Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Five Popular Kitchen Knives and Their Uses

Having the proper variety of knives at your disposal will make cooking at home both efficient and enjoyable. The big issue for most amateur cooking enthusiasts is figuring out which knives should be included in their cutlery collection. Below are five popular kitchen knives you should have in your kitchen drawer.
  1. Chef’s Knife – Sometimes referred to as a cook’s knife, this is the most popular blade in any restaurant’s kitchen. A chef’s knife tends to size in between 8-12”, and features a wide blade with a fine point. It can be used for any number of tasks, but is most likely the tool of choice for chopping, fine mincing, or slicing. Similar to a chef’s knife are the Santoku and Sashimi knives. You’ll see these more regularly used in Japanese cuisine, but they can function just like a chef’s knife should you choose to use one.
  2. Paring Knife – Offered up in two styles of blade – spear or bird’s beak – a paring knife has a wide range of applications just like the chef’s knife. Use it to peel fruits or vegetables, cut small, delicate foods like grapes or beans, or remove meat from bones. The bird’s beak variety has fewer applications, however, so a spear tip blade is recommended for versatility. 
  3. Cleaver – A cleaver is the ideal tool for cutting through heavy, thick meat and bone. It’s the perfect choice if you plan on cooking a lot of red meats, ribs, or even lobsters that need opening. Keep in mind that they don’t offer the control needed to make finer cuts like chops or slices. Try turning the blade on its side to crush garlic or seeds.
  4. Carving/Slicing Knife – Long and narrow, the blade of a carving or slicing knife is perfect for making uniform cuts across pieces of meat with a gentle sawing motion. When designed with a serrated edge and raised handle, this knife can pull double duty cutting delicate breads.  
  5. Utility Knife – A utility knife represents the middle ground between a paring knife and a chef’s knife. It’s a great tool for softer fruits and vegetables like persimmons, tomatoes, or squash, and is a regular part of a delicatessen’s arsenal due to its usefulness when cutting sandwich meats.
No single knife will do every job in the kitchen, but there are several that are commonly used in a variety of cooking styles. Consider some of the options above and be sure to visit J.L. Hufford for our fine selection of luxury, quality-made cutlery.

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