Types of Cutting Utensils in the Kitchen

Written by scott cornell
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Types of Cutting Utensils in the Kitchen
A chef's knife is an all-purpose tool for slicing and dicing various foods. (quality tomatoes image by Horticulture from Fotolia.com)

Aside from pots and pans, dishes and silverware, the kitchen is also home to a number of cutting utensils. These utensils serve different functions in preparing and serving food. Cutting tools vary from knives to shears and can be used in preparing foods ranging from breads and poultry to fruits and vegetables.

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Chef's Knives

There are several types of all-purpose knives for use in the kitchen. Two of the most common are the chef's knife, or French knife, and the paring knife. Chef's knife blades are typically 8 to 14 inches long and are used for chopping, slicing and mincing everything from vegetables to grilled meats. Conversely, the paring knife, according to Cooking Light, is a miniaturised version of the chef's knife, with a blade ranging from 2.5 to 4 inches in length. It is used for tasks such as peeling fruits and vegetables, cutting shapes into dough or coring an apple. Unlike the chef's knife, which is typically used with a cutting board, the paring knife can be used while holding it aloft.

Purpose Knives

Aside from all-purpose knives like the Chef's knife and paring knife, there are several kitchen knives specifically for completing certain tasks. One is the 6-inch, rigid-blade boning knife. This is used in separating raw meat from the bone. A filleting knife is similar in size and shape to that of a boning knife, but it has a more flexible blade. It's used for filleting fish. Finally, the slicer is a knife used for cutting cooked meat. It features a pointed-tip blade to slice through even the toughest meats.

Pizza Cutter

Another common kitchen cutting utensil is the pizza cutter. The tool features a gripped handle and a circular, rolling blade that can easily slice through pizza and foods that are baked in oven pans. Because the blade rolls, it mimics the user's motion. This allows for continuous cutting, compared to typical kitchen knives. Several pizza cutters are also designed so that they're dishwasher safe.

Kitchen Shears

Kitchen shears, or scissors, are a kitchen cutting tool that can be deployed in a variety of situations. Shears are often used for trimming chicken, cutting vegetables and slicing herbs. The bottom scissor blade is often more rigid than the top blade, to allow it to grip slippery foods. The shears are also designed to be sharp enough to cut through small bones. The shears can be pulled apart for easy cleaning and are comfortable to use.

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