How To Use An Ulu Knife

  • katrin moul
  • By katrin moul
  • Published: March 11, 2022
  • Last Modified: August 13, 2022
how to use an ulu knife
Ulu knife or “ooloo” knife embedded in Inuit culture, belonging to various Alaskan indigenous tribes has a glorious past. This Alaskan ulu knife is something more than a knife. Ulu is an essential kitchen utensil and its English meaning is woman’s knife. This Eskimo knife was discovered and used by the Inuit women in 2500 BCE. How to use an ulu knife or ulu knife uses is an art to learn. This traditional best ulu knife can be used to prepare vegetables, herbs, and meats.

What is an ulu knife?

Alaska Ulu knife is a kind of knife used by Arctic indigenous dwellers. Designs vary depending on the region and the Uluit features of the blade distinguish it from any other knife. This traditional ulu knife was first used in 2500 BCE. In ancient times, ulu knives’ handles were made either from reindeer’s antlers, walrus tusks, or musk ox horns. At that time, there was a lack of melted metal, so people used precious stones or slates to make ulu blades.
In modern times, the ulu handles are made of either wood or plastic, and the blades are made from high-quality steel. To implement some kitchen tasks, this Alaskan guide knife has great importance for chefs.
Ulu Knife

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History of the Ulu Knife

The usage of the ulu knife began in the Alaskan native Inuit culture before 3500 years ago. This Alaskan guide knife remains a key part of Inuit culture just as important as it was invented thousands of years ago. Ulu is an Inuit word and its short form is ‘uuluurag’ which means a woman’s knife. Traditional ulu knife is used by Inuit women to cut meat or separate skins from animals for clothing.
In the modern era, it is still an essential tool for chefs to prepare food. An ulu knife uses for many kitchen tasks. The ulu knife has a thin and crescent-shaped blade. Nowadays, an ulu knife is made of steel with a wooden handle.
But in ancient times, an ulu knife’s blade was composed of everything from slate. shale, or quartzite, and handles were made from bone, ivory, or wood. Traditionally ulu’s blades were made with a slate cutting surface as there was a lack of metal melting technology in the Arctic.
This Alaska ulu knife has been passed down from generation to generation for its versatility and unique usage in the kitchen to make several dishes.

How to Use an Ulu Knife

What is an ulu knife used for? Let’s dive to find out how to use an ulu knife. An ulu knife uses for every kitchen task. When you think of using this Alaskan ulu knife, the first thing that comes to mind is that of filleting fish.
Everyone knows how good this Alaskan guide knife is. It can be used from mincing vegetables and herbs to cutting pizza. An experienced chef can use it for slicing meat, chopping nuts, and cheeses. You can use an ulu knife simply rocking over meat, fish, chickens, vegetables, herbs, or even pizza.
The effortless motion will increase the cutting speed to prepare food ingredients. An ulu knife-shaped in such a way that the force is evolved centering the middle over food ingredients. It provides the user an easier approach to use it with only one hand.

How To Use Ulu Knife - Step By Step

Info Guide Feature Image (KitchensWeb) (1200 x 700 px)

Step 1: Grip The Handle

Grip the ulu handle in the palm of your dominant hand and the beveled side should be away from you. Keep the food items on a wooden cutting board. Use a wet towel underneath the cutting board to avoid slipping. Then just use a rocking motion over the food ingredients. It is the simplest way to begin using your ulu.

Step 2: Using Boal Board

You can use a block and bowl board to prepare food. It is actually a cutting board on one side and a bowl on the other. The blade of the ulu knife perfectly fits in its curvature with the unique part of the bowl. This allows you to use the full edge of ulu while you are cutting or chopping.

Step 3: Sharpness

A sharp ulu knife cuts well. To maintain the sharpness of your ulu, hone its edge occasionally. You can use a honing steel and whetstone to sharpen your ulu knife.

Step 4: Size of Ulu

The size of the ulu will determine its action. A 5 cm blade would be used for cutting out patterns from animal skins. A 15 cm blade would be used for general purposes. It can also be used for preparing any kind of food ingredients. However, uluit (plural of ulu) can never be more than 30 cm in length.

Step 5: Maintain Ulu

For the maintenance of your ulu knife, rinse your knife in warm soapy water, wipe it to dry, and keep it in a safe place. You have to use a cutting board or bowl while preparing food and never put your ulu in the dishwasher. Using a little oil in any handle never hurts.

How to Clean an Ulu Knife

It is needless to say, all knives need sharpening and uluit are not out of it. You can sharpen this Alaskan guide knife using a sharpening stone. The ulu has only one beveled edge and that edge should be sharpened.
You can use a whetstone or 400 grit dry/wet sandpaper to sharpen the beveled edge of your ulu. Apply light pressure on the beveled ulu and rotate the blade along with the sharpening stone. If a burr appears, use a leather strap to remove it.
It is recommended that the knife should not be placed in a dishwasher. You can wash it with warm soapy water.
Be careful when you wipe it because it has an extremely sharp edge.

What is an Ulu Knife Good For?

The traditional Ulu knife is a revolutionary and traditional knife that is uniquely crafted with a curved blade and offers a comfortable grip. It can be used to mince, slice, scoop, filet fish, vegetables, herbs, and meats all with ease and comfort.
As it requires applying light pressure down on the knife, rather than beside it, thus it is less time-consuming. Apart from this, you will feel amazing comfort even for long cutting sessions. You just need a little practice on how to use an ulu knife.
The ulu is really a versatile tool used for cutting all sorts of meats and vegetables. The rocking motion offers you an effortless cut.

Now, what!

You know how to use an ulu knife or ulu knife uses. For its versatility and simplicity, this Alaskan guide knife has become able to hold its position in the culinary school from generation to generation. The knife is crafted in such a way that it can do every kitchen task to prepare food with comfort and ease. Undoubtedly, it is one of the unique collections to enrich your kitchen utensils.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where Are Ulu Knives Made?

Ans: The uluit (plural of ulu) is made right in Alaska. It is popular all over the world not only for its history and unparalleled functionality but for its art and usage.

Q: Are Ulu Knives Any Good?

Ans: An ulu knife is used for several tasks such as cutting vegetables to chopping meats and filleting fish. It is crafted in such a way that the handle provides a comfortable grip with ease and relaxation.

Q: What Is An Ulu Board?

Ans: The ulu board is a square wooden block. It is designed with a slot at the top of the board for resting the knife when the knife is not used. There is a smooth hollow out of the center of the ulu board. The curved shape of the knife allows the users to make an effortless force to prepare food ingredients.

Q: Who Invented The Ulu Knife?

The ulu knife was invented and dates back to 2500 BC in Alaska. History tells us that the Alaskan native women belonging to Inuit culture used the knife to cut through the skin and bones of fish.

Q: Can I Sharpen My Ulu Knife?

Definitely, you can sharpen your ulu knife using any sharpening stone. Apply light pressure on the beveled edge of the ulu and rotate the blade along with the sharpening stone.

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