The knife is the single most important tool in any kitchen. So it is important to know how to use them. Mastering proper knife handling and cutting techniques is something that will bring effectiveness and even more joy in cooking.
No need to be super professional. There are some simple ground rules that will make a huge change in how you prepare food. And with enough practice and devotion, you’ll eventually become a knife ninja. Just feel the moves of the blade as it is part of your hand and keep all 10 fingers.
Just feel the moves of the blade as if it was part of your arm and keep all of your 10 fingers in place
But I’ll say no more: a picture’s worth a thousand words, and a how-to video – a million bucks.
These are the three videos helped learn how to hold and use a knife, as laid out by some of my favorite celebrity chefs.
Jamie Oliver on Knife Skills
Mr. Oliver knows how to put things in a simple and easy way. You’ll learn about the three types of knives and the three cutting techniques you’ll need to be efficient in the kitchen and keep your fingers safe.
Basically, all you need in your kitchen arsenal is a chef knife, a paring knife, and a utility knife, and three tricks up your sleeves – the cross chop, the tap chop and the rock chop.
Jacques Pepin: Proper Knife Skills for Cutting
Again, what are the three types of knives you’ll need, but looking more into the precision of the moves, when cutting. The direction of cutting, what details to pay attention to in order to master a clean and safe move, and use a chef knife like a professional. While talking to people. Or looking at the camera. Cool stuff.
How to Properly Hold A Knife?
The one thing that I feel was missing from both videos was what’s the proper way to hold your knife. Maybe the big chefs feel the blades as an extension of their hands, but for me – the mere mortal cuisine amateur – it was necessary for someone to show me.
Bonus Video: How to Sharpen Knives with a Steel Rod
“Keep your knives always sharp” is a piece of advice coming straight from the godmother of home cooking, Julia Child. This video will teach you the basics of how to sharpen your knife with a steel rod, without destroying the blade or chopping off a finger.
Where Can you Get a Good Set of Knives?
One way is to go to a specialized physical store, but in my experience, these are a bit hard to find and reserved exclusively to professionals. Sales representatives would, in fact, walk straight into a restaurant kitchen and sell the chefs knives from the suitcases they carry with them.
What I do is go on the Internet, make a research and buy the knife that fits my needs and budget from, an online store. I like these guys in particular as they have a great choice of chef knives and even the super cool, authentic Japanese Kikuichi knives. You’ll find plenty of information on the properties of the steel and the blade and they ship fast.
Proper and safe use of knives in your kitchen is a skill that can be taught, and when practiced – mastered and used on regular basis. Start slowly, don’t go too crazy with the blades, keep your fingers out of the way and enjoy the great art of cooking.