Knife guide – choose the right knife for your kitchen tasks
Whether you’re a home cook or a professional chef, your knives are possibly the most used (and important!) tools in your kitchen. In this guide we’ll cover the many different types of knives available and what they are used for, so you can find the knives that fit your needs.
The cook’s knife is the star of the kitchen tools. Designed to be multi-purpose, the cook’s knife is sturdy enough to handle meat and large root vegetables, but delicate enough to slice fruit and mince fine herbs.
The utility knife is slightly smaller than the cook’s knife but is just as versatile. It’s a handy companion for virtually all food preparation needs, like slicing fruit, vegetables, cheeses etc.
The bread knife is designed to cut all sorts of bread, as well as soft vegetables, with ease. The serrated edge means you can saw as cleanly through tomatoes, as you could through hard crusts.
The cleaver makes light work of dividing up large pieces of meat as well as shredding vegetables. The blade is thick and broad (perfect for pounding and tenderising meat), and the heavy weight of the cleaver gives you more power when using it for preparing food.
The paring knife is more agile compared to large knives when it comes to more detailed work, like cleaning and peeling fruit and vegetables. This small, light knife works almost like an extension of your hand when you use it.
The vegetable knife is particularly useful for shredding, mincing and cutting all sorts of vegetables into strips. The broad blade makes the knife extra stable to use. The blade has a special design with indentations that lets air into the cutting surface so the food you slice does not stick to the blade.
The filleting knife is for trimming meat, boning and skinning fish while minimising waste. The blade is thin and flexible to help you follow the contours of what you are cutting. The flexibility of the blade is the most important aspect of the filleting knife, and what makes it special compared to other knives.
Carving knife and fork
The carving knife and fork combination is all about meat and poultry. The blade is thin to make it easier for you to cut and slice meat on the bone. You can use the carving fork to keep the joint of meat or the bird in place, or to turn it for better access.
The Chinese chopper is for slicing and chopping vegetables and meat. The knife has a large high blade which gives good stability for chopping and slicing vegetables and meat. A particular favourite among chefs specialising in Asian cuisine due to its multi-purpose capabilities.