Kitchen Knives

A Quick Guide To Choosing New Kitchen Knives

Good kitchen knives are an essential for any aspiring cook and can improve your dishes immensely. For this reason, it’s worth investing in some decent quality utensils to make your life in the kitchen that much easier.

But, with so many different options to choose from, how do you pick the best fit for you and your culinary style?

This guide is here to help you identify your Chef’s Knife from your Santoku Knife, and which ones will work best for you.

Four Essentials

Kitchen Knives advise that: “Knives are a very personal thing, and making sure you get the right one is very important […] you need to make sure that you are comfortable and happy with the ones you choose.”

Paring Knife

Paring knives are used for delicate preparation and tricky jobs which require a lighter touch, having a thinner handle and shorter blade than most other knives. Usually three to four inches long, they are ideal for fiddly tasks.

They are often used for jobs such as deseeding, peeling and coring of fruit and veg, and deveining small shellfish such as prawns.

Kitchen Knives

CHEF’S KNIFE

This utensil is probably the single most useful knife, and an essential for all kitchens. It can be used for a wide variety of tasks, from chopping meat to mincing herbs and spices, as well as preparing hard veg. They range from 12cm to as big as 36cm, so it is important you choose the longest one you are comfortable with.

For tips on how to properly use your chef’s knife, check out this post from The Spruce.

BREAD KNIFE

This knife does exactly what it says on the tin (and much more!) A bread knife should be a good quality serrated knife of around six to ten inches long, which can be used for cutting bread, cakes, pies, quiches, and pastries.

The serrated edge will allow you to cut through the outer without it crumbling and cut through the soft inner without squashing the inside.

SANTOKU KNIFE

This Japanese knife is a multipurpose knife, similar to the chef’s knife. It is primarily used for slicing, dicing, and mincing, with the shape of the blade allowing for fast and accurate chopping of fruits and veg. It is also characterised by a fluted edge (or pockets), which helps prevent the food from sticking.

MetroKitchen offers a helpful summary of the difference between chef’s knives and their Japanese equivalent, to help you decide what’s best for you.

Kitchen Knives

Specialist knives

You can also find a wide range of different knives for more specialist uses.

From boning and carving knives to fish knives, these utensils offer a more tailored approach to food preparation and will depend on your preferred cooking method.

For more information on the different uses of these specialist knives, check out BBC Good Food’s post here.

This guide has hopefully made it easier for you to understand the different types of kitchen knives available and which ones are most suitable to your needs. Happy cooking!