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Paring Knives

There are many types and styles of knives used in kitchen for various uses and there are few types of knives that no cook can really do without and paring is one of them. A paring knife is a small knife which has a short blade and firm handle, primarily used in paring fruit and vegetables. Paring knifes are extremely flexible and can be used in a wide variety of ways.

         Paring knives slice easily through many vegetables, fruits including many tougher ones. There are certain tasks in the kitchen that you can do only with the paring knife. When it comes to small tasks like mincing or to make perfect segments only a sharp paring knife  can help.

         The size of the paring knife are usually between 6 and 10 cm long and usually have a thin 3 to 4 inch blade. This is just like a chef knife but smaller in size. A paring knife can also be used in de-veining shrimps, removing seeds, cutting shades or designs for small garnishes. The French paring knives are 2 types: one with slightly rounded cutting end, and the other one with a sharp angled end. These knives are used for paring leathers. The knife with rounded end is used for scraping; while the one with angled end is used for direct cutting. Both knives are ground with deep bevel on upper side and with the underside left flat.

         The paring knife with the cutting edge on an angle has the point squared off to prevent slitting the leather. It is also quicker than the paring knife with the rounded edge in taking down thickness of leather. The blade is thin as we discussed above but the handle is designed to be heavy for a proper and safe use.

POINTS TO REMEMBER WHILE CHOOSING A PARING KNIFE:

The best paring knife is forged and made of high-carbon stainless steel.

Types of kitchen paring knives include:

Spear Point Parer - With an edge similar to chef's knife, which can be used for light chopping.

Bird's Beak Parer - Used to trim small and spherical-shaped vegetables. The bird's beak parer is also good for intricate work like fluting or other precise carving

Miniature Boning Knife - has an S-shape and used to bone the meat of small birds.

Sheep's Foot Parer - resembles an animal's hoof and has a straight-edged blade perfect for peeling skin off of food.

Clip Point Parer - has a cutting edge that curves gently upwards and normally used for cleaning unwanted parts of fruits and vegetables. Note: This paring knife is better as stamped than forged.