8 Types of Knives and their Uses
December 30, 2019
Not all knives are made equally and most are made for a specific purpose. Whether you’re slicing bread, chopping veggies, or carving meats, discover the various types of knives and which are meant for what.
Various knives and their uses is something that all chefs, aspiring or professional, home-cooks, hobbyists, heck, even people who whip out that cutting board once a month, everyone, should have a knowledge of. I remember the days when I didn’t use a serrated edge for loaves bread….I cut myself, bleeding over those ancient grains, more than once. Knowing what knives to use for what isn’t just about safety, but about ease of use and making sure your key cooking utensils aren’t getting worn down or damaged unnecessarily.
Notes on Knives
High Carbon Stainless Steel Knives are where it’s at.
1. Chef's Knife
Most popular, versatile & widely used knife. For general purpose chopping, slicing, dicing etc. A blade length of 8 inches is the most popular and it can me used for rocking cuts, allowing you to dice herbs, veggies etc. more efficiently.
2. Boning Knife
A thin, pointed blade, used for boning raw meats & poultry. A stiff blade is good for beef & pork whereas a flexible blade is good for poultry & fish.
Thicker & heavier knives that are meant for hacking through bone. It’s weight makes it a versatile tool for hacking through dense foods. The wide blade can be used for crushing ingredients.
4. Paring Knife
A small pointed blade, most commonly used for trimming and peeling (or “paring”) fruits & vegetables. It’s size makes it ideal for slicing ingredients, removing seeds and de-veining shellfish. Essentially used for greater control in more detailed knife-work.
5. Santoku Knife or Japanese Cook's Knife
This is a Japanese-style chef’s knife, it’s a bit lighter with a different shaped blade, but used for all the same things as a western-style chef’s knife, except you’ll be using more of an up-and-down motion instead of a rocking motion when cutting.
Long, flexible and slender blade, usually with a rounded tip. Used for cutting thinner slices of roast, fruits and vegetables.
7. Serrated Knife
Tooth-like edge that is ideal for cutting through ingredients that have a harder exterior & softer interior. Use it in saw-like motions. Good for slicing through loaves of bread, tomatoes, sandwiches, watermelon, pineapple, butternut squash, lemons, anything with varying textures.
8. Utility Knife or Salad Knife
Longer than a paring knife but shorter than a chef’s knife. They’re best for small, soft ingredients like shallots, mushrooms & peaches.