A knife is one of the most basic and indispensable objects in the kitchen. The homemakers start panicking as soon as they don’t spot it at its original place. Cooks cannot imagine their restaurants without it. A knife of good quality can help you increase productivity and your culinary skills in the kitchen. A knife has several purposes and there are different knives of varying sizes and shapes that are used. In this article, we have shortlisted some knives from a whole world of cutlery, along with their uses to help you in getting the appropriate knife.
The earliest knives were made by thee pre-historic men who would have felt the need for it. At some point in time, when they hunted for food and could not eat it satisfactorily, they devised a knife. Those knives were made out of rocks and bones. The men would rub and flake the parts of stones together in order to create and sharpen their knives, which were also used as tools for hunting or defending. With the advancement in skills and technology, these blades became more and finer to serve the specific purposes in our modern kitchen.
Materials used for knife:
A knife blade is made up of different metals. Some of the common ones and their effects are mentioned below.
- An alloy of iron and carbon, carbon steel is used commonly in knives and is easier to reshape. However, it is vulnerable to rust and stains. It may impact the flavor of food due to the presence of iron.
- Stainless steel is another commonly used material for making knives. It is an alloy of iron and they resist rust and corrosion efficiently, unlike carbon containing knives. High chromium stainless steel is often used in flatware. These do not discolor or stain and can maintain a sharp edge for a long time.
- Laminated blades are the ones that are hard and brittle and possess good edge steel but the limitation is that they get easily chipped and ruined. The hard steel tends to a better grind and will stay sharp for a longer time.
- Titanium is also used in the knife- making. It is not as hard as steel but these knives are definitely lighter in weight and do not get worn easily. They do not affect the taste of the food in any way. It is an expensive material and hence not preferred for cutlery.
Types of kitchen knives in the Modern Era:
The different types of knives along with their best use and dimensions are stated below just because everyone needs their own weapon for a fight so why not with the kitchen accessories, there are plenty of knives which comes with their specific set of uses and working techniques like mommy in the home and a grandpa in the kitchen both have their fine set of skills but only with there own choice of knives so just have a look at different set of knives and choose accordingly:
This is one of the most common knives and is used for multiple purposes like dicing vegetables and meat. The length of its blade ranges from 6 to 14 inches and it has a width of 1.5 inches. It has a handle that easily gets into the grip of the hand and has along the triangular blade with this a curvature. It can also be used to slice roast or carve a turkey. This knife is greatly recommended by all the chefs for quick chopping. It saves a lot of time compared to using a normal table knife.
This type of knife is particularly used for intricate jobs such as peeling food or creating carvings on food. Deveined shrimps are made by its simple blade which is short in size and has a very pointy tip. Its edge is similar to the chef’s knife and is about 2.5 inches to 4 inches in dimensions. Some of these knives have serrated and scalloped edges with varying tips. Its most common types are sheep’s foot, bird’s beak, and spear point.
The main purpose of the knife is to separate bones from the meat in an easy manner as it can endure force. It is available in two varieties, that is, firm and flexible. It is generally thin and flexible with the curved blade which helps in the deboning beef. Its flexibility is very useful to cut chicken and its blade is sized about between 5 inches to 7 inches. There’s also a fillet knife, which has a long blade and it is used for piercing delicate fishes.
Another type of knife is a carving knife, which is basically, a long and thin version of the chef’s knife. Its purpose is to prepare thin slices of thick meat pieces or large food items. Its specifications include a length of 8-15 inches.
Fruit in life has a sharp angle to it but it is slightly shorter than the paring knife. It is mainly used to decorate food and carve it and also to peel vegetables in a delicate fashion. Its length is about 2-4 inches and has a straight blade. It becomes quite handy to use and facilitates less pressure for activities like peeling.
This is a different kind of knife and unlike the regular knife, it has two handles. It has a devilish appearance but its purpose is to mince meat and vegetables or herbs finely. it is held from the top and rocking it in a to and fro motion of a pendulum does the job. A mincing knife’s specifications include an average length of 6 inches with a width of 1 inch and a height of 2 inches. It weighs around 450 gms.
Inner membranes of fruits can be easily removed with this knife as it has dull blades. It is a long one and is generally used to separate the complete fruit portion from its peel neatly. It may also have a double blade version. Length of this knife is about 7 inches and its blade measures to about 3-4 inches.
As the name suggests, this knife is used to slice cheese and you would notice that it has several holes, which prevent the cut cheese from sticking on the knife. The sharper version of a cheese knife is used to cut hard cheese. Parmesan cheese knife is specially designed for hard cheese. The knife could measure around 13 inches in length with a blade length of 7.25 inches.
This knife is used to create a decorative pattern on vegetables and mostly salads. The most common decorative knife has zigzag patterns on it. They provide an attractive look while serving food, usually in mocktails.
Called as the kitchen knife, trimming knife is of the small size of about 2-3 inches but can perform a lot of small tasks. Due to its small size, it is able to remove meat from bones or from small areas that are not accessible by the large knives and helps in garnishing.
This is shorter and thinner in appearance and a Japanese version of the chef’s knife. Its flat blade prevents rocking on the cutting board and the hollow edge allows them to cut through meat or sticky materials with more precision and efficiency. This is known as an all-rounder knife as it can perform almost everything that a cook would require and its light blade is preferred by everyone. The length varies between 6 to 7 inches, while 5.5 inches is considered as the standard size. Also, have a look at to detail guide of Kamikoto Kanpeki Knife Set.
A cleaver is the heaviest and the biggest knife, called the Hulk of knives, that is available. It has a very strong blade and it can cut through bones and shop them two pieces. It is used to squash pumpkin and such bulky food items as it can apply a lot of force. It has the widest blade which helps it to pulverize meat, crush garlic, or fish. This is a must-have. Its dimensions include length 13 inches, length of blade 7.5 inches, the height of blade 4 inches and weighs 1 pound approx.
There are other types too such as butter knife butcher knife and salmon knife, and according to the names, they perform their functions of spreading butter on bread, butchering meat and cutting salmon respectively.
These knives must be used with the utmost attention and must be properly cleaned and dried after every use.
Types Of Edges In Knives:
Some knives have a curve near their tip, while the others remain straight for the entire blade. Some knives have smooth edges while the others have a serrated design on them. The shape of the edge is mostly triangular, like in the chef’s knife and a paring knife, but others have a French point, like that seen in santokus or round point is also found on long knives used for slicing. The serrated blade is those that are shaped like a saw and they fulfill the purpose when the object is hard on the outside but has soft interiors. They are very useful for fibrous food like cabbage. It is more practical to use as it does not require sharpening very often.
You must have commonly noticed indentations on many knives, like the presence of holes in a cheese knife. Its main purpose is to keep the food away from sticking on the blade of the knife. Granton knife is a fine example and it has oval scallops on either side of the blade. Indentations are mostly seen on Japanese knives such as the Urasuki, which has a chiseled edge and a concave area.
The handle of a knife:
The handle of a knife is as important as its blade. It will not be possible to use a knife properly if it does not have a good handle. Handles are made using various materials.
- Wood handles are known to provide a proper grip and an attractive appearance. But these require a lot of care.
- Plastic handles, on the other hand, do not require care but may become brittle over time, making the knife unbalanced. It may also feel slippery and no proper grip is ensured.
- Composite handles are the best choice of a chef as they contain the benefits of plastic but also provide the grip and durability of wood. They are made out of laminated wood and plastic resin
Manufacture of a knife’s blade:
There are basically two ways of creating the blade of a knife, that is, forged and stamped. A hand forged blade is created by skilled labor and consists of a long procedure. A chunk of steel is first heated to high temperatures and is pounded with a hammer when hot. Later it is dipped in a particular liquid and tempered till the desired hardness is achieved. Finally, it is polished and sharpened. These blades are thicker and heavier than the latter one which gives them an advantage over them. Stamped blades are directly cut into a shape from cold steel, it is then treated with heat, grounded, polished and sharpened. They can be mostly identified as there is no bolster.
Using the right knife is important as it would prevent you from getting any injuries and cuts. It might take you some time to actually use them perfectly and chop and slice like the chefs but practice makes a person perfect. Your knife would fit in your hand as your shoes fit your toes. This article would have helped you to selectively buy a knife set because you don’t use every knife that you buy.