The art of cooking, just like any other creative outlet, requires tools to help one master their craft. As an artist needs paints and brushes, so too does the chef need the proper items to allow for culinary magic to take place. There are many kinds of kitchen gadgets out there, each with its own purpose and function. Some get lost in the kitchen-cabinet graveyard of unwanted and unneeded items, but others, however, withstand the test of time. One of those kitchen tools is the knife. We use and need knives for so many reasons in this world, especially in the kitchen. There are many different kinds of knives out there but the home cook only needs 4 of them to help make cooking easier.
1. Paring Knife– the smallest on the list, the paring knife serves a big purpose despite its size. The most popular use is for peeling (thick and thin) skins from fruits and vegetables. Other uses include slicing and using the tip of the knife for accomplishing small jobs like destemming strawberries or deveining shrimp.
2. Chef’s Knife– this is the most important knife that a chef can own. Most have 8” blades and, due to their sharp edges, are used to mince, chop, and slice vegetables and meat. They are very versatile in use.
3. Utility Knife– larger than a paring knife yet smaller than a chef’s knife, the utility knife is used to cut and slice vegetables and deli meats that are too big for a paring knife but too small for a chef’s knife. Utility knives are also known as “sandwich knives”.
4. Bread Knife– the long, serrated, thick blade of this knife works great for cutting through the thick, hard crust of bread. Other uses include cutting blocks of chocolate, cutting off the rinds of melons, cutting cake slices, and even shaping cake prior to frosting.
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