Whether it’s slicing, dicing, carving, or even paring, every kitchen from high-end restaurant to humble personal abode needs a good set of reliable knives that will not just cut with precision, but will also last a long time.
The Different Parts in a Knife
To better understand how knives work, it’s important to take a close look at the different parts of the knife:
• Tip – The top part of the blade used to pierce and start the cut with
• Tang – The part of the blade that goes all the way to the handle and provides much of the weight and balance.
• Spine – The dull side of the blade opposite of the edge
• Edge – The sharp side. Surprisingly, the sharper it is, the safer and better the knife is to use.
• Handle – The part that gives the knife its gripping surface – a good knife will have a superior grip that minimizes any chance of slipping from your hand.
• Heel – The lower area of the blade used for cutting food items that are tough to cut through
• Bolster – In forged knives, the bolster is the thick band of steel between the heel and the handle that gives balance and keep the hand from slipping to the blade.
Types of Knives
It’s always good to work with the best available tools, since the right blade will let you work with better precision and skill, and will allow for neater cuts. Different knife types also serve different purposes, and you will need different ones depending on your level, field, and your expertise.
Here are some of the most commonly used knife types in kitchens, for both home and restaurant use:
1. Chef’s knife – This is an all-purpose knife that can be used for chopping, slicing, dicing, and even mincing, but shouldn’t be used for peeling vegetables – there are other knives more suited to the task.
2. Utility knife – Utility knives are used in the same way as a chef’s knife. They’re great for most everyday tasks, except for smaller precision tasks that smaller knives are capable of.
3. Meat cleaver – This type of knife can cut through poultry bones and tough foods in one swing, as well as pulverize meat and crush seeds. However, its size makes it less ideal for slicing.
4. Carving knife – When it comes to slicing meats into thin slices, a carving knife’s long, thin blade is your friend.
5. Paring knife – This small but extremely handy knife is a must-have for precision tasks in the kitchen, such as peeling and trimming.
Knives can either be made of carbon steel or stainless steel, and aside from having a good set of knives in your kitchen, you also need to be able to maintain them and use them properly.