Updated on 16 October, 2021
A paring knife, sometimes referred to as a folding knife or serrated knife, is a single knife, usually with a clip or blade extension, of up to 10 centimetres in length (3 4 inch). Its small size is designed to make everyday tasks like cutting, trimming or carving much simpler and more accurate work than possible with a fixed knife. They are often used in cookery to slice and peel fruit and vegetables, for example, and are ideal for paring meat and other tender parts of a roast. Many chefs use them regularly to perform other precision work, for example, to peel and slice zucchini.
Most paring knives have a clip at the top, to which you can securely attach a thin metal strip or a paper towel to help you position the blade correctly when sharpening it. These strip or papers provide you with precise angles when sharpening your knife, allowing the blade to be made sharp again quickly. Many amateur cooks also prefer to use paring knives to help them prepare and cook delicate or rare ingredients, because these knives are specifically designed to aid in preparing the ingredient rather than to do all the hard work of sharpening. This can be particularly useful when preparing chicken or small quantities of meat, where extra care is required to avoid damage to the meat.
The most important part of a paring knife's handle is its grip, as this is where you hold it at all times when using it. A good quality grip will be stiff yet responsive, providing a firm and comfortable grip wherever you hold the knife. Your choice of grip is determined by how often you intend to use the paring knife and also your ability to manage and control your hand.
The best knife for paring knives is one made from high-carbon stainless steel. Stainless steel is very durable and holds an incredibly sharp edge, even when dull. For this reason, paring knives can be used for many different types of food preparation. One of the best properties of stainless steel is that it is highly resistant to corrosion, making it suitable for use in food preparation even in extremely challenging work environments. However, despite this resistance, a stainless steel paring knife will be more expensive than a traditional wood or carbon steel knife.
When sharpening your paring knives, you should take into account that a serrated edge will tend to work more efficiently when chopping. Some foods are better chopped with an angle such as forty-five degrees, while some fruits and vegetables need to be cut at angles up to ninety degrees. The appropriate type of cutting board for your purposes depends largely on what types of food you will be preparing and what tasks you want accomplished.
It is also important to consider your budget when shopping for the right Paring knife. Although a good chef's knife set will not set you back a lot of money, starting with a basic paring knives set will allow you to get started in the kitchen without spending a lot of money until you are ready to purchase more elaborate professional knives. If you choose to buy more expensive items, however, you should budget for their cost initially and then think about how often you will use them. A chef's knife set might last you for years, but if you have no intention of becoming a professional chef, you might not need all the extras.
Some of the other tasks that you might want to prepare for before purchasing your Paring knife set include peeling vegetables and preparing raw fish. With peeling vegetables, you will need a pair of thin stainless steel blades that are both very sharp and easy to clean. You will also need a paring knife to help you remove the skin from the vegetables. Raw fish can usually be safely prepared using a cleaver or by hand, but it is best to stick to using peeling knives to prevent damaging the delicate skin that surrounds the fish.
When you have your choice of paring knives shop, it is important to know which type is best suited to the task. The two main types of blade are the eight inch size and the ten inch size. You can choose between single blades and double blades for the larger jobs, as well as pocket and fixed blades.