Kitchen Knives , How to choose the right knife for the job in hand ?
Knives are the foremost tool when the subject is vegetable cutting. In this article I will discuss some important aspects of knives in choosing the right knife for different types of vegetable cutting.
First criterion is the cost and the base material. There are mainly three types of knives based on cost and material.There are many other types of knives but they are not relevant here.
1.Plain carbon steel knives … low cost
2. Stainless steel and Alloy steel knives .. middle level cost
3.Ceramic knives… High cost. They are brittle and hence break when used for cutting hard skin vegetables like Pumpkins. But they are very good for slicing items like tomatoes , Okra etc. The edges are sharper than steel knives and hence cut with less effort!
Top :Chefs knife Bottom : Utility knife
TOP : small Ceramic knife. Bottom : Paring knife , Blade 75 mm long.
There are many other types of knives for meat cutting etc .Here only Vegetable cutting knives are shown.
The requirements of a good knife are * Knife should not get rusted * Knife should hold the edge for a reasonable period. This means the knife should have high hardness in the range of 45 to 50 HRc. * Knife should be strong enough to stand the loads while cutting vegetables.
In Steel knives there are two types ,Forged knife and Knife stamped from sheet. Forged knives are heavier , stronger and cost more.They last longer.
The market is dominated by hardened Stainless steel knives punched from Rolled sheet and further processed. Utensil grade SS cannot be hardened and hence unfit for making knives. There are SS grades like 420 and 440 which can be hardened using heating and quenching .These grades are used for knife making . They are economical and give long life.
Carbon steel knives :
Plain Steels with high carbon content are suitable for knife making . They are amenable for heat treatment and hence have a good sharp edge. The big disadvantage is rusting on exposure to atmosphere. But many use them in developing countries as they are inexpensive.
Stainless Steel Knives : Now I will discuss the Common SS knives used in the Kitchen for Vegetable and Fruit cutting.They are designed based on the specific requirements of Cutting vegetables which is quite varied. 1. Chefs knife : This has a broad width compared to the utility knife and also slightly thicker than a utility knife. This is an all purpose knife. It can slice, dice or chop all kinds of vegetables including Pumpkin etc. It has curved tip .This facilitates oscillation of the knife while slicing onion etc so that cutting becomes faster. It is not preferred for light jobs like cutting greens or chillies though it can do the job. It comes in 150 mm or 200 mm lengths. The cutting edge can be normal or serrated. Serrated is good for slicing tomatoes as they are elastic and yield when cutting with normal edge.
2. Utility Knife. This also comes in 150 or 200 mm length and the width is less than the Chefs knife, about 20 mm. Chefs knife is usually 25 mm wide.
Utility knife is used for all the common tasks where the cutting effort is normal . It is difficult to cut a Pumpkin with utility knife as it is likely to bend and cause injury. It can cut all greens, Root vegetables, leafy vegetables etc. As it is lighter it takes less effort than the chefs knife and faster.When the vegetable is too big or heavy it not advisable to use utility knife.
3. Paring knife : It has a blade 75 mm in length and 20 mm wide. It comes with plain or serrated edge. It is very convenient where the knife needs to move in a curve or a circle like when cutting out the ends of an Onion before slicing it. It is also used to cut the skin of fruits like Oranges etc. It is useful in many tasks where you need full control on knife movement.
4. Bread slicing knife : This knife is longer, either 250 or 300 mm with serrated edges. It is thicker than the utility knife and the edge is less sharp. It is very convenient for slicing Bread, cakes, Rolls etc. All knives require care and maintenance and precautions. We will discuss these in another Blog.
Now Coming to the MK Vegetable cutter : It is a cutter specially designed to cut (both green vegetables in bunches and Root vegetables like Potatoes and Onions) all vegetables easy and fast. It can do difficult cutting jobs where other cutters fail. It puts the Power of cutting with 11 knives in your hand. Cutout the drudgery in daily vegetable cutting. The MK cutter is strong, long lasting , easy to use and easy to clean and the Knives can be sharpened in location once every 6 months. Go for it ! Click on the link next to go to the Shop page. <SHOP>