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The Hospitality Guru: (cooking) Back to Basics - Knives

Updated on October 12, 2015

Knowing how to classify your kitchen tools and being able to select the right piece of equipment for the job you are working on will help you to understand all the important safety features & help with ways to work more efficiently. Effectively being able to apply maintenance & cleaning procedures to your kitchen equipment & utensils makes any kitchen hand, cook or chef a valuable team member, it’s a good idea to understand that trade tools, equipment & utensils are just as important as recipes.

Your tools are used constantly throughout the day; they allow you to work comfortably and proficiently, your tools are your assistants, your right hand man! Because they are expensive, your tools must be cared for and maintained so that they continue to work for you. The tools you need will depend on your career path & you may be required to upgrade your basic tool kit.

Knives are the cook’s basic tools; they are designed to perform specific tasks. The shape of the blade varies according to the task; For example, a thin-bladed knife is best for carving. Knives with thick blades are stiffer & so are more suited to chopping.

Modern knife blades are usually made of stainless steel or high carbon stainless steel & its important to be aware that sharpening a knife is best done through the abrasive action of a material harder than the knife being sharpened.

The Rockwell Scale is an indicator of the hardness of particular materials. The higher the number, the harder the material! Most cooks’ knives fall into the range of 54-47 on the Rockwell Scale & most sharpening steels range from 64-67.

Check out THE HOSPITALITY GURU for more information.

Parts of the Knife.  Get to know significant areas of a knife such as Point, Tip, Back, Bolster (Shank), Rivet, Handle, Heel, Cutting Edge
Parts of the Knife. Get to know significant areas of a knife such as Point, Tip, Back, Bolster (Shank), Rivet, Handle, Heel, Cutting Edge
The Chefs Knife is the one you will use most often because it is best suited to chopping, slicing & dicing.  Learn to handle & care for this knife well because its your most important tool.
The Chefs Knife is the one you will use most often because it is best suited to chopping, slicing & dicing. Learn to handle & care for this knife well because its your most important tool.
The Paring Knife is small with a pointed blade about 7cm long and is the knife for just about every small job in the kitchen, like peeling, cutting, turning & artistic work.
The Paring Knife is small with a pointed blade about 7cm long and is the knife for just about every small job in the kitchen, like peeling, cutting, turning & artistic work.
The Boning Knife is a thin pointed blade about 12cm long & used for boning raw meat and poultry.
The Boning Knife is a thin pointed blade about 12cm long & used for boning raw meat and poultry.
The Palette Knife, or spatula is long & flexible with a rounded end & used to lift, mix, spread & scrape soft mixtures & to flip & lift flat food items like pancakes.
The Palette Knife, or spatula is long & flexible with a rounded end & used to lift, mix, spread & scrape soft mixtures & to flip & lift flat food items like pancakes.
The Carving Folk has two prongs & a long handle.  Its used to secure the meat when carving.  Its also used for lifting & turning meats, so it must be strong enough to hold heavy loads.
The Carving Folk has two prongs & a long handle. Its used to secure the meat when carving. Its also used for lifting & turning meats, so it must be strong enough to hold heavy loads.
The Parisienne Scoop has a small, cup-shaped, halfspherical blade.  It cuts balls out of fruits, vegetables and butter.  It is sometimes called a melon scop or ball cutter.
The Parisienne Scoop has a small, cup-shaped, halfspherical blade. It cuts balls out of fruits, vegetables and butter. It is sometimes called a melon scop or ball cutter.
The Peeler is used for peeling fruits & vegetables.  The blade of a peeler is slotted and can be fixed or swivelling.
The Peeler is used for peeling fruits & vegetables. The blade of a peeler is slotted and can be fixed or swivelling.

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    • profile image

      prolix1001 

      10 years ago

      be safe for using this type of KNIVES.

      Kitchen Equipment

    • eventsyoudesign profile image

      eventsyoudesign 

      10 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

      If you can afford to do so it is important to buy quality knives. Good article. You make it easy for the reader to understand the design of a knife. I know I use my knives a lot and it is important to choose the right knife for the job. Also, many people do not know that a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one. Thanks for another great read. Teresa

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