7 Common Kitchen Knives: Uses and Specialties

10/05/2016

By: Kayla Brown
 
So you want to know exactly what knives you need in your kitchen? You’ve come to the right place. Most people don’t even realize that using the proper knife can actually improve your meal preparation and cooking.
 
By using the correct knife for the right job, you’re accomplishing your kitchen tasks more effectively and working in a safer manner. The wrong knife choice can cause a mess and worse – an injury. Here are the most popular knives and their recommended purposes! 

 

Chef's Knife

The Chef’s Knife is by far the most versatile knife in your kitchen.
 
Perfect For: Almost anything – chopping, slicing, dicing and mincing.
Not so Perfect For: While it is a multi-purpose knife, it probably shouldn’t be used to peel the skin of vegetables, this can be done with a knife more suited for smaller tasks. 

 

 

Carving Knife

If you find yourself constantly dealing with cooked meats like poultry and fish, a Carving Knife is bound to be your best friend.
 
Perfect For: With a long, thin blade this knife is perfect for cutting large pieces of meat into even, thin slices.
Not So Perfect For: Because of its size and length, avoid cutting vegetables or using it for smaller tasks like mincing. 

 

 

Paring Knife

This knife is extremely handy, making smaller precision tasks a snap. Slicing strawberries or trimming mushrooms? Looking to mince foods that are probably too small for your Chef’s Knife? The Paring Knife is perfect for all of those things. 
 
Perfect For: Peeling, slicing small fruits and vegetables as well as trimming are great for this convenient little tool. 
Not So Perfect For: Avoid using this knife to cut through hard and tough veggies like carrots. While Paring Knives are great for precision, they don’t carry enough weight to slice through harder vegetables. 

 

 

Utility Knife

This bad boy is smaller than a Chef’s Knife, but larger than a Paring Knife, making it extremely versatile and a great addition to your kitchen.
 
Perfect For: Everyday tasks like cutting Panini’s, cutting cheeses or slicing meats come easy with this knife.
Not So Perfect For: Again, while Utility Knives are versatile tools, save the mincing and smaller precision tasks for a smaller knife. 

 

 

 

Santoku Knife

Santoku knifes are great because they combine the features of a Chef’s Knife and a Cleaver.
 
Perfect For: This knife is excellent for chopping vegetables and the blade also works well when scooping sliced food off of a wooden cutting board. It can be used on most ingredients and is a great option for home chef’s with smaller hands that may find Chef’s Knives a little too big.
Not So Perfect For: Some knife experts claim that santokus are best suited for softer vegetables and boneless meat, and not so well-suited for things like breaking down bone-in chicken and harder vegetables.

 

 

 

Cleaver

This heavyweight tools helps you out with all things meat.
 
Perfect For: Cutting through poultry bones in a single downward stroke, the Cleaver uses its weight to cut through tough foods.
Not So Perfect For: Avoid slicing – that’s not really the job of this tool. But it is ideal for pulverizing meat or crushing seeds. 

 

 

Bread Knife

This knife features a serrated blade that ensures no tearing or squishing when cutting through soft, fresh loaves of bread. 
 
Perfect For: Its jagged edge is also great for gripping foods with waxy or slippery surfaces like pineapples or watermelons.
Not So Perfect For: Bread  knives tend to be too wide for cutting smaller fruits and vegetables effectively, so save that for your Chef’s Knife or Paring Knife. 

 

 

 

 

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