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Six Kinds of Knives Every Kitchen Needs

Views: 277     Author: Vickey     Publish Time: 2023-09-27      Origin: Site

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Six Kinds of Knives Every Kitchen Needs

One of the most essential (and fundamental) cooking utensils that every home cook should have is a sharp knife. You've undoubtedly seen the variety of knives that chefs keep on hand if you've ever observed them in action. Every type of knife, from small paring knives to huge cleavers, seems to have a specific purpose, but how many of these are actually required in a household kitchen? The list of knives you should have in your kitchen is reduced to only six with the help of this easy guide, which also offers professional maintenance advice!

You can cook almost anything with four basic blades, from a quick family supper to a five-course banquet.

The Chef's Knife

In your kitchen, if you could only own one knife, make it the chef's knife in the Western style. With so many applications, this versatile knife is frequently called the most essential culinary tool.

The chef's knife is a strong multitasker that can chop, slice, dice, and mince a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, herbs, and pretty much any other ingredient it comes into contact with, even though it's not the best tool for every activity.

Look for a chef's knife with a blade that is 8 to 12 inches long and bends upward to a pointy tip if you're in the market for a new one. The so-called "belly" curve facilitates a simple rocking motion that adds fluidity to all that slicing and dicing.

The chef's knife is a necessity when it comes to preparing meat! The blade's heel and weight provide precisely the correct amount of heft to cut through hefty pieces of meat and even bones, and the tip is useful for scoring roasts, trimming fat, and slicing through sinew.

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The Santoku Knife

A chef knife with a Japanese aesthetic that may be used for many tasks in the kitchen is called a Santoku knife. Similar to the chef's knife used in the West, the Santoku knife is a widely used kitchen instrument for doing general chores like chopping vegetables and slicing chicken, fish, and other foods. When contrasting these two chef knives, there are a few noteworthy characteristics and variations.

Compared to a chef's knife made in the West, the Santoku knife is significantly lighter and smaller, with a blade length of five to seven inches. This well-liked knife has additional qualities that make it a kitchen necessity, even though it does not have the weight that makes chef's knives excellent for large tasks and strong materials.

The Granton, or "scalloped," edge of the Santoku knife is one of its most distinctive features. It lets little air pockets pass between the blade and your ingredients to keep them from adhering between each slice. This makes it an excellent choice for cutting through components like fish and garlic, as well as for recipes like ratatouille that require precisely cut pieces.

Additionally, cooks with little hands will find the Santoku knife to be a fantastic option because it is lighter and smaller than a chef's knife made in the Western manner. To make the most of each knife's capabilities, learn how to use it properly. Though there are some variations from the conventional Western-style chef's knife, there are still some distinctions in the chopping technique.

The Utility Knife

The utility kitchen knife is not to be confused with a pocket utility knife; it is sized in between a paring knife and a chef's knife. The blade is similar in shape to the chef's knife and is a great multipurpose instrument, even though it is designed for lighter work. Its length ranges from 4 to 7 inches.

For slicing through medium-sized fruits and vegetables, such as lemons, limes, cucumbers, zucchini, and summer squash, the utilitarian kitchen knife works perfectly. It's also a terrific option for slicing tomatoes for salads and sandwiches, cured meats and cheeses for a charcuterie board, and bread goods like bagels and sandwiches in half.

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The Boning Knife

The boning knife is a kitchen must for everyone who likes meat. The thin, curved blade frequently has a small amount of bend to it, which facilitates cutting around the bones and neatly separating the meat without sacrificing an excessive amount of flesh. Its thin tip makes it easy to rip away the cartilage in joints, and it's ideal for carefully removing fat.

Sometimes, boning knives are mistaken for fillet knives, which are used to fillet fish. In reality, though, some are made to combine the greatest features of the two designs into one knife, giving you the best of both worlds.

It's also not necessary to save the boning knife for when you're preparing the meats! In addition, it can be a terrific way to prepare fresh produce for salads, platters, centrepieces, and other foods. Peeling the skin or rind of fruits and vegetables without removing too much flesh is made simple by the thin, semi-flexible blade.

A boning knife is another tool that some expert bakers like to use for shaping cookie dough, carving cakes, and piercing cupcakes. So the boning knife has a place in your kitchen, whether you enjoy cooking savoury meats or sweet desserts!

The Paring Knife

Don't let the tiny size of this practical small knife fool you! Though the paring knife may be the smallest of all kitchen knives, it possesses certain abilities that the others do not, making it an indispensable tool in every kitchen.

With a blade that is only 2 ½ to 4 inches long and a sharp tip, the paring knife resembles a chef's knife in size. But, unlike the chef's knife, it is capable of tasks that the other knife simply cannot perform (and vice versa). Consider deveining prawns, hulling strawberries, segmenting oranges, and peeling apples, potatoes, and tomatoes.

Additionally, the paring knife works well for short, simple jobs like chopping fat off meats and scoring roasts, breads, and pies, as well as slicing garlic, shallots, radishes, and other small vegetables.

The Bread Knife

This knife's name is a little misleading. Did you know that the bread knife isn't only for slicing bread? Its 8- to 10-inch serrated blade is famed for its exceptional ability to cut through a variety of breads, from sweet dessert breads to hard, crusty loaves.

The bread knife is an ideal instrument for cutting into cakes, pies, and other baked goods when baking. With its large blade that can cut through a whole layer in a single pass, it's also an excellent tool for levelling and shaping cakes.

Aside from baking, the bread knife works well for slicing through tough autumn vegetables like melons and squash, as well as other large, thick-skinned items. With no effort, you can effortlessly cut through the tough skin thanks to the blade's serrations, and its length enables you to cut uniform slices. Even thick-crusted roasts can be carved with a bread knife!

From one bread knife to the next, there are variations in the quantity, form, and general sharpness of the serrations, providing you with two distinct options for cutting edges: pointed and scalloped. Often called a "serrated" knife, this pointed-edge blade has strong, sharp teeth that can really tear and shred food.

Instead of leaving a trail of crumbs behind, the scalloped edge bread knife has more rounded serrations that are spaced farther apart, making it easier to cut through crusty loaves of bread. Furthermore, scalloped edges are useful for holding onto tasty liquids when slicing through roasts with a thick crust.

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How to Maintain Your Kitchen Knives?

After learning everything there is to know about the necessary knives for your kitchen, here are some pointers for maintaining their optimal functionality.

1. Maintain them dry and clean

Although this seems easy enough, the reality is that even a small amount of soap or water residue left on your knives can have long-term detrimental effects. Therefore, it's still advisable to hand wash your knives right away after use with warm, soapy water and wipe them thoroughly dry before putting them back in their place, even if they are made to survive the harsh environment of the dishwasher. Just be careful not to wash your knives with abrasive or coloured sponges, as this can cause scratches on the metal and possibly damage or discolour the blade.

2. Don't put them in the dishwasher

As previously stated, hand wash those blades at all times! Cutlery that is delicate, like kitchen knives, should not be placed in a dishwasher. The chemicals in detergent can actually discolour the metal of the blade, and any water left on it while it dries can quickly cause it to rust. They can also bang around, scrape, and chip other cutlery. Additionally, keep in mind the heat! Elevated temperatures have the potential to degrade steel's temper by causing it to expand and contract, weakening and dulling the blade while also raising the risk of rust.

3. Keep them out of the sink

Never leave your kitchen knives in the sink, especially one that is filled with water, for the safety of both you and your cutlery! In addition to being risky, leaving your knives wet can do serious damage to them. You also run the risk of forgetting about them while doing dishes and stabbing yourself with the sharp edge. Worse, inquisitive young hands may inadvertently reach into the washbasin and come into contact with a sharp knife.

It's not healthy for the knives' blades to be left in sitting water; therefore, always wash and dry your knives by hand after each use. Putting a knife in the washbasin is not the best idea, even if it is empty. Should it come into contact with the sink's side or other dishes, you can wind up with chips, scrapes, or a ruined blade altogether.

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4. Don't let them into the drawer

It's also crucial to store your knives correctly. Make sure your blades are thoroughly dry before storing them, and use your knife block if you have one. If you don't already have a knife block, you might want to buy one or look for other secure ways to keep your knives so you won't be tempted to put them in a drawer with other utensils.

Knives kept loosely in a drawer can be hazardous for both the blade and you, for the same reason that they can be deadly when left in a sink. Invest in some knife covers if your only storage choice is a drawer, so you can shield your fingers as well as the blades.

5. Keep them on the right cutting boards

All kitchen prep involves the use of cutting boards, and maintaining the sharpness of your knives depends on selecting the proper one. Look for plastic, bamboo, or wood cutting boards. Cutting boards and counters made of granite, marble, glass, or steel should never be used for chopping or preparing food. Due to their great hardness, these materials will swiftly dull your knives by rolling the edge of your blade. Because they are softer materials, wood and plastic give way to the edge of your knife and preserve its sharpness.

6. Maintain their sharpness

The most vital and potentially most hazardous culinary utensils are your kitchen knives. Keep your kitchen knives sharp since, even with caution, using a dull knife can be very harmful for your fingers.

A dull knife loses its cutting ability and becomes deadly. Your knife isn't sharp enough to cut through your food with ease if it can't cut through a piece of paper. Rather, it makes you exert more force, which raises the possibility that you will mishandle the knife. This implies that it can also slide and slip across foods that have rough or slick surfaces, perhaps cutting your fingers instead of your meal.

Furthermore, a dull knife does not preclude it from cutting through—or rather, "ripping through"—your skin! In contrast to a neat cut made with a sharp knife, it may actually leave you with a broader, jagged cut that takes considerably longer to heal.        

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