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What is a slicing knife used for?
The knife is one of, if not the most important tool available to a chef. From chopping ingredients to carving the cooked food, knives are used throughout the cooking process. There are truly endless ways to use a knife when cooking, but it is always important to have the right knife for the right job.
With the dozens of different types of knives out there, it can be difficult to know which knife to use and when. This article takes a deep dive into the slicing knife, explaining exactly what a slicing knife is used for.
Slicing Knife characteristics
To best understand what a slicing knife is used for, it is helpful to understand the characteristics of slicing knives. The most notable characteristic of a slicing knife is the size. Slicing knife blades typically range anywhere from 7” to 14” inches depending on the specific use of the knife.
This blade length is intentional and is meant to satisfy the demands of cutting through large pieces of cooked roasts and meats with ease. The longer the blade, the fewer back and forth strokes need to be made to cut the meat. The fewer strokes, the cleaner the cut!
While a slicing knife specializes in many of the same areas as a carving knife, it should be noted that slicing knives are going to have a much more flexible blade than their carving knife counterparts.
Slicing knives are favored over carving knives when having to maneuver around bones in meats, or when the chef is looking for a thinner, more precise cut.
This is most notable when cutting big birds, such as chicken and turkey. Since these meats typically have a lot of bones to maneuver when cutting, a slicing knife would be favored in these circumstances.
Granton Edge explained
Slicking knives are commonly equipped with Granton edges. Granton edges are small dimples or divots in the blade that allows for air pockets to be present between the blade and the food being cut. This feature makes it virtually impossible for foods to stick to the blade, as the air pockets encourage the foods to fall away, as it has less of a surface area to stick to.
In addition, this edge is also effective in preventing the meat from tearing during the cutting process. This results in a cleaner cut, allowing carving knives to slice thinner than many other blades.
Slicing knives with a Granton edge can take on the usual tasks demanded of a regular-edged slicing knife. In addition, knives with these edges have non-stick attributes that make them a unique tool that is applicable more frequently than one would think.
This Granton edge makes slicing knives the perfect knife selection when cutting foods and ingredients with a wet or dense consistency.
Slicing Knife uses
Considering these characteristics of a slicing knife, here are the top uses of a slicing knife in the kitchen :
- Slicing / Carving large cooked meats (Hams, turkey, steak, etc).
The large, long blade of a slicing knife makes it the ideal knife choice when slicing cooked meats. The large blade allows chefs to cut thin slices of meat without difficulty, as it is able to cut all the way through the piece of meat with little effort.
- Slicing / Cutting sticky fruits and vegetables (Granton edge only)
A slicing knife can outperform chef and utility knives when it comes to stickier foods. This is due to the Granton edge that is commonly found on slicing knife blades.
Slicing knives with Granton edges are ideal for cutting wet fruits and vegetables, such as lettuce, cucumbers, melons and more. Much like regular slicing knives, Granton edge slicing knives also specialize in cutting roasts, ham, turkey, smoked salmon and other fish, and any other meats.
The slicing knife is a unique knife that was specially made for certain responsibilities in the kitchen. The main purpose of a slicing knife is to cut slices from large pieces of meat.
The Granton edge included on a majority of slicing knives gives it a non-stick dynamic that makes it very useful in many different situations.
A slicing knife should be considered a mandatory knife in every quality set, as it is a tool that will be demanded frequently by those who cook often.