What You Should Know About Your Knives
It’s safe to assume that you have now invested in some mesmerizing Schmidt Bros knives (how could you resist?) and are now eager to see their full potential. However, it’s always a good idea to start at the very beginning. Do you know the different types of knives? The cutting jargon and terminology? These are key basic kitchen skills that can pave the way for you to become a pro in the kitchen and master the many dishes you want to prepare. Already a Pro? Follow our instagram for mouth-watering dishes and more high-level cooking clips to inspire you.
The Different Types of Knives
There’s a large variety of knives depending on what you need. We offer more than 8 types of knives, each with an important and specific role in the kitchen, but there are four main knives that you should understand and use regularly.
This is the universal knife: great for slicing, dicing, mincing, choppin, cutting... it gets the job done! Because the blade is curved, you can rock it back and forth on your cutting board to chop herbs or vegetables. And because of the weight of the blade, you can use it to cut meat off the bone like a cleaver. See it as a multi-purpose tool for various kitchen tasks. Although it can range from 6 to 14 inches, it tends to be 8 inches long, like our 8” Heritage Chef Knife.
Ideal for: cutting raw meat, any meat with bones, racks, large fruits, large vegetables, large just about anything.
A smaller tool, a paring knife is easier to control and great for peeling or handling more delicate work. It is usually around 3 or 4 inches and has a small handle to cut or “skin” ingredients. Since it is perfect for making small, precise cuts, it is best for cutting fruits and vegetables, like peeling onions or dicing tomatoes.
Ideal for: peeling the skin off of a pear or a potato, removing seeds from a pepper, de-veining a shrimp, or playing Picasso with a radish.
The utility knife’s name tells you what it is for: utility purposes. It has a thinner handle and smaller blade than a chef’s knife, making it great for handling smaller foods. However, it is known for its versatility, as it can also be helpful cleaning fish, cutting small pieces of meat, and slicing fruits. It’s always a good idea to have a good utility knife in your collection!
Ideal for: larger and firmer vegetables like a head of broccoli or carrots, larger fruits like a melon, and sandwich meats.
A steak knife, as its name suggests, is not just for cutting steak (although it does the job very well). What makes this king of the kitchen perfect for flame-broiled perfection? It’s the proportion between the handle and the blade. A proper steak knife needs to be small enough to give you the feel of traditional flatware, while the blade has to be large and sharp enough to cut like a kitchen knife.
Ideal for: finer meats, such as beef, steak, or chicken that can directly impact the quality of your food. The wrong knife when cooking these meats can lead to the wrong, rough cuts, which leads to your food being harder to eat.
The cutting jargon
Now that you know your knives, know your cutting terminology. Whether you are following recipes or improvising in the kitchen, there are a few basic cutting techniques that you should understand and feel comfortable with to create the best dishes at home.
A pretty common term, slicing through an ingredient will result in thin or thick disks. You may slice vegetables, meat, or fruit with a chef’s knife or utility knife.
This is also very straight forward. When peeling something, a paring knife can be ideal thanks to it’s thin blade which allows you to have a close shave and avoid removing parts of the ingredient that you want to keep.
Dicing can be described as finely chopping an ingredient using a consistent size. Precision is key in this case. A rule of thumb can be to aim for ¼’ cubes when dicing something.
Originally a French term, this method refers to cutting food, usually vegetables, into thin strips. This would be the current cutting technique for french fries, where you would julienne the potato.
You’re No Longer A Beginner
That’s it! You are officially in the know and can safely participate in kitchen conversations, even give some pointers to the chefs (did we take it too far?). Hopefully you feel more comfortable with the knife and cutting lingo but, above all, you understand that there’s nothing to be intimidated about and that cooking should be fun. Now go put all of this new information to use and start carving joy for the holidays.
Don’t forget to tag us in your social media posts and use #CarveJoy to show us how you are using the Schmidt Bros products at home.