If you think those shiny metals and knife blades sitting on the countertop in every cooking show or contest are essential for enhancing your cooking game, you could not be more wrong. As most chefs will tell you, cooking quality and dexterity is not about the quantity of high-tech gadgets and high-end utensils you have in the kitchen. Instead, it is all about finding the right set of cutlery that makes you comfortable in cooking.
Whether it is a pork loin that needs slicing or a big pineapple that you need to dice, having the most useful types of knives around you in the kitchen is necessary. You can do nothing in the kitchen without a good knife that fits your hand like a glove and suits your working style like a partner.
Thus, one knife might be the best suitable choice for you while it might be the improper one for other people. So, there are no definitive correct answers. If you are looking for information about the various types of kitchen knives and the best amongst them, you are reading the right article.
Types of Kitchen Knives Useful for Everyday Use
Among the numerous options we see dangling in the cutlery section of the famous supermarkets, you only need a few kitchen knives for everyday use. If you get a set of these five kitchen knives, you can outperform all the kitchen needs. Historically, kitchen knives have evolved a lot. From pebbles and sharp stones being used to cut open the animal carcasses, today’s kitchen knives have taken different forms and types.
1. Chef’s Knife
A chef’s knife is the most useful of all. You can call it the jack of all the traits among the various types of kitchen knives, as you can use it for almost every kind of cutting. If you are on the lookout for the best chef’s knife, an 8 to 10-inch one is recommended. This length might be a tad bit uncomfortable for most people; yet, it is the one that serves you the best.
The more you use a big chef’s knife, the more it grows on you, and you fall in love with it. The length of the blade makes the cutting action swift and versatile. Experts assert that chef’s knives with longer blades require less pressure from your hand action.
Uses of the Chef’s Knife
A chef’s knife is also very aptly called the go-to kitchen knife for everything. Whether it is dicing onions or tomatoes or any other veggie for your omelet in the morning or deboning your fish, a chef’s knife is the most useful around the kitchen. You can grab fruits from the basket and dice them without any worry in the world with the chef’s knife for putting together a hearty bowl of fruit salad.
Nevertheless, no matter how robust this chef’s knife might be, you should not use it for butchering or carving poultry. It is also not suitable for removing the skin of veggies such as butternut squash. The chef’s knife is well-known for its broad and long blade; however, this variety of kitchen knives is not made for skinning veggies or carving poultry.
Investing in a good-quality chef’s knife is something that you will never regret. As we gradually transition into adulthood, somehow, shopping for a good chef’s knife becomes the most exciting thing in your life. If you have set a budget aside for buying items for your kitchen, a large part of your budget should be directed toward purchasing a chef’s knife.
2. Paring Knife
The second most helpful kitchen knife is the paring knife. It has a blade about three and a half inches long. It is handy for attending to food items that need detailing, such as slicing or mincing. You can mince a garlic clove with a paring knife.
Uses of Paring Knife
Though a chef’s knife can slice and dice veggies and fruits very well, some veggies, such as garlic clove, are too small for the big 8-inch blade. A paring knife is the best for such uses. You can hull strawberries with it too.
A paring knife is small in size – which is why you should not use it to slice hard veggies such as carrots or parsnips. A paring knife might not be able to carry all the weight you have to exert on it to cut through a carrot and result in an injury. According to experts, if you have to apply too much pressure on the knife while using it, you might be using it wrong.
Therefore, it is essential to have a paring knife and a chef’s knife to complete your ideal set of kitchen knives.
3. Serrated Knife
A serrated knife is the modern version of a bread knife. It is mainly associated with slicing bread. However, the role of serrated knives has evolved. Its toothed blade is commonly used for several purposes that the two kitchen knives mentioned above cannot fulfill.
Uses of Serrated Knives
If you are searching for a serrated knife, you should that the standard blade length of a serrated knife is about 6 inches. It is primarily suitable for food items with a smooth or waxy surface, such as tomatoes, watermelons, or peppers. You can also use a serrated knife for cutting a freshly baked cake into layers.
The jagged edge of the blade helps glide through smooth surfaces of the food items without you exerting a lot of pressure. This type of kitchen knife is widely used for slicing more than chopping. You can cut nice and equal slices of an apple with the help of the toothed blade. However, a serrated knife is unsuitable for slicing smaller food items, such as garlic or herbs.
A good quality serrated knife can last you long enough to become so used to it that you would not want to give it away. The uses of serrated knives are beyond slicing the bread, and that is why you should be investing in an excellent serrated knife.
Do You Need to Buy a Honing Steel?
To complete the set of most helpful kitchen knives, you need to buy honing steel. Technically, it is not a knife, but honing steel is the ultimate essential tool that enhances the performance of your kitchen knives. It is a long rod of steel specially designed to keep your blades sharp.
If you list the most useful everyday kitchen knives, it cannot be completed without honing steel. Not that you have to sharpen your knives every time you use them; the teeth or fibers on the honing steel help renew the knife’s blade whenever you use it. As a result, the edge becomes sharper and gives you a cleaner cut without much exertion.
You should hone your kitchen knives more often and see the difference in their performance. Although sharpening steel is included in most kitchen knives set, you can also get one separately. It is readily available online and in stores. Keep this tool near your kitchen knives for your convenience. It significantly enhances your experience of cutting and the life of your kitchen knives.
You don’t necessarily need to have a whole set of knives to be a master chef. It all depends on the type of cooking you do and your requirements. The types we mentioned above are the most important ones that you must have in your kitchen to do a variety of cutting.