Chefs knives can vary widely in price from the reasonably inexpensive to the hugely expensive! Recommended Essential Chef Knives are a small paring knife, a small cook’s knife, large cook’s knife, bread knife and a carving knife and fork. Some people might also say a serrated utility knife is a handy knife to purchase and some chef’s wouldn’t be without their Chinese cleaver but all this is up to you own personal choice and what suits you best.
Below is a selection of chef knives and their basic uses.
Small paring knife
- A small pointed bladed knife which is commonly used for preparing fruits and vegetables.
- A good all rounder which has many uses in the kitchen including trimming meats and preparing larger sized vegetables, can also be serrated making it ideal for trimming and segmenting citrus fruits.
- Widely seen as one of the most useful chefs knives you can own it comes in a variety of sizes, it’s a broad knife that tapers to a point and it excellent for crushing garlic, chopping fresh herbs, cutting meats and vegetables. Truly one of the best chefs knives you can own.
- Comes with a scalloped or serrated edges it is essential for cleanly cutting through a fresh loaf of bread, can also be useful as a knife to slice tomatoes.
Flexible Filleting knife
- A flexible bladed knife which is useful for filleting fish from its skin
- A very rigid knife with a strong handle and has a narrow blade narrow blade which is used to get the meat away from the bones of poultry and meats.
- Carving knives are similar but smaller shaped cooks knives and can be smooth edged or serrated, what makes them so useful for carving meats is that they are thinner than the cook knife helping you get thinner neater slices from say a joint of beef.
- Used to hold meat down whilst you carve it, the most useful kind of carving fork is one with long thin prongs which not just useful for carving but are also useful for twisting noodles and long pasta when you are arranging food on a plate
- There are two main sorts of cleaver, one is a
which is used to chop through meat and bones which isn’t really essential but could be useful if you need to prepare meat from carcasses. The second cleaver is known as a
which is fastly becoming some chefs favoured knife because of its many uses, it has a flat thin sharp blade which can be used for a huge variety of things for example mincing foods, crushing and chopping garlic and ginger, chopping vegetables and then using the side of the knife to move the food to where you desire. It is a useful knife and suits some people better than others.
- Once you have your chefs knives you are going to have to think about storage for them, this obviously depends on what you are using your knives for. If you’re going to be using them in the same place all the time you might want to consider a knife block, a dock or maybe an industrial strength magnetic rack which can be fixed to the wall to keep you knives in place. However if you are going to have to travel with them you may want to consider a roll or case for ease and safety
One thing that is for sure is if you have a good set of chefs knives you are going to need a way of keeping them sharp and in good condition for this you are going to need either a sharpening steel, whet stone or there are some useful electrical knife sharpeners on the market now.
A lot of people would look at you in horror for washing your chefs knives in the dishwasher but most are made from materials that are dishwasher safe now, however you must not leave your knives to slowly dry in the dishwasher heat as this can cause deposits to form on your chefs knives which although can be removed are best not to get in the first place. Always take your knives out after the washing cycle has finished, dry thoroughly and store in a safe place.