Perhaps nothing sums up the importance of kitchen knives better than Japanese chef, Masaharu Morimoto’s words: “A kitchen without a knife is not a kitchen”.
Knives are kitchen essentials without which whipping up the most basic meals can be a challenge. But simply having a sharp knife isn’t always enough. Especially not if you wish to take your culinary outcomes from simple to stellar.
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced-level cook, whether you’re a home cook or a professional, having a proper set of knives is key to achieve great results in the kitchen.
So if you’re asking — “what kitchen knives do I need?” read on to learn about the types of knives your kitchen must have.
A chef’s knife is the main workhorse in most kitchens. You’ll use it for more than 90% of the kitchen tasks on a daily basis, which includes slicing and dicing vegetables, fruits, meats, and fish.
However, there are certain tasks for which the chef’s knife isn’t the best tool. For example, when it comes to butchering hunks of meat or carving poultry, a chef’s knife will fail to give you the required control. Ditto for skinning vegetables with a hard rind such as winter squashes or fruits with tough peels.
When purchasing a chef’s knife, look for one that has a longer edge. The more surface area of the blade you have, the more work the knife does for you. Plus, more blade area makes the knife safer to use.
A paring knife comes right after the chef’s knife in the order of importance. It’s the ideal tool for smaller tasks such as mincing garlic, peeling fruits and vegetables, and hulling strawberries.
Because of their small size, they make an excellent choice for kids when they start learning to use knives for the first time. They offer more control and are lighter than most kitchen knives.
This knife has a long-blade, straight-edges and a rounded tip (sometimes with a row of identical dents or scallops on both sides of the blade called Granton). Typically less broad and longer (8-10 inches long) than a chef’s knife, this knife is specifically handy for carving/slicing cooked meat, poultry and fish. The narrow blade enables you to obtain thinner cuts and reduces the drag for cleaner results.
Serrated bread knife
These are ideal for your kitchen if crusty bread features regularly on your menu. The tooth-like jagged edges of these knives allow you to cut through foods with a hard exterior without putting downward pressure. This is why you can use this knife to cut bread without crushing or crumbling it.
But, it’s not just bread that you can use them for. They are great for slicing through tomatoes or other fruits and vegetables with slippery exteriors. The rough edges of the blade provides a better grip and makes it easier to cut through such foods smoothly and efficiently.
As the name suggest, a boning knife is meant to bone meat, poultry or fish. While most knives are designed to cut in straight lines, boning knives are pliable enough to move and flex along the contours of bones and skin.
The sharp tip and narrow blade of these knives help to release the meat from the bones with fewer strokes. They can also easily cut through joints and cartilage.
These were the types of knives you must have in your kitchen. To make sure each one of them performs to their best and maintains their optimal sharpness for as long as possible, they must be cared for. A dull knife is not only frustrating to use but is a safety hazard. Professional knife sharpening services such KnifeCare Australia take away the hassles of keeping your knives in tip-top shape, so you can enjoy working with these super essential kitchen tools for years.