BBQ-Cutlery

Buying BBQ Cutlery

Now that you know how you’re cooking your food in your outdoor kitchen, you’ll need some cutlery to help you prep your delicious dishes. This handy guide will cover the different kinds of cutlery available and when you should use which type, so we can help you better determine what you’ll need to get started. We’ll also cover the features you should consider when planning your cutlery investment.

Not surprisingly, the higher the quality of your knife, the easier it is for you to make smoother cuts, and the longer your knives will last. Presentation isn’t everything, but if you want picture-perfect plating, cutlery might be one area where you want to splurge. Here are the things you should consider when examining and determining the quality of the cutlery you want to purchase.

Knife Materials

Knife-Materials

What a knife is made of is going to affect how long it’s going to last you. For instance, we don’t encourage you drop your very sharp knives often, but we know accidents happen. Make sure you’re choosing a knife with material that can survive those accidental drops. You’ll also want a knife that can withstand the intense heat coming from your grill, and you should ensure your knife handle is going to stay cool so you won’t burn your hands.

Knife Construction Method – Forged vs. Stamped

Forged-Knife-Construction

Forged Knife

Forged knives are typically handcrafted, where stamped knives are typically more mass-produced (sheets of steel are cut to size and shape). As a result, forged knives are often higher quality and more precise. They can also be thicker and heavier. This can make them harder to use for longer periods of time, but it also means they’ll be able to withstand heavy-duty chopping and slicing. They’re also easier to sharpen and will hold an edge longer than stamped knives, but they don’t give as easy as a more flexible stamped knife.

Stamped-Knife-Construction

Stamped Knife

Stamped knives are great if you’re going to be cutting things for extended periods of time because they are thinner, lighter, and more flexible. Although, flexible knives can be harder to sharpen, and these knives are going to lose their edge faster than a forged knife. Additionally, you’ll find a forged knife is probably more well balanced than a stamped one, but a stamped knife is more likely to be less expensive. The forged vs. stamped decision is mostly going to depend on how the knives feel in your hand, how you plan to use them, and how long you plan to use them for.

Blade Size

Blade-Size

As we mentioned above, longer blades can be harder to manage, but they can also make larger cuts. So, if you’re planning to cut large pieces of meat, you might want to consider having a knife with a longer blade.

Knife Tang

Knife-Tang

The knife tang (the part of the blade that fits into the handle) is going to affect how sturdy your knife will be as well. Full tang knives, or knives that extend fully into the handle, are sturdier than half tang knives, but they’re also a bit heavier. The weight of your cutlery is going to affect how well you’re able to balance and handle the knife. That said, partial tang knives are much easier to break than full tang knives.

Types of Cutlery

There are many different types of grilling knives to choose from. Depending on what you’re planning to prepare, you might need a variety of different kinds. Below, we’ll talk you through the features and uses of some of the different types of knives available.

Chef’s Knife

Regardless of what you’re planning to cook, we highly recommend having a chef’s knife in your kitchen. These can be used for just about anything – slicing, dicing, mincing, chopping, you name it. This hefty knife adds versatility to your kitchen with just one blade. Chef’s knives use more of a rocking motion to cut. Blades can be found anywhere from 4.5 to 14 inches long.

Santoku Knife

A santoku knife is basically a chef’s knife with indented scallops on one or both sides of the blade. It, too, is great for many different slicing and dicing purposes, but it is used to chop up and down rather than rocking like the chef’s knife. This taller but thinner blade is lighter and more precise, allowing for thinner sliced items. The blade length of 5 to 8 inches, so it’s great for smaller hands. Honestly, it’s kind of like a chef knife’s fraternal twin – and you might want to have both on hand.

Carving Knife

Just as the name implies, carving knives are used to slice and carve meat. These are especially useful with big birds or other prime, dense cuts of meat. Carving knives are longer and thinner with blades varying from 8 to 15 inches long, so you’re able to maintain the right amount of pressure and not have to worry about chasing the meat around the platter when you’re trying to carve it. You might also want a carving fork to help hold the meat in place so you can slice evenly (no arguing over who gets the bigger piece!)

Utility Knife

A utility knife is similar to the chef’s knife in versatility, but the blade is typically shorter, varying between 5 to 10 inches long. You’d want to use your utility knife when you’re cutting something too small for your chef’s knife – like slicing fruits and vegetables. Utility knives are great for slicing and dicing and you can choose either a straight or serrated blade.

Brisket Slicing Knife

The fibrous meats in briskets are much tougher to cut, so you’d want to use a brisket slicing knife for those. You can choose between serrated and straight blades for brisket slicing knives. A serrated blade is best for the tougher meats and briskets that were cooked at hotter temperatures. Straight blades will make clean cuts without tearing the meat as much. These blades are typically 8 to 14 inches long.

Fillet Knife

Fillet knives are made for fish lovers. Blades are thin and flexible with a flat edge and a pointed tip, making them great for removing meat from the skin and slicing up portions of the fish. Fillet knives are smaller with blades about 3 to 5 inches long – perfect for making careful cuts.

Paring Knife

Another smaller knife you may need is a paring knife with a blade length between 2 to 4 inches. The small, thin blade is going to help you make fine, detailed cuts. The lightweight paring knife is great for safely trimming, peeling, and cutting things like fruits, vegetables, and garnishes.

Steak Knife

Steak knives have blades that are 4 to 6 inches long. A set of steak knives is essential if you will be serving tender cuts of meat. These are similar to a regular kitchen knife with a wide and serrated blade, so they’re perfect for cutting through gristle and cartilage. Your guests will thank you!

Bread Knife

It’s probably no surprise that bread knives can be used to saw through hard crusts of breads, cakes, and other pastries, without squashing them down. They’re also great for tender skins like on soft cheeses or tomatoes. These blades are longer at 6.5 to 10 inches. They are finely serrated, and are actually the only type of knife you should use a “sawing” motion with.

Cutlery Accessories – Cutting Boards, Sharpeners, and Storage

If you’re going to invest in cutlery, you should also invest in a cutting board or chopping block that won’t quickly or easily damage your knives! It tends to be a “you get what you pay for” type of situation. Cheaper cutting boards are going to be harder on your nicer knives. Instead of having to worry about your knives dulling, invest in a good chopping block or cutting board to start.

Cutlery-Accessories-Cutting-Boards

Cutting Boards

If you’re going to invest in cutlery, you should also invest in a cutting board or chopping block that won’t quickly or easily damage your knives! It tends to be a “you get what you pay for” type of situation. Cheaper cutting boards are going to be harder on your nicer knives. Instead of having to worry about your knives dulling, invest in a good chopping block or cutting board to start.

Cutlery-Accessories-Sharpeners

Sharpeners

Sharpening your knives as part of their general maintenance can save you money in the long run because you won’t have to worry about wear and tear resulting in replacing your cutlery so soon. You can extend your blade’s life with a knife sharpener, but if the blade is badly nicked, you’ll need to get yourself a sharpening kit.

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Storage

There are lots of options for storing your cutlery, but you’ll have to think about how you’ll be using your knives, how much space you’ll need, and what is best for protecting your investment. A knife block is probably the most common because it fits right on a counter, but it’s not always the cleanest storage option. Magnetic strips can be clean and convenient, but if you’re not careful during use, the very powerful magnets can damage your knives. You could also go for a knife drawer, but this isn’t always the safest option. Plus, you’ll have to make sure you have enough space for everything.

Questions?

We know this is a lot to think about, so if you still need help making your decision, please contact our BBQ experts at 800-437-4188. We’re happy to talk you through all things cutlery so that your outdoor kitchen is set up perfectly for your needs.

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