The Ultimate Kitchen Knife Guide
We’ve all got a collection of knives in various shapes and sizes in our kitchen drawers, but do we really know what each of them is designed for? We’ve put together this handy guide to give you everything you need to know about the humble kitchen knife, from the history through to what to use each type for.
The Knife : A Brief History
As one of the first human tools, knife-like implements have been around for at least 2.5 million years and were initially made of rock, bone or flint. As technology has evolved bronze, copper, iron and steel have been typically used.
The kitchen knife we’ve come to know today was standardised in the early 20th century following the invention of stainless steel and is now made from a range of materials including titanium, steel, ceramic and plastic.
Anatomy of a Knife
The tip is the very top point of the blade.
The cutting edge of the blade is the side that touches the food running from the heel to the tip of the blade.
The spine is the opposite side to the edge and is thicker to add strength to the blade.
The bolster connects the blade to the handle and give the construction strength.
The tang extends the blade into the handle. This adds stability and weight to the handle and helps to balance the knife perfectly.
Rivets are the metal pins that connect the tang to the handle.
The butt of the knife is the end of the handle.
Knife Types and Their Uses
When it comes to choosing the best knife for the job, most of us are a bit clueless that's why we've put together this handy guide of knife types and their uses.
This selection of knives are great for a whole range of tasks from slicing bread (always use a serrated edge) to chopping vegetables, so don’t worry too much about using any of these for a range of cutting tasks.
Bread and pastry, vegetables with the skin on, soft foods
Chopping, slicing, dicing vegetables and seafood
Raw meat & fish
These knives let you carry out a range of tasks from fileting or deboning fish to removing bones from meat. Use a cleaver for raw meat particularly on tough meat or bones.
Delicate & small
These smaller knives are perfect for more detailed tasks, like precision cutting of raw meat, or slicing smaller fruit
These knives are designed for a specific purpose like cutting fruit or shucking oysters. The most commonly used is the cheese knife.
This collection of knives are mostly used in professional kitchens by chefs, but can of course be useful in your own kitchen and ranges from palette knives for spreading icing to butcher knives for splitting and chopping meat.