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The Primary Uses for a Santoku Knife and Why It Is an Essential Tool in the Kitchen?

Views: 246     Author: Vickey     Publish Time: 2023-09-27      Origin: Site


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The Primary Uses for a Santoku Knife and Why It Is an Essential Tool in the Kitchen?

Chef knives, boning knives, paring knives—oh my! There are a plethora of options for kitchen knives, and each one has unique qualities. Okay, so how about that one with the oddly shaped blade and the little imprints? That is the Santoku knife, which is very useful in the kitchen.

How Is a Santoku Knife Used and What Is It?

A multifunctional culinary utensil, the Santoku knife is a chef knife made in the Japanese style. A modern Santoku knife is distinguished from a chef's knife made in the Western manner primarily by its blade shape, which is sometimes called a "sheep's foot." However, not all Santoku knives have this attribute.

The Santoku blade, which is typically between 6 and 7 inches long, curves from the spine to the tip as opposed to ending in a point like a regular chef's knife does. In contrast to the curved belly of Western chef knives, the edge of a blade is typically flat and intended for the up-and-down chopping method known as "push-cutting." The rock chop approach with typical chef knives is very different from this technique, which entails lifting the blade between each cut.

In the past, Japanese chef knives were nearly exclusively single-bevel, meaning the edge was sharpened on one side. Nevertheless, Santoku blades are starting to acquire the double bevel feature that is typically found in Western chef's knives. The distinction is that, in contrast to the Western style, which is nearly always 50:50, double-bevel Santoku blades are typically sharpened at angles ranging from symmetrical 50:50 ratios to asymmetrical 70:30 ratios.

The Granton, or "scalloped," edge—a term used to describe the indentations on the blade's face—is another distinctive feature of the Santoku blade. Fish and other delicate items are meant to stay off the blade in between slices, which is why the Granton edge was created.

Santoku knives are indispensable in any home kitchen since they are multifunctional tools with numerous applications, much like chef's knives in the Western style.

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How to Use a Santoku Knife Proficiently?

After using this useful knife, you'll discover that its design makes it excel at three basic culinary tasks: slicing, chopping, and mincing. The word "santoku" translates as "three virtues" or "three uses."

1. Slicing with a santoku knife

Santoku knives are perfect for chopping fresh produce, meats (both cooked and raw), and other ingredients that need to be sliced uniformly. (Consider thinly sliced tuna for sushi, tomatoes cut equally for sandwiches, or an assortment of evenly sliced vegetables for ratatouille.)

Once sharpened, the blade effortlessly slices through any substance, preventing meat from being torn, vegetable skin from being torn, and fruit from having all of its juice extracted.

A primary benefit of utilising the Santoku blade for slicing is its Granton edge, which facilitates the butterflying of chicken breasts, pork chops, and steaks, as well as the effortless slicing of fish without the proteins sticking to the blade.

You should adhere to some of the same kitchen knife safety precautions when using a Santoku knife as you would when using a regular chef's knife, such as positioning your offhand in the shape of a claw to prevent cutting your finger.

Use a rapid downward motion to start slicing, and with each cut, draw the blade slightly towards you. Although it may be tempting to chop without moving the blade in your direction, this can crush or bruise some items instead of cutting them precisely, so make sure you practice!

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2. Chopping with a santoku knife

The approach for cutting with a Santoku knife is different from other methods; therefore, you'll need to practice until you get the feel for it.

Unlike the Western-style chef's knife, which often uses the rock chop method where the blade tip remains on the cutting board between cuts, the Santoku knife's flat edge requires you to raise the blade off the board between each cut.

Making sure you have the best cutting board for your knives is also a smart idea. Every kitchen knife eventually becomes dull from frequent usage, and the surface you're cutting on plays a significant part in keeping your blades sharp—this is particularly true when using Santoku's up-and-down chopping method.

Before starting to chop with a Santoku knife, make sure your cutting board is steady on a level surface (a useful tip is to place a damp paper towel below the board). In order to ensure that your ingredient rests flat on the cutting board, make sure you stabilise it as well. If your ingredient is circular, you can split it in half or take a thin slice from the top or bottom.

Holding your component in place, place the flat side of the blade against your offhand's knuckles, curling your fingers under into a "claw" position. After that, start chopping smoothly up and down, sliding the knife slightly forward, and raising the blade off the cutting board after each cut.

Once you have mastered the up-and-down chopping method, you may accelerate your chopping even further by utilising the push-cut method, which entails pushing the ingredient in the direction of the blade while chopping.

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3. Mincing with a santoku knife

When making dishes that require finely chopped garlic, herbs, or any other sticky or fragile ingredient, the Santoku knife is among the best options. Again, the knife's length and weight provide better control between cuts, and the Granton edge helps release sticky garlic from the blade and prevent shredding delicate herbs, which can affect flavour.

In addition, the width of the blade makes it perfect for picking up materials; however, to prevent rolling or chipping the sharpened edge (and getting a dull knife), use the spine of the blade rather than the edge.

When mincing with a Santoku knife, the methods are quite similar to those used with a Western chef's knife—more so if your Santoku has a small belly. Using a fine dice or julienne cut, you should first slice or dice your items into smaller bits or strips.

Gather the pieces into a mound and place the knife tip against the cutting board to create a pivot point so you can bounce the knife up and down through the ingredients swiftly and frequently.

When using this technique, rock your knife up and down while keeping your guiding hand open and resting on the blade's spine. If necessary, combine the materials into a pile for a finer cut, or remove them from the cutting board by using the spine of your knife. Try to develop the habit of using a board scraper or the knife's spine instead of the cutting edge when scraping up materials, as this might dull the blade.

How to Maintain a Santoku Knife?

The length of time that your kitchen knives remain sharp is directly related to how you maintain them. After every usage, make sure to give your Santoku knife a thorough hand wash in warm, soapy water, using a soft cloth or soft brush to remove any remaining residue. Next, before placing it back into a knife block, make sure you give it a thorough towel wipe-down.

How to Sharpen a Santoku knife?

Particularly with the Santoku knife, learning the correct way to sharpen kitchen knives requires some practice and patience. Since most Santoku blades have a convenient Granton edge and are double-bevelled, sharpening can be a bit of a process for a beginner.

Because sharpening angles might differ, it's crucial to become familiar with the specs of your Santoku knife in order to sharpen it correctly. Additionally, practice is essential, particularly when using a whetstone, as you must sharpen at the proper angles for each side of the blade. Additionally, you should use two whetstones and keep them both wet at all times.

It sounds like it requires a lot of practice and a little work, doesn't it? What about one of those electric sharpeners for the house? When it comes to your Santoku knife, it's best to just stay away from it completely because it can quickly ruin that useful Granton edge.

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