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What You Need to Know about Using a Chef’s Knife

Whether just a plain old bread knife or a cleaver, picking the best knife for cooking can be overwhelming. After all, there are many different types, from boning knives to serrated to Santoku and beyond. While you don't need to go out and buy every kind of knife out there, it is helpful to understand the different types of knives available and what each is best suited for. 

However, one knife that you definitely must have in your kitchen is the chef's knife. No matter what type of cooking you'll do or what cuisine you enjoy, this is a knife you're sure to reach for to get the job done.

What Is a Chef’s Knife?

A chef's knife is a large, all-purpose knife that can be used for chopping, slicing, and dicing a wide variety of fruits, veggies, meats, herbs, and more. You can even use it for carving meat and slicing pieces of bread. They are the workhorse of any kitchen and the best knife in your collection.

The blade for this knife usually measures between 15–20 cm and has a wide, straight edge. The handle is normally produced from wood or plastic and is relatively large, making it easy to hold onto while using the blade.

Top Uses of a Chef’s Knife

As the most adaptable knife in the kitchen, you can use a chef’s knife for just about anything! Here are the most popular approaches to using this knife:

  • Cut large pieces of meat into bite-sized, even pieces
  • Finely slice all kinds of veggies and fruits
  • Chop onions and garlic cloves
  • Dice up herbs, nuts, and seeds
  • Carve meat
  • Slice a variety of pieces of bread
  • Pound meat
  • Peel or chop potatoes

Primary Chef’s Knife Styles

Before buying a chef's knife, here are the following styles to consider so you know what type to purchase.

French Style

The blade of a French chef's knife is broader and shorter than their German cousins. The length of the blade varies from about 10–18 cm. However, because of its thickness, this knife is perfect for rocking through ingredients, which helps with food preparation.

This style is often used for chopping and slicing meat and vegetables. The French version is suitable for making julienne cuts (cutting vegetables into long, thin strips).

German Style

A thick blade usually characterises the German style of chef’s knife. This style is best for heavy chopping, dicing, and mincing. The German style is also used frequently for cutting herbs and other ingredients into small pieces.

Japanese Style

The Japanese version is much lighter and thinner than the other two styles. However, it still has a relatively straight edge for chopping and dicing. Because of its lightness, the Japanese chef’s knife is also the most flexible.

This style is perfect for slicing, and its flexible blade enables the user to chop ingredients quickly. It is also an outstanding tool for cutting fish.

Final Thoughts

A knife set in your kitchen is incomplete without a chef's knife. Although many styles and blade sizes are available, remember that you can always opt for one of the wide varieties of this famous knife.

Bronx Homewares is a small Australian family-owned business that provides various knife sets for your kitchen. Order from us today!

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