How to Choose the Right Knife for Basic Food Prep

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Below are knives every Cook should have at their disposal.

Chef's Knife

A favorite in most kitchens, the chef's knife can be used for slicing, dicing, chopping, and more. It works well on meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables, and is a go-to item for many food prep jobs. The rounded blade allows rocking against the cutting board for quicker cutting.

Paring Knife

For more precise tasks like peeling fruits and vegetables or de-veining shrimp, a paring knife is especially helpful. It's small for easy maneuvering and can have a curved blade to match the contours of what's being peeled.

Serrated Knife

The serrated edge of this knife cuts through tough items like bread crust without using much force, then slides through the rest of the bread easily. Using other knives can result in a mangled loaf from struggling to cut through the tough crust. Serrated knives are also great for cutting through steak.

Boning & Filleting Knife

The blade is long and narrow, making it easy to identify. For raw fish and poultry, a flexible blade is ideal for maneuvering in tight spaces. For tougher meat like pork or beef, a rigid blade works well.


Usually thin and very sharp, they can be used to carve a Thanksgiving turkey, or to slice up sandwiches and other finger food. The long blade creates even slices of fruits, vegetables, and meats for an attractive presentation.

Sharpening Steel

Though technically not a knife, sharpening steel is a kitchen staple and found in most cutlery sets. Dull knives are hard to use, and can lead to sloppy slices. They are also more likely to cause injuries than sharp knives, since they require more cutting attempts and increased pressure – which can lead to loss of control. Keeping blades sharp ensures easier handling and more precision.

All of these utensils have their place in every kitchen. They can be purchased separately according to need, or can be found in popular knife sets for convenience.

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