Kitchen Chefs Knives Buying Guide
Knives are exceptionally important in a chef’s kitchen because they are used for a huge variety of different tasks. Of course, there are plenty of different knives available so it’s imperative that you have a selection to complete all the cooking tasks quickly and efficiently. Knowing which knives to purchase can be daunting because there are so many. You will find a large, comprehensive collection within the Alliance website pages but here is some further information to help you make an informed decision as to what you need:
- Paring Knife (sometimes called a vegetable knife) which is suitable for small jobs such as trimming coring, de-seeding etc.) It is normally used in the hand rather than on a chopping board.
- Bread Knife this is defined by its long blade and serrated edge, used for cutting through bread without breaking it. It is also suitable for cutting cakes and even light carving.
- Serrated Knife (sometimes called a tomato knife) this knife is excellent for peeling citrus fruit, slicing and preparing vegetables. It will never need to be re-sharpened because of its serrated edge.
- Chef’s Knife (sometimes called a cook’s knife) this knife is an all-purpose knife which is used for preparing vegetables, meat, chopping and cutting. You will find this in a number of sizes ranging from 15cm right up to 36cm blades.
- Boning Knife (sometimes called a butcher’s knife) this is used for cutting meat and removing bones it is so sharp it will get through ligaments and tissue.
- Carving Knife used for carving meat, it has a long, sharp blade.
- Carving Fork this is used alongside a carving knife and has two long tines which stab the meat and hold it in place while the knife carves.
- Pizza Knife this is used to slice pizza easily and has a circular blade which turns as you cut.
- Filleting Knife used for filleting fish and removing fish skin easily.
- Santoku this is a Japanese knife with a blunt end and a chunky blade used for slicing, chopping and dicing food.
- Vegetable Baller used to scoop out vegetable and fruit flesh and create ball shapes.
- Cheese Knife used to cut cheese.
- Slicing Knife thinner than a chef’s knife and a good multi-purpose kitchen tool, this is similar to a carving knife and can be used for slicing fruit, vegetables, bread, meat and poultry.
- Cleaver this is another big knife used to chop through bones and also crush food.
- Salmon Knife this has a narrow, long blade and is used to cut slim pieces of salmon.
- Pastry Knife this is a semi-circular knife which is used to mix fat in flour, it is constructed out of metal wires attached to a wooden handle.
- Turning Knife this knife has a pointed end which curves to look rather like a beak. It is used to create decorative cutting techniques such as florets, rosettes etc.
- Utility Knife this is another multi-purpose knife used for many kitchen tasks and falls between a chef’s knife and a paring knife.
- Steak Knife this is used especially to cut steak easily.
- Apple Corer this is a knife used to core fruit.
There are plenty of options for knife sharpeners, from traditional diamond sharpening steel items to whetstone blocks, ceramic wheels to hand-held sharpeners in a variety of materials. It is much safer to have sharp knives than blunt knives as they won’t slip as easily – more accidents happen in the kitchen from blunt knives than sharp knives.
- Sharpening Stones (or whetstones) are blocks of stone in a rectangular shape made out of ceramic, natural sharpening stones or diamond.
- Sharpening Steels are long rods made out of ceramic or stainless steel and these sharpen the knife blade without damaging it. These must be used by someone experienced as they are quite tricky to master.
- Pull-Through Sharpeners are the modern alternative and easy to use – you pull the knife through the sharpening area.
- Electric Knife Sharpeners these are box shaped and have different slot sizes according to your knife size. These are efficient at getting a good job complete.
These are safe places to keep your knives when not in use. Choose from fixed wall boxes, magnetic knife racks and wallets and make sure that all sharp instruments are safely stored in between jobs.
For further information on chef’s knives visit the chef’s knives section in the Wholesale Kitchen Supplies pages or contact the Alliance customer care team.
Points to remember:
- For a busy chef’s kitchen it’s a good idea to have a number of colour coded knives so everyone working in the area is clear what each knife is used for.
- Buy suitable knife blocks, racks and wallets to keep knives safely out of harm’s way when not in use.
- Keep knife sharpeners and whetstones so you can sharpen when you need to – quickly.
- Stainless steel is a popular knife material because it is inexpensive but it needs re-sharpening.
For further information on kitchen knives visit the chefs knives section or contact the Alliance customer care team.