Kitchen knives have points to make cutting food in the kitchen easier. Tips are used by chefs when they quickly cut vegetables into a julienne shape and rock it back and forth. At home the points on kitchen knives are used to open packets, score meat, pricking sausages on the grill or even carving pumpkins.
Check out all of the ways that the point of your knife is used in cooking.
Kitchen knife point uses at home
The point of your knife has many uses from pricking sausages to opening oysters. Check out this list of the best things you can do with your knife tip in the kitchen.
1. Rocking to cut meat and vegetables
Chefs are taught to cut vegetables in a way where the knife is rocked back and forth up to or near the tip. This leads to fast, safe cutting in a consistent way. Using this method at home is also a great skill to learn.
Home cooks can use good quality knives to prepare their meal and take advantage of a good quality sharp blade with a good quality point.
Check out this video for a quick guide to safely cut vegetables using the tip rocking method.
2. Unwrapping packages
Most home cooks know how often we use knife tips to unwrap packages. Stabbing into plastic packets can sometimes be the quickest way to open things, but it really is a bad idea.
Unwrapping packages with your knife tip can quickly blunt the tip and it quite unsafe. My favorite method that is much safer is to avoid using your knife to open packets.
Move to using some good quality kitchen scissors instead of your knife tips to open packets. This will save your knife tip and make it much safer.
3. Scoring meat
Knife tips are often used to score meat before cooking. Pork crackling is made by scoring the skin of the meat before cooking to allow it to crisp up and cook. Add some salt and there is your delicious family meal with the help of your knife tip.
Scoring other types of meat including fish and chicken with the tip of your kitchen knife will allow marinates, herbs and garlic to get into the meat and flavor it deeply. The knife tip helps to score the meat to allow it to take up the flavor.
4. Pricking sausages
Grilling sausages is a favorite summer past time and pricking them with a knife tip can be a necessary step. While many backyard chefs will allow good quality sausages to cook in their own juices without pricking, for others, pricking can allow excess oils to drip out and prevent a split or explosion.
Most sausages will generally need a single prick from a kitchen knife, but each chef will have their own approach.
5. Shucking oysters
Oyster shucking would be a very difficult process without a knife tip. Knives that are designed for oyster shucking are short, have a strong point and can pry open an oyster with ease. Oyster shucking would be very difficult to do without a knife point.
6. Carving pumpkins
The tradition of carving pumpkins is made possible by the knife tip. Removing the stem out then cutting a pattern would be difficult without a good quality knife tip. This tradition is a great one and makes fall a time to look forward to.
7. Cutting herbs
Cutting herbs is made easier with a knife with a good sharp tip. The knife can be rocked back and forth to finely chop basil, parsley or chives. Larger knives can be used to easily cut herbs. Larger knives are actually easier to use to finely chop herbs such as these so make sure to have a range of knives at home to choose from.
8. Mincing garlic
Mincing garlic is made easy with a large knife with sharp tip. Rocking a knife back and forth over the garlic, keeping your fingers out of the way is great option when you want to mince garlic. Garlic crushers can be difficult to clean so try a quick chop with your knife at home.
9. Skinning chicken and fish
Removing the skin from chicken or fish is made easy with a knife with good quality tip. Knives designed for cutting fish are thin, flexible and have a very sharp tip. This can be used to remove the fish skin or to cut off fillets.
Knives with sharp tips can also be used to cut the skin off of chicken, or to start the process before gently pulling it off with your hand.
Using kitchen knives with a point safely
Follow these easy steps to stay safe when using your kitchen knives with a sharp point.
Pick up your knife with the handle
Always pick up your knife with the handle and do not touch the blade. When cleaning, cutting or putting your knife away always hold it by the handle and this will keep your hands safe.
Keep the knife away from you
Keep the knife away from your body and keep fingers out of the way when cutting. Take it slow and always be careful when chopping any food at home.
Choose the right knife for the right job
Choosing a good quality knife that is designed for the job you are doing is an important step. Choosing the right sized knife with a blade designed for the job will cut well and keep you safe. Knives for cutting fish, bone, vegetables or shucking oysters are made specifically for that use so choose your knife based on the job at hand.
Store your knives safely
Store knives safely in a knife block or magnetic knife rack. These methods can keep them out of the way of fingers instead of putting them in a drawer. This will also keep your knives sharp and will protect the point from chipping.
Check out this easy guide to what each knife is used for.
Wash knives after use
For good quality knives these should be rinse and washed after use. This will prevent any surface damage from food particles and keep the knife sharper for longer. Take care when washing knives and use an extended brush or sponge to keep your fingers away from the edge.
These steps will help to keep your knives sharper for longer and keep your fingers safe. For more on keeping your knives sharp, check out my previous article here on knife sharpeners.
Why do kitchen knives have points? | Summary
Kitchen knives have points to help a whole range of food to be cut effectively at home. While chefs take advantage of a good knife tip for a range of uses, we can achieve great results at home with a good quality knife with a strong tip. Stay safe and store and use your knives safely.
Happy home cooking.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.