Knowing proper knife skills and techniques can truly revolutionize your kitchen experience. Knowing how to hold your knife, how to cut with your knife, and how to utilize the blade of your knife will take your cooking skills from amateur to professional.
Let’s start with, The Hold.
Knowing how to properly hold your knife will boost your cutting power. To begin, place your index finger and your thumb on each side of the base of the blade.
Next, allow the rest of your fingers to wrap naturally around the base of the handle.
Don’t squeeze the handle of the knife too tight. Loosen your grip and make use of your index finger and thumb on the blade. Get comfortable with your grip to ensure you have a steady hand when cutting.
Always cut with the center of the blade, this will increase your speed and give you more control of the knife rather than cutting with just the tip of the blade.
Now, onto mastering the proper knife skills that will take you from layman in the kitchen to accomplished chef. We’ll demonstrate the three basic cuts required for passing the kitchen basic essentials: Plateau, Julienne, and Brunoise.
Cut off one side of the carrot using the center of the blade and slightly slide your knife forward as your cut. Squaring off will prevent the carrot from rolling as you continue cutting, whether you’re going for sliced rounds or onto plateaus, always begin by squaring off. Next, lay the carrot on the flat side for quick and easy cutting.
If your recipe calls for plateaued carrots then simply follow the squaring off guide above, however, instead of slicing the carrot horizontally, slice the carrot vertically to create thin plateaus.
The easiest way to julienne anything is to stack 2 or 3 plateaus on top of each other. Use your non cutting hand to guide the blade of the knife, have the blade rest against your fingers for straight edges. Using the center of the blade, you are now ready to transform your plateaus into juliennes.
The Brunoise (or diced)
For the last basic cut everyone should know before plunging into any recipe is the brunoise, or more simply put, dicing. Line up your julienne strips and hold firmly in place with your free hand. Using your fingertips as a guide, begin slicing and dicing. As you cut, move your knife forward for less resistance.
You have now mastered one of the most important kitchen basics, you can start cutting like a pro.