A good kitchen knife is the most vital tool to have in any kitchen. So you may have a shortlist of the ranges you are looking at - but which knives do you really need? From Chef's Knives and Santoku Knives to Utility Knives and more, here's a breakdown of some of the most common shapes and styles available at Steamer Trading Cookshop.
Arguably the most important tool in the kitchen! Chef’s knives will accomplish almost any cutting task from slicing a pumpkin to dicing a shallot with ease. Chef’s knives range in size from tiny 12cm models to huge 36cm monsters. Choose the longest Chef's Knife that you are comfortable with for the most versatility and ease of use.
Use Utility Knives for tasks where Chef's Knives would simply be too cumbersome. Utility Knives have shallower blades than Chef's Knives and are extremely versatile; they even make great small Carving Knives.
For small cutting, dicing and trimming you need a tiny knife that fits easily into your hand. Paring Knives range in size from a minute 4cm up to 12cm blades. The shape of the blades varies a little. Paring Knives with curved cutting edges are suitable for use both in the hand and on a board, whilst straight edged Paring Knives are just for use in the hand.
Carving Knives are long and thin to allow you to cut clean and even slices of roast meat. Choose the appropriate length of blade for the kind of roasts that you eat throughout the year. Blades range from 20cm for smaller pieces of meat to 36cm for even the biggest turkeys.
Bread Knives have deep serrations and a straight blade, meaning that you can cut even slices from warm and fresh loaves.
Boning Knives have a chunky handle for a solid grip, and an upturned point to allow you to stroke meat away from the bone with a smooth cutting action. The curves at the heel of Boning Knives are traditionally used for cutting butcher's string.
A big heavy strong blade is the trademark of a cleaver. These are the only knives strong enough to chop through bones.
Nothing slices tomatoes better than a serrated knife, and Tomato Knives have twin points to cleanly lift up slices of tomato.
Peeling Knives feature a curved blade that is perfect for peeling fruits and vegetables. They have a place in traditional French gastronomy where Peeling Knives are used to sculpt pieces of root vegetables into seven sided barrel shapes.
Patisserie or Pastry Knives
Serrated Pastry Knives are usually longer and slightly deeper than bread knives. They have a gently curved blade and a rounded end used by pastry chefs for layering delicate sponge cakes and trimming large fruit cakes ready for icing.
Roast Meat Slicers
A long slim knife with a flat edge will effortlessly carve large rounds of roast beef, ham or pork either hot or cold. The pockets ground into the edge reduce friction between the knife and the food for cleaner slices.
The holes in the blades of the cheese knives mean that there’s nothing for soft cheese to stick to when cutting thin slices.
Santoku Knives are the Japanese domestic cook's knife. The name Santoku translates to ‘three cuts’ meaning that the knife is suitable for meat, fish or vegetables. The flat straight edge and deep sides make Santoku Knives very easy to use, and the rounded point is great for fine dicing too. Consider Santoku Knives instead of, or in addition to, a Chef's Knives.
Never to be mistaken for a cleaver, Oriental Chef's Knives are deep square kitchen knifes that are used to accomplish almost any task by Chinese chefs. The thin light blade is perfect for chopping, slicing and shredding, whilst the square tip can be used for fine dicing. Just don’t ever try to chop through bones using Oriental Chef's Knives!
Used by the Japanese to cut the thinnest slices of fish for sashimi, Sashimi Knives are sharpened on just one side to allow thin slices to peel away from the edge with ease.
A Deba has a deep stiff blade. The Japanese use debas for butchering red meat, boning poultry and filleting fish. The blade is only ground on one side, known as a single bevelled blade. This allows the user to cut very close to the bone and remove meat cleanly with fewer strokes.
Nakiris are a type of Japanese Kitchen Knife that are intended for cutting and shredding vegetables. The deep blade and straight edge give the knife the power to cut through bigger tougher vegetables and the finesse to finely slice the most delicate ingredients.
If you have any questions about knives, please feel free to ask our staff in stores or contact our Website Customer Services team and they will be very happy to help you.