If you had asked me this question about eight months ago, I wouldn’t have known what to say.
Or, maybe I would have said that serrated knives were just great for cutting bread. After all, that is what I see them used for around me most times.
But then, I thought that these knives could not just be used for one food item like bread.
So, I went on a spiritual quest to find out more about what serrated knives are used for.
Just kidding, but I did do some groundwork. Here’s what I found.
What is a serrated knife?
You already know what these knives are if you are here.
For the sake of clarity, though, they are a special kind of knife that have jagged edges and are usually always mistaken to be bread knives alone.
We have a lot of different serrated knives: from serrated paring knives, serrated utility knives, serrated prep knives, and serrated slicer knives to the bread knives that we know with these same edges.
What is a serrated slicer knife used for?
The serrated slicer knife is best for slicing through food items (such as yam, cassava, and potatoes) with a harder shell and a softer interior.
The serrated edges provide enough friction and grip to lock onto the tough exterior skin and force a cut when the knife is sawed through the food item.
They are also great for cutting food items like bread loaves. Even though bread does not have as tough an exterior as yam or cassava, the outside is still relatively tougher compared with the inside.
What is a serrated prep knife used for?
The serrated prep knife is the best choice for cutting bread, cakes, and other baked food items. This knife is characterized by a slightly longer than usual blade and, of course, serrated edges.
As the name implies, the serrated prep knife also finds application in the initial preparation of food items such as fruits and vegetables. Serrated prep knives with strong blades (like the Zwilling Pro 2-Pc serrated prep knife or Henckels 5.5 inch serrated Prep Knife) also find application in cutting meat from poultry and other small animals.
What do you use a serrated utility knife for?
When your paring knife is too big for what you want to do and the chef’s knife is not offering any good resolve either, a serrated utility knife is what you need.
Like its cousins, it also excels in areas where the item to be cut or sliced through packs a tougher exterior and a softer inside. The fact that they are handy and a go-to tool makes them one of the best kinds of serrated knives to have at home and in the kitchen.
What foods are serrated knives used to cut?
No matter what kind of serrated knife you have, they are great for cutting the following food items:
- Baked items: from bread to cakes and pies, serrated knife key into the crust to provide an even cut where normal knives could be sliding off and causing uneven slices
- Vegetables: especially when the veggie is stubborn on the outside but all sweet on the inside, use the serrated knife to break that barrier
- Fruits: not all kinds of fruits, though. Using serrated knives on fruits like pineapple is better compared to, say, apple which has a softer exterior
- Slippery food surfaces: sometimes, toughness is not the factor to consider when choosing a serrated knife for vegetables or fruits. A normal knife might not make a clean cut of tomatoes, for example, but a serrated knife would have no problem there.
Do Serrated Knives Get Dull?
Like every other kind of knife, there comes a time when the serrated knife will get dull.
The saving grace, however, is that it takes a longer time of use for the average serrated knife to get dull as compared to a normal knife blade. As long as you store and maintain the knife properly, you should not worry about the blade getting dull anytime soon.
When it does get dull, I have created an entire guide on how to sharpen your serrated knife here. I also included the dos and don’ts of the sharpening process so that you don’t damage your knife while trying to get it to work better.
How do you properly store a serrated knife?
If you already store your other knives properly, there is nothing special to see here.
Serrated knives might look like another kind of knife but they are stored the same way:
- Use a knife block – if you don’t have one yet, check out this Wusthof Knife Storage Block on Amazon. You should get a knife block if you have multiple knives in the home/ kitchen
- Keep dry – always dry off your serrated knives after you use them, especially if it comes with a wooden handle. It is also important that you don’t leave the knife in the kitchen sink/ inside water for too long as that could affect the handle.
- Drawers – got kitchen drawers? Store your kitchen knives in them. My mother loves to spread a small cloth/ towel on the floor of the drawer before she puts her knife on top of them. The cloth helps keep the knives from dangling all around the place when the drawer is opened and closed.
- Magnetic wall strips – these have gained popularity over time because they do not impact the knife blade via contact. Thus, they keep your blade sharp and ready to go as soon as possible. They also make for a nice aesthetic in your kitchen, having your knives displayed all around like that. Make sure the magnetic strip is beyond the reach of children, though.
Did I Miss Anything?
I hope not.
Now, you not only know that a serrated knife is not only used for bread but you have an idea of every other thing that they can be used for in the kitchen. Take a new look at your underutilized serrated knife today and start enjoying all the many benefits that it brings you.
If you know someone else who has a serrated knife that they are not getting the best out of, be their cool friend and share this piece with them too.