Whether you’re a home cook or a professional chef, your tools can often be the difference between a high-quality meal and one that is bland and forgettable. There are countless types of basic and specialised kitchen knives used for a variety of purposes, each significant in their own way. Knife collections and their subsequent caring processes are often considered the hallmark of a good chef, and for good reason. Whether it's carving raw meat or a loaf of freshly-baked bread using the right knife can make a world of difference. Let’s break down some of the most popular types of kitchen knives, and their uses.
The Chef’s Knife
Also known as a cook’s knife, this knife is considered the most important tool in a set of knives. Designed to rock back and forth to allow for faster mincing and slicing, this knife is used for almost any task in the kitchen, ranging from dicing vegetables to even slicing meat.
The Utility Knife
Also known as a mini Chef’s Knife, the utility knife is differentiated by its serrated edge variants. It is used to cut both soft and harder veggies that are too small for a regular-sized chef’s knife.
The Santoku Knife
The Japanese word Santoku translates to “three virtues”. True to its name, this Japanese rendition of the Western Chef’s Knife is perfect for mincing, dicing and slicing. Smaller and lighter than its Western counterpart, the knife is preferred by cooks who take a more tender-handed approach. The Santoku knife generally allows the chef to create more precise cuts.
The Kitchen Shears
A pair of knives fashioned into scissors, kitchen shears are used for a number of preparations, including cutting veggies, herbs and sectioning meat. Whether you are making homemade chicken satay skewers or simply trimming the excess fat off meat. Kitchen shears might just be the weapon you need.
The Boning Knife
Tyically used for separating meat from bone, the boning knife has many diverse uses, ranging from filleting fish to peeling and trimming vegetables. With many variations to the blade, boning knives can range from flexible, to semi-flexible and even stiff blades, each with its own uses.
The Bread Knife
One of the most common features of even an amateur’s repertoire of knives, the Bread Knife, as its name implies, is used for cutting bread, cakes, and may even be used for poultry, meat and seafood. Constructed to allow for bread to be sawed without being crushed or squished, Bread Knives are long, narrow and serrated.
The knives you use say a lot about your technical knowledge as a chef, and can elevate even the most basic meals into a professional affair that will leave dinner guests fawning over the food. So, go out there and impress with your extensive knowledge of kitchen blades like the professional you are!