How To Use A Paring Knife
A paring knife is one of the essential kitchen tools every cook should have.
Paring knives are very versatile and can be used for many different tasks. With a blade between 2 1/2 and 5 inches, the paring knife looks a lot like a mini chef knife. It’s a general purpose knife that can be used for very intricate work. When it comes to making quick work of small kitchen tasks, like removing the seeds from a pepper, de-veining shrimp or cutting small garnish, only a sharp paring knife will do.
My preferred paring knife is made from ceramic… I use mine pretty much every day. I like that it is light weight and I don’t get the little nicks on my thumb that I usually end up with when I use a steel bladed knife. Which paring knife you use it up to you, traditional steel or ceramic, but having at least one of them in your kitchen drawer will save you time and aggregation during your meal preparations.
3 Uses for a Paring Knife:
As A Peeler – I do this all the time. Instead of using a vegetable peeler its often a lot quicker to use a sharp paring knife to peel potatoes, apples and even thick skinned foods like oranges, especially if the skin is uneven.
- Hold the food between your thumb and forefinger or in the palm of your hand.
- Hold your paring knife in your dominate hand.
- Cut into the food and slide the knife under the skin.
- Use your thumb to guide the knife and rotate the food with the other hand.
As A Slicer – A light weight paring knife is great for slicing many smaller fruits and vegetables. It will effortlessly slice through the toughest skins.
- Lay round foods like lemons, onions or potatoes horizontally on your cutting board.
- Place your paring knife near one end and push straight down as you slice.
- Turn the food around and repeat on the other end of the food.
- Stand on end and hold stable as you start to cut downward for your first slice.
- Repeat until the food is completely sliced.
Using The Tip – The very tip of a paring knife is super sharp, making it perfect for intricate work like removing veins from shrimp, or seeding a small jalapeno pepper. Sharp knives make clean cuts so keep your paring knife as sharp as possible.
- Hold the knife with the blade in hand, your thumb close to the tip.
- Press the tip of the blade against small sections of food cut, remove or make a mark.
If you don’t use a knife block, it’s a very good idea to always use a knife guard for your paring knife (many come with a plastic or cardboard protector when you purchase them). Small knives can get lost in your sink or kitchen drawers and can cause inquiry.
Looking for your first paring knife or maybe it’s time to replace an old one? Here’s the one I use:
By the way, kitchen knifes like this high quality ceramic paring knife, make a great gift for professional chefs as well as your favorite home cook. Add a paring knife to a fruit or vegetable basket and you will have an affordable and thoughtful housewarming gift.
Do you have a favorite paring knife? Leave us a comment below.