When you have the right tools and equipment in your kitchen, your cooking and baking processes can go much faster than before. Even if you don’t indulge in the latest gadgets, having some quality basics can make a lot of difference.
The best example of must-haves in the kitchen (and also for a variety of other needs) is a set of knives. With a quality set of sharp knives, you can prepare your food much faster and in a safer manner as well. It might be interesting to look at who invested the knife and also ask ‘what are the different types of knives?’.
However, the variety of knives in the market today can be a bit overwhelming. Let’s take a look at the different types of knives and discuss their uses. You may not need every single one of them in your kitchen, so pick and choose the ones that will be used on a frequent basis:
Forged and Stamped Knives
The first step is to look at the matter of forged and stamped knives. These categories are based on how a knife is made.
A forged knife is made from just one metal piece. A steel block is pulled and hammered , usually with the help of a press. Then, the flat piece is honed and finally sharpened into a knife. The handle is put on the bottom part of the steel before the polishing and shining process.
You’d usually find forged knives such as Sabatier and Wusthof Trident used by professional cooks and chefs. This is because the blade and tang are part of one long piece, making them sturdier and more durable. Their balanced form also makes it easier to get a good cut, but you do have to pay top dollar for such knives. However, the price might be worth it if you’re cooking professionally and want the knives to last for a lifetime (maybe several).
A stamped knife is made when the handle is attached to a blade. After this joining, the blade goes through the hardening, polishing, and sharpening process for a decent finish. While such knives are affordable and get the job done, they are usually thinner than the forged versions and won’t last as long.
While stamped knives might not be the absolute best around, their manufacturing and design is improving each year. Some professionals might even prefer their lightweight and comfy experience to heavier forged knives. Certain stamped knives are now rivaling forged knives in terms of lifespan and sharpness as well.
We can tell whether a knife is forged or stamped by looking for the bolster. Stamped knives don’t have a steel bolster, while forged ones do.
Basic Kitchen Knives
Let’s now have a look at the basic knives that no kitchen should lack. To use them properly, all cooks should look up some cutting basics before using these knives:
1. Chef knife
This is also referred to as a cook’s or chef’s knife. It’s equipped with a long and broad blade that has a straight edge. The heel is its widest part, which then tapers up to a fine tip.
With this, you can chop a load of vegetables, cut thick and hard food, or mince your ingredients before cooking and mixing. It’s among the most versatile tools you’ll ever use in the kitchen.
2. Utility knife
This is similar to a chef’s knife, but it’s slimmer and smaller too. Some versions of this might include a very sharp tip in case you want to make intricate patterns.
Such a knife is great for cutting up small items such as shallot, cherry tomatoes, etc.
3. Paring knife
Paring knives have a short and somewhat even blade with a point. It’s light enough for delicate work, so you can use it for chopping, slicing , and cutting fruits and veggies.
These knives are also good for dealing with harder options such as potatoes, while their easy handling also allows you to remove seeds and pulp.
4. Bread knife
This has a long and even blade, but the edge is serrated. The serrations make the knife ideal for cutting soft items like loaves of bread, bagels, rolls, etc. You can also use this item to cut soft cakes and even as a cake leveler. This is because the edges would do the cutting without risking damage to the shape of the cake or loaf.
Knives for Preparing Meat
Not every cook is skilled or confident enough to prepare cuts of meat on their own. If someone does want to undertake such tasks for their home or work purposes, here are the options they should consider:
1. Carving knife
This is a long and slim knife with a sharp tip. It’s also used for slicing, as the blade doesn’t drag too much while cutting through anything.
Overall, this is the knife you want when serving poultry, lamb, beef, or other similar items. Melons and watermelons might also be easier to cut up with this option.
Some might know them as butcher knives, but cleavers usually have a flat blade in rectangular shape. They’re board and heavy, sometimes with a hole inside so you can hang them up.
Cleavers are for chopping raw meat, not cooked food. You can also use their flat surface for crushing ginger or garlic.
3. Boning knife
This has a slim blade and a shape, appeared edge. It’s usually very short and has a rigid construction. You can also get a slimmer blade if you need to cut delicate meats.
Boning knives are good for cutting away cartilage and making the right cut before you cook it. The slim blade makes it possible to cut away the meat from the bone without damaging the flesh.
The Best Fish Knives
Fish knives are especially used for preparing seafood. If you’d like to fillet your fish on your own, remove it’s bones, or make sushi from scratch, one or more of the following knives will come in handy:
1. Filleting knife
This is a slim and long knife that has a flexible blade. The edge is quite sharp, while the tip has a fine point so you can easily pierce through any skin.
Filleting knives will make it easy to remove bones without hammering the delicate fish meat. They’re usually used horizontally, so be sure to look up the connect method beforehand.
2. Salmon knife
These have long and flexible blades with double edges, perfect for filleting large fish. The blade is also thin, so you can easily remove skin and fillet precisely without much waste. There may also be some indentations or dimpling on the surface, which helps to reduce drag while cutting.
3. Santoku knives
These are for precise mincing, dicing, and dicing. The name here literally means ‘three uses’, so you’ll get a lot out of this particular blade. There’s a slight taper, with drop points that help in intricate cutting. The blade is on the board side, which helps to scoop and move food after it’s chopped up.
Knives for Vegetables
Chef’s knives or paring knives are good enough for cutting vegetables, but serious chefs might want special vegetables knives for this purpose. These will help in fine cutting, creating garnishes, ribbons, and a lot more:
1. Nakiri knives
These have deep and flat blades, which made them good for shredding cabbage or lettuce for your salads. The straight edge is fine enough for easily chopping up vegetables without using the common rocking motion.
2. Tomato knives
These lightweight knives usually have a short length of around 6 inches. They have rounded blades and serrated edges, which make it easy to cut the delicate skin and fleshy centers of tomatoes.
The handle of these knives are different from the usual kind, as they’re made of textured rubber or plastic. This design helps with the grip while you’re cutting.
3. Peeling knife
This knife has a short and rigid blade that might have a slight curve to it. The edge is very sharp, make it easy to peel any kind of vegetable or fruit. It will slice through thick and tough skins. You also want to make sure that the handle is sturdy and ergonomic, as the blade can cause injury of it slips while peeling.
Picking and choosing the best knife collection can be a daunting task. Some knives have more than one name, while the same style can be used for a variety of purposes. If you want to make the most of your money and storage space, we suggest looking into what kind of knife suits your needs best. This way, you can start off by purchasing just a few quality knives instead of a large set that mostly stays unused. Look closely at each type of knife we’ve discussed above and decide which one is worth your while. While you’re at it, consider a Swiss Army Knife for your camping essentials.