Updated: Jan 8, 2019
How many times have you started to gather the meat and vegetables you need to prepare for a meal only to realize that you don’t have a knife that would be ideal for the job you are about to do? Choosing the right knife for the job is an integral part of increasing your efficiency and helping to ensure your safety.
Whether you are a casual at-home cook or a professional chef, having options will make your life so much easier (and safer). Now – before you jump to the conclusion that this means you need to invest in a full set of 5-10 knives – let’s break this down a little bit and talk about what you ACTUALLY need.
"A kitchen without a knife is not a kitchen." - Masaharu Morimoto
Which is better...a large or a small knife?
Most cooks will make sure they have at least one small knife and one large knife in their kitchen. The most popular small knives used today are paring knives and utility knives. These range in blade length from approximately 3.5” – 5” and are used for small jobs such as peeling or cutting fruit and vegetables.
Many of us remember watching our grandmothers in the kitchen when we were children…our grandmothers would use a paring knife to peel potatoes before cooking or peel and cut apples for applesauce. Not to be confused with a peeling knife, a paring knife offers more versatility; use it to take the core out of a tomato, cut up hard-boiled eggs, or score meat before cooking. The small blade allows for more control when working with foods that are on a smaller scale. Utility knives help bridge the gap between a very small paring knife and a larger blade.
Do all large knives do the same thing?
Throughout the history of mankind, knives have evolved through the various cultures they were created in. The Europeans developed the chef’s knife, the Japanese created the santoku and countries all over the world have their own version of carving knives, skinning knives and everything in between.
While smaller knives may offer more versatility in their functions, large blades typically hold a more specific purpose. Individual blade shapes are designed for use on specific types of food: for example, to use a carving knife designed for meat to cut up small fruit could be both dangerous and ineffective. So…if you are someone who likes to chop all types of fruit and vegetables, invest in a santoku or a nakiri. For slicing and carving meat, consider a chef’s knife or a carving knife. Using the right knife for the right job will not only increase your efficiency and safety, it will also help you maintain the sharpness of your blade.
AZ Custom Knives is an online store selling a variety of quality kitchen knives made with high grade stainless Damascus steel. We can also help if you are looking for your knife or blade to be sharpened or restored in Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Fairview, Edmonton and Dawson Creek, BC.