Chefs Paring Knife Guide

The greatest paring knife tips!!

Paring Knife – Things That Every Chef Should Know!

Working in kitchen is not an easy task. There is loads of thing we need to take care before we really start cooking food. While setting up new kitchen as well as for well equipped kitchens ‘Kitchen Knife’ is an inevitable thing. Every kitchen must have few good kitchen knives and without them kitchen is incomplete. There are thousand types of kitchen knives available; paring knife is one of them.

Chef’s knife is first priority of every kitchen to cut large vegetables, meat etc while paring knife is best knife after chef’s knives. It is useful for small work of paring fruits and chopping. Paring knife is a small knife that comes with a short blade and firm handle. They usually come with 3 to 6 inches long blade.

Zyliss Paring Knife

With its blade of 3 to 4 inches, every paring knife looks like a miniature chef’s knife and one can say that is just an extension of chef’s hand. Though it looks like mini chef’s knife it is used in a very different way than other knives. This small knife is great for paring & peeling fruits, vegetables, carrots etc while it can also be used for slicing a single garlic clove or shallot as well as it is really useful for controlled, detailed cutting. For example it can be really useful for cutting shapes or vents into dough as well as scoring designs and patterns on surfaces of food. Paring knife is made for to perform any task that requires precise and delicate work, like removing the ribs from a jalapeño or coring an apple.

Best thing about paring knife is that it can be used to cut fruits while holding them aloft. While with all other knife this is not easy and require a chopping board for cutting and slicing. The small handle of this knife gives the cook maximum control over its tip as well as the edge of the blade.

paring knife apple

Paring knife mostly used for the following tasks –

  1. To hull strawberries.
  2. To section lemon and citrus fruits like orange.
  3. Devein shrimp

To hull the strawberries it better to use the tip of paring knife; this is always pointed and sharp. With the help of its tip remove the stem of strawberry and carve out the white core from stem end.

To get a section orange and any citrus fruits it is better to hold the fruit in hand and peel the fruit to the flesh, once peeling is completed then cut between the white membranes to extract each section. It is always better to use paring knife for this work as chef’s knife is a large knife and increases risk of giving cut to fingers and palm, while paring knife is small and handy knife.

To devein shrimp cut through a shallow slit down the outside curve of the shrimp and remove the dark vein, and rinse the shrimp under cold water.

Purchasing a good paring knife –

It is always better to have a couple of paring knife in kitchen to do delicate cutting work. While buying a paring knife almost all professional chef’s look for following things –

  1. Blade – Material of blade, tang, tip and sharpness
  2. Handle – Weight & shape of handle, Is it comfortable?

Most chefs prefer high-carbon steel, forged knife with full tang. Full tang means blade of knife runs through it handle till the end; giving blade more stability.

full tang paring knife

The Blade: In a forged knife, the blade is formed from heated metal and is individually hammered. The best blades are made from a mixture of alloys that help a knife take and hold a sharp cutting edge and resist corrosion. Look for a high-carbon stainless-steel blade with a Rockwell rating of at least 55, which indicates the knife, sharpens easily and holds its edge. The Rockwell Scale is a measure of steel hardness, and it should be listed on the knife’s product description.

Handle: Look for a handle with a precise fitting and no gaps or burrs. It should feel comfortable and secure. Materials range from wood to Bakelite to stainless steel and should have enough weight to balance the blade.



Paring Knife Buying Tips

Paring Knife  Kitchen knives is an essential thing in every kitchen. Chef’s knives and a paring knife is must. If you buy paring knives that have plastic handles, these have a tendency to break or snap. However, if it is just used for small cutting jobs and not used for hours on end like it would be in a professional kitchen then this would be fine. If you want knives that have longer durability you should look at buying a high quality paring knife set. They have sturdy handles made of metal or wood and the blades are sharp and durable. When purchasing paring knives, the buyer should also buy a knife sharpener. Since paring knives are used so often the blades become dull and are no longer sharp after some time. You should easily be able to find a knife sharpener when purchasing the peeling knife set as most kitchen stores sell them together. If you want a very high quality paring knife set, it may be best to purchase it online or at a knife shop. Victorinox paring knife is also a good option for buying a quality paring knives.

One thing that the buyer should be aware of about knives is that they should never be used to chop hard substances. These knives are made to make small cuts on soft surfaces such as fruits and vegetables. If you wish to peel an apple, it would be best to use a paring knife.

Historically, paring knives had blades that were made of just a normal non strengthened steel; however, they were quickly replaced with stainless steel blades as the normal steel would rust when they were exposed to water and left wet making the steel oxidize. Of course rust in a meal was never a good look for a top chef, and it may have been harmful to the health of the people eating the food.

To successfully use paring knives it takes some practice and of course plenty of patience which you should always have when handling a knife of any size. Because the blade is small and you generally use a paring knife for intricate work you need to have some expertise in the handling of the knife. There are many things you cannot use paring knives sets for such as chopping bones, as you will ruin the knife and in fact you may even break it. Without paring knives, a chef or home cook would not be able to do many of the small jobs that are needed in the kitchen on a daily basis.