Carving Knife vs Chef Knife – Purposes – Uses – Care

If you are not a chef by profession then it will be difficult for you to remember the specifications of all types of knives because many knives look similar like carving and chef knives. They will ask to themselve “ what is the difference between chef knife and carving ”. Let’s do some comparison between both knives.

Major Differences Between Carving & Chef Knives

  • Most of the carving knives are long and specially used for working with meat.
  • While the chef’s knife has a wider blade and it is used for cleaving, dicing and chopping.

Read further article, in order to get more information about every type of knife, their differences, how to prevent them and also to know which carving knife and chef knife are available in the current market of knives.

When we talk about these knives, the first question that arises in our mind is exactly what is the difference between a carving knife and chef. So the answer is blade. Beside the blade there are many factors which discriminate one type of knife from another.

The Design of Blade

Carving knives have long and thinner blades as compared to chef’s knives. It is also a little bit skinny and most are average width and look like long-blade or utility knives. Chef’s knife blades are wider and also look similar to santoku knives. It works amazingly for different uses that we will discuss in the section below. 

carving knife blade

The selection of knife depends upon your personal preference. Many people use both carving knives and chef knives in their kitchen and solved the question of “ which type of knife is better ? ”.  But if you come down to choose one over the other knife then maybe you want to choose a multi-purpose chef’s knife over a more specialized carving knife. 

Calm down! Still there are many differences left for discussion so don’t be so hasty to select the knife.

Carving Knives are Usually Longer

Depending on the style of knife, carving knives and chef’s knives are similar in length but if you look at it technically for general purpose, a carving knife will be longer than a chef’s knife. Some experts say that long, thin blades work well for sculpting thin cuts of meat and also produce a clean cut. 

chef knife blade

But if you slice a piece of meat with a chef’s knife, you’ll get a slice of slipper. Additionally, the quality of the blade is also an important factor in getting the best slice shape, regardless of the type of knife you are using. However, the long blade of a carving knife can cut through surrounding bones and joints more effectively than a chef’s knife.

Both Knife Have Different Uses

Chef is good for various kinds of food and cutting techniques, its wide blade also makes it easy to pick up the food you’ve just cut into the pan. Some famous uses of chef’s knives are as follows:

  • Cut the meat.
  • Slicing and chopping of vegetables
  • Crumbling the garlic
  • Cutting of cornbread, quiche and pie
  • Carving the raw and cooked meat
  • Peeling of pineapple
  • Work with fruits

On the other hand, the carving knife is highly used for slicing meat but you can use it for cutting fruit and vegetables. You should not use it for bones and other hard material otherwise your blad get damaged. Finally, a carving knife is a special piece of tool. A chef’s knife is just that — a multi-purpose knife that chefs use to perform a variety of kitchen tasks.

How to Use Carving Knife and Chef Knife

Both chef and carving knives have various uses so different techniques will be used to work with each type of knife. In the following section, some wonderful tips have been explained for using a carving knife and chef knife.

The Carving Knife Should be Used for Meat

The main use of a carving knife is to carve the meat into the thin slices. How you cut your meat depends upon the type of meat and your preference. Following a general rule of thumb you can choose the direction you want to cut and place the blade at a slight angle against the meat, and start splitting with a quick back and forth motion.

Some couple of tips for using a carving knife :

Tip #1: Before using that technique make sure your blade should never contact the cutting board or some serving dish otherwise your knife’s blade will get dull fastly and your knife will be damaged.

Tip #2: You should never use your knife to cut the bones but can use it for removing the meat around the bones but please don’t try to slice them directly because it can damage your blade.

You can also use your carving knife for working with fruit and vegetables. To do this you should hold the fruit or vegetable firmly against the cutting board and cut them easily. How easily you can make the slice depends upon the sharpness of your blade, size and firmness of fruit or vegetables.

Normally what happens when we use a carving knife for cutting fruit and vegetables, the knife gets in contact with the cutting board and gets damaged. This is not what the knife is designed for so be careful while using and don’t apply much force on the blade.

Multiple Purposes of Chef’s Knife

As we have discussed before, chef’s knives are more versatile than carving knives. You can also use it for carving the meat using the same techniques you use for carving knives. It is important for your blade to be sharp enough in order to make sure that meat could not be torn while cutting. 

Furthermore, the chef’s knife has a strong blade as compared to carving knife so you can use it for cutting through bones, cleaving meat and chopping more solid fruits and veggies. That said, you should still be careful not to abuse the blade by trying to saw through large bones, using excessive force, or using the knife on non-food items. 

It is also said, you should still be careful not to abuse the blade by trying to saw or cut through large bones, use uncontrolled force and using the knife on non-food items.

  • Grasp the food carefully against the cutting board, now with your fingers touching the lower of the knife and fingers knobs away from the knife.
  • Stroke the knife up over the upper part of the food having a point angle down toward the cutting board.
  • Make a slice of food by the point of the knife moving back toward the handle. Allow your knife to work, if you apply alot force on the blade then your knife will get dull.

Other Useful Task Regarding Chef’s Knife

Crumble the Garlic

Make your blade flat and smash the garlic split, after that use a similar technique of chopping. Now bring the blade through the garlic and rock it from that point to tip as many times depending on the requirement for dividing the garlic into small pieces.

For Cutting and Serving the Dishes such as Pies and Quiches

Run a knife through the dish, dividing it into the pieces you like. Carefully guide the flat of the blade under one slice, lifting it out of the pan to serve.

Can be Used for Peel and Cut the Whole Pineapple

First lay the pineapple and cut off the top and bottom. Now place it on the end and cut into triangles like cutting a pie. Lay each piece in a flat position and cut them into a hard core, then cut just below the peel and remove it and each part into small pieces.

How to Care for Carving and Chef Knives

Both carving and chef’s knife require proper attention and care for their good performance. What is proper care ? In the section below we have clearly explained how to bone, sharp, wash, dry and store your knife after use in order to maintain their quality and body.

Hone your Knife After Every Use

Almost everyone has a honing rod in their knife block or some people also like to use other honing tools for sharpening their knives. The honing and sharpening of knives are almost the same process but it is more gentle and produces more fine edges of your blades by rearranging the cutting edges. 

Honing of your knife depends upon how much you use your knife like it may be needed to hone it every day or may be needed after every week. But let me be clear here, chef’s knives require more time to hone as compared to carving knives.

Sharpen your Knives Regularly

Sharpening of a knife depends how often your blade has been used. Chef’s knives are almost used daily so it may require sharpening them about every 2 to 4 months but other knife like carving which is used only on occasions will be sharpened after one year. 

Once you get the idea that your knife needs sharpening then you can sharpen it professionally at your home using a whetstone or countertop sharpener. It is also important for you to know how to use various sharpener otherwise you will get damage your knives

Wash the Carving and Chef Knives Using Hand

Once you’re done using your knife, the next step is to wash it by hand to prevent the blade from hardening. Washing them in the dishwasher is not a good idea, as the pressure of the wash cycle can rub and damage the knife along with other silverware. 

You can also use a sink full of hot and soap water for getting best results and it also helps to kill all bacteria from the knife. This method is also useful when you do work after cutting meat or poultry. 

Dry your Knife Completely

After washing, rinse the knives thoroughly under warm running water and dry it with your clean dish towel. Be careful not to touch your hands when drying it, and also make sure the knife blade and handle are completely dry before securing them in the block. 

If you think you have a place where children or pets can’t reach the knife, place it on a towel or drain board to drain and air dry. Once it is dry, transfer the knife to a storage block. If your knife is too sharp, it can damage your drainboard and dull or damage yourself. 

If you use a drainboard, do not bind the knife to other silverware and keep the blade away from all parts of the drainboard.

Final Verdict

After reading this article you will get the idea that there is a huge difference between a carving knife and chef’s knife. Chef’s knives have multi purpose while the carving knife have specialized uses. If you use a chef’s knife where there is a need to use a carving knife then you will not get a clean slice as carving knife could. 

According to me, both knives are good for use if you have a lot of work in the kitchen and definitely the more you experiment and find out what each knife works best for.

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