The Kitchen Knives Basics Every Home Foodie Needs to Know
Any foodie worth their salt knows that the way in which you prepare your ingredients can have just as much impact on the final dish as the quality of the ingredients themselves, and this includes the way you cut, chop, and slice. This means that it is important to get to grips with some of the essential knife skills so you can start preparing even better meals.
In this guide:
- The Intro
- Back Slicing
- Helpful Tips
This is one of the most basic knife techniques that you can use for everything from veggies to meats. This method is useful when you’re dealing with large produce.
Using a chef’s knife, hold the tip of the blade against the chopping board with the knife at an angle above the item you’re slicing. You should hold the item with your fingers curled, tucking them away behind your knuckles to protect your fingertips.
Allow the flat of the blade to rest against your knuckles and pull the knife back and down as you slice through the food. You should always keep the tip in contact with the chopping board so you can push the blade forward to create a continuous motion.
Chopping may seem like the same thing as slicing, but this is a great method to use if you want to get a little more precision with thinner slices of the food you are chopping.
You’ll need to use a very sharp knife, ideally a santoku-style knife but a chef’s knife could also work in a pinch. Hold the item of food as described above, protecting your fingertips from the blade. The blade should be held above the chopping board with the flat of the blade resting against your knuckles.
Push the blade down and forwards, chopping through the food before raising it off the chopping board again.
This is the perfect knife technique to use if you want to get fine slices of ingredients such as fresh herbs. You’ll need a particularly sharp chef’s knife or santoku knife for this to ensure you work through the herbs without simply tearing them.
Prepare your herbs by stacking the leaves and rolling them up which will make the slicing a lot easier. The very tip of the blade should gently rest on the chopping board with the blade held at a slight angle to just bring it above the chopping board.
Now pull the knife backward, keeping the knife at an even angle. This will ensure that your herbs are sliced without being crushed as there is no downward motion.
Some Helpful Tips
Knowing how to use your knife isn’t the only thing that will help you to prepare your food better every time. Here are some tips that will help you to be a better home cook:
- Always practice knife safety when you’re cooking. Make sure to keep your fingertips away from the blade’s edge at all times, keeping your fingers tucked and your knuckles against the flat of the blade.
- Keep your knives sharp and well cared for. Not only will this make things a lot easier, but it’ll also make them far safer.
- Use a wooden chopping board. This will help to keep your knives in good condition for longer compared to using a glass or marble chopping board.
- Use the right knife for the job. You can check out our ultimate knife guide to help you ensure you have the right knife for each task.
With these basic skills, you should be able to prepare your food efficiently, safely and just like a pro. Of course, you’ll need some high-quality knives to try out your new knife skills, so why not take a look at our selection of knives and knife sets to find the new knives that will enhance your cooking.