Whether you’re a chef working in a professional kitchen or a home cook looking for a quality knife to add to your collection, finding the right one for what you need can be difficult. With so many different knives on the market, knowing which blade is the best for the job is key to navigating them all. From a chef knife to a bread knife, we go through the essential professional knives you should have in your kitchen.
A chef knife is by far the most versatile and most popular of the professional kitchen knives. Commonly found in almost any kitchen from a small café to a large-scale catering business, these knives come in a variety of different sizes that make them perfect for any chopping, dicing, slicing, and mincing required. From vegetables to meat, a chef knife is an all-rounder in the kitchen – commercial or otherwise – and an essential for a professional kitchen.
Another popular professional knife commonly used in commercial kitchens is a bread knife. The classic design and serrated edge make it the perfect blade to easily break through hard exteriors (such as crust) and easily slice through softer insides. The serrated teeth allow a bread knife to grip into the skin of a product without damaging or squishing the flesh – making it the ideal knife when it comes to cutting anything with delicate flesh such as fresh bread, cakes or softer fruits.
A fillet knife is traditionally used to easily cut through meat and remove smaller bones. They’re similar to the traditional boning knife a butcher would use, however a fillet knife is often thinner and more flexible to allow a chef more control when removing fragile bones or slicing through fish. These knives are generally designed with a gentle upwards curve that ends in a sharp curved tip and fall between 6 and 11 inches in blade length. The length of a fillet knife required heavily depends on the size of the fish that’s being prepared.
A tomato knife is one of the smallest professional knives you can buy and can easily slice through smaller, softer fruits (such as a tomato) with minimum pressure. Similar to the design of a bread knife, these knives features a blade with a serrated edge to help it easily move through tougher skin while preventing the squishing of a softer inside. These are a great way to easily cut through eggplants, peaches, peppers, mushrooms, plums and a variety of other fruits.
While poultry shears aren’t a knife, they’re still an important tool to have in any professional or home kitchen as they allow the easy division and cutting of poultry. Poultry shears are specifically designed with crescent shaped blades, making it easier to cut through bone, chicken skin and other tough materials. A quality pair of poultry shears can also be used to remove scales and fins from fish, as well as strip fat from meat (although you’d want to be careful to use a model with a blunt tip to avoid any possible puncturing or tearing).
When it comes to professional knives, there are a variety of different kinds that can help make any kitchen run more smoothly. Finding the right chef knife will depend heavily on exactly what you’ll be doing in your kitchen. From slicing and dicing to skinning and boning, investing in quality professional knives will consistently deliver you results with comfort and control.
Authored by Stephanie Bennett.