- What Is A Tomato Knife?
- What To Look For In A Tomato Knife
- The Best Tomato Knife Around
- How To Use A Tomato Knife
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Is A Tomato Knife?
When you’re cooking, there’s a lot of factors to consider: the recipe itself, the quality of the ingredients, ratios, cooking times, etc. And chances are if you’re a person who cares about food, you also care about making the best possible version of the recipe you’re making. So why do we so seldom think about the way our cutlery and cooking instruments actually affect our food?
Think about it. There’s a reason why it’s become generally accepted that if you chop onions, you will cry. Because people will use a dull kitchen knife on their vegetables without giving it a second thought, even when this results in tears, squishes, and generally suboptimal results. Most people don’t really think about their cutlery or kitchen tools as… that important.
And it’s true that a great blade won’t automatically make you a great chef. But it’s good to set yourself up for success, and use the tools that will make things easier and more enjoyable for you as a cook. For this reason, we have specialty cutlery like cheese knives, fileting knives, steak knives, and the like. Today we’re talking about one of those specialty knives: a tomato knife.
Imagine an heirloom tomato in all its juicy, tender, delicate glory. Now imagine a dull knife blade tearing sloppily through it, damaging the skin as well as the vegetable’s structural integrity. Not great; you immediately degrade the quality of your food. Meanwhile, a tomato slicing knife is especially designed to easily slice through the skin of a tomato, and its forked tip makes the vegetable easy to handle.
Similar to bread knives, tomato knife blades are serrated, which might seem counterintuitive at first -- wouldn’t a serrated tomato knife blade cause more damage to the tomato? But actually, a blade with a serrated edge will be easier on the slippery, juicy fruit, and can make extremely thin and even slices without squishing out the seeds. This makes tomato slicing a breeze. It’s like magic.
So if you’re looking for perfect tomato slices, a tomato knife is the way to go.
2. What To Look For In A Tomato Knife
Now that we’ve established that you need a tomato knife, let’s get you ready to actually find one. What should you be on the lookout for when searching for a tomato knife? Here are the key factors to consider.
- Blade material: This is extremely important. The market is flooded with cheap and ineffective knives made of low-quality steel. You want to go with stainless steel or carbon steel. In general, carbon steel is stronger and more durable than stainless steel. But stainless steel is also a good option in most cases, being a little easier to look after. Whether you go with a stainless steel or carbon steel knife, make sure it is a good quality blade with a sharp cutting edge.
- Handle: You want a knife that feels good to hold and to operate. The more you use a knife, the more pressure it causes on your hands, so it should be designed specifically for comfort and safety. This is why an ergonomic handle is so important when it comes to any kind of kitchen knife.
- Shape: A tomato slicing knife should have a serrated blade and a fork tip. This will help it cut tomatoes more cleanly as well as pierce through the skin and hollow out the tomato if necessary. Its shape also makes it easier to move the cut tomato from a cutting board to your plate or elsewhere. Tomato knife blades look a little funky, and they’re supposed to! This makes slicing so much easier.
- Size: Tomato knives are usually bigger than a paring knife, but smaller than the traditional chef’s knife or serrated utility knife. Usually you’ll find these blades within the 4” - 5.5” range.
3. The Best Tomato Knife Around
We’ve told you why you need one, and what you should be looking for. Now we’re going to share with you the very best tomato knife you will find in the market. Drumroll please...
The best tomato knife around is the Serrated Tomato Knife 5" | Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong ©. This absolute powerhouse of a tomato slicer knife features world-class performance at an incredible value. As part of Dalstrong’s acclaimed Gladiator series, this isn’t just a great tomato knife, it’s also one of the very best knives you’ll find in the market.
When it comes to slicing tough-skinned fruits and vegetables with soft interiors, this knife is an absolute master of the task. Its serrated blade is extremely sharp, and the serrations are perfectly spaced to cut smoothly and with minimal pressure. It features a fork tip, which makes it extremely useful when it comes to preparation.
The quality of this tomato slicer is awesome: it is designed for maximum maneuverability and comfort, so you won’t feel worn out if you have to use it for a long time (which shouldn’t happen often, considering how quickly and easily this thing slices through tomatoes). Not only that, but the knife is beautiful to look at, with a gorgeous classic design.
This full tang tomato knife is made of precision-forged, incredibly sharp, wear-resistant, single-piece high carbon German ThyssenKrupp Steel, at 56+ Rockwell hardness. The edge is hand sharpened to 16-18 degrees per side, making it not only ultra sharp but also very resilient. The ergonomic black handle is made of premium-quality G10 Garolite, and it features a stainless steel second bolster for counter-balance. A fantastic blade at a fraction of the price of a Wusthof classic tomato knife.
This high-quality serrated knife cleans very easily and is National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Certified.
Still not convinced? Check out why 450,000+ chefs have switched to Dalstrong knives.
4. How To Use A Tomato Knife
So let’s say you’ve made the choice to improve not only your tomato-based recipes, but also your cooking experience in general, by taking the leap and purchasing your own tomato knife. That’s great! Welcome to the rest of your life. But how do you actually… use it?
As we’ve learned over the course of these blog posts, having a fantastic cutting tool is only the first step. Next, you have to make sure you actually know how to use the tool itself. A little bit of technique is a great way to get you started on the path to total tomato mastery. For this reason, and since we’re here on a mission to help you out, we’ve laid out a few quick tips for tomato cutting with your tomato knife. Don't worry, you don't need any insane knife skills to get through this.
- Use the pronged or pointed end of the tomato knife blade to remove the core on the top of the tomato. It’s not just there to make your tomato knife look intimidating.
- Hold your tomato knife at a 45-degree angle as you cut. This blade angle will ensure that your tomato slices maintain their texture and moisture as much as possible.
- Apply as little pressure as possible on the tomato. Again, our goal is to keep from ripping it apart or completely mashing it. While this tomato knife is specifically built for this purpose, you also need to make sure you don’t apply too much pressure to the tomato itself.
- Use a gentle sawing motion when you’re cutting. This will help the knife slide smoothly through the tomato’s skin and flesh, not only resulting in better cuts but in a more enjoyable cutting experience.
And there you are. Follow these quick tips and you’ll be an expert tomato slicer in no time.
5. Frequently Asked Questions
Are tomato knives necessary?
Well, this really boils down to what you consider to be “necessary.” Most people have lived their entire lives without using a tomato knife, and they’ll probably tell you that they get along fine without it. But sometimes it’s not really a question of whether “I need this thing,” but rather about discovering the different ways in which “this thing” is going to improve your life.
So no, speaking in the strictest sense, a tomato knife is not necessary. But there’s an incredible moment of epiphany that dawns on you the first time you use it and realize “oh -- things could’ve been this easy all along.” All of a sudden your tomato cutting will be smoother, easier, faster, safer, and altogether more enjoyable. You’ll wonder how you went so long without it. And, as far as we’re concerned, that’s worth it.
What are the differences between a tomato knife and a paring knife?
There is such a thing as a serrated paring knife -- for instance, this 3.75” serrated paring knife from Dalstrong’s Gladiator series -- but most of them feature a smooth blade. That’s the first thing that sets this tomato knife apart from the majority of paring knives. Next, you’ll find that the way the knife is designed -- specifically the two pointed tips at the top -- is unique to tomato knives.
What else can you use a tomato knife for?
You can use a tomato knife to cut pretty much any fruit or vegetable, and those that are soft inside but covered by a slightly harder shell will work particularly well with the tomato knife’s geometry. You can use a tomato knife of eggplants, peaches, peppers, mushrooms, plums, oranges, and much more. It’s a great addition to your kitchen arsenal.
Why does a tomato knife have two tips?
The two tips that give the tomato knife its very distinctive look make this knife not only good for tomato cutting but also for hollowing out tomatoes. The tips also make it very easy to impale the tomato slices and easily plate them without getting your hands dirty.
Written by Jorge FarahBorn on the coast of Colombia and based in Buenos Aires, Jorge is a cooking enthusiast and kitchenware obsessive with a tremendous amount of opinions.