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Cooking knives

Basics

One of the most important and frequently used pieces of equipment in any kitchen is the knife.  There are numerous brands and types of knives out there to choose from, and although you can easily purchase an entire set, you will mostly use only one or two knives for most cooking.

Choosing a knife

Style Shape Specification
Peeling Knife Used for peeling round vegetables such as onions and potatoes.
Paring Knifes Used for peeling vegetables and paring firm fruits.
Tomato/Utility Knife (Serrated) For sandwich meat, buns and tomatoes.
Boning Knife Fantastic for de-boning meat from bones, used very often with fish.
Utility Knives This is a multi-use knife which you can use for almost anything that isn't too big.
Carving/Slicing Knives

Used to carve chickens, roastsand other medium sized meats as well as vegetables.
Chef's Knives Dicing and chopping. Rock the handle of the knife up and down while holding the tip of the blade on the cutting board for fast action chopping.
Bread Knife (Serrated) Used to cut bread or any other crusty-type of food.
Santoku Knives Chopping and slicing. The hollow pockets along the blade allow air between the item being cut and the blade itself. These allow for very fine slicing.
Cleaver Chopping through bones and joints.
Sharpening Steel This instrument was created specifically for sharpening non-serated knives and blades. Constanty sharpen your knifes for maximum effectiveness and safety.

Sharpening

A "steel" is a metal rod that has been specially designed for sharpening kitchen knives. Steels effectively sharpen almost all types of metals and work well with all different types of knives. To sharpen your kitchen knives using a steel:

1. Hold the steel in one hand.
2. Hold the knife by its handle in your other hand.
3. Place the knife on the underside of the steel, just below the steel's handle.
4. Holding the knife at a slight angle, clench the steel tightly and draw the knife blade down the length of the steel.
5. Repeat this process several times or until the entire cutting surface of the knife has been drawn across the steel on both sides of the blade.