We use all kinds of knives in the kitchen every day: paring knives, steak knives, chef’s knives and others. Since they’re an integral part of our cooking, why not refine our techniques?
Here are 5 knife skills you need to use in the kitchen today:
1. Hold your knife correctly
Instead of wrapping all of your fingers around the knife’s handle, place your index finger on the outside of the blade. You can place your middle finger alongside your index finger if it’s comfortable. Place your thumb on the other side of the blade. Your ring finger and pinky wrap around the handle.
This knife-holding position is called the pinch grip.
2. Guard your fingers (and your thumb)
It seems like a no-brainer, but get the fingers of your guide hand out of the way when you’re using a knife. Place your fingers vertically on top of the food you’re cutting. Tuck your thumb behind the food, so it’s completely out of the way of the knife.
You will be able to guide the knife’s blade with your four fingers. This posture allows for even cuts to be made, too, so it’s a win-win.
3. Cut with a natural angle, not straight at the cutting board
You’ll have more control with your knife if you cut food from a natural, comfortable angle instead of bringing the knife down straight in front of you, which limits your range of motion.
Try it out with a lime or a potato or something like that. It’s much easier to cut when you’re not trying to slice straight down on the cutting board.
4. Learn the trick to cutting even pieces
One way to cut even pieces of onion (or another vegetable if you so choose). Cut the onion in half, then make vertical cuts along the onion half. Turn the onion half 90 degrees and make horizontal slices, starting at the bottom and working your way to the top. Now you can chop the onion and end up with small, evenly cut pieces. Brilliant!
5. Keep your knives sharp
Use a steel or a sharpening stone to keep your knives in tip-top condition. A knife should be held at a constant 20 degree angle when being sharpened on a steel. Alternate sides of the knife on the steel. To test if your knife is sharp enough, cut a piece of paper with your knife. If the paper can easily be cut into ribbons, your knife is sharp enough.
Want to learn more knife skills? Watch the GIF tutorial for yourself!
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