There’s a reason a serrated knife is so often called a bread knife. The long blade with a series of sharp teeth excels at neatly cutting through the exterior of crusty loaves and gliding through soft ones without crushing them.
But the serrated knife is no one-trick pony, especially if you have a good one.
Here are all the other ways you can use this handy tool.
- Tomatoes. A serrated knife will cleanly slice through tomatoes without crushing the flesh and losing all the juices.
- Citrus. Want fancy segments for a salad? You can use your serrated knife to “supreme” oranges and grapefruit.
- Layer cakes. I don’t use anything else when I need to divide a cake for stacking and frosting. A serrated knife will cut, not tear, the cake, and it’s long enough to reach all the way through it. My favorite strategy involves using the knife to score a line around the outside of the cake and then gradually working the knife through the cake as I continue to rotate it .
- Chocolate. Breaking up a large block of chocolate with a standard chef’s knife is doable, but it has a tendency to send shards flying in all directions. With a sawing motion and the serrated knife’s tiny teeth, you get more control .
- Pastries and other filled treats. As with tomatoes, delicate or filled pastries benefit from the way a serrated knife can saw and not crush. Pull it out when you want to share a croissant that may otherwise shatter into a million flakes or a Napoleon that threatens to release a gush of pastry cream.
- Bread dough. Many loaves of bread need to be slashed at the top before baking. The lines are decorative, but the vents also serve a purpose, allowing for the dough to expand neatly. You can just pull out your handy serrated knife.
- Sandwiches. Don’t smoosh out the fillings of your beautifully constructed sandwich. Again, a serrated knife can give you crisp cuts to preserve all those layers.