Shun Paring Knife
The Shun paring knife is considered one of the 4 essential knives to have in the kitchen. As one of the essential knife it is important to buy a quality knife. A Shun paring knife is considered one of the highest quality kitchen knife in the knife block. Obviously Shun provides different types of Shun paring knives for every cook. Let’s talk about what a paring knife is used for.
Shun Paring Knife Takes On The Tasks The Chef Knife Doesn’t Handle
The paring knife normally comes in the size of 3.5″ or 4″ blades. The small knife is great for working with soft vegetables, herbs, and spices. The paring knife is great for slicing and mincing garlic, shallots, and strawberries. The Shun paring knife provides the quality knife expected when focusing on small details. The 16 degree sharp edge provides a reliable cut longer than any other knife. The quality of Shun knives will remain reliable and durable with proper maintenance and proper use.
How Not To Use A Shun Paring Knife
Ideally you would not use a paring knife as an ice pick. However, I have seen this from home cooks and I do not recommend this. Shun paring knives will remain sharp for a while if properly used. Therefore, remembering that there is a knife for every job. If you have to force a cut you are possibly using the wrong knife. A paring knife is not recommended for hard vegetables. Carrots and Celery can cause difficulties when cutting or slicing and can wear down the knife-edge. The paring knife is much lighter and the harder vegetables can require improper knife handling when trying to increase pressure to force a cut.
I also wanted to show you a Shun paring knife and provide you with a description on the amazing qualities and features of the paring knife. I thought about how to present this knife in an interesting way and came across this video that does a much better job than I could. This video is from Allen and he does open box presentation.
This information is accurate and straight to the point. The only part of this video that I would note on is that he mentions that the blade is a Damascus blade. Although this is the way these knives are marketed based on the wavy artistic features in the blade, this shun paring knife is not an actual Damascus blade. If you would like to learn more on what Damascus blades are check out my article on What Is A Damascus blade.
What Is A Shun Paring Knife Used For
The paring knife is similar to a chef knife in design. Much like a smaller chef knife that fits in the palm of your hand. The Shun paring knife is great for peeling fruits and vegetables. Slicing and detailing are other great task for a paring knife. The detailing tasks may include scoring designs and patterns into the surface of food, perfect for anything job that requires precise and delicate work.
Other tasks that are great for paring knives include the following:
Hull strawberries- using the tip of the paring knife to remove the stem and carve out the center core from the stem of each berry.
Section an orange or lemon – When slicing an orange or lemon, you may find that taking the fruit from the membrane is necessary for receipes. To do that you need to peel the flesh off of the fruit. Then using the paring knife, slice between the white membrane to remove the fruit section. The is a great example of why a paring knife is important to have in the kitchen because of the more detail task.
Devein Shrimp- If you have ever been in a Southern kitchen you have deveined shrimp before, and probably several pounds at a time. A paring knife can be a life saver, much better than the old butter knife I’ve had to use. Using a paring knife, you want to cut a shallow slit down the outside curve of the shrimp. Remove the vein, and continue on. I also found that if you place the shrimp into a bowl of cold water it is much easier to remove the vein rather than removing it while dry and then rinsing.
The Shun paring knife makes a great tool for small tasks in the kitchen. It is also important to understand what to look for in a paring knife. Having the right paring knife will increase the overall experience and safety in the kitchen.
The blade of a paring knife is important because of the tasks that is expected of the paring knife. Forged knives are made from heating metal and hammered. It is best to look for a high-carbon stainless steel with a rockwell rating of 55 or higher. The rockwell rating indicates the knife’s ability to hold an edge and sharpens easily. The Rockwell Scale is a measure of the steel hardness and is normally found in the description of all knives. If it is not, contact the manufacture to find this information.
The handle is important when deciding on a paring knife because of the safety when using a knife. It is important to find a handle that will fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. The Shun classic paring knife has a D-shape handle which is great for better grip and handling. Other may find the octagon shape handles better, it all depends on the personal preference, just find one that fits correctly in your palm.
The material of the handle also plays an important roll in deciding on a paring knife for your kitchen cutlery collection. The Shun paring knife comes with pakkawood handles, which is compressed wood that is not only beautiful but also much easier to clean. The handle should also compliment the blade. I don’t mean style wise, but weight wise. The handle should allow the blade to be balance, which also makes it safer when using the paring knife.
Types of Paring Knives
When speaking about paring knives the most common knife is the 3.5″ to 4″ straight blade. Although this is the more common paring knife, there are other types of paring knives as well. The other types of paring knives are normally named after animal appendages such as the bird’s beak knife and the Sheep’s foot knife. The Bird’s beak knife is desired by chefs who need a curved blade for carving vegetables into intricate shapes. The sheep’s foot knife is more rounded at the tip and straight blade and instead of looking more like a chef knife like the all purpose paring knife, the sheep’s foot resembles the Japanese santoku knife. The Sheep’s foot knife is more efficient on fruit and vegetables on the cutting board while the all purpose paring knife is better for fruits and vegetables off the cutting board. Every knife has a purpose, that is why it is important to have the right knife for the job.
Here is a great video that shows the features and different styles of paring knives that are used in the kitchen. They also show off the shun bird’s beak knife.
Now Let’s Get Cooking!