Cooking Equipment Spotlight: The Right Knife for the JobJuly 8, 2018
Not everyone who’s involved in a commercial kitchen has had professional training as a chef.
Having the right knife is one of the most vital choices you can make during food preparation. When you have the right knife, everything is faster and easier. The wrong knife can be unwieldly, and may even lead to injury.
Here’s how to know which knife is the right one for the job!
Chef’s Knife: A Multi-Purpose Wonder
A chef’s knife is a large blade that can be used for a wide variety of tasks. From chopping to dicing to slicing, if you have a larger food item to process the chef’s knife is an essential piece of cooking equipment.
Whether you need to julienne, dice, or chop, this knife is excellent. You can use it for a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, and meat. You can even use it for herbs, or to shred cabbage.
Like all knives, a chef’s knife needs to be kept sharp and in good condition to do its best work. However, even a knife this versatile needs some specialty help. While a chef’s knife may be your first one, it shouldn’t be the only one.
Paring Knife: Small Jobs Done Well
The chef knife’s first trusty sidekick is a paring knife. This short, 2 – 4 inch blade is perfect for more delicate work that the chef’s piece is a bit too large to handle.
Reach for this knife when you need to peel garlic, slice small fruit, or trim mushrooms. You can also use it for peeling and de-seeding. Paring knives can be either straight-bladed or serrated, and you may want one of each. A serrated paring knife can make it much easier to cut tomatoes, for instance, than a chef’s knife.
When you have a small cutting job, the paring knife is the perfect cooking equipment!
Utility Knife: It’s Just Right
Sometimes, like Goldilocks, you find that a chef’s knife is too big but a paring knife is too small. What can you do to find a knife that’s just right?
Why, you grab a utility knife! This 6 – 8 inch blade is great for cutting and chopping tasks that the chef’s knife is unwieldly for, but the paring knife isn’t quite enough.
From mincing to cleaning veggies or slicing herbs, the utility knife can give you that in-between heft and power that’s perfect for the job.
The truth is, there are dozens of knives beyond these three, and many of the have specific uses. Take a look at what these cooking equipment ninjas can do for you.
Specialty knives include:
- Bread Knife: A serrated, long knife that will cut bread smoothly without squashing it
- Fillet Knife: A fillet knife helps you create beautiful fillets of meat and fish
- Boning Knife: When you need to get bones out of fish or meat quickly, this is the tool to grab
- Carving Knife: When it’s time to slice up that meat you’ve carefully prepared, this is the knife you need
- Cleaver: Separate meat parts cleanly with a powerful cleaver
- Vegetable Knives: These Japanese beauties make quick work of many types of vegetables
- Mezzaluna: A crescent-shaped blade, this makes quick work of fresh herbs
Depending on the type of cuisine your kitchen prepares, you may have several of these at hand. Make sure to choose the right one for the job!
Choose the Best Cooking Equipment
Knives are only a small part of the cooking equipment your restaurant needs to be successful. Don’t spend time looking everywhere – we have exactly what you need!
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