Using Your Knife
Chopping… it can be a big chore and a deterrent from cooking at home. If you find yourself reaching for the frozen, or pre cut produce at the store you are not alone. But you can enjoy a much fresher, tastier meal by putting a little work into your knife skills for preparing ingredients. You will also save some money while you’re at it by buying whole, fresh ingredients.
- The knife needs to be sharp. Though it can be intimidating to use a very sharp knife, its actually safer for you. A dull knife will easily slip off of the surfaces of the items you are cutting and cause an accident, but a properly sharpened knife will easily slice through the desired object… not your finger.
- You can use an at home knife sharpener, or take it in to your local knife shop and have it professionally sharped, then maintain the blade at home.
- How you hold the knife. You will want to have your forefinger and thumb pinching the top of the blade at the base, with the handle resting in your palm. This will give you greater control of your knife.
- When slicing, move your knife arm in a downward and forward motion, this will allow the knife do the work for you.
- How you hold the item you are cutting is also important. You will want to use the “claw grip”. Keep your fingertips tucked in towards your palm, which leaves your knuckles protruding out. The knuckles protect your fingers as they act as a barrier against the blade.
- With the claw grip, you aren’t really holding onto the item you are cutting, you’re just pressing down on it with pressure from your fingertips. This keeps it secured to the cutting board, and allows you to easily move your hand as you chop or slice.
With a little practice and patience, you can learn and implement these knife skills and immensely improve the quality of your cooking.
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