Slicing Tomatoes?

Joined Aug 18, 2009
Just out of curiosity what do you use to slice and/or dice tomatoes? (this is aimed at both the home cooks and the pros)
Just asking because I've seen a lot of the guys at work doing it with bread knives and can't work out why, especially when they try to dice the things. Blunt knives maybe? Or is there a legitimate reason for doing so?
Joined Feb 1, 2007
I'd guess there are two reasons for it. First is a dull knife. Second, many people grew up with the idea that you needed a serrated edge to cut things like tomatoes.
Joined Aug 18, 2009
Me too as of wednesday when I get back to work - not that there was anything wrong with my victorinox/forschner but I do like stupidly sharp things ;)
I may of phrased my question badly though, it was more meant to be more along the lines of "why would anyone want to use a bread knife to cut tomatoes?"
Joined Feb 13, 2008
If there's nothing on the board, my chef's (K-Sabatier au carbone). If there's already some other knife on the board, probably that.

People resort to serrated knives because they don't keep their smooth-edged knives sharp enough to go through the skin. Most people, even many (if not most) professional cooks, have never used a sharp knife -- other than those times the knife if fresh out of the box or straight from a professional sharpener. And even including those exceptions, not many people have ever used a very sharp knife.

Joined Feb 1, 2007
other than those times the knife if fresh out of the box

From other people I'd accept this statement, BDL. But I know you don't believe for a minute that a knife new out of the box is actually sharp.
Joined Apr 3, 2008
lol, yer busted BDL.

yep people use bread or vege knives when they have let their chef knife get dull. I too have done this, mainly before I got my own knives, cause i was always using a house knife that was dull enough to stand on barefoot. I now use tomatoes as my main test to see if a knife is sharp. if it cant slice a tomato without squeezing out pulp and leave me with a slice i can see through, it ain't sharp. course after dicing 100lbs of carrots it will need a touch up on the steel to slice a tomato the way i like it.
Joined Mar 12, 2005
I've used a bread knife a couple times for tomatoes, when I was in another kitchen that didn't have a sharp knife, the serrated blade helps pierce the skin of the tomato. But if you have a sharp chef's knife that would work better.
Joined Feb 26, 2007
Whenever my supermarket swords get blunt, and I'm in a hurry, my little ol' beaten up steak knife will come and help with the tomatoes. It works for me. Grips them nicely, when a blunt knife won't,

(Note to self - Sharpen knifes tomorrow!!)
Joined Feb 13, 2008

What I should have said is "as sharp as they're likely to ever experience," rather than implying actual sharpness. Actually, some do come sort-of sharp OOTB, but few come with edges that can't be easily improved. Admittedly, my place is towards the edge of the spectrum, but I know people who are significantly more picky. Not just online either. And some are better sharpeners too.

It's funny that I end up talking so much about knives and sharpening when I'm really more into cooking. There seems to be such a thirst on the part of some people for practical knowledge and advice about cutlery and sharpening; and a lack of awareness about how much a more fun cooking gets with a sharp and comfortable knife, or how it opens culinary possibilities. Onion crushed by a dull knife is different from onion cut with a sharp one.

Am currently going through knife "orientation" with my dad's girlfriend who wants a second "go to" she can keep at his house. She might be finally convinced that "sharp" trumps "heft," and she might go for something good.

So? What am I? The pied piper of Seki City? Genug ist genug already. Sorry. Off the high horse for awhile.

Joined Jan 5, 2007
My Sabatier knives are sharp and still a great aid - even after 30 plus years - although I am going to have to replace the paring knife as it is getting a little 'thin'.
Joined Mar 21, 2008
Chefs knife but I keep it razor edge. I test by dropping celery or a tomato on the blade to see if it cuts :lol:
Joined Sep 29, 2009
If I can't use only the weight of the knife and a light pull backwards to cut a tomato, it's time to reach for the steel. If that won't get it where I like it, it's time to head to the tinker.
Joined Aug 14, 2000
I have really sharp, really good knives. I treat them very well. I also have a $10, 10" Forschner bread knife that I treat like sh*t. It's always on my counter. If I use my 10" wide chef's knife to slice a tomato I have to wash, dry and steel it. If I use my bread knife I have to throw it in the sink. Ergo, I use a serated knife to slice tomatoes because I'm lazy!
Joined Dec 23, 2004
Your average home (and, sadly most pro) cook has never seen a truly sharp knife. They rely on serrated knives because even a dull serrated will usually disassemble a tomato. I use whatever knife I have close at hand, generally a gyuto from Akifusa or Tojiro, sometimes a petty or sujihiki if it's laying there.

If I need a crap ton I use the Hobart slicer. What can I say, I'm lazy.:lol:
Joined Aug 18, 2009
Hmm there's no convincing some people..
Saw yet another person using a bread knife today (the owner this time), asked her about it, let her use one of my sharp knives, she used it for about two tomatoes then went right back to the cheapie supermarket bread knife, people are weird lol ;)

Latest posts

Top Bottom