Knives are one of the most important tools in the kitchen. Selecting the right one for the task at hand can cut down on time spent preparing dishes as well as provide more control overall, helping to decrease the chance of injuries. Just as you wouldn’t use a toothbrush to comb your hair, you wouldn’t use a bread knife to cut an onion. As a general rule, if it feels awkward, then you’re probably using the wrong knife for the item you’re trying to cut, slice or chop.
Below is an overview of a number of different knives from knife experts ZWILLING J.A Henckels, who have over 285 years of experience in knife making, along with their suggested uses.
The Chef's Knife is the workhorse of the kitchen. Whether chopping, slicing, or dicing meat and vegetables, the broad, sturdy blade and comfortable, balanced size will quickly become the go-to knife for everyday tasks, like chopping onions.
The ZWILLING Pro Paring Knife is a small knife with a strong blade and center tip. It’s ideal for cleaning, peeling and cutting small fruits and vegetables, like cutting the tops off of strawberries.
The ZWILLING Cleaver has a strong, wide, rectangular blade that can take on heavy vegetables like different varieties of squash and root vegetables with more force than a chef's knife or santoku knife. Aside from breaking down tendons and bones, cleavers can also be used for pounding, mincing, dicing, and slicing of a variety of other foods.
The flat cutting edge of the MIYABI Santoku Knife lends itself to a chopping motion rather than the rocking cutting movement of European chef's knives. Santoku translates as "Three Virtues", these being meat, fish and vegetables and can be used as an alternative to the Chef’s knife.
The ZWILLING Breadknife works best for foods with a tender center, yet a firmer ‘crust’, such as bread, baguettes and rolls but also tomatoes or a ripe melon. This bread knife slices with ease thanks to its tough serration and sharp teeth.
Utility knives are a mix between slicing and paring knives. They feature scalloped edges and blades that are slightly longer than standard paring knives. The ZWILLING Serrated Utility Knife is perfect for slicing foods with a tough exterior and soft interior like tomatoes, sausage, cheese and rolls.
The ZWILLING TWINNY Chef’s Knife is great for little cooks and chefs as it’s specifically designed to teach children how to use a knife. It can be used from the age of three (with adult supervision of course!) and is specially designed for children's hands and greater safety due to the rounded blade.
The ZWILLING Collection 4-Piece Knife Set features four different blade shapes specifically designed for use on different types of cheese: the Medium-Hard Cheese Knife; the multi-purpose Perforated Knife; the Thin Blade Knife and the Parmesan Cheese Knife.
The ZWILLING Boning Knife has a long, thin, flexible blade with a sharp tip to make piercing meat easier and safer. The blade is designed to cut through ligaments and connective tissue to remove raw meat from the bone.
Once you have the right knife in-hand, don’t forget that it’s important to keep it sharp. Not only will a sharp knife make the process easier, but a dull knife is dangerous because it requires more pressure and is more likely to slip and cause an injury.
Have you used all of these knives? What’s your favourite knife to use in the kitchen?