All about Cheese Knives

All about Cheese Knives

What is a Cheese Knife? Do I really need a Cheese Knife? What are the different types of Cheese Knives? We answer these questions and every other you might have about Cheese Knives. 

Cheese Knives: a diverse selection (not exclusively for cheese fans) of knives.

Cheese is a World in itself

Dutch Cheese
Dutch Gouda Cheese

Cheese is an extraordinary cut that exists in a realm of its own. A common cheese knife is really more exact than a soft cheese knife in terms of cutting cheese. And it is only one of innumerable variations. There are nearly as many of them as there are different varieties of cheese (about 5000). In this article, you will learn about the most essential cheese knives, what separates them, and what to look for when purchasing one.

Cheese Knives briefly portrayed

  • Cheese Knives come in the widest variety possible
  • Basic Cheese Knives: hard Cheese Knives, soft Cheese Knives, cheese slicers
  • Hard cheese knife types: short crushing knives or strong one-handed knives for sliced cheese
  • soft cheese knife types: fork point, blade specialized for non-stick (typically with recesses)
  • tough-elastic blade material made of CVM stainless knife steel
American Cheese Plate
American Cheese Plate

The basic Cheese Knife Types and their Application

Cheese comes in a variety of textures and consistency. It is available in a shapeless mass or in chunks, with or without skin or rind. The consistency of the dough ranges from creamy and spreadable to thick and sticky, flexible and firm, crumbly and rigid, and everything in between. However, each loaf must be carefully portioned in order for the scent to be completely developed before it can be enjoyed. This cannot be accomplished with a single knife.

We divided the different cheeses into six categories based on their hardness and stiffness to provide a useful orientation. The six cheese groups are as follows:

  • Hard cheese: Parmesan, Pecorino, Cheddar, Emmental, Mountain Cheese, Gruyère
  • Cut cheeses: Gouda, Edam, Appenzeller, Fol Epi, Tilsiter
  • Semi-hard cut cheeses: butter cheese, brine cheese, feta, Roquefort, Esrom, riped Goat cheese
  • Sour milk cheese: Harzer, Mainzer, Handkäse, Olmützer Quargel (Mainly German Cheeses)
  • Soft cheeses: white, blue and red smear cheeses such as Camembert, Brie, Gorgonzola, Romadur.
  • Fresh cheese: cream cheese of various cream levels, cottage cheese, ricotta, mascarpone, fresh Goat cheese, fresh Sheep cheese, feta cheese

These categories are based on the water content in the fat-free mass.

Hard Cheese Knives

Parmesan Kinfe
Modern interpretation of a Parmesan Knife

A vertical pressure cut is the most effective method of splitting hard cheese. It is possible to accomplish this with a decent chef’s knife as well, but hard cheese knives are far better suited for the high leverage forces. Due to the fact that they are stronger and more torsionally rigid, there is no possibility of blade fracture.

Hard cheese knives are also referred to as one-handed knives, mesh knives, and slicing cheese knives, depending on who is talking about the knives. There is a curved cutting edge on their smooth and sharp blades, which are rather low and generally slanted away from the handle. The surface area is kept to a minimum by using a reduced blade height. A non-stick coating on the surface, maybe in conjunction with ground-in or etched groove patterns, prevents even the softer slices of cheese from adhering. Many hard cheese knives are also equipped with a useful fork tip that may be used to pick up the cheese chunks.

When it comes to slicing Parmesan, an Italian would never do it without a Parmesan knife (or better yet, a crusher). This is an exceedingly short, squat knife with a broad and fairly blunt spear-point blade for breaking the aged cheese. Other cheese knives, some of which are considered to be the actual hard cheese knives, are also included in this classification. Their high, short blade, on the other hand, is both sharp and sturdy at the same time.

A strong cheese knife protects you from cutting motions that are both time-consuming and ineffective. It is generally sharpened and produces stunning clean cut surfaces on hard cheeses and semi-hard cheeses alike, from hard to semi-hard. By the way, it may also be used for stringy scalded cheeses (pasta filata) such as provolone and soft mozarella, to name a few of examples.

We have a dedicated page for 10 best Parmesan Knives!

Soft Cheese Knives

CUTCO Santoku Cheese Knife - Made in the USA
CUTCO Santoku Cheese Knife – Made in the USA

Soft cheese knives are the cheese knives of choice, and the greatest of them are suited for slicing cheese as well as slicing whole cheese. A terminal fork is also common in this context. Much more striking are their efforts to keep creamy, ripe Romadur slices, rolled cream cheese, and other delicate ingredients from becoming stuck and crushed. In order to prevent sticking, soft cheese blades are frequently etched. They also feature side surfaces that are reduced to the bare minimum: big recesses in a variety of shapes and sizes. As a result, certain designs serve as a scaffolding for the blade.

This category also includes the incredibly low (extremely thin from the side view), downward inclined Brie knife, which is a specialist in its field.

The cutting edge itself is frequently serrated or serrated for the tougher cheese rind, depending on the application. It is preferable to cut with as little pressure as possible and in a single motion as feasible. And you have a clean piece of cheese ranging from semi-firm semi-hard cheese to Camembert that is practically watery. Furthermore, aficionados use a different soft cheese knife for each type of mold cheese to avoid transferring the cultures from one type of mold cheese to another.

The Cheese Slicer

Boska Cheese Slicer Monaco+
Boska Cheese Slicer Monaco+

Do you want perfectly thin slices of tougher semi-hard and hard cheeses that are uniformly distributed? Using a cheese slicer is the most efficient method of preparing them. This innovation, which was made by a Norwegian master carpenter (!) is a direct descendant of the wooden plan. The crosswise sharp cutting edge can be adjusted or left fixed in place. Your plane is being dragged across the surface of a huge slice of cheese. After a little experience, you will be able to produce a large number of gorgeous slices or even whisper-tender leaves in a short period.

There is also a circular loaf of Tête de Moine, which comes in a rotating plane variation (Girolle) that contains authentic French cheese culture in gossamer rosettes (Girolle).

Buying a Cheese Knife: What matters

We recommend that you arm yourself with at least the three varieties of cheese knives listed above, preferably as a cheese knife set. You have already mastered a large number of variants from this point. Furthermore, you may always stock up on specific knives that range from fashionable to stylish. Examples include professional cheese knives such as double handle knives, cheese spatulas, cheese cleavers, and wire cutters, to name a few examples. The soft cheese enthusiasts are slicing bows and harps out of cheese. Using a butter knife or basic breakfast knife will do for cutting fresh cheese when it comes to putting it over bread or crackers. We have a page with the 10 Best Cheese Spreaders for you.

Whatever knife you select, seek for materials that are sturdy, simple to clean, and have been firmly, flawlessly, and therefore hygienically put together. A wooden handle, metal handle, or plastic handle are all options depending on personal choice. Precious woods are inherently gorgeous, but they need to be kept dry and oiled to maintain their beauty. Professional cheese knives with all-metal or flawlessly welded plastic handles, which are ideal for use in the food industry, provide the greatest cleanliness and simplicity of care.

A high-quality stainless steel or a chrome-molybdenum-vanadium alloy such as X50CrMoV15 should be used for the knife steel to ensure good sharpness and durability. It is exceptionally elastic and extremely resistant to fracture, which is essential for a hard cheese knife of this type. As a result, hard carbon steels are inappropriate for this application.

Surface treatments with a non-stick property are preferable in this situation. As a result, good cheese knives are frequently engraved with a specific design. Dents (dimples), holes, large-scale recesses, and groove patterns are all effective anti-sticking techniques: Separation is ensured by air pockets that have been trapped.

Cheese Knives in a Nutshell

The best cheese knives to buy if you are a cheese lover looking for good cheese knives are a really good basic cheese knife set, which should include a hard cheese knife (which should be sturdy and short, or a slender one-handed cheese knife), an openwork soft cheese knife that is adhesive-resistant, and a cheese slicer for fine slices.

Cutting hard cheese, in particular, necessitates the use of extremely durable, break-resistant materials and dependable craftsmanship. The finest CVM knife steel is just good enough in some situations. From there, you may explore the vast world of cheese knives on your own and learn everything there is to know about them: have fun with it!

If you are looking for a Cheese Knife, we have the 10 best Cheese Knives 2022 for you.

Always work on a good Wood Cutting Board or Plastic Cutting Board!

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