1. Types of knife blades
A chef knife is extremely popular because the large, rounded blade is perfect for prepping everyday foods like veggies, meat, fish and herbs. It has enough room for your knuckles to fit under the handle while the blade is in contact with the chopping board, so you can chop up and down, in a circular motion, or rock the knife back and forth for the fastest food prep.
These Japanese chef knives are perfect for chopping, dicing and slicing meat, fish and vegetables because the little hollows along the blade stop food sticking to the knife as you cut. The large blade also has enough space and knuckle clearance for fast up and down chopping. The blade edge on Japanese kitchen knives is straighter than a chef’s knife and extremely sharp edge for effortless, comfortable chopping.
The long, serrated edge on a bread knife easily glides through bread crust so your sandwich loaves, French sticks and bread rolls don’t get squashed, and the blade doesn’t dull as quickly as a flat-edge knife would. Remember that a bread knife isn’t just for bread – it’s also your go to knife for cutting through anything that’s hard on the outside and soft on the inside, like pineapples and tomatoes. A bread knife is also perfect for removing the top crowns on cakes to produce a perfectly level cake ready for decorating.
Thinner than a chef’s knife and a bit bigger than a paring knife, a utility knife is an all-rounder for chopping board and in-hand food prep. It’s great for slicing steaks and soft cheese, peeling fruit and vegetables, boning meats before cooking and carving cooked meat.
The littlest of the kitchen knife family gives you great control and is perfect for peeling fruits and veggies, deseeding and making pretty garnishes out of carrot, cucumber and tomato with or without a chopping board.
A boning knife has a very thin blade that’s flexible so you can take meat off the bone, slice along the backbone of fish, and cut up meat and fish.
This is the knife you need to fillet fish. The thinness and flexibility of a fillet knife allows you to navigate around fish bones so you don’t waste any of your prized catch, and it cuts nice, even slices. It can also be used to cut chicken fillets and beef fillets.
This butcher’s knife has a huge rectangular blade that’s strong enough to cut through bone joints. The large, flat side of the blade can also be used for crushing garlic and peppercorns.
If you make roasts and other meat dishes regularly a carving knife set that has a narrow, thin carving knife and carving prongs makes it easier to cut and serve succulent slices of meat; or you can carve really fast and impress guests with an electric knife.
Steak Knife Set
A set of steak knives makes it much easier to cut through steaks and creates an authentic steak restaurant atmosphere when you’re entertaining at home.
2. Knife Materials
Stainless Steel Knives
Affordable and needs to be sharpened more than other blade materials.
Carbon Steel Knives
A higher carbon content keeps the blade sharper for longer; but are more expensive than stainless steel knives.
Ceramic knives are incredibly durable, will not rust or brown fruit and veggies or absorb cooking odours. Best of all, they will rarely – if ever need sharpening.
3. Cooking Knife Accessories
The everyday cooking and entertaining essentials to go with your kitchen knives:
- Chopping boards
- A big, sturdy chopping board makes preparing meals much easier
- Use different colours for different foods to reduce the risk of raw meat, poultry and seafood contaminating your other fresh and cooked foods
- These days there are lots of stylish chopping board options including colour-coded sets and clever folding designs that make adding ingredients to the pan simple
- Herb scissors – To chop herbs straight into dishes instead of using a chopping board
- Knife sharpener – Kitchen knife sharpening makes cooking safer. A knife with a sharp blade slices more easily and a dull blade is more likely to slip off than cut through food
- Kitchen shears – For cutting up poultry prior to cooking
- Cheese knife – To serve up your favourite cheese in style so they’re easy to cut
- Serving boards – To bring out the bread and cheese when you’re entertaining
- Knife block set – gives you a kitchen knife set in one compact knife block
4. Taking care of your knives
Make sure you take care of your knives so they last and you get the best out of them:
- Wash by hand (even if they’re dishwasher safe) and dry immediately to avoid rust spots
- If you notice rust spots use a bit of mild detergent and a scourer to rub and remove
- Immediately wash after cutting highly acidic foods like tomatoes, limes and lemons
- Use the honing steel weekly to bring the sharp edge back (watch the online video)
- Remember to regularly sharpen your knives. These days there are a range of easy to use knife sharpening tools that effortlessly put a perfectly honed edge on your knives. Place the knife sharpener on a sturdy, flat surface and drag your knife through from the heel to the toe for a perfectly sharpened knife.