Knife Skills That Will Help In The Kitchen

Cooking 101 requires basic knife skills. When you have a firm knowledge of different cutting techniques, your presentation and understanding of cooking basics will be that much stronger. It’s important that your knives are cleaned regularly with hot water and dish soap, as well as sharpened as needed for optimum use. Read below for the basic chopping guidelines you’ll need in the kitchen. You’ll be able to practice safe knife use and perfect your technique in no time.

As one of the most basic knife skills, chopping is an essential technique for preparing most dishes. Grip the knife with your middle, ring and pinkie fingers, and place your thumb and index finger on the knife to steady your strokes. Remember to curl your fingers away from the knife to protect them from any mishaps. To chop your ingredients in a fluent movement, point the knife downward, keeping the sharp end on the cutting board. Use your wrist to guide the motion of the knife, and place your opposite hand on its top to get more control over your movement.

This technique is for foods that need to be cut into uniform, cube-shaped pieces. Many fruits and vegetables are diced for salads, or you may want to dice cheese for an appetizer platter. To do this, chop your ingredients into equally sized pieces and line them up. Then, dice them all together to make sure that they’re the same size.

Looking for a way to add some visual appeal to your dish? A knife technique called chiffonade will give you a decorative look. A chiffonade cut is mostly reserved for herbs that are used as a garnish. To begin, stack your herbs from large to small so that each piece is cut equally. Remember to remove stems and wash your herbs before you begin cutting them. When the ingredients are stacked, make a rocking motion with your knife in a horizontal movement so that the herbs are cut into thin strips. Avoid chopping the herbs, as they will turn out to be different sizes.

Similar to chopping, mincing is a technique used for ingredients like garlic and ginger. Mincing involves very finely chopping ingredients so they can blend into the dish without having a noticeable consistency. To mince, cut the ingredients accordingly so that the pieces are smaller and more manageable. Move your knife in a swift motion until the ingredients are very finely chopped – almost looking like a paste.

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