A professional chef is always prepared.
Now, I’m not a pro chef, but I still make sure that my kitchen is decked out. Not with the latest and greatest kitchen gadgets, but with the tools that make my life easier. In the case of knives, that means having a wide set of tools that can handle any situation I throw at them.
More specifically, that means having a well-rounded set of must-have knife types.
10 Must-have Knife Types For Your Kitchen
Over the years, I’ve found myself reaching for certain knives much more often. Each has proven itself to be a wonderful addition to my kitchen. Some of these knives, I have found to be especially essential. Others are more of a quality-of-life improvement.
In either case, each of these knife types is one that I don’t regret purchasing at all. And once you have tried them, I know that you won’t regret it either.
1. Chef’s Knife
The chef’s knife should be a staple in every aspiring chef’s kitchen.
This quintessential kitchen knife is probably the most versatile knife of all. It can be used to chop, slice and dice. It can cut meat, vegetables and everything in between. If you can afford to get only a single knife, the chef’s knife is what you want. Other knives may make certain tasks easier, but the chef’s knife is the only knife that can do it all.
Chef’s knives can cost anywhere from twenty dollars for a cheap knife, all the way up to the hundreds for professional-grade quality . I don’t expect you to take out a loan for one, but don’t go for bottom-of-the-barrel prices, either, if you can help it.
2. Paring Knife
Although not as versatile as a chef’s knife, a paring knife is still one of the more versatile knives around.
This kind of knife is ideal for peeling fruits and vegetables. Other tasks, such as de-veining a shrimp, are also easier with a paring knife. Any sort of intricate or delicate work is easier with this knife, really.
Paring knives are usually inexpensive. It’s easy to find a good one for under ten bucks. Don’t be afraid to search around.
3. Bread Knife
Bread is something that I make sure to always have on hand. And sure, I could just cut it with any old knife, but a bread knife makes the process so much easier.
But easier bread cutting is not the only thing that a bread knife does. It also makes your “cuts” smoother for a perfect slice of bread. Now a perfect cut may not seem like much, but trust me, it can really add to a meal. When you have a perfectly sliced piece of bread on hand, it’s hard to have a bland meal.
4. Santoku Knife
At first glance, a Santoku knife can be easily mistaken for a chef’s knife. It’s an easy mistake to make, as aside from the angle and size, the two are nearly indistinguishable from one another.
The two knives can even be easily switched with one another in the kitchen. Both are extremely versatile knives that can handle most kitchen tasks. The differences, however, show up in how good each knife is at cutting food. The santoku, for instance, is perfect for creating thin slices of meat or vegetables.
When it comes to price, the same rules as the chef’s knife, also apply here. But you can still find some good deals for Santoku knives for as low as $18.
5. Boning Knife
A boning knife – as the name would imply – is used mainly to remove bones in meat or fish.
Depending on the kind of food you cook, you may want to get more than one kind of boning knife. Beef and pork, for example, is best done with a stiff knife. Poultry or fish, on-the-other-hand, is easier to do with a flexible knife. In either case, a boning knife can be a major time-saver in the kitchen.
Boning knives can be easily brought for a low price . You might need to buy a second knife, so be prepared to factor that into the price.
6. Meat Cleaver
Unlike most of the other knives on this list, a cleaver can be a must-have tool or a waste of money.
A cleaver is a large knife with a rectangular-blade. It’s usually an incredibly tough blade with a strong edge. This design allows it to withstand repeated blows into thick meat and bone. If you regularly cut through a lot of meat with bone, a cleaver is an invaluable tool to have around.
7. Utility Knife
When it comes to utility knives, the kitchen is the last place you’d think to find one.
And that’s an unfortunate mistake as the kitchen is also the best place to have one. Sure, you may never use it for actual food, but a utility knife is incredibly helpful when you need to open a bag or cut a box. I mean, just think back on the number of times you wanted to open a bag of something. Wouldn’t it have been great to have a knife that could have gotten the job done quick and easy?
Talking price, good utility knives are easy to find at low prices as long as you don’t expect to have all the bells and whistles.
8. Carving Knife
This style of kitchen knife is usually between 8 and 15 inches long and is noticeably thinner then than a chef’s or santoku knife. Unlike their bladed cousins, however, the carving knife makes it much easier to create a perfectly thin slice with perfect precision.
When it comes to carving knives, expect to pay a good amount of money for a decent knife set.
9. Ceramic Knife
Ceramic knives are tough.
Unlike steel knives, ceramic knives will not corrode in harsh environments. And though they don’t look like it, a ceramic knife will usually be just a sharp as a regular knife. When it comes to boneless meat, vegetables, and bread, a ceramic knife may even be superior to a regular knife. Unfortunately, ceramic knives are brittle and they can easily break if you’re not careful.
When you’re shopping around for a ceramic knife, don’t be afraid to look around for a great deal.
10. Steak Knife
Unlike the other knives on this list, a steak knife isn’t a knife you’ll find in the kitchen. Rather, it’s one that you want by your side during a steak dinner.
Unlike a regular table knife, a steak knife is designed around cutting meat. A good steak knife lets you enjoy your meal instead of fighting it. Many steaks knives are also serrated making them suitable for both cutting steak and slicing bread.
Price-wise, it’s fairly easy to find a good set of steak knives for a price that won’t hurt your wallet.
What Qualities You Should Look For In A Knife?
Finding a good knife can be a painless process. But if you don’t know what you’re looking for, it can also be a difficult one.
Luckily, all good knives have a few common qualities that they all share. The quality of the material, a full tang blade and a powerful edge are all things you should keep an eye out for when shopping for a knife. At first, it may be a little difficult, but with experience, you’ll become an expert in finding quality knives where you least expect it.
Proper Knife Maintenance
Your job isn’t done once you buy a knife. In fact, it’s just beginning.
Proper knife care is just as important as anything else. After you have finished using a knife, it’s important that you properly clean it. This can go a long way in allowing your knives to last a long time. Likewise, it’s also important that you regularly take some time out of your day to sharpen your knives.
With a little bit of knife maintenance, your knives will last much longer than they would otherwise. Not only that, but a properly cared-for knife will also cut a lot better.
Equipping Your Kitchen With The Best Knives Around
Whether you are a grizzled veteran or a complete newcomer, it’s important to stock your kitchen with the right tools.
A kitchen that is equipped with a wide variety of knives is a kitchen that is ready for anything. But preparedness isn’t anything that you’ll gain. You will also end up with an easier time inside the kitchen. You’ll be able to save time by using the right tools. And when you save time, you get to spend more time enjoying the things you like to do.
Things like enjoying a good meal with your friends and family.
Last update on 2020-05-25 at 12:50 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.