We talked to Sarah Heard of Austin’s Foreign & Domestic to find out why the 6-inch Chef Knife is her blade of choice.
Like a Stainless Clad Frying Pan, an 8 Inch Chef Knife is a staple in any professional kitchen. Chefs love them for their versatility and strength. The full tang, fully forged blade weighs about 8 ounces and is perfect for heavy-duty tasks like breaking down a whole turkey or slicing up a dense vegetable like a squash.
But sometimes bigger isn’t always better. We chatted with Chef Sarah Heard of Austin’s Foreign & Domestic about why she loves our Limited Edition 6 Inch Chef Knife and what it’s best for.
While you may think that larger Knives are always better for butchery, a smaller Knife comes in handy when you’re dealing with smaller game such as chicken, quail or squab. “You need a smaller blade to navigate the animal and get closer to the bones and if you’re using a huge knife you’re going to lose a lot of meat,” Chef Heard says. The 6 Inch blade works for deboning as well as fileting, butterflying, and spatchcocking.
The 6 Inch Chef Knife excels at tasks that require more precision and control. Chef Heard says one of her favorite uses for it is scraping the seeds out of a bell pepper. Best of all, once deseeded, she can use the same knife to finish cutting it. “When you open up a bell pepper, you have to switch from a Chef Knife to a Paring Knife but with the 6 Inch knife, you can deseed too, then go right into slicing it up,” she says.
Coring and slicing a large tomato is also improved by the 6 Inch Knife’s size. Just like with bell peppers, you won’t have to switch between knives for the coring and slicing. “A lot of people take the stem part off of the tomato, kind of like a pumpkin with a paring knife and then switch to a Chef Knife to chop,” says Chef Heard. With the 6 Inch, you can remove the stem and core and then proceed with however you want to cut the tomato.
The first thing Chef Heard noticed about the Knife is its weight, in contrast to its larger counterpart. “Almost every chef that has been in the industry for some years has carpal tunnel, and so a small knife that is lighter and easier to control is just easier on your wrist and your hands,” she says. For example, when slicing into a wheel of hard cheese, like aged cheddar or pecorino, you can create an even wedge without putting too much pressure on your wrist.
The ability to make smaller, more precise cuts is also essential for a dish like tartare. Chef Heard says that the most important part of tartare is the consistency, and a smaller blade helps her achieve that. “You don’t want meat stuck all over the knife and you don’t want the pieces to be different sizes,” she says. “You want all of the meat to have a consistent texture, so the control you get from this Knife is perfect.”
Paring Knives are typically used for fruit, but the 6 Inch Chef Knife is small enough to cut strawberries or supreme citrus with ease. This is especially nice when topping salads or desserts. When you’re going to garnish a dish as well, Chef Heard loves to use the 6 Inch to chiffonade. A larger Knife takes up too much space and can be unwieldy when making such fine cuts.
As an added bonus, the size of the Knife makes it perfect for a small kitchen because it takes up less room on the cutting board or countertop, but as you can see, there’s no limit to what you can do with it. Plus, when it’s time to clean up, you have one less Knife to wash, since you can use this same blade from prep, all the way through finishing the dish.
The newest addition to our limited edition knife collection won’t be around for long. With a limited quantity made, once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. Get on our wait list, and you’ll be notified once they’re available on Thursday, October 20 at 10 am ET.
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