Equipment

How to Use a Bird’s Beak Paring Knife

The tiny bird's beak paring knife can be truly mighty—if used correctly.
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Published Jan. 15, 2020.

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
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