Chef's Knives - Chef Knife

The chef's knife is a cutting tool utilized in food preparation that was created mainly for deboning and slicing large cuts of meat, and is sometimes known as a French knife or a cook’s knife. A modern chef’s knife is actually a common utility knife for most cooks around the world and functions effectively for many different kitchen tasks, instead of having only one function. It may be used to mince, slice, and dice fruits, vegetables and meat, as well as to remove bones from large cuts of meat.

French and German style knives are two common types of knife blade shapes. The German-styles are curved more along the whole cutting edge whereas the French style has an edge that is mostly straight and then it curves up at the tip of the blade. A chef's knife blade is usually about eight inches long and 1-1/2 inches wide, although many can be 6 to 14 inches long. Which style knife to use really depends on how it feels when using it as they both perform well.

The Japanese created a chef’s knife called santoku (translation: "three good things") which is another all-purpose utility knife that has become very popular in the West. This knife has sheepsfoot blade where the spine decreases sharply at the tip of the knife, and the sharply ground blade edge was designed mainly for cutting fish and vegetables, as well as boneless or meats that have soft bones such as chicken.

Chef knife blades are either hot-forged or stamped:

The chef's knife blade is usually made from carbon steel, stainless steel, a laminate of both metals, and ceramic.

Chef knife handles can be made out of many materials such as wood, steel, or a composition of synthetic materials.

There are various ways to grind the knife edge: double grind, v-shape, single or double bevel, convex edge, hollow-ground, single grind or chisel edge. Some people use differential sharpening along the length of the blade in order to improve the various functions of the chef's knife. The tip might be ground to have a very sharp, finely tuned cutting bevel is used for accurate work such as mincing; the middle of the blade sometimes known as the belly may get a fairly sharp edge for standard cutting or chopping, and the heel or back of the blade may get a stronger, thicker edge for tough tasks such as deboning meat.

The technique of using a chef knife varies; some people prefer to hold the knife handle completely with their hand while others hold the knife with their hand partially on the blade itself for more precise control. When using the knife for slicing, the tip should remain in contact with the cutting surface while the blade rocks up and down while the food is pushed under the blade. The technique chosen to hold the knife is a matter of personal preference.



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