What Is a Cook's Knife Used For?


Quick Answer

A cook's knife, more commonly known in the United States as a chef's knife, is an everyday, all-purpose knife that chefs use for most of their cutting and chopping needs. Having the proper knife and knowing how to use it is essential to a chef's culinary skills.

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Full Answer

While a chef's knife should be used for most of the slicing and dicing of fruits, vegetables, meats and fish, it should not be used to butcher or carve poultry or to peel the skin from large vegetables, according to Branden McDermott of the New York Institute of Culinary Education.

The blade of a chef's knife is typically made of high-carbon stainless steel so that the metal won't rust or get discolored like ordinary carbon steel. However, some chefs still prefer regular carbon steel because the softer metal makes the knives easier to sharpen.

The blade of most chefs' knives in the United States measures between 8 and 12 inches long. A German-style blade is more curved toward the tip of the blade and is better for chopping up and down in a rocking motion. A French-style blade is straighter and more triangular shaped, making it good for slicing back and forth with the handle pointing toward the chef.

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