Food - Drink
Chef Vs. Butcher Knife: What's The Difference?
By HALDAN KIRSCH
Two items that are the most symbolic of cooks and chefs are the butcher’s knife (or meat cleaver) and the chef’s knife, both possessing iconic silhouettes and culinary versatility when used properly. The two blades also have their differences and specialties — you just need to figure out which you favor.
A chef’s knife is relatively light, around eight to ten inches long, and has a curved edge that comes to a point, making it well suited for slicing and rocking techniques. The larger butcher’s knife features a wide, rectangular blade and is heavy enough to chop through chunks of meat and bone, as well as tough veggies, like sweet potatoes, with ease.
According to Le Creuset, the chef’s knife is the most versatile knife available, able to perform a variety of tasks from crushing garlic to carving well-roasted meats, making it the perfect workhorse blade. However, when gripped properly, the meat cleaver is also capable of slicing and dicing with precision, and has more power in comparison to the chef’s knife.
A good chef’s knife will “feel like an extension of your hand,” per Le Creuset, while the butcher’s knife will require you to get comfortable picking the knife up after each cut. Either knife will serve you well in the kitchen, but if you’re lacking a heavier knife, the cleaver should have a place of honor on your wall.