A lettuce knife is a kitchen knife that is usually molded from nylon or another synthetic material to help cut lettuce stay fresh longer than it would if it were cut with a regular knife blade. When evaluating lettuce knives, consumers should first look for products with blades long enough to accommodate the size of their produce. The knife also should be durable enough to stand up to regular use. Many cooks forgo buying a dedicated lettuce knife for a more versatile steel knife that can perform other tasks in the kitchen.
Lettuce knives can be a useful kitchen tool for budget-conscious cooks who want to get the most out of their food dollar. When purchasing a new lettuce knife, a consumer should first verify that the product is large enough to cut through a large head of iceberg lettuce. Cooks who regularly deal with smaller types of lettuce may opt instead for a smaller knife. The knife also should have a sharp, serrated edge that will easily cut through produce.
Once the consumer has decided on the appropriate size, he should look for a lettuce knife that will feel comfortable in his hand during use. Some of the less expensive knives are molded in one piece, including the handle. Other knives feature molded handles that allow the user to get a firmer grip on the knife. The consumer should try out the grips of several knives in the store before settling on a purchase.
Along with their ability to help keep lettuce fresh, these types of knives are also useful with non-stick pans and prevent food from sticking to the blade while slicing. They are made from synthetic materials, so they can be produced in a variety of bright colors. Some cooks may wish to keep an attractive lettuce knife on hand to cut and serve fresh brownies and other baked goods to guests.
Some experts who have tested lettuce knives report that using a synthetic blade only adds a day or so before the lettuce browns when compared to using a knife with a regular metal blade. Consumers who have limited space in their kitchen may wish to avoid purchasing this specialty product and look at steel or ceramic knives that are capable of multi-tasking. Ceramic knives also have the advantage of keeping the lettuce from browning, although these knives are usually more expensive and brittle than those made from other materials.