Chef’s Knife

In cooking, a chef’s knife, also known as a French knife, is a cutting tool used in food preparation. The chef’s knife is an evolution of the butcher knife, and was originally designed primarily to slice and disjoint large cuts of beef. Today it is the primary general-utility knife for most Western cooks.

A chef’s knife generally has a blade eight inches (20 cm) in length and 1 ½ inches (4 cm) in width, although individual models range from 6 to 14 inches (15 cm to 36 cm) in length. There are two common types of blade shape, French and German. German knives tend to be slimmer, with less taper, French fuller with greater rocker. Neither style is inherently superior; personal preference will dictate the choice.

A modern chef’s knife is a utility knife designed to perform well at many differing kitchen tasks, rather than excelling at any one in particular. It can be used for mincing, slicing, and chopping vegetables, slicing meat, and disjointing large cuts.

Recently, a Japanese development of the chef’s knife, the santoku (literally: “three good things”), a general-purpose utility knife, has also gained popularity in the West. The santoku is primarily designed for cutting fish, vegetables, and boneless or lightly-boned meats such as chicken. The santoku features a sheepsfoot blade with a spine that drops sharply to meet the hardened, acutely-ground cutting edge.

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Published in: on November 15, 2010 at 4:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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