Kitchen Knives Essential Tutorial

“[Intro music] The length of the knife you purchase is significant. The longer the knife, the heavier and more difficult it will be to handle. Small-handed cooks should choose shorter blades, while larger-handed cooks will prefer longer blades, like those ones. Here I have different brands. I have a Swiss brand, which is a Victorinox; a Henckles, a German; a second one here, different size; and those two are Bargoin – L’enclume it’s a French brand.

I bought them when I was an apprentice, a long time ago. Not yesterday, right. They cost me a fortune, but I still use them regularly. And they are very sharp. And finally here I have two Japanese brands, a Mac and a Global, different type of knife. Also great to chop many kinds of vegetables. You don’t need that many chef knives. I collected them over the years. Choose the one that is right for you with your budget. A slicing knife can be also called a carving knife and it is used for slicing large cuts of meat or fish. It is also called salmon slicer or ham slicer. The blade is 12 to 16 inches long and finished with a rounded or pointed end. It is used to slice ham finely or even slice salmon. You can even slice a round cake or a large cake. It is somewhat similar to a fillet knife, but it’s longer and a little bit less flexible.

A paring knife is a small knife with a sharp blade that is usually three to four inches long. It is easy to handle and works well for peeling and coring foods. The blade is typically thin and narrow and tapers to a point at the tip. Here I have several brands. I have some more expensive ones from Germany. Some inexpensive great knives from Victorinox Switzerland. And those ones were very inexpensive, but they get dull very easily. They were not worth it. A serrated knife has a sharp edge and saw-like notches or teeth. It is five to ten inches long, as an average. Serrated knives are difficult to sharpen, therefore many chefs spend less on serrated knives and buy new ones more often. A serrated knife with a long blade is used to slice through food that is hard on the outside and soft on the inside, such as slicing through a hard crust of bread. A serrated knife with a short blade is intended to be used for slicing fruits and vegetables.

Utility knife, also known as petty knives. A small light-weight knife, which has a blade that is longer than a paring knife, but shorter than a chef’s knife, and generally four to seven inches long. It is used for miscellaneous light cutting. This is a boning knife. You can recognize it by its shape. It has a long thin blade of five to six inches long. It is quite flexible somewhat and it has a narrow blade. This is the perfect knife to go and follow bones and to go through joints and cartridge. The tip of the knife is perfect to remove silver skin and to work between muscle groups following connective tissue. A fillet knife consists of a thin flexible blade. It is usually six to eleven inches long and it is used for filleting fish.

Thanks to the flexibility of the knife, you will be able to cut into the fish and follow the backbone and remove each fillet of the fish. You will be also able to remove the skin of the fish, but this will be put into practice during our fish course. The name says it all, peelers are used for just that, peeling fruits and vegetables. In French it is called couteau econome, which can be translated as saving knife. Indeed the two facing blades remove the necessary amount of skin preserving most of the flesh. The blades can be stationary or swiveling. It is said that stationary peelers like this one, are best to peel zucchini or carrots, rather than moving blade peelers or swivelings, like this one, will be good to peel round vegetables, such as potatoes or turnips. Personally, I prefer the stationary one. But it is a question of comfort, so it’s up to you.

A cleaver knife has a wide rigid blade. You see it’s not flexible at all. It is about six inches in length, which tapers to a sharp edge. This tool is used to chop, shred, pound or crush food ingredients. You may use it to crush garlic or to pound a chicken breast for example. The blade of the cleaver is thick, heavy and well-balanced with a beveled cutting edge to chop easily. A hole is typically on the top for hanging. We use the knife to make a very specific cut called tourne.

So we will use the knife to turn vegetables to give them a barrel shape for decorative purposes. You may turn potato, carrots, zucchini and many other vegetables..”

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