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The different types of vegetable knives

From garden to kitchen, you need quality knives to pick, sort and prepare vegetables efficiently.
Having the right kitchen knife for every task will also enable you to take better care of the produce in your garden and work on it more quickly and beautifully!
Classic knives, Japanese knives, special knives, for sorting, larding, slicing, chopping… Here are the best cutlery products available for perfectly working with vegetables.

Each vegetable knife has its own use and type of cut

Picking and sorting with paring knives

The paring knife is the knife used to prepare products before cooking them.

The paring knife is the knife used for picking in the garden, for cleaning, peeling, slicing and chopping.
Depending on the vegetable to be cooked, its size, and what you want to do with it in the kitchen, you’ll choose :

– a classic paring knife, with a very sharp blade of around 10cm ;

– a peeling knife – very popular as a peeler, it can also be used to cut food that fits in one hand. It is also great for turning and removing damaged parts from fruit and vegetables, hulling strawberries or mushrooms and sculpting your food to create attractive gourmet dishes!

– or a long-bladed paring knife (also known as sandwich knife) for working with larger fruits and vegetables.

Prepare vegetables with Chef’s knives

In culinary preparation, the chef’s knife, also known as kitchen knife, or cooking knife, takes over the food from the paring knife.

This larger kitchen knife comes in different sizes (15cm, 20cm, 25cm blade). You can use it to prepare vegetables and in particular to slice them for garnishing dishes.

Big advantage of the chef’s knife : it can almost do everything in cooking, which means it can be used to work with all types of food!

Santoku, Nakiri and Petty japaneese knives

The Santoku is the Japanese chef’s knife. It performs the same functions as the classic chef’s knife. It’s the way you use the knife to cut that differs. The curved edge of the Santoku Japanese knife blade is ideal for chopping herbs and mincing all types of fruit and vegetables. And because it is multipurpose too, the Santoku can also easily cut sticky foods like fish and raw meat, especially when its blade isalveolated.

The Nakiri is a Japanese knife with a rectangular blade, similar to the oriental cleaver. It is used for coarsely chopping herbs, slicing or dicing fruit and vegetables, and crushing garlic cloves. The Nakiri is used to cut in the same way as a cleaver, with very rapid up and down movements. The Nakiri and the Oriental cleaver, which are used for vegetables, should not be confused with the Chinese knife, which is similar to a meat cleaver.

The Petty (more commonly known as Shotoh in Japanese) is the equivalent of the European paring knife. With a blade size somewhere between a paring knife and a small chef’s knife, and a shape somewhere between a utility knife and a Santoku, it is used for serving and preparing food.

Tomato knife

The tomato knife looks like a paring knife with a long blade and a cutting edge with fine serration. These small teeth make it easier to cut tomatoes or other soft fruits and vegetables into thin slices or small pieces, and greatly reduce crushing.
Some tomato knives have a sabre-shaped blade to make them sharper and even easier to cut soft fruit and vegetables.

Tips for choosing your vegetable knives

You will find everything at all prices in shops and on the web. So, to choose the right vegetable knife, first identify the type of use you’re going to make of it, the efficiency you’re looking for and pay attention to value for money.

Once you’ve controled on the quality of the blade and cutting edge, and check that it meets your needs, opt for ergonomics and comfort. These will complement the quality of the cut by making your movements more precise. The knife should fit comfortably in your hand, so you can work quickly and efficiently without risk of injury.

What material to choose for vegetable knives?

A wooden handle adds warmth and style to the knife and prevents it from slipping;

Plastics and composites can add lightness to the product and are easy to maintain;

Knives made entirely from stainless steel are the most hygienic.

For the blade, stainless steel offers the best compromise between edge quality, corrosion resistance and ease of maintenance. Carbon steel and Damascus steel are sharper but require more care and maintenance.

Balance and weight

Cutting techniques are learnt in hotel and catering schools, but everyone develops their own gestures and habits. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all universal knife. While some people are looking for lightness to limit the effort involved in repetitive movements, others are looking for weight to give them a good feel for the knife in their hands and thus limit the risk of cutting themselves. Some people work mainly with small blades for fear of large ones, while others do everything with a 20cm chef’s knife or a Japanese Santoku knife.

Maintenance and sharpening of vegetable knives

In order to limit the effects of the acidity of vegetables on the steel of the blade and the handle, whatever they may be, it is important to wipe your knife after each use and to wash the blade thoroughly before storing the knife. This is the only way to protect the steel of your knife from corrosion.
Wooden handle knives use a natural material and should come into contact with water and juices as little as possible.
To protect them as much as possible, regularly apply a drop of linseed oil or olive oil to the wood. Remember to sharpen your smooth-bladed knives with a sharpening steel as soon as they seem to be cutting a little less well. Note that you can’t use a sharpening steel with serrated knives.

Our range of vegetable knives
by Goyon Chazeau

Coutellerie GOYON-CHAZEAU offers quality forged vegetable knives in all its kitchen knife collections (excluding the Tradi range, with cut steel and full tang).
Discover our products dedicated to fruits, vegetables, and herbs, such as the paring knife, the peeling knife, the long paring knife, the Grand Tradi (a Western version of the Japanese Petty with a cut-out full-tang blade), the universal kitchen knife in 15cm, 20cm and 25cm, and the Japanese Santoku knife, with or without cavities. All our products are made in our workshop, so they are 100% made in France. Each blade has been designed to meet the needs of gourmet chefs and everyday home chefs!

Looking for gift ideas with knives to offer? Our kitchen products are available for sale in window boxes and our table cutlery in wooden boxes, in good shops or on our e-shop!

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