There is much discussion about which type of cheese knife to use and how to use them. In this article, we look at which is better to use, a cheese knife or a cheese wire cutter.
Which is Best – Cheese Wire or Cheese Knife?
Using a cheese knife is best for cutting cheese. It helps to provide a more accurate cut and is beneficial when preparing a variety of different cheeses.
Using a cheese knife is cleaner and ensures a beautiful presentation of the cheese. The best cheese knives are made from stainless steel and range from 5” to 8” in length.
Best preparation method:
|Cheese wire cutter||Cheese knife|
Why are Cheese Knives the Best?
Using a cheese knife may be more favourable. You will be able to be much more precise when cutting smaller pieces of cheese. This ensures that there is less wastage if using the right knife for your cheese (see below). It is also a lot less messy and much easier to clean. Knives are also more simple to store than a bulky wire cutter!
Using a knife ensures that there is minimal handling of the cheese. Guests use cheese knives to serve themselves at a cheese board or grazing platter. This means that there is less movement between board cutter and plate.
It is best to use a cheese knife for any fresh or soft cheeses as well as light, creamy blues, for example, Gorgonzola Dolce.
Why may a Cheese Wire be more Favourable?
On the contrary, using a cheese wire cutter is more advantageous because it allows you to cut and prepare more cheese at any given time. It ensures that a large portion of cheese can be cut into smaller, more manageable pieces. This can be greatly beneficial if you need to prepare even serving sizes.
Also, using a cheese wire cutter will help to make a cleaner cut.
This leads to a beautiful presentation and less damage to the cheese during the cutting process.
When used correctly, a wire cutter requires little to no effort from the user to create an accurate cut. A wire is a much more user-friendly tool as it will glide through the cheese.
A wire cutter is appropriate for cutting semi-hard cheeses (such as cheddar) and harder cheeses (such as gouda). Some harder blue cheese (for example Stilton) will also cut better using a wire as there is less chance for the cheese to crumble and lose shape.
Which is the Best Cheese Knife?
If you are going to be using a cheese knife to cut your cheese, which is the best one to use? The following guide will help to clear any confusion.
A clear easy rule to follow when looking to buy knives is the half and half ratio. Half the knife has a solid handle, with the other half used as the blade for cutting.
Fresh cheese such as goat’s chevre is best cut using a cheese spreader. This is a flat, smooth-edged knife which is ideal for, you guessed it, spreading. This ensures minimal wastage and more cheese on cracker ratio.
Some cheese spreading knives have a sharp edge. These are made cut through any soft or blue cheese with a rind.
The best cheese spreaders are typically solid and made from stainless steel. A typical weight would be 40g and a good length of 5.5”.
Soft Cheese Knife
These come as either a larger blade with holes in or a smaller, sharper-edged knife with a two-pronged end. Both knives have a minimal surface area, which prevents the cheese from sticking to the knife and leads to less damage to the softer interiors. These knives are very versatile and are a staple in any kitchen.
These knives are also made from stainless steel, however, are slightly larger at about 10” and weigh around 150g.
Flat Cheese Knife
A flat, chisel or narrow plane cheese knife is used in a downward motion to shave slices of cheese.
This can be used on some harder blue cheese wheels, as well as semi-hard Alpine aged cheeses, for example, Comte or Swiss Gruyere. The one smooth edge is useful for spreading blue cheese.
A more robust stainless steel product, they can weigh as much as 200g and are around 6.5” in length. This knife can come as more of a spatula style shape or rectangular.
Plane Cheese Knife
A more commonly used cheese knife is the plane knife. Ideal for slicing hard aged cheeses like cheddar and gouda. It has one sharp edge in the middle of the blade.
Plane knives stand around 25cm, weigh an average of 180g and are made from stainless steel.
Use a cheese cleaver to prepare harder cheeses such as cheddar. This is a more substantial knife that has a larger surface area. The sharp edges enable you to cut larger piece of hard cheese at any one time.
Normally 100g in weight, 8” in length and made from stainless steel, these knives tend to be twice as thick as a flat or chisel (see above) ensuring that hard cheese can easily be cut with minimal damage to the cheese.
The shape of a parmesan knife makes it easy to break away chunks and the sharp pointed edge helps to split the rind. Despite this, it is not used to cut slices or smaller portions.
Measuring around 6” and 140g in weight, this strong stainless steel knife is sharp – be careful!
Store a parmesan knife correctly to prolong life. See below on how to correctly store and care for your cheese knives.
How should I care for my Cheese Knives?
As identified above, the best cheese knives tend to be made of stainless steel.
Hand wash and dry your knives immediately after use. This will preserve the metal as well as the sharpness of the blades.
Look to invest in a protective cover or box to store the knives in order to prevent any accidents and to ensure they remain their best quality.
Which is the best way to cut each type of cheese?
When cutting into small wheels of brie or camembert, first locate the centre and make a slice. Cut into triangles or wedges (think cake or pizza slices).
This follows the cheese etiquette ensuring that each person has some of the centre (with the most flavour) and the rind (least flavour).
Begin by cutting large wheels of cheese in half. Secondly, cut the halves into quarters. Using the centre point to cut smaller cheese triangles or wedges to serve as desired. This works for both hard and soft cheese wheels.
Firstly, cut the blocks of cheese in half to create two rectangles. Next cut along the width to create smaller blocks and slices.
Cut cheese logs starting from the centre, and lengthways down the log to create a disc or circular shape.
The Best way to Cut Cheese