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How to Use a Bird’s Beak Paring Knife

By Miye Bromberg Published

The tiny bird's beak paring knife can be truly mighty—if used correctly.

A bird’s beak paring knife is useful for small tasks done off the cutting board—especially those that require a lot of finesse and attention to detail. It’s a helpful tool when you need to prepare foods with curved or irregularly shaped surfaces or foods that have tough or fibrous exteriors that a vegetable peeler would struggle to get through.

Here's how to use a bird’s beak paring knife.

  • When peeling fruits and vegetables, you can use it just as you would a paring knife, using the bottom half of the blade to slice away the skin or peel. 

 

  • For detail work, you may want to choke up on the blade slightly to summon a bit more control over the tip. Employ a pinch grip: Gently curl your fingers around the lower part of the blade’s spine and use your thumb to secure the knife. 

Here are a few tasks that we like to perform with a bird’s beak paring knife.

  • Peeling kohlrabi or celeriac
  • Peeling garlic, shallots, and onions
  • Peeling ginger
  • Peeling tomatoes
  • Trimming brussels sprouts, artichoke stems, and asparagus stalks
  • Removing long citrus peels for use as seasoning or cocktail garnishes
  • Slicing stone fruit and avocados on the pit
  • Hulling strawberries
  • Removing the eyes from pineapple
  • Deveining shrimp

Equipment Review Bird's Beak Paring Knives

Professional cooks love these knives’ curvy blades. After testing, we saw why.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.