Learn which Knives make the cut for prepping veggies.
Vegetables are a staple in many recipes—so knowing how to properly prepare them for a dish is vital. Depending on the vegetable you're working with and the specific cut you need, however, not all knives have the same capabilities.
There are a number of different knives that can be used to cut, dice, and slice vegetables—ranging from the staple Chef Knife to the versatile Paring Knife. By knowing how to choose the right knife for the job, you'll be on your way to easier prep and tastier dishes.
Choosing the correct knife for cutting a particular vegetable isn't always easy, but it does matter. This is especially true when you have a recipe that calls for a very particular cut, like a julienne. By using the right knife for the job, you'll have an easier time achieving the required cut. In turn, your dishes will turn out better. Meanwhile, you'll reduce the risk of injury associated with choosing the wrong knife for the job.
There are four main knives that are commonly used for cutting vegetables, each offering its own unique benefits.Best Overall: Santoku Knife
Known for its signature rounded-tip blade and flat cutting edge, the Santoku Knife is excellent for slicing, dicing, and mincing. It is suitable for slicing through a wide range of vegetables, including those with tougher skin (such as cucumbers and squash). It also features a fluted edge, which is designed to prevent ingredients from sticking to the knife between slices.
Another kitchen staple for cutting vegetables is the Chef Knife, which features a curved cutting edge with a pointed tip. It also has a thicker heel than the Santoku knife, making it ideal for the rock chop technique that is so often used for cutting veggies. It's a great choice for mincing vegetables like potatoes and onions, as well as cutting through tougher vegetables like winter squash.
Paring Knives themselves come in a range of styles, but these smaller utensils tend to feature a sharp tip that's great for precision cuts and working with more delicate ingredients (such as shallots and garlic). A paring knife can also be used to peel vegetables, making it one of the most versatile knives in your kitchen.
Last but not least, the Nakiri Knife is specifically designed for chopping vegetables. It features a straight, flat, and thin blade that is great for achieving very thin slices of cucumber, carrot, and other veggies. However, it can be easily damaged when used on meats or tougher ingredients, so it's best to stick with just vegetables when working with the Nakiri Knife.
Once you've chosen the right knife, there are some tips you should keep in mind before you take to the cutting board. Cutting vegetables correctly and easily takes practice, much like anything in life—so use these tips to help you conquer any awkwardly-shaped vegetable that comes your way.Find Stability
Many vegetables are rounded in shape, which can make them more prone to slipping on the cutting board and causing an injury. This is where stabilizing round veggies before cutting is a must. You can do this by either cutting a small slice from the bottom and top, or slicing the entire vegetable in half to prevent slippage.Know Your Cuts
From dicing and mincing to chopping and slicing, you'll see recipes that call for a wide range of veggie cuts. Make sure you have a solid understanding on how to execute each cut safely. When recipes don't call for a specific cut, knowing how to make the right call can impact the quality of your dishes. For example, garlic is most often minced for the best flavor, whereas peppers may be better suited sliced into strips.
With a little help from the right knife, cutting up vegetables for your next dish can be quick and easy. And if you're looking to outfit your kitchen with the best knife to cut vegetables, Made In Cookware has you covered. Shop our selection of knives today to enjoy restaurant quality cookware delivered directly to your door.