7 Frequently Asked Questions About Bread Knives

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If you thought there’s nothing to ask about bread knives, you were mistaken. Bread knives are often used incorrectly which results in people asking quite a few questions. We have picked 7 of those questions and tried to answer them as best we could.  So let’s get going.

What Are Bread Knives Made Of?

The material used for bread knives can vary. Different manufacturers will use different materials. The most common material is, of course, steel. If you’ve read any of the long articles on our site, you surely know there are many types of steel out there. therefore it would be impossible to mention them all in this answer.

A bread knife can also be made of ceramic. Ceramic knives provide excellent sharpness and need no sharpening. They are, however, more fragile than steel knives.

Up to now, we’ve only covered the blade. The handle does not necessarily need to be made of the same material. There are knives that are made of a single piece of steel with the handle included. But there are also other knives with handles made of wood, plastic, and other special materials. The most important thing about the handle is that it should provide a firm grip. Even a bread knife can cause a nasty injury.

Can You Use a Bread Knife for Cutting Tomatoes?

Tomatoes have smooth and often strong skin which makes cutting them with a regular knife quite difficult. The best knife for cutting tomatoes is the knife that has a serrated blade. This type of blade makes it incomparably easier to cut through the tomato’s skin. Since a bread knife pretty much always has a serrated blade, it can be used to cut tomatoes. However, bread knives typically have quite long blades which makes them inefficient when cutting smaller objects. For the bigger tomato varieties, a bread knife is going to work just fine. For the smaller ones, you are better off buying a smaller knife with a serrated blade.

Bread knife

Can You Sharpen a Bread Knife?

This is one of the most frequent questions that comes up with knives with serrated knives. The answer is, yes, you can (most of the time) sharpen a bread knife.  However, an ordinary knife sharpener will do you no good.  You will need a sharpening rod. This looks almost identical to a honing steel rod, but it’s thinner and gets even thinner towards the tip of the rod. The way to sharpen the serrated blade of the bread knife is to use the sharpening rod and sharpen each of the individual serrations on the blade. As you can imagine, this takes some time. Fortunately, bread knives tend to stay sharp much longer than other kitchen knives, so they will seldom need sharpening.

Can You Use a Bread Knife To Cut Meat?

Strictly technically speaking, yes you can use a bread knife to cut meat. It’s not going to be fun nor pleasant experience though. As mentioned before, bread knives have serrated blades. These are designed to cut things that have a hard exterior and a soft interior. Just like bread or a cake.

While a serrated blade can cut through both raw and cooked meat, it will most likely not provide a smooth cut, especially with raw meat. Instead, will tear the meat apart. Some meals cooked from meat can however be cut using the bread knife. Meatloaf is one of such meals.

Another reason to not cut meat using the bread knife is that meat will dull the serrated blade rather quickly.

Is a Bread Knife Necessary?

Another common question. The simple answer is that a bread knife is not necessary if you, or anyone in your household, don’t need to cut bread. Surprising, right? Jokes aside, it is perfectly possible to cut bread and other stuff without a bread knife. On the other hand, it is much easier to do so with a bread knife, because standard knives tend to struggle to overcome the hard crust of a fresh bread. Moreover, the softer interior can get ruined into a mushy mess.

What Can You Use a Bread Knife For?

Although the knife is called a bread knife for a good reason, slicing bread is not the only task it can handle. Bread knives can be used to cut food that has soft interior. For example:

  • Cakes and pastries
  • Tomatoes
  • Melons
  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Pineapple

Sliced Cake

How To Cut Even Slices of Bread With a Bread Knife?

It takes a bit of experience to achieve perfectly even slices every time. And that’s especially true for bread fresh out of the oven. The basic advice we can give is to not use too much pressure when slicing the bread. Let the serrated blade do the job.

If you want to have even slices without hassle, consider getting a bread knife with an adjustable guide. Or perhaps a food slicer.