Parts of a knife Knives are divided into 2 sections – 1. The blade 2. The handle
Tip: Used for slicing and handling small items such as shallots, mushrooms, and onions. Edge: This is where all of the work takes place, the part you cut with. Spine: Smooth top part of the knife. It allows you to grip the knife between the thumb and forefinger for good control during cutting and chopping.
Heel: Last few inches of the cutting edge. This part of the blade is used when maximum leverage is needed or for heavy cutting tasks. Bolster: Part between the blade and the handle that assists in the balance of the knife. Tang: Metal that extends into the handle. On a good knife, the tang will extend all the way to the butt of the handle, and the rivets will go through the tang (known as a full tang). This helps create a well balanced knife.
Chefs KnifeThe most versatile knife in the kitchen.Makes slicing, dicing, mincing and choppingfun. Chefs knives are usually 6” - 12” longwith 8” being the average.
Boning Knife A thin bladed knife used for removing the bones of poultry, meat, and fish. The blade is generally 6 inches long and may be rigid or flexible.
SlicerHas a very thin, sharp edge that quickly andeasily cuts meats and fish without tearing. Itcomes especially handy during the holidayseason to carve the perfect turkey.
Serrated Bread KnifeCommonly known as a bread knife. It ispurposely designed with a long serrated bladeand a blunt end. The teeth (serrations) allow itto cut bread using less vertical force, whichkeeps the bread from being compressed orcrushed. It is the best knife available for angelfood cake.
Paring KnifePerhaps the most versatile of knives. It is a short knifewith a 2 to 4- inch long blade. Because it is designedfor peeling and trimming fruits and vegetables, theparing knifes edge must be kept sharp. These knivesare also used for carving specialty shapes andgarnishes.
SteelA steel is used to hone, not sharpen,knives. It is made of hard, high-carbonsteel or ceramic. It comes as a long, tapered, roundrod, but some people prefer the flat model.Use a steel on a knife before each use andthroughout food preparation to keep the blade razorsharp.To use a steel, hold the knife at a 20° angle and pullacross in a swift motion from the heel to the tip ofthe knife 6 to 8 times, alternating sides.
Knife sharpeningHoning using a steel Hold the steel at an angle of 45 degrees with your thumb facing upwards on the handle. Maintain an angle of 10 degrees against the steel. Using a slicing motion, move the knife against the steel along its full length. Work from the heel of the knife to the tip. Stroke the other side of the knife against the steel the same way. Two or three strokes each side should be enough. Wash and dry the knife carefully.
Knife sharpening continued... Sharpening using a stone Put the stone securely lengthwise on a bench. A folded damp cloth under it will stop it from slipping. Smear the stone with water, oil or detergent – depending on the type. Hold the knife at 10 – 15 degree angle to the stone. Use long even strokes to move the knife along the whole length of the stone. Work the knife from heel to tip and alternate between sides. Clean the knife under cold running water to wash off grindings. Dry knife carefully.
Knife safety Always use the correct knife for the job Knives should always be kept sharp, blunt knives can cause injury due to excessive pressure applied to the knife The tip of the knife should ALWAYS point down when carrying a knife A knife should be placed flat on a chopping board when not in use Knives should be washed and wiped from the back of the knife Knives should be put away immediately after use Knives should never be left in a sink of water
Precision cutting This is the cutting of food, usually vegetables, into specific sizes and shapes in order to garnish/enhance the presentation of food. Julienne – long thin matchstick strips (3mm x 3mm x 40mm) Brunoise – very fine dice (3mm) [cut julienne first then dice] Jardinière – batons (4mm x 4mm x 20mm) Macedoine – large dice (8mm dice) Paysanne – thin slices (shapes vary) Chiffonnade – very fine shredding (lettuce, herbs etc)
Rough cuttingThis is the coarse cutting of food, usually vegetables that are not directly used for service i.e. Vegetables for stock, stew, soups. •Mirepoix is an example of a rough cut/dice and usually consists of onions, carrot, celery and leek.