Cheese: It’s among life’s greatest yet simple pleasures. While it is entirely possible to enjoy the many flavors, aromas, and textures that accompany your favorite cheeses, the right cheese knife adds to the pleasure. When presentation matters, it’s very important to have the best cheese knife for the job.
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Different types of cheese knives are best for certain tasks. Note that a good-quality cheese wire or two-handed knife may be best for preparing many cheeses for addition to a platter before serving. However, if you are presenting unsliced cheeses, you and your guests will certainly appreciate the pleasure that comes with having the best cheese knife for each selection.
Types of knifes
- Soft Cheese Knife: Select a soft cheese knife for Brie, Camembert, and similar cheeses. Soft cheese knives are usually short, and typically feature a slight curve. Many have holes in their blades which reduce friction when working with soft cheeses. Some soft cheese knives include tines at their ends, which make it easy to pick up and serve the cheese in question.
- Brie Knife: If Brie is your favorite, consider picking up a specialized Brie knife. With an offset blade, it allows for both cutting and lifting motions.
- Hard Cheese Knife: Choose a hard cheese knife for selections such as Cheddar or Manchego. A traditional hard cheese knife bears a resemblance to a miniature cleaver, with a nearly-straight blade and a substantial feel.
- Cheese Plane: Opt for a Cheese Plane when serving semi-soft selections such as Havarti or Fontina, or semi-hard cheeses such as Gouda.
- Chisel-Style Cheese Knife: When serving crumbly cheeses, a chisel knife may be best. Try one next time you enjoy Bleu cheese or Romano.
- Parmesan Cheese Knife: While a hard cheese knife will work for Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano, you may want to try a Parmesan knife for these extra-hard selections.
- Spreader-Style Cheese Knife: Select a spreading knife for cream-style cheeses, and if you are serving Gorgonzola, consider a specialized Gorgonzola cheese knife, which offers a longer, thicker blade that’s meant to allow users to spread the thick blue cheese easily.
- Stilton Scoop: If you are serving Stilton cheese, forget about the cheese knife and use a traditional Stilton scoop. Work your way from the cheese’s center to its edges.
- Cheese Slicer with Wire: A cheese slicer fitted with a wire is often a good choice for creating
thin slices of cheese for enjoyment with crackers or on sandwiches. Some types are handheld,
while others come with a cheese board attached.
Many of these cheese knives are sold in sets, making it easy to serve guests in style. Whichever you choose, consider adding a few special prong knives to your cheese board or platter. A bit nicer than a plain fork, these tools are useful for transferring soft to medium-hard cheeses from serving dishes to plates.
The type or types of cheese you enjoy will greatly inform your decision when choosing the best cheese knife for your kitchen or cheese board, and so will a few other factors. Because cheese knives lean toward the inexpensive side, you may enjoy choosing a few different ones. They’ll make life quite a bit more convenient while lending an impressive edge to your entertaining efforts.
- Cheese Type – Consider which cheese or cheeses you tend to serve most often. Use your personal preferences to inform your search for the best cheese knife or knives.
- Quality of Materials – Cheese knives come in an impressive array of materials; from simple stainless steel to fine silver, they cater to a wide array of settings. When considering which materials to choose, think about the situations in which you’ll be using your cheese knives. For example, an ornate set of silver cheese knives is probably perfect for a festive holiday gathering, but a bit overdressed for a casual get-together.
- Price – Astonishingly enough, it is possible to find a nice cheese knife for under $20, and sets of spreaders go for a similar price. Of course, some cheese knives go for well over $100, and a few come in at more than $200.
- Function – Be sure to consider how you’ll be using your cheese knife. If you are planning to use it to serve guests, choose something stylish. If you’re prepping lots of cheese and simply wish to cut it easily while delivering attractive, even slices, then you will appreciate something more utilitarian. Consider selecting a kitchen knife built specifically for cheese, and think about adding a cheese wire, too.
- Size of Cheeses – Small, beautiful cheeses call for careful presentation and equally diminutive cheese knives. Large blocks of cheese, dealt with in the kitchen, call for robust tools. If you tend to purchase cheese in bulk and want to make it a bit easier to work with, consider a two-handed cheese slicer. While this specialized tool does take up a bit of storage space, it’s fairly inexpensive and will allow you to whittle large cheeses into manageable sizes. Note that two-handed cheese slicers also stand up to big jobs such as cutting cakes and other desserts into perfect portions prior to serving.
Tips for Choosing the Best Cheese Knife
When it comes to selecting the best cheese knife for your kitchen, be sure to consider the types of cheeses you enjoy most often. Additionally, it may be helpful to determine whether you plan to pre-slice cheeses for entertaining, or if you’d rather have guests serve themselves. Both methods have their advantages and drawbacks!
While price is certainly a factor, it’s a good idea to get the best cheese knife for your purposes rather than opting for an ultra-cheap one that gets less-than favorable reviews. No cheese knife is perfect for everything, so you may want to select a best-in-class option for cutting the cheeses you serve most often, as well as some budget-friendly ones for cheeses you enjoy less frequently. This way you’ll always have the right tool for the job.
The good news is that most cheese slicers and cheese knives are quite affordable – even some of the best-rated come in at under $20. Build your collection of tools over time, and you’ll be well-equipped, no matter what occasion, and no matter what type of cheese you plan to serve.
With these considerations in mind, we hope that you’ll find the process of choosing the best cheese knife for your needs a bit simpler, and that you’ll enjoy reliable performance for many years to come.