Knowing how to chop your vegetables just might be one of the most useful kitchen skills to have! You might be wondering what is the best knife for chopping your vegetables. We think this is important to know, so we've thoroughly looked into this question and have found its answer!
Though different knives can and should be used for preparing different vegetables, the best overall knife to have on hand for chopping would be a knife with the following characteristics:
- The material of the blade should be steel
- The knife should have a wide blade
- The grip and weight should be comfortable
Examples of highly rated knives for chopping vegetables are:
- Victorinox 45520 Fibrox Pro Knife
- Mercer Culinary Renaissance Forged Nakiri Vegetable Knife
- TUO Nakiri Knife
- TUO Vegetable Cleaver
Now that you know what the best knife for chopping your vegetables looks like, we know you must have some other questions about their use. We have more details on what to look for in a vegetable knife. Keep reading for more information on chopping your vegetables and the best knives for the job!
Characteristics Of A Great Chopping Knife For Veggies
Use A Steel Blade For Chopping Vegetables
Knives are made with different materials these days for chopping your vegetables, but we still think and experts agree that steel is the best. It is a durable material that can be sharpened, though a good quality steel blade does not need sharpening very often. It is also the hardest material and won't stain with the wide variety of pigments present in the vegetables.
Wide-blade Knives Are Best For Chopping
If you could only choose one type of blade for all vegetables, you should select a knife with a wider blade. It will be the most useful type of blade as it provides the most versatility. This type of blade can cut large produce like squash while making tasks such as transferring chopped pieces on its wide edge into your pan easier.
The Grip and Weight of A Chopping Knife Should be Comfortable
One of the most important characteristics of a vegetable knife is the weight and grip. Vegetable chopping can be very time-intensive. Due to the varied texture and shape of vegetables, it is possible to get fatigued if the knife is too clumsy or heavy. Handling a knife that is the wrong grip or weight for you or your task can also cause accidents. Choose a knife that suits the size of your hands and strength.
Highly Rated Chopping Knives
Victorinox 45520 Fibrox Pro Knife
A bestselling knife, users like that it is super sharp, and the grip was pleasant. The handle is made from a special type of plastic that keeps it from slipping even it is wet. The Swiss quality stainless steel blade measures 7.5 inches, and the whole knife weighs in at 7.5 pounds.
Mercer Culinary Renaissance Forged Nakiri Vegetable Knife
This 7-inch knife features a rounded handle made of Delrin, which makes for an extra comfortable grip. Many of the top reviews mentioned that it maintains its sharpness even after years of use. The german made carbon steel is easy to sharpen and maintain. The description says this knife is great for beginners and professionals alike.
TUO Nakiri Knife
This attractive knife boasts an unusual Pakkawood composite handle. Since the tang runs the full length, it offers superior balance and stability as well. The blade is made of German high carbon steel. Its square cut-off design makes it great for quick chopping. Users especially liked this knife for precision chopping and thin slices.
See this Japanese style Nakiri knife on Amazon.
TUO Vegetable Cleaver
This Chinese-styled vegetable cleaver from Tuo also sports a Pakkawood handle. Because of its wide handle and tapered point, this is a great knife for those hard vegetables like butternut squash. Its 7-inch blade, like the rest of Tuo products in this series, is made with German high carbon steel.
Users thought this was a great option for someone who has large hands or liked more weight to their knife. User experience found this knife to be good for not only vegetables but also getting through large cuts of meat and pizza.
See this Chinese-styled cleaver on Amazon.
What Is The Difference Between a Chef's Knife and a Utility Knife?
Use a chef's knife for chopping almost anything large or small. The main difference between these two knives is that the chef's knife is larger and usually heavier than a utility knife. While a utility knife can do a little chopping and does a good chop of slicing smaller vegetables and cuts of meat, you would need a chef's knife to do the job of larger cuts of meat and big produce like cabbage and cauliflower.
For more about chef's knives, read our post "How long is a Chef's Knife."
See this example of a chef's knife on Amazon.
See this example of a utility knife on Amazon.
What Is The Best Japanese Knife for Cutting Vegetables?
When looking for a Japanese-style knife for cutting vegetables, the Santoku knife is a great choice for cutting vegetables. Very similar to a chef's knife, the main difference is in how the flat blade makes contact with the cutting board.
The Santoku, whose name translates to three virtues, is a versatile knife that can chop, slice, and dice a wide variety of vegetables. Its composition is about the same size as the chef's knife, with the main differences being the scallops or indentations in the blade, which keep vegetables free of the blade, and the sheep foot's tip.
See this highly-rated Japanese-styled knife on Amazon.
How Do You Speed Chop Vegetables?
Since speed in chopping vegetables comes with time and practice, here are some techniques you can practice to gain more speed with your chopping.
Make sure you have a hard stationary surface. As you do not want a cutting surface that moves as you chop, avoid warped wood surfaces. Prepare your vegetables by washing and cutting into uniform larger pieces. Take your desired vegetable and hold it between your thumb and index finger; some chefs use the pointer finger. Using a curved claw-like hand, secure the vegetable as you chop.
For the fastest chopping, you want to move the vegetable towards your chopping knife, keeping your knuckles over your fingers for safety. As a test, if you have the knife next to your hand that secures the vegetable, your knuckles should be touching the knife keeping your fingers out of the way.
When chopping, the knife should not leave the cutting board, although a slight slicing motion may be necessary for true speed. Start off slow, and gain speed with practice. These finger guards are useful for beginner chefs to hone their chopping skills.
See these finger guards on Amazon.
How Far In Advance Can You Chop Vegetables?
Most leafy greens can be chopped early on in the week for use throughout the week. Chopped greens like kale and romaine have been kept in a high-quality airtight container for as many as 10 days.
Chop harder vegetables in advance. Some home chefs that prep for their week will advise that storing these types in salted water will keep them crunchy, but they should be used ideally in two to three days.
Larger vegetables like sweet potatoes and squash can be chopped in advance as well, though you would want to use these in one or two days for the best texture. Peppers are also in this category and can be chopped in advance one to two days, although it is optimal to chop them the same day.
If needed, slice your onion in advance, but you should have an airtight container on hand to store them so that they do not absorb the tastes of your fridge. You can also chop onions and freeze them in advance of your cooked dishes.
To get the health and healing benefits of broccoli, we recommend letting them rest at least 15 minutes before heating. This is due to the fact that they have anti-cancer compounds that form once the broccoli is chopped. There are some studies that say 90 minutes is even better. Broccoli holds up well and can last as long as seven days in a high-quality container.
Chop soft vegetables that are actually in the fruit family, like cucumber and tomato, no more than a few hours in advance. We recommend using these vegetables as soon as possible.
Choose Your Knife and Practice
Chopping is definitely an essential skill to have in the kitchen, and now that you know what the best knives to use are and have some examples, choose one and get chopping! Everyone knows that practice makes perfect, so practice chopping your vegetables as it can make a difference between a clumsily assembled dish and one executed with skill. For more on choosing the right knife, read our post," 7 Types of Chef Knives You Should Know."
I use a Santoku for chopping everything up, and it’s honestly one of the best knives since it also came with a sheath guard. My chopping level is pretty much basic, even after years of cooking in the kitchen daily. haha