How will you determine that you have all you need in the kitchen? Basically, homeowners need to know the basic kitchen tools and have all these always handy. One of the most important kitchen utensils is the knife. For each gourmet, it is good to have an idea which type of knife is best for a specific cut. This may sound unnecessary but if you would do it this way, then you will find it easier, faster, and more convenient to prepare any dish.
The Anatomy of a Knife
The image below shows the anatomy of a knife.
|Bolster||The bolster is only found on forged knives. It prevents the user’s hand from slipping across the blade.
|Butt||The butt is the end of the knife handle.|
|Edge||The edge is the sharpened part of the knife blade that extends from the heel to the tip.
|Handle||Also known as the scales, the handle provides the knife’s gripping surface.
|Heel||The heel is the rear portion of the blade and is most often used to cut thick or tough products where more force is required.
|Point||This functions as the piercing tool of the blade.
|Spine||The spine is the top of the blade opposite the edge.
|Tang||The tang is the part of the blade that extends into the handle and helps provide balance.
|Tip||Pointed tips are ideal for piercing and cutting small portions. Rounded tips are ideal for cutting or slicing thin portions.|
Determining the Proper Knife
Here are some of the most common types of knives and their description:
Meat Carving Knife
Though there are many meat cutting knives, a meat carving knife is used to slice thin cuts of meat, including poultry, roasts, hams, and other large cooked meats. Carving knives are much thinner than a chef’s knife, enabling them to carve thinner, more precise slices.
Boning knives, another type of meat knife, are available with flexible, semi-flexible (semi-stiff), and stiff blades ranging from 3″ to 8″ in length and are used to separate meat from bone. Flexible blades are great for shaping, denuding, and seaming and are typically used by experienced butchers for boning roasts, whole hams, lamb legs, veal legs, and filleting fish.
Bread knives are available in a variety of sizes, from 7″ to 10″. Some feature an offset handle design to prevent the users’ knuckles from hitting the cutting board. Bread knives may have a straight or slightly curved blade with a serrated edge that’s ideal for bread and hard rind fruits.
Butcher knives usually have heavy, wide, and slightly curved blades that are useful for cutting, sectioning, and trimming large pieces of meat.
A cleaver features a long, wide blade that is used to chop and cut through thick meat and bone. Cleavers are also ideal for opening lobsters.
Flank and Shoulder Knife
Flank and shoulder knives are a type of boning knife that are excellent for creating flank steaks. Their straight, stiff blades are perfect for generating precise cuts while boning, trimming, and jointing.
Nakiri knives enable you to cut vegetables paper-thin in just seconds! Its razor sharp taper edges are best for seedless vegetables.
Paring knives rate second in versatility after a chef’s knife in a commercial kitchen. There are several common styles:
Spear point paring knives are great for removing corn from the cob, breaking up heads of lettuce, peeling fruits and vegetables, cutting beans, and other similar tasks.
Bird’s beak or curved paring knives, also referred to as tourney knives, feature a downward arching blade that makes peeling round fruit and garnishing a breeze.
Sheep’s foot paring knives feature a rounded tip with a straight edge. These knives are perfect for chopping and julienning fruits and vegetables on a cutting board.
A Santoku knife is an all purpose knife best suited for slicing, dicing, and mincing. This knife can be used for the same functions as a chef knife.
Equivalent to a western slicer, the Sashimi knife is perfect for everyday slicing and for cutting large pieces of fish.
The meat slicing knife features a long, straight blade that is designed for slicing cooked meats. Slicers are generally longer than a carving knife and often feature a Granton Edge and a round blunt tip. Ham slicers feature a narrower, more flexible blade that makes cutting cold meat more efficient. A slicer should be long enough to permit smooth slicing action.
This knife is designed to quickly produce paper-thin slices, especially vegetables without hard seeds. Try a produce knife for similar peeling and cutting tasks.
Utility knives often have a scalloped edge, and can be considered a cross between a paring knife and a slicing knife. A sharp utility knife is very efficient for slicing softer fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes or squash. Utility knives are also great for cutting large melon rings, cutting heads of lettuce into wedges, preparing cabbage for shredding, and halving citrus fruits.