Parts of a Knife A. Point B. Tip C. Blade D. Back
Parts of a Knife E. Cutting Edge F. Bolster or Shank-spot where the blade and the handle come together. Prevents food particles from entering the space between the tang and the handle. G. Heel
Parts of the Knife H. Rivets-metal pieces that fasten the handle to the tang. Should be smooth and lie flush with the handle’s surface. I. Handle-can be made of several types of material. J. Tang-part of the blade that continues into the knife’s handle. Some knives have a full tang and some have a partial tang.
Knife Construction Metals most often used for knife blades are stainless steel and high-carbon stainless steel. Stainless steel is a hard durable metal made of chromium and carbon steel. It doesn’t rust or discolor and will not transfer a metallic taste to food. It is hard to sharpen.
Knife Construction High-carbon stainless steel is a mix of iron, carbon, chromium, and other metals that combine the best features of stainless steel and carbon steel. It does not rust, discolor, and can be sharpened easily. High-carbon stainless steel is the most common metal used for knives in the professional kitchen.
Types of Knives Chef’s Knife Also called a French Knife is the most important tool in the chef’s tool kit. Used for peeling, trimming, chopping, slicing and dicing.
Types of Knives Utility Knife Smaller, but similar in shape to a chef’s knife. It is an all-purpose knife with a 5-7” blade. Mainly used for peeling and slicing fruits and vegetables.
Types of Knives Slicer Has a long, thin blade that is ideal for cutting large foods such as meat and poultry. The blade may be rigid or flexible. It may also be serrated. Used to slice coarse foods such as bread and cake without tearing.
Types of Knives Boning Knife A small knife with a thin, angled 5-7” blade. Used to remove bones from meat, fish and poultry. Can also use the knife to trim the fat from meat.
Types of Knives Paring Knife Has a rigid blade that is only 2-4” long. Use the paring knife to pare, or trim off a thin outer layer or peel from fruits and vegetables.
Types of Knives Tournée Knife Similar in size to the paring knife. Has a curved blade that looks like a bird’s beak. Used to trim potatoes and vegetables into shapes that resemble footballs.
Types of Knives Fillet Knife Has an 8-9” blade with a pointed tip. The blade may be rigid or flexible. Mainly used to fillet fish.
Types of Knives Butcher Knife Has a 6-14” rigid blade whose tip curves up at a 25° angle. It is sometimes called a scimitar because its curved blade resembles a saber by that name. Used to cut meat, poultry and fish.
Using a Knife Safely Use the correct knife for the task. Keep knives sharp. A dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one. Always cut with the blade facing away from your body. Always cut on a cutting board. Do not cut on glass, marble or metal.
Using a Knife Safely When carrying a knife, hold it point down, parallel and close to your leg as you walk. A falling knife has no handle. Do not attempt to catch a falling knife; step back and allow it to fall. When you are passing a knife to someone, lay the knife down on the work surface and pass it by carefully holding the dull side of the blade with the handle facing out toward the other person.
Using a Knife Safely Never leave a knife in a sink of water; anyone reaching into the sink could be injured or the knife could be dented by pots or other utensils. Never use a knife to perform inappropriate tasks, such as opening a can or a bottle or prying something apart. Carefully wipe the blade from its dull side. Do not wash knives in commercial dishwashers. The heat and harsh chemicals can damage the edge and handle.
Sharpening Knives Use a sharpening stone called a whetstone to put an edge on a dull knife blade. To use a whetstone, place the heel of the blade against the whetstone at a 20- degree angle. Press down on the blade while pushing it away from you in one long arc. The entire length of the blade should come in contact with the stone during each sweep.
Sharpening Knives A steel does not sharpen a knife. It is used to hone or straighten the blade immediately after and between sharpenings. Place the blade against the steel at a 20-degree angle. Draw the blade along the entire length of the steel. Repeat several times on each side of the blade.
Gripping the Knife Grip There are several ways to grip a knife. Use the grip that is most comfortable for you or the one dictated by the job at hand. Grip the knife firmly but not so tightly that your hand gets tired. Avoid placing your index finger on the top of the blade.
Controlling the Knife To make safe, even cuts, you need to guide the knife with one hand while you hold the food firmly in place with the other hand. Use the sharp edge of the blade to do the cutting. Use smooth even strokes and never force the blade through the food.
Controlling the Knife Keeping your fingers curled back, grip the item being cut with three fingertips and your thumb. Keep the tip of the knife on the board and lift the heel of the knife.
Controlling the Knife Using the second joint of your index finger as a guide, cut a slice using a smooth, even, downward stroke. Adjust your fingers after each slice.
Knife Cuts Diagonals Elongated or oval- shaped slices of cylindrical vegetables or fruits. Produced with a cut similar to that used to cut rondelles except that the knife is held at an angle to the item being cut.
Knife Cuts Horizontal Slicing To horizontal slice is to butterfly or cut a pocket into meats, poultry or fish. It is also a method of cutting used to thinly slice soft vegetables.
Knife Cuts Mincing To cut an item into very small pieces. The terms finely chopped and minced are often used interchangeably. Most often used on items such as garlic, shallots, herbs and other foods that do not have to be uniform in shape.
Knife Cuts Dicing To cut an item into cubes. Most often used when uniformity of size and shape is important. Before an item can be diced, it must be cut into sticks. These sticks are then reduced through dicing. Use a chef’s knife.
Knife Cuts Julienne A stick-shaped item with dimensions of 1/8” thick. When used with potatoes, this cut is sometimes referred to as an allumette. A fine julienne has dimensions of 1/16”
Knife Cuts Batonnet Are thicker than julienne cuts. Batonnet cuts are stick-shaped with dimensions of ¼”
Knife Cuts Tournée A cutting technique that results in a foot- ball shaped finished product with seven equal sides and flat ends. The size of the finished product may vary, the most common being 2” long.
Knife Cuts Parisiennes Small balls or spheres of fresh melon can be used in fruit salad, while tiny spheres of carrot, turnip, squash can be used as a side dish or to garnish soup or an entrée.
Knife Cuts A mandoline is a nonmechanical cutting tool. It does jobs that can be done with a chef’s knife, such as a very thinly sliced apples or large quantities of julienned vegetables quickly, easily, and very accurately.
Storing Knives Knives must be stored safety to prevent damage to blades or to people. A good way to store knives is in a slotted knife holder that is hung on the wall, not on the side of a table. A knife kit is safe storage unit. Custom-built drawers or magnetized bars are other storage options.