Gyuto: The Japanese version of The Chef’s Knife

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The gyuto knife is the Japanese version of the chef’s knife. It has a thin, curved blade and a pointed tip that makes it ideal for slicing. The length and round blade shape make it easy to use for both slicing and chopping.

What is a gyuto knife

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What is a Japanese gyuto knife?

Gyuto knives have a blade width between 6mm-10mm, though some customized blades might be up to 12mm or larger. The gyuto is a versatile and all-purpose blade used to slice veggies, meat, and fillet fish.

The main difference between gyuto and other traditional Japanese knives is the wider blade.

Let’s look at the word “Gyuto.” It’s a combination of two Japanese words: ‘giru’, which means to cut, and ‘tō’, which translates to blade.

But if you’re looking for the popular translation, the gyuto refers to a ‘cow sword’ which references the fact that it can cut big meat chunks.

Since the 1800s, the gyuto has been seen as a Western-style knife because its design resembles the French chef’s knife.

Having a wider blade allows the user to cut bigger pieces of meat or fish, making this type of knife preferable by professional chefs.

Gyuto knives are usually used for all-purpose cutting, including chopping veggies, slicing, dicing meat, or even tasks such as mincing garlic.

Gyuto’s blade also doesn’t decrease and taper at the end so it has an advantage over a yanagi or sushi knife.

A Japanese knife is traditionally a single bevel (single-edged). The gyuto is double-edged though.

These days many chef knife designs are double bevels to make it easier to use for people of all skill levels, not just professional chefs.

FAQs

It’s time to answer some outlying questions about the gyuto knife and its uses in Japanese kitchens.

Is a Gyuto a chef knife?

Yes, gyuto is Japan’s version of the Western chef’s knife. The reason why it’s a true chef’s knife is that it is versatile and an all-purpose knife.

It can perform most tasks and it is used for various cutting techniques. Since it’s a powerful knife, it can cut all kinds of meats, fish, veggies, and fruit.

What is a Gyuto knife used for?

The gyuto is used for all types of cutting tasks using all different cutting techniques. It is used to chop, slice, dice, fillet, and cut through thicker foods like big beef cuts.

It is also great for delicate cutting tasks like mincing garlic, proteins, chopping herbs, and cutting food into thin strips.

Are Gyuto knives good?

The high quality of Japanese knives makes cooks very interested in using the gyuto in the kitchen.

Gyutos are Japanese knives with a Western-style design. Unlike Japanese knives like the Yamagiba, Usuba, and Deba that can be beveled individually, the gyuto is double beveled.

Its edge is more robust, and there are fewer learning curves. Still, powerful metals like alloy steel give them sharper angles, better edges, and they overpower French-made kitchen knives.

The bottom line is that the gyuto is an excellent knife and probably the handiest to have because it can replace a host of other knives.

How do you use Japanese Gyuto?

To use a Japanese gyuto you must hold the knife by the blade partially. This position makes it safer to use and provides greater control as you cut.

You need to figure out where the balance point of the knife is. It’s somewhere below the spine but near the handle.

When holding the blade between your thumb and index finger, the knife cannot teether back and forth. Once it’s steady, you’ve found the balance point.

You do not hold your finger on the spine. Instead, the index finger and your thumb must be on either side of the knife blade.

Hold the food using the claw method by curling your fingers on the food. This prevents injury.

There are plenty of Japanese knife skills that you can use but the gyuto requires a simple cutting technique.

You need to slide the knife forward on the cutting board. It’s that simple! Check out this instructional video:

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.