the right knife for the job

On our very first day of culinary school, we were each presented with our very own knife set, complete with more than fifteen knives of various shapes and sizes and other sharp objects, some of which I had absolutely no clue as to what they were used for, but one thing was for sure: they were all incredibly sharp. Naturally, the first thing they taught us was how to use our knives properly as there’s a right knife for every job. After all, you shouldn’t use a paring knife to French a rack of lamb just as you wouldn’t use a paint brush to paint a room, right? It’d surely wear you out faster and take you a whole lot longer.

With the right knife at hand, you can reduce the amount of time and energy you spend on prep work and make your life a whole lot easier in the kitchen. (Not to mention, impress your friends and family with your awesome knife skills!) Here’s a list of our most commonly used kitchen knives along with a few other kitchen essentials that we put together especially for all of you aspiring home chefs out there. Now you can start chopping, slicing, and dicing away just like a pro ;)

The paring knife is the smallest of our knives, used for peeling, turning, and slicing small fruits & vegetables, as well as mincing shallots and onions.

The vegetable peeler is used for peeling fruits and vegetables and its sharp tip can be used for removing eyes and blemishes from potatoes.

The boning knife is a thick, pointed blade knife used for de-boning meat and poutry as well as trimming fat. Be extra careful with this one as it will slice right through bone.

The fillet knife is an extra-thin, flexible blade knife used for filleting and slicing delicate fish.

The chef’s knife is the most essential of all knives, used for slicing, dicing, mincing, and chopping just about everything you can’t do with the other knives =)

The bread knife is an large, serrated knife used for slicing loaves of bread and leveling cakes with extreme ease.

The cleaver is probably the most intimidating of all knives, with a large, extra thick, heavy blade strong enough to split bones. You’ll definitely need to exert some attitude when using this one ;)

The honing steel is a rod of steel used to realign the edges of your knives and keep them sharp. We recommend getting a steel that’s longer than your largest knife, and also, keep in mind you should never use this to sharpen serrated knives.

The meat fork is a sharp, two-pronged fork, used for turning meat during cooking and also doubles as a carving & serving fork. A good meat fork should give you a good grasp on just about anything ;)

The trussing needle is just like a sewing needle, except it’s whole lot bigger and used for trussing poultry before roasting.

Kitchen shears are the superheroes of scissors, super sharp, strong, and tough enough to be used for cleaning and dressing fish, splitting chicken breasts with the breastbone attached, snipping fresh herbs, cutting flowers, paper, kitchen twine, and most everything else. It’s designed to come apart for easy cleaning and made from stainless steel so it won’t rust.

The Microplane grater is an extremely sharp, extra-fine grater made from photo-etched steel, used for finely grating hard cheeses, nutmeg, ginger, and onion, and zesting citrus fruits.

Metal spatulas come in different shapes and sizes and are used for masking and spreading creams & icings with ease and efficiency… a must-have for the serious home baker ;)

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