Types of Kitchen Knives

Types of Kitchen Knives

If you're researching different types of kitchen knives, there are countless types in which you might be interested.

Remember when shopping for knives that it's important to make sure you try them out at the store before investing in a particular model! Like people, knives have personalities. You want to make sure that you and your knife get along, otherwise it will be a chore to use rather than a pleasure.

10" chef's knife

The 10" chef's knife is a standard European knife used for heavy cutting jobs. With this monster you can cut thick meats and tough vegetables, but be sure to watch your fingers, since this bad boy doesn't understand the word "gentle."

A more versatile chef's knife would be an 8" model, but a good set will always include a solid knife for hardcore cooks.

Santoku Knives

Of all the different types of kitchen knives, the santoku will probably be your most valuable asset. Originating in Japan, santokus are designed to be "everything knives," meaning that they're great for cutting meat, vegetables, fruit, and almost anything else.

The Granton edge, named after the man who designed it, is a series of oval-shaped divots along the edge of a knife. These divots allows for thinner slicing while reducing friction and sticking along the blade.

Cheese Knife

If you're interested in slicing cheese, you'll want a knife that will prevent friction and tearing as you slice. This knife, with its cut out in the middle, will have you making gorgeous slices of cheese without it sticking to the blade and making a huge mess.

Bread Knife

Cutting bread requires a little finesse, and bread knives are designed with this in mind. Long, serrated blades firmly hold crusty loaves while cutting cleanly through softer rolls. The key to using bread knives is a light hand; you don't want to press down too hard, lest you squash your bread. Gently push down while gliding the blade through the bread for perfect slices.

The Joy of Santokus

Japanese santokus are designed to cut everything, and do it very well. The straight edge works wells for both a chopping motion and a back-and-forth stroke, making it live up to its name, which means "three values" in Japanese.

Mezzaluna

The graceful mezzaluna, which means "half moon" in Italian, is very handy for chopping fine ingredients such as herbs and spices. Used in a rocking motion, there are two ways to handle this interesting bit of cutlery. Normal folks generally use two hands to rock it to and fro, while staunch pros can master a single-handed movement that turns even the most dainty greens to herbal dust in seconds flat.

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Ceramic Knives

Ceramics are some of the more interesting types of kitchen knives. These knives are very lightweight and keep their edge for a lot longer than steel knives, though ceramics are much more fragile. Be sure not to drop your ceramic knife or expose it to extreme temperature changes, or it will shatter to bits. If you take care of it, though, your knife will give you years of cutting pleasure.

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Types of Kitchen Knives