It has taken centuries to perfect each and every type of knife used in today’s kitchens. Each knife has its own, unique and individual function and it is important to use it for what it was intended. Many people assume that “a knife is a knife”. This is not true. A beautiful loaf of bread or the perfect filet of meat can be ruined with one slice from the wrong knife. Just to make sure everything is clear; here is an explanation of what each knife is made for.


The first, and most widely known and used knife is the chef’s knife. A powerhouse knife, it can accomplish ALMOST any job in the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong, this is an article about how each knife is important and useful. Don’t go thinking you can just buy a chefs knife and be set. The broad blade and heavy handle makes it ideal for cutting through thick items, while the curved blade makes it perfect for mincing as well. The length of the blade is extremely important. The longer the blade, the more difficult it is to control. So, if you are a petite person, go for a shorter blade, maybe eight to ten inches, rather than a twelve inch monster!


The most delicate of all the cooking knives, the paring knife is meant for precise food preparation. Everything from peeling an apple to digging the eyes out of potatoes, this knife is meant for smaller projects. However, the most important thing to remember when it comes to paring knives is that there are three different type, and all are necessary in a professional chef’s kitchen. The first is the birds beak paring knife. Slightly rounded, this is the perfect tool for trimming and peeling fruits and vegetables. There is also the spear point parer. This knife is meant to be a smaller version of the chef’s knife and act as an extension of your hand for easy and quick chopping. Finally, there is the traditional paring knife, seen most commonly, features a straight, thin blade for quickly cutting small ingredients like celery.


Carving knives are designed to be used with meats. With a long, straight blade, the carving knives is generally eight to fourteen inches in length and is much heavier than the traditional chef’s knife. Many carving knives have hollowed out spaces on each side of the knife. These hollows create air pockets so that the meats don’t stick to blade, making for more efficient cutting. For all holidays, this knife is a staple that should be found in every kitchen, professional and home, including yours.


When a chef’s knife is too big and a paring knife is too small, there is the utility knife. Ranging from five to six and a half inches in length, this knife is also known as the sandwich knife for all the moms out there. It has small serrations along the blade making it easy to cut through tomatoes and other soft fruits. However, this knife doesn’t leave clean cuts due to the teeth, but is ideal for slicing through lunch meats.


Made especially for fish, the boning knife is perfect for de-boning or working around bones. If your boning knife is thin and the blade is flexible, then it has been designed to help cut around the joints and bones in the fish. If it has a rigid blade, then it is perfect for either de-boning a fish or cutting through the joints.


The knife almost everyone already known how to use, is the bread knife. With its serrated edge and blunt tip, the bread knife is made especially for one thing, bread! The teeth make it easy to cut through the soft bread without smooshing it.


The source of many people’s nightmares happens to be the most heavy duty knife. The cleaver is not made for slicing or cutting. Its one purpose is to whack through bones and joints in meat. This knife is not usually found in household kitchens but if you do have one, please be very careful, as this is the thickest and heaviest blade of them all.


The final knife is seen most commonly on the dinner table and not in the kitchen. The steak knife has a thin and narrow blade, made to cut steaks and other cooked meats into small bites. Some steak knives have serrations, but most are straight.


There are other specialty knives that are useful for more specific tasks. To learn more about those knives, check out the article entitled “Specialty Knives Revealed”.


Views: 40


You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Chains make chicken the star of the menu

High beef and pork prices are making chicken the go-to meat more than ever, boosting wholesale prices for producers and spurr -More

Americans continue to eat less fish

The average American is consuming only 14.4 pounds of fish per year, down from the record high of 16.6 pounds in 2004, Ben Di -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Rita's Italian Ice Awards Area Development Agreement for Kansas

Rita's Italian Ice has awarded franchise and area development agreements for Kansas and the Kansas City area, which extends to the Missouri side of the city, to franchisees and local residents Jay Miller, Jeff Miller and Pat Reilly.

Restaurant Sales Bounced Back in March

Restaurant sales posted a solid gain in March, and bounced back completely from the recent soft patch. Eating and drinking place sales totaled $47.3 billion on a seasonally-adjusted basis in March, up 1.1 percent from February's upward-revised sales volume of $46.8 billion, according to preliminary figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.

McAlister's Deli Signs Franchise Agreement to Expand to Cleveland

McAlister's Deli announced it has signed a development agreement with an experienced multi-unit operator to develop three restaurants in the Cleveland, Ohio, area - the brand's first locations in the market.

Restaurant Trends - Growing And Emerging Concepts - Change and Activity April 16, 2014

Update from on growing and emerging restaurant concepts

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. Announces CFO Departure in May

The company has commenced a search for Mr. Hope’s successor, reviewing both internal and external candidates. Mr. Hope will assist in the transition of duties to an interim CFO and will remain a consultant to the company through the summer.


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Norman Spack: How I help transgender teens become who they want to be - Norman Spack (2013)

Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, endocrinologist Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

TED: Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar - Jennifer Senior (2014)

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

TED: David Brooks: Should you live for your résumé ... or your eulogy? - David Brooks (2014)

Within each of us are two selves, suggests David Brooks in this meditative short talk: the self who craves success, who builds a résumé, and the self who seeks connection, community, love -- the values that make for a great eulogy. (Joseph Soloveitchik has called these selves "Adam I" and "Adam II.") Brooks asks: Can we balance these two selves?

TED: David Sengeh: The sore problem of prosthetic limbs - David Sengeh (2014)

What drove David Sengeh to create a more comfortable prosthetic limb? He grew up in Sierra Leone, and too many of the people he loves are missing limbs after the brutal civil war there. When he noticed that people who had prosthetics weren’t actually wearing them, the TED Fellow set out to discover why — and to solve the problem with his team from the MIT Media Lab.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service