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Thread: How and when do you use a paring knife?

  1. #1

    How and when do you use a paring knife?

    I'm talking paring, NOT petty, or birds beak, or whatever. Just a paring knife. What do you use it to do, and how do you use it?

    I used to hate them, and still pretty much do. I use mine, however, for peeling things, cutting things like muffin tops loose from their pan, cutting berries and grapes in half, trimming things when I notice rouge fat/bad spots/eyes/etc, coring apples, scoring fruits. I abuse it to, using it to open containers, stab potatoes, etc. Almost all of this happens in mid air, and I essentially treat a paring knife in a kitchen like my pocket knife.

    How do you use a paring knife? And if you don't use one, why not?

  2. #2
    I hardly ever use a paring knife. I just find the length not to be enough. I'd rather use a petty for anything a paring knife might do. That being said, I'd rather use a suji than a paring knife.

  3. #3
    GoogleFu San steeley's Avatar
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    Butch made some nice paring knife's a while back. I love a little paring knife for small work.

  4. #4
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    Gonna have to agree with steeley. I love a paring knife for small work. Every knife set I've ever owned or will own my first two buys will be gyuto and paring. Use it mostly for berries, peeling, and some other delicate fruits. Every once in a while I venture into shaped fruit cutting and it gets used there as well.

    But I'll be honest. I abuse the hell out of it. I will occasionally grab it to open mail or will use it to cut things out of pans. something that smalls just needs the abuse.

    Now petty's on the other hand. I hardly use mine at all. I really only own it for when other people come over and help cook. Or tomatos. Petty's do my tomato's for me. Every time I use a chef's knife for a tomato it slips and I nick myself. Thats what I get for having a dull blade! Please canada post deliver my j-knives!

  5. #5
    Senior Member FryBoy's Avatar
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    Used my Misono Moly 80mm paring knife this morning to peel a ripe peach. I don't think there's a better knife for that particular task.

    Doug Collins
    Hermosa Beach, California

  6. #6
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    99Limited's Avatar
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    Let's see, I use a paring knife to cap strawberries, score orange rind before I peel them, score the bottom of roma tomatoes when I parboil them prior to peeling. Use to peel asparagus with a paring knife. I also use two of the five I have for opening boxes.

  7. #7
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    i have a Robert Herder carbon sheepsfoot parer that i use for avocados, taking the skin off of chicken breasts (a sin, but my girlfriend insists that the skin come off) and scoring the tops of my bread loaves. i have a Shun that is only used by said chicken skin averse girlfriend. the rest were given away long ago.

  8. #8
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    I use my paring knife when I want to use a Sabatier, because I love the company so much! Haha
    To be honest, I VERY rarely use one and don't like them at all.
    Ever since I got my 120mm FKH petty a while back, I use it almost exclusively for "paring type tasks". The petty has the added benefit of being great on a board for little stuff.
    Give me a nice big 150-180mm petty and I can do 85% of any prep I need to do. I love pettys more than anyone, I think and I'm ok with that! Parers on the other hand....
    My wife, however uses a paring knife, almost exclusively. For her, it's cultural.
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    i like my 6 inch Shun petty enough that i've been thinking about getting a better petty knife (i'm thinking about the 180 Masamoto). it is a handy size for anything not terribly intensive. then again, i love using my Mizuno 270, the Kono 270 and my Shig 240 that any excuse, even cutting an apple, is enough to get one of them out. my GF uses a paring for everything too, because her mother (the quintessential midwestern farmwife who has three good dishes and thus thinks she is god's gift to cooking) does. i've been trying to break her of the habit, with limited success. i have her brother (who works at a cafe) using a 7 inch Tojiro gyuto (that i bought for him this past Christmas), though, so that's a start.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by FryBoy View Post
    Used my Misono Moly 80mm paring knife this morning to peel a ripe peach. I don't think there's a better knife for that particular task.
    Why would you need or want to peel a peach?
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

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