Kitchen Knife Skills


Hi, Im Lori Carlson, Dietitian
with Healthy Teaching Kitchens. Even if youre used to wielding
a knife from duties in service feeling confident about using a
chefs knife in the kitchen can
take some practice. Youll only need a few essential
items to prepare and cook delicious food and good knife
skills is one of them. Holding your chefs knife
properly is key to using it
effectively and safely To get the proper grip, balance
the handle in the palm of your hand and wrap your lower three
fingers around the handle Then pinch the bolster of the
knife with your thumb and with
your index finger Thats to ensure good control
and to prevent slipping. See if I move the handle up and
down, it stays firmly in my
hand, where as if all of your fingers
are wrapped only around the
handle can easily move a and slip up and down So the proper grip, is just
three fingers on the handle
and then pinching the back of
the blade. Then most of the cutting will
be done with the middle of the blade using a rocking motion and you may find that keeping
the tip of the blade on the cutting board will help aid
in stability. So lets practice on some herbs. You see Ive already prepped my
area with a clean cutting board, a sharp knife Ive washed my hands and Ive
washed my produce Adding fresh herbs to a dish
instantly brightens up the
flavor and attractiveness. For leafy herbs like fresh
basil, or sage, or mint all you have to do is pluck off
a few leaves and stack them up and then roll them tightly and then we can just cut across. Now youll see that with my
non-knife hand, Im able to hold the food to
prevent it from slipping around and that my fingertips
are curled under. So Im kinda using like a claw
grip to keep them safely out of the way but Im
still able to hold the food
steady Then we can just use that
rocking motion that I
mentioned to cut thin ribbons And so, if you are reading a
recipe, sometimes those ribbons   are called a chiffonade as well. So when youre
using your chefs knife properly, it should just be a smooth
rocking motion. Youll notice the tip of the
knife stays on the cutting
board and my fingers are just moving
backwards with my non-knife
hand. So there shouldnt be a lot of
banging around or noise when youre using your chef
knife properly. It should just be that smooth
action and the weight of the knife should glide
through the food that youre
making. So, lets move on to practicing
with some parsley. So these have been cut off the
stems already and they are a little bit less
manageable, but we can use that same
technique of just rolling
them up in a tight bundle and cut
across them as well. So youll notice that rocking
motion, Im not having to pick up my
knife and cut each time. Just continue using that
rocking motion If youre needing a finer
mince, you can take your
non-knife hand and rest it on top of the blade
so its safely out of the way and then just rock back
and forth, and that gives you that finer
mince that you might be looking for. When a recipe calls for an
ingredient to be chopped, it means that the ingredients
should be chopped into
little cubes and all of those cubes should be
about the same size so that they all cook properly;
they cook evenly. So, we can practice chopping
on an onion. So again, using that claw grip, well just cut the top off and then that give us a nice
flat portion that we can rest on the cutting
board to prevent it from rolling away from us Then well need to cut down
the middle and see how my hands are
holding it theyre forming an arch the knife blade is able to
go down with my fingers safely out of the way but Im still
having a secure grip on the
onion Then that allows us to peel
the onion more easily. Well pick up that knife using
the grip that we talked about and we need to slice down making thin strips just with
the tip of our knife. Were essentially cutting
“sticks.” And you be careful not to cut
through the back of the onion because thats
whats holding all of the rings
together So once we have our sticks then we can cut across and then we have our rough
chopped all of those little
cubes. So there you have our prepared
aromatics of herbs and onions ready to go
for your next recipe. Having good knife skills and
practicing them in the kitchen can improve
your overall experience cooking and preparing delicious
foods for your family I hope you have fun practicing. Thanks for joining me.

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