From finely slicing papers-thick deli meats to splitting through piles of bell peppers, the knife is the most important tool in any kitchen. When wielded by the right hand, it can make tedious kitchen tasks simple and quick. But if its not the proper knife for the job, it could cost you some serious time and money.
A good knife requires a good cutting board. Thats why today, were here to discuss knives and cutting boards: two of the most essential tools for any kitchen hobbyist. In this article, well cover the different types of knives and cutting boards, how to use them, and how to care for and maintain them.
Lets get started!
Types of Knives
Youve seen them before in cooking shows and commercials their distinctive shapes and colors instantly recognizable. But do you know exactly what type of knife you need for each task?
A good chef will have an arsenal of different types of knives in their kitchen. These knives have different shapes and sizes, all designed for different tasks. Here are the most common types of knives you should have in your kitchen:
- Chefs knife: This all-purpose knife is perfect for slicing, dicing, and chopping a variety of ingredients.
- Paring knife: This small knife is great for delicate tasks, like de-seeding fruits or removing potato eyes.
- Boning knife: This sharp knife is used to separate meat from bones.
- Slicing knife: This long, thin blade is adept at slicing through larger cuts of meat.
- Bread knife: This serrated blade is specifically designed for cutting through bread, without tearing it apart.
Types of Cutting Boards
A knife is only as good as the cutting board on which it is used. A good cutting board prevents knives from bluntness and offers a solid, stable surface for chopping and slicing. While plastic is the more common material for cutting boards, there are several other materials that are just as durable and just as safe. Here are some of the most common types of cutting boards you should have in your kitchen:
- Plastic: These are the most common type of cutting boards, and are available in a variety of colors, densities, and thicknesses.
- Wood: A high-quality wood cutting board is both sanitary and durable- plus, it looks great. Just be sure to oil it regularly to ensure it doesnt dry out or crack.
- Glass: Glass cutting boards are incredibly durable, and are usually dishwasher-safe. However, they can be slippery and hard on knife blades.
- Bamboo: Bamboo boards are attractive and perfect for meat and veggies. Plus, theyre more durable and easier to maintain than wood.
Using Knives and Cutting Boards
Now that you know the different types of knives and cutting boards, lets talk about how to use them.
When using a knife, always use a sharpening stone or steel rod to sharpen it before and after each use. This will ensure that the knife is as sharp as possible and prevent injury from a dull blade. Use the right knife for the job for example, a paring knife is perfect for de-seeding fruits, while a chefs knife is great for slicing and chopping vegetables.
When it comes to using a cutting board, always make sure to use a clean one- either wash the board between uses, or use a separate board for each type of food. Additionally, use a damp dishcloth if you need to remove stubborn food particles from the board. You can also use the disinfecting properties of vinegar or lemon to clean and sanitize the board.
Caring for Knives and Cutting Boards
Both knives and cutting boards need to be cared for in order to ensure they stay in good condition. This includes regularly sharpening knives, oiling wooden cutting boards, and cleaning plastic or glass ones.
Regularly sharpening knives will ensure that they stay sharp and reduce the risk of dull blades damaging the cutting board. Wooden boards should be oiled on a regular basis to prevent cracking and warping. Plastic and glass boards should be washed with hot soapy water and a clean brush. Additionally, avoid leaving knives and cutting boards in the sink or sitting in water- this can damage the blade or warping the board.
Knives and cutting boards are two of the most essential and versatile tools in any kitchen. When used correctly, they can make any task easier and more efficient. By choosing the right knife and cutting board for the job and caring for them properly, you can keep both in top condition.
Now that you know how to properly use a knife and cutting board, get out there and start chopping!