Ten Facts That Nobody Told You About Knife

The most versatile tool that never changed for several thousand years – A chef companion, friend, and life … Knife

A razor-sharp kitchen knife is my best friend! Yes, it is so versatile that it has never changed for several thousand years. This is so versatile tool  – It can finely chop, slice thinly, julienne, dice, mince, and shred.  Also, it is heavy enough and the right tool for cutting large meat cuts and huge vegetables.  It is vital to find the right knife for the right use and which suits us. If you can balance the knife well and use it properly to work through your half the job in the kitchen is over. It is very important to have a good feel and comfort.

Six- and eight-inch blades are extremely popular in most kitchens. Experience chefs choose between an eight inch and 10-inch knife for their all-purpose cutting. And the slight curvature of the blade allows you to rock the knife back and forth for light chopping and mincing.

How different ages such as stone age, bronze, and iron age has evolved in the history and knife also has evolved from stone to bronze to iron and during the period and in the modern industrial age chefs prefer a High carbon steel

Carbon –steel blades stay sharper but have been all but edged out of the market by high-carbon stainless steel, which may not remain quite as sharp, but it doesn’t discolor or rust.  Forged blades are shaped and sharpened with greater care, making them better balance. Stamped blades are die-cut on an assembly line.

Different Types of materials used in the making of blades

In the modern age, the following material is used for making blades

1. Carbon Steel

An alloy of iron and carbonHas a good edge and is easy to sharpenThey get dull very quickly. Discolours food items (eg. Tomato / Onions)High maintenance, can cause rusting and discoloration

2. Stainless Steel

It is an alloy of iron, approximately 10-15% chromium & nickelHighly resistant to corrosion

3. High Carbon Stainless Steel

Refers to higher-grade, stainless steel alloys with a certain amount of carbonCarbon allows the blade to take and keep a good edge. SS helps to ensure they do not discolor or stain

4. Titanium

Lighter and less wear resistant and it does not take a very good edge. Does not impart any flavor to food

Also, check to see how far the end of the blade extends into the handle.  Full tang, in which the blade extends from the tip of the knife through the heel of the handle is what the chefs prefer.  This makes for a better-balanced knife – if you rest it on your index finger, it should almost balance between the blade and handle.  If you want wooden handles rosewood or resin-impregnated woods are good choices.  Wooden handles tend to repel oil and grease, making them better than plastic for gripping.  The benefit of plastic handles is that they are molded to fit the shape of your hand, but grease may stay on the surface and make them slippery.

Ten commandments for Knife safety

  Keep your knife dry, clean and sharp  -the entire knife, not just the blade

  Store knives properly. Do not tuck them to your apron or stick them on your chest !!!

  Use the right knife for the right purpose

  When carrying a knife and walking, hold it parallel to and tight against your leg

  Always hold the knife by its handle.

  When passing a knife to someone, lay it down and allow the person to pick it up

  Always cut away from yourself (mostly!) and Concentrate while you are cutting and do not be distracted

  Refrain from using a knife to open bottles, loosen screws etc.

  Do not throw a knife into a sink

  Do not attempt self-repair. This may create an unsafe condition.


How to Sharpen a Knife?

Also, the safe use of a chef’s knife also depends on maintaining its sharpness.  People are scared of a new, sharp knife, which is just as well, according to experienced chefs-because if they use it like a dull knife, they could cut themselves.  With a dull knife, you get used to applying a lot of pressure.  With a sharp blade, you don’t have to press down as hard and you have better control.

Some chefs prefer sharpening their knives with a stone.  “To do that, first put a drop of mineral oil about the size of a dime on the stone and spread it around with your finger.  The important thing to remember is to use the entire surface of the stone.  As you sharpen the knife, start with the heel of the knife in the top left corner and end with the tip in the opposite bottom right corner.  The knife should be held at about a 20-degree angle and drawn across the entire surface of the stone.  Stroke each side of the knife in the same direction and the same number of times.  Alternating sides of the knife after each pass on the recommended.

Although a stone is probably the best way to sharpen, some people aren’t comfortable with that method. For them, electric and manual knife sharpeners are available.  Use a steel to maintain the edge between sharpening, but from time to time, you’ll probably need to have the knife sharpened professionally.

Types Of Knives

Six inches to Eight-inch chef’s knife:  For all-purpose chopping, creating julienne stripes, dicing, carving roasts in a pinch, and generally making big pieces of food smaller.  The chef’s knife is used by keeping the tip of the blade on the cutting board and rocking the handle up and down in an arc over what you’re chopping.

Four-inch paring: Essentially a chef’s knife, but smaller.  Some cooks prefer it for mincing parsley, garlic or shallots.  This is the knife for peeling.


Anatomy of a Knife

Tang:  The extension of the blade into the handle.  In general, the longer the tang, the better weighted the knife.  A full tang from the tip of the knife to the end of the handle is recommended.

Handle:  The handle (wood, plastic or rubber) can either cover the tang or be riveted to it.  A full tang will be visible on most riveted handles.

Bolster: The bolster keeps the hand away from the carving area and stabilizes the blade while cutting.

Blade: Stamped blades are die-cut on an assembly line, while forged blades are shaped and sharpened with greater care, making them more flexible and better balanced.

Point / Tip  

It is the tip of the blade and  is used for scoring and piercing films

Heel

It refers to the base of the blade and it is the easiest part of the knife to use

Edge

Part of knife which is sharp

About the Author
Dr. Chef Soundar

Dr. Chef Soundar

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Dr. Chef P Soundararajan is Corporate Executive Chef at Club Mahindra Holidays & Resorts. He Writes about Culinary Techniques and Shares his Profound Knowledge here in his Blog. [Read More….]

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