The knife is one of the essential tools found in the kitchen. A dish may not be delicious and appealing without the help of this handy sharp mate. A knife is a weapon or tool with a cutting blade or edge, usually attached to a handle. It is one of the earliest tools used by people; knives appeared about 3 million years ago. They are originally made of bone, wood, and stone. And over the years, they have been developed and improved by the science of metallurgy and manufacturing. Knife blades have been made from different metals such as stainless steel, copper, iron, and bronze. Modern knives are also made from ceramics and have folding blades or fixed ones. Blades come from different styles, and patterns vary by country of origin and maker.
Standard Kitchen Knives and Their Uses
More than a dozen kinds of kitchen knives, some versatile, others dedicated to one specific use. Here are some of the most common knives out there.
Chef’s knife. This knife typically has a broad blade tapering upward to a point, allowing it to rock back and forth for fast mincing. It can be anywhere between six (6) and twelve (12) inches long— the size is often chosen considering how big the cook’s hands are. It is made with blades that are either stamped or forged. A hand-forged blade is made in a multiple-step process by skilled manual labor. A blank sheet of steel is heated to a high temperature and beaten to shape the steel. After forging, the blade is ground and sharpened. It can be used for almost every cutting task in the kitchen, from cutting any meat to chopping vegetables. This is the reason why it is the must-have item in your kitchen knife set collection.
Utility Knife. Generally smaller than a chef’s knife, measuring between four (4) and seven (7) inches in length. This utility knife is usually used for cutting rope, slaughtering animals, cutting or scraping skin, reshaping timber, cleaning fish scales, and other tasks. In other words, a type of knife used for general manual work purposes. This knife has been around for decades. As such, there are a wide variety of configurations on the market.
Cleaver Knife. The cleaver knife is usually the heaviest, bulkiest, and ax-like kitchen. A typical cleaver has a full tang, a thick spine, and an extensive blade with little or no belly. It is generally made of carbon steel, or iron remains a requisite tool of the butcher and a shared kitchen implement. This design allows it to cut through meat, bones, and hard and thick materials such as squash or pumpkin in a chopping motion. The cleaver knife is ideal for beating and pulverizing meat, poultry, fish and crushing garlic with a broad and heavy blade.
Steak Knife. Steak knives are also called table knives, small knives used at the table for cooked food. They’re great for steak, fish, and chicken. They come with serrated, semi-serrated, or non-serrated edges. Serrated steak knives stay sharp for a more extended period without sharpening or honing. Non-serrated knives become dull faster, but they’re also easier to sharpen. Like any other kitchen knife, a good steak knife needs to be well-balanced, sturdy, sharp, and comfortable in your hand. You don’t want to be sawing and tearing away at an expensive, perfectly cooked steak with a thin knife. But steak knives need to be pretty tough, as well.
After saying the standard knives available in our kitchen, maintaining them sharp is another problem to tackle. You might even find your knife work is slipping. And aside from being annoying to cut with, a dull knife can be seriously dangerous. To keep your fingers and your dining in good shape, you’ll want to learn how to sharpen a kitchen knife using a whetstone or a sharpener and maintain that edge by honing it with a steel rod. Aside from whetstones and steel rods, other products are available in the market that offers a better way of sharpening our knives, bladed tools, and other equipment that needs to be sharpened, like the Knife sharpener USA. It sharpens edges without destroying your knives and ripping metal off the edge needlessly. Everyone will love it because it’s safe and easy to use.