f you are thinking about buying a kitchen knife, then you like not only to eat but also to cook. The cooking process for you is more than just cutting the food.
You like it when slices of cheese and ham turn out, as on the selection of thin and identical. Beetroot and potato cubes have perfect geometry, and the greens are cut finely and beautifully. And you definitely can not work when the meat is cut like a saw, from the tomato in all directions fly splashes, and the bread crumbles and squeezed!
If so, our article is for you. In it we will tell in detail about kitchen knives, their types and criteria of choice.
The “right” knife and its design
The “right” knife convinces in quality only by its kind. Looking at the sturdy arm and sparkling edge,a smooth polished blade and a shiny cutting edge imagine how famously such a knife can be managed in the kitchen. But not all that knife that glitters! Sometimes the blade is covered with a patina that darkens the knife. This is done in order to remove the metallic taste of the products and eliminate the oxidation of the knife.
It is important to take a closer look at the handle: how well are the rivets made, where the tail ends, how tightly sits the bolster?
Bolster performs not so much an aesthetic as a constructive and protective role. It is it that binds the blade and handle, and protects the handle’s end from the effects of moisture.
In the “right” knife, the tail, part of the blade that enters the handle, ends with it. This ensures the strength and balancing of the product. To check, put the knife on your finger in the Bolster area. If the knife doesn’t fall, then everything is fine!
It is interesting to know: some knives have air pockets or end-to-end holes that exclude the sticking of products to the blade.
Types of knives
Universal and shared
We have prepared our “master” classification of knives to make it easier for you to search and not to overload with complex information. With it, you can easily find the right model, as well as learn more about the variety of kitchen knives. All incomprehensible and exotic names are provided with a short characteristic.
So, knives can be divided into several groups. The most popular of these is universal knives or general knives. Most of these culinary tools are already in your kitchen. For example, a versatile knife that is suitable for cooking different dishes and has a balanced ratio of weight handles and blades. The length of such a knife varies from 8 to 38 cm, the width of the blade, as a rule, does not exceed 4 cm. It is also called a kitchen knife or a general-purpose knife.
“King of the culinary ring” – a chef’s knife or a cook’s knife. It has a curved blade, a wide blade and a palpable weight. They can cut fish and meat, shred vegetables, make fruit and sausage slicing. With skilful handling of the cook’s knife at times increases the speed of work. The mastery is working with a knife without tearing its edge off the cutting board.
Lifehack: in order not to cut the fingers, reproach the blade in the second phalanx, and bend your fingers from the knife.
The axe knife, or just an axe, is designed for cutting cartilage, cutting large pieces of meat, slicing vegetables and other products. It has a rectangular blade shape made of steel.
The mansion is a “severe” pchak – the national knife of Uzbeks and Uighurs. A good helper in the kitchen: cut meat and vegetables. It is believed that every real man should have his own peak. Wear it in a leather cover on the belt. Some of the best knives are made in the legendary city of Samarkand.
The next representative group of knives is specialized, designed for specific tasks. In their ranks:
- cutting knives – blades are made of high-strength steel and hold sharpening for a long time. The design is long and narrow. You can chop vegetables and fruits, cut meat;
- cul-up knives are used to separate bones from fish and animal meat. The blade can have different flexibility, its length, as a rule, does not exceed 12-15 cm. Wide blades are better for meat, narrow – for fish.
- for slicing and shredding used the same knives, as well as personal knives and slicers, which are also suitable for slicing meat delicacies and sausages;
- Confectionery knives, which, in addition to the direct function, are transformed into a scraper to align the cream on the cake or dough in a mould;
- Canal knives are used to decorate fruits and vegetables. With the help of them remove thin strips of peel or make grooves. Such delights are especially useful at a children’s holiday;
- curly knives are actively used in carving – culinary direction for the manufacture of unusual fruit and vegetable compositions;
- Spiral knives are designed to create vegetable and fruit spaghetti. Now you will definitely forget that someone in your family does not like healthy food. Even the most fastidious child can’t resist the carrot spaghetti;
- Peel knives are used to peel vegetables;
- Core removal knives are designed to remove bones from solid fruit, usually apples. It is convenient to use for slicing and preparing fruit for later use: squeezing juice, cooking jams and pies.
Lifehack: in order not to blunt the blade of the knife, pull the sliced products from the cutting board with a snuff.
In European kitchen culture, it is customary to use no more than 20 types of knives, while in Japanese practice there are at least 200. Try every Japanese knife in business you can independently, we will tell only about the most sought-after not only in the “country of the rising sun” but also in our country.
Santoku is the equivalent of a universal knife. In translation means “3 good things”, it is with 3 operations he copes perfectly: slicing, cutting, crumbling. The average length of the blade is 18.8 cm. Has a large sharpening closer to the edge, which gives filigree accuracy when slicing slices.
Gusto is the “half-brother” of a cook’s knife, but in the east is thinner in the snou. For cutting fish and slicing its fillets thin layers used debt, and to cope with vegetables and herbs helps gnairi.
The “Leaf of willows, aka Yanagiba – not just a knife, but a sacred blade for the preparation of a national dish – sashimi. It is a “disassembled sushi” without rice. Each piece of sashimi before consumption is necessarily dunked in soy sauce.
It is interesting to know: after the Second World War, Japan imposed a ban on the production of cold weapons, so most weapons masters switched to the manufacture of knives. So, Japanese knives have become the best in the world!
For vegetables, fruits, meat, fish and seafood
Traditionally, kitchen knives are usually divided into vegetable, fish and meat knives. Less often emit also fruit. As a rule, even in families where only universal knives are used, each of these groups of products has its own knife. Where cooking is not only the satisfaction of the basic need from the Maslow pyramid but also aesthetic pleasure, use a whole arsenal of “cutting-cutting utensils”, namely:
- root vegetable knife is primarily designed for slicing solid fruits and vegetables. As a rule, the blade in the form of a triangle is made of stainless steel with a high hardness on the scale of C. Rockwell;
- tomato knife – has a jagged blade and an edge in the form of a fork to shift the sliced slices. It can be used for any fruit and vegetables with hard skin and tender pulp.
- An avocado knife is a 3 in 1 knife that can be used to slice the fruit, remove the bone and separate the pulp from the hard skin. Often these knives are made of food plastic;
- the knife for greenery – has the appearance of an axe without a handle, which has several holes of different diameters. With it, you can not only chop the parsley but also with one movement of the hand to clean a sprig of rosemary.
- a cut for zest is a knife with notches, which cuts the layer in the form of a neat straw or makes curly cuts on the peel of citrus;
- vegetable-cleaning knife, as a rule, under such knives means pills – knives, similar to a razor. With their help it is easy to remove the peel from potatoes and other vegetables.
Meat and fish knives are no less different. To notch the bones use a knife with a narrow and long blade, for oysters, on the contrary, a short knife with a wedge blade. It is easy to open the shell of a mouthwatering mollusc.
A barbecue knife is usually bought with a fork to turn the meat over. A feature of the steak knife is its unbending blade with an average length of 12 cm, just under the standard piece of meat! The longest knife is used for fish or meat fillets. There are models with a blade length of more than 30 cm. A slightly smaller size, on average 25 cm, has a knife for ham. Its feature is a straight cutting edge and a rounded edge.
For bread, dough, pizza, butter and cheese
As stated in popular wisdom: “Bread is all head!” to such a “reasonable” product needs its own approach, so the knife for bread is special. It is distinguished by a jagged blade, which does not paint or crush the bun.
If you want to smear something on the cute hunk, you will need an oiled knife. It is also jagged but has a small sharpening, sometimes even stupid. With this knife, you can smear not only butter but also jam, chocolate paste, ketchup and mayonnaise.
Finally, to decorate the sandwich with delicious hard cheese, come in handy a special knife for cheese. Its main feature – through holes on the blade, excluding the sticking of products.
Baking lovers can not do without a knife for dough or a knife for pizza. Both are a cutting wheel with a handle, although there are less familiar models in the form of a combined classic shoulder blade and knife.
If it is difficult to decide what knives are needed, or there is a desire to make a gift to a loved one or a friend, take a set of knives. It can include 2 to 10 or more items. The optimal set includes a “cook’s three”: universal, cook and vegetable knife.
In addition to traditional materials such as conventional and stainless steel, plastic and ceramic blades or particularly strong titanium and three-layer blades are increasingly on the market.
The most popular material is carbon or stainless steel. The hardness of steel knives is determined on the Rockwell scale and measured in units. For a domestic knife, the optimal value varies from 48 to 57 units. It is believed that stainless steel, unlike “ordinary” has no taste, even if less time keeps sharpening.
The titanium knives are light and durable. The blade is biologically neutral and does not react with products, i.e. does not transmit any metallic flavours and smells. However, it has less hardness in contrast to steel and, as noted by the pros, gives a less smooth cut.
The blades of ceramics combine the advantages of titanium and steel “comrades”: well cut and do not react with products. However, too fragile: can crumble when in contact with very hard objects, break at strong presses and even break to pieces in the fall. Sharpening of such knives requires special diamond devices but, as the manufacturers assure, a good knife will serve without additional sharpening for at least 2 years.
Knives made from chromium-molybdenum-vanadium steel have increased strength and resistance to corrosion. The first property is responsible for the inner layer, the second – the top two. Such knives have an above-average price, but their money is fully justified.
A real work of art and at the same time a great assistant in the kitchen – knives made of Damascus steel. They are made of an alloy of different steels, due to which the surface of the blade has a beautiful relief pattern. They have an increased hardness (62-64 units on Rockwell) and have a very sharp cutting edge, so cope with any products in the kitchen and on a picnic. The only drawback is the propensity for corrosion. To reduce the risk of rust, they are stored in oil. The cost of a single knife can range from 150 to 400 BYN.
Plastic blades are rare and are used for knives, which are cut and clean soft products. It is also rare to come across blades made of zinc alloys. Their main advantage is low cost.
Lifehack: To gently cut the cake or dough, pre-cool the knife in the freezer.
The material of the handle is no less important material of the blade because it is with the handle will have to deal with your hand. The convenience and speed of work depend on how this collaboration develops.
- plastic – long serves and is not worth enough. It has an attractive appearance due to the possibility of colouring in different colours. It has good anti-slip and easy washing;
- Polypropylene is a fashionable material from which a large number of products are made. To put it simplistically, polypropylene is a modified plastic with improved properties. About a third of today’s knives are produced with a polypropylene handle;
- Wood is a traditional material that has a beautiful texture. If properly processed with impregnation or varnish will serve for a long time without losing the original quality;
- Bakelite is a durable and tactilely pleasant material with a slight roughness, due to which it is securely connected to the hand;
- Silicone is a hygienic material that withstands various aggressive effects of hot water, oils, salts, alkaline, etc.
- steel – The handle from it can be whole or with an insert from another material. Whole steel knives are considered to be the most hygienic and durable.
The number of materials is growing every day, it is connected with the development of the chemical industry. Typically, the manufacturer is looking for cheaper synthetics to reduce the ultimate cost of the knife.
Lifehack: do not catch a falling knife, because you can hardly catch it bloodless!
What to store: case, stand and pendant magnet
Most of the sets of knives are equipped with a storage device.
Cases are small suitcases, in them, the set looks presentable – so nice to give. Each knife has its place, but storage is not always convenient – you have to constantly get the case and put it back in its place.
For single models, there are cases or cases that the knife does not get dulled if all the knives are stored in one box. A rarer device is the scabbing. They can be hung to the belt, which is very convenient when going out into nature. Even less often you can find knives with wall suspension. These are the models that have a hook ring.
The most popular option is the stand. Usually, it is made of wood, so that the knife does not get dull. It is convenient to use the stand because knives are always at hand. The only drawback: it takes place on the work surface. If space is limited, take a magnetic suspension. It is attached to the wall, so the table is free, and knives are still at hand!
Lifehack: The safest and most convenient way to store knives – slots in the countertop! Just do not make them yourself, it is better to contact the master or initially design when ordering a kitchen.
Set, or what else to buy to the knife
If you do decide to buy a set, it is worth thinking about its optimal configuration. Along with knives usually buy:
- cooking forks, cutting or barbecue, which are double-toothed. They are convenient to turn over the meat or safely cut the chicken;
- auxiliary supplies. For example, scissors or opener;
- cutting boards, it is desirable that they were wooden or plastic. Such boards are easy to care for, and they are the least stable knives;
- 1,000 accessories, including sharpening or must. We’ll tell you more about them below.
Recall that the set with a stand is better than without it because in the kitchen every inch is expensive!
Tips for care and sharpening
In ancient times, experienced housewives taught the young that knives can not be soaked with another dining table. If you do not have time to wash, it is better to put the knife in a pot of wet sand. Such a lifehack today sounds extravagant, but there are other topical tips for taking care of knives, which we want to share:
- knives should be washed immediately in cold, and then in hot water. Cold kills smells, hot destroys fat! After washing, be sure to wipe the knives with a dry towel;
- wooden handles,if they are not covered with varnish or impregnation, can be smeared with vegetable oil. It will procure pores and protect the wood from moisture;
- There are knives that can be washed in the dishwasher. As a rule, these are devices with a plastic handle. To quickly search for these models, use the “Wash in the dishwasher” filter;
- To avoid the appearance of white spots after drying the knife, add a few drops of shampoo to the water for rinsing.
You can sharpen knives in the workshop, but if you decided to take care of the “culinary weapon” yourself, you will have to master the match and sharpen in sharpening.
To start, select a grinder. The most difficult thing to use machines, but with them, you can achieve the perfect result. An easier option is grinding bars or diamond sharpeners. When using them, the technique is important: the right angle, rhythmic and correct movements.
The optimal solution is must, a special tool for editing a knife has the appearance of a round file. It is enough to hold the blade on the musat 1-2 times a day, and the knife is back in service. Music does not cancel sharpening but allows you to apply less frequently to the workshop.
The most difficult part of sharpening is with Japanese steel knives. You will have to keep a whole arsenal of water stones, so as not to spoil an expensive tool.
Historic lifehack: “salt the knife” before sharpening, more precisely, keep it in saltwater, so previously acted ko sari at sharpening braids.
So, to choose a knife, you need:
- 1. Determine the type of knife. If you cook rarely, then enough universal. If you like vegetables and fruits, you will have to take a specialized, and gourmets and do not do without the “cook’s three.”
- 2. Choose the blade material. The best option is steel stainless steel. In order not to think about sharpening – better titanium or ceramic blade. For aesthetes – only Damascus steel.
- 3. Take a closer look at the handle. Most of the options are from whole-nosed or plastic handles. It is nice and convenient to work with a tree;
- 4. Think about storage and trim. Additional accessories will help to solve all kitchen needs, a good stand will save space in the locker.
- 5. Study tips for care and sharpening. It seems that everyone will cope with a knife – take it and cut it, but here, as in any case, there are subtleties.
With the “right” knife begins a delicious dish, so you need to choose the tool wisely! Pleasant and profitable purchases!