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About Kitchen Knives

The first step to becoming a cook is to learn how to use kitchen knives. This is true for both professional and home kitchens. This itself shows that a knife is the single most important piece of equipment in the kitchen. 

Cooking is an art. Just like an artist needs the right tools to create his art, a cook also needs all the equipment to prepare the food. Among all the things that there is in a kitchen, knives are the most basic, yet inevitable tool. At first glance, all knives are similar. All they have is a tip that is sharp for cutting and another tip that is blunt for holding. But over the millennia, knives have evolved so much. These days, there are special knives for cutting different things. Before you start shopping for knives, read this article to find out more about them. Having a better understanding of knives will help you make right purchase decisions when you shop. 

Different types of kitchen knives 

Knives are a very versatile tool that humans have been using for thousands of years. Even today, you need knives to carry out a lot of day to day tasks. Moreover, there are a lot of different types of knives designed for various purposes. Sometimes you need a small, lightweight knife for delicate cutting. However, such a knife won’t work for cutting meat. You need a large and heavy knife for that. Therefore, the knife you choose should be fit for the nature of the work you do in the kitchen. Here is a list of the four most common types of kitchen knives.

Paring knife 

For the everyday kitchen activities like cutting a small fruit or trimming strawberries you need a paring knife. The difference here is that to do all of these things, you need to hold the subject, i.e., the fruit or veggie in your hands. This is not comfortable to do with a long chef’s knife. The knife shouldn’t be too heavy either. Paring knife is therefore the knife that is required for all the hand cutting that you do in the kitchen. Looking at the size, these are typically considerably smaller than chef’s knives. Small size and lightweight make it ideal for delicate work. 

Chef’s knife 

Add a professional touch to your kitchen with a high-end chef’s knife. But how is a chef’s knife different from a regular kitchen knife? The difference is not that obvious. But chef’s knives have a subtle curve that makes it easier to cut faster by moving the handle of the knife up and down and barely moving the tip. In short, a chef’s knife is the kitchen knife for chopping. Balance is also vital for professional knives. The knife will have its centre of mass right in the most appropriate point of its length. Ideally, it is a little off from the centre towards the hand. This will reflect in the overall weight distribution of the knife. The handle of a chef’s knife will be heavier than regular knives. 

Bread knife 

Unlike the name suggests, a bread knife is not just for cutting a loaf of bread into small slices. The long and corrugated blade of bread knives makes it ideal for slicing vegetables and fruits with thick skin that are too tough for a paring knife or a chef’s knife. Think about pineapples, winter squash, and watermelon when you read fruits with thick outer skins. In fact, you can cut them with a paring knife, but it will take you more time and the slicing might not be smooth. Therefore, this is a specialty knife. But having this will make your work a hundred times easier. 

Boning knives 

When you are done cutting vegetables, you need a kitchen knife for cutting bone. You can work with a boning knife on both meat and fish. You can tell a boning knife apart from other knives because of the long and narrow blade that resembles the beak of a long-billed curlew. Such knives have an extremely sharp point that helps with precision boning. It makes it easier for making sharp cuts and narrow holes. Curved blades can enable you to work around bones and muscles. Except for the blade, there is no significant difference in the construction of the handle.

Tips on buying the right types of kitchen knives

Kitchen knives are seemingly simple tools that most people wouldn't think much of. But anybody that has experience in cooking knows how important a good knife is for cooking. Because different types of knives do not look a lot different from each other, it is easy to make mistakes when you are shopping for them. But selecting the right knife is easy if you know what criteria to look for. Here are some tips that you can follow when you are shopping.  
  • Choose the material for the blade- Knife blades should be durable and maintain the sharpness for a long time. The most common blade material in consumer knives is stainless steel. But if you want more than that, there are Damascus steel and carbon steel blades. Ceramic blades are a super specialty material, which have its own pros and cons.  
  • Finding the best handle- Just like the blade, the handle of the knife is also an important element. Generally, handles are made of wood, plastic, metal and other composite material. Each of them differs in how it feels on the hands, the weight and durability.  
  • Type of the knife- This one is pretty obvious. You need the right type of knife to get your work done. For that reason, you will need more than one type of kitchen knife. The knife for cutting fruits and vegetables will not work for cleaving meat.  
  • Forged vs stamped- Stamped knives are cheaper. Therefore, most of the cheap consumer knives use stamping methods for the making. Not surprisingly, this method is inferior to forging. Forged knives, on the other hand, are expensive but durable. This is because forging a knife requires more time and hands of a skilled craftsman. 
The key to ensuring the longevity of a knife is proper maintenance. Clean the knives from food impurities and dry it before you store them. Avoid storing knives by keeping it upside down if it causes the weight to be on the tip of the knife. Instead use a knife holder to store the knives. Regardless of how good a knife is, it will need occasional sharpening. So, look for a kitchen knife sharpener as well when you shop. Apart from these, don't forget to check out other products form Home & Living.

Question & Answer

Can kitchen knives be too sharp? 

This might seem counter intuitive, but a knife really can be too sharp. First reason is that a knife that is too sharp is not durable. It is hard to retain the sharpness of if the blade is too thin. Also, different tasks require different levels of sharpness. If a knife is too sharp it provides less workability. For example, if the knife you are using to cut the meat from the bone is too sharp, you might accidentally cut into the bone, which is not a good thing. The bread knife is also a special case. While a bread knife is sharp enough to slice the bread, it is too dull for other purposes. 

Are kitchen knives dishwasher safe? 

Dishwasher detergents are more abrasive than regular detergents. While this is useful in cleaning the dishes, it is bad for the knives. The abrasive dishwasher can cause the edges of the knives to go blunt. Also, when you put the knives with other dishes, it will bang around, and the edges get chipped or lose its shape. So, you are ruining your knife by putting it inside the dishwasher. The best way to wash kitchen knives is with using dish soap with your hands. just, be careful to point the blade away from you when you are washing. 

Which kitchen knives are essential? 

Despite the fact that there are a couple of dozen varieties of knives, not all of them are necessary for a home kitchen. If you are only buying one knife and you need to use it for all the purposes, then you must get a paring knife. Although it wouldn't be fun to cut the meat with a paring knife, you can still do it, albeit with a lot of effort. The second knife in the order of importance is a chef’s knife. This knife is longer and heavier than a typical paring knife. This brings some benefits to the table. A good quality forged chef’s knife can be expensive, but you will also find cheaper stamped varieties of it. 

Where to buy kitchen knives? 

If you are looking to buy kitchen knives online in the UAE, look no further as you are in the right place. You will find all types of kitchen knives including the best kitchen knife for cutting meat on Shops.ae. All you have to do is to look for them using our product search engine. This will let you find out the best one among them by comparing the prices and features of different knives.   There are more than 500 shops and brands offering knives here on Shops.ae. These include some of the most popular brands like WusthofGood CookVictorinoxHenckelsGlobalKitchenaidRaj and Shun. Explore the collections from Menakart and more.