What’s all the fuss about kitchen knives? Don’t they all do the same thing? These are some of the things we’ve come across in our research, and loads of people are genuinely unaware of the correct answers to these questions. The studies we compiled showed that the general population doesn’t know and, quite frankly, doesn’t care about what type of kitchen knives they have.
“It’s not something that I’m concerned about,” said one of our interviewees. The problem with such thinking is that it dismisses the truth in one sentence. The truth is that it DOES matter, and it can make your life so much easier in the long run. A blunt kitchen knife is quite dangerous, and it’s even more dangerous than a sharp blade.
The type of knives you buy or the way you take care of them are all critical factors in the safety of your fingers and the protection of your wallet because, let’s face it, who wants to continue buying kitchen knives every year? No one, and so you end up using the same old knife for yonks. We hope to change this, so here’s your complete guide to kitchen knives.
Table of Contents
Kitchen Knife Types
There are tons of different kitchen knife types, and it’s important to know what they are first because you’ll need to choose the right one.
The traditional chef’s knife is a long upward curved knife with a sharp pronounced point. The blade is very long to make it heavier and more efficient at cutting a vast amount of food.
Bread Knife is primarily self-explanatory, but for those that are not aware, there’s a knife that has the sole purpose of cutting bread. It has a viciously serrated blade that can tear through bread with little to no pressure on the bread, meaning that you don’t squish the bread to death when you slice it.
Cleaver/ Butcher Knife
These knives seem to appear in quite a few movies, and they’re known for their square-ish shape. They carry a lot of weight and are brilliant at cutting meat. Usually, these knives are very sharp and shouldn’t be used on bones, but some can. For bones, we recommend a pure boning knife.
These come in several different shapes and sizes, but the notable ones are the Japanese Santoku and Nakiri knives. These are masterful vegetable cutters and work effectively for chopping, slicing, dicing, and mincing. These knives can turn hours of vegetable chopping into a couple of minutes with the proper technique.
There are many other types like paring, carving, peeling, and filleting knives, to name a few, but these are the main types that you should try to get your hands on. We would say that each household should have at least three or four of these knives.
How to Choose Kitchen Knives
There’s more that comes into play when buying a good kitchen knife than you think. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with what the knife looks like on the outside. You can have the most beautiful knife, and it can still be utterly useless when it comes to performance. The materials that make up the knife will be vital to determine whether or not the knife is worth buying. This is kitchen knives explained.
In any kitchen knife buying guide, you’ll most probably find that there’s a huge emphasis placed on the type of steel used in making the blade of the knives. Most chef’s knives are made with high carbon German steel, which is very durable and has decent edge retention.
Edge retention is how long the blade stays sharp. This is the top feature when considering how to choose a chef knife as well as other knives. The vegetable knives are usually made from Japanese steel, which is incredibly hard and retains its sharpness for ages.
They are immensely sharp and can cut effortlessly, saving you time and energy when slicing and dicing. Japanese steel is not as durable as German steel because of its increased hardness. It is prone to chipping and denting if used on anything other than vegetables, especially something with a hard surface.
Check to see if the steel is genuine or if it is low grade. Most well-known brands use the highest quality materials making their knives the best, although they are more expensive.
The other main thing to look at is the type of material used in the handle. Almost any guide to kitchen knives would talk about the handle. A handle needs to offer maximum support for the blade and have a strong, comfortable grip.
Wooden handles are the toughest and most durable, whereas plastic handles have been known to crack and split. The handle should have a full tang instead of a partial tang. The tang refers to how much of the blade extends into the handle. A full tang extends from the blade to the end of the handle.
A full tang offers a great deal of strength to the knife as well as brilliant balance. The full tang is best accompanied by wooden material like pakkawood or pear wood. These are water-resistant when treated with resins and are resistant to corrosion.
You can find knives with a continuous design where the blade is shaped into the handle in one continuous piece of steel with no extra handle material. These knives usually are lighter and very strong because they have no added pieces that could potentially break off.
Making The Move
Make sure that you know what you need before going ahead and buying a knife. Take a moment and check what you have in your kitchen already and then decide if they are in good enough condition and if not, then replace them. Invest in buying a couple of different blades because you cannot use one knife for everything.
Each knife has its particular purpose, and you need to respect that; otherwise, you’re going to damage them and need to buy new ones often. Take care of your knives and don’t abuse them; don’t put them in the dishwasher even if they are said to be dishwasher safe. Because this will damage them and maybe even cause them to start rusting. Please wash by hand and then dry them soon after.
This information can be done away with, and you might manage to cope, but if you take it on board and follow it, then your complete guide to kitchen knives will have served you a fountain of good advice that will save you money, time, and effort as far as the kitchen goes. Keep discovering and researching because having more knowledge won’t hurt you.
It’ll only help you to make better decisions in the future. When it comes to knives, you don’t want to risk going cheap because it can end up harmful in the end. Remember, blunt knives are more dangerous than sharp ones, so keep up to date on the condition of your blades and don’t neglect them. Getting lazy with maintaining your knives will mean rust and corrosion, which is not suitable for anyone.