as sandwich knives and can have serrated or plain edges.