Basic Knife Skills

Knife Safety

  • Use a proper grip
  • Place fingers of guiding hand in proper position
  • Always cut on a cutting board
  • Stabilize the cutting board with damp towel or gripmate
  • Do not place knife in sink. Clean by hand immediately and store properly.
  • When cleaning blade, always wipe blade from dull side

Safety Rules

  • Keep your mind on what you are doing
  • Do not distract others who are using a knife

Knife Usage

Grip the handle in one of the following ways:

  • 4 fingers, holding the thumb against the side of the blade
  • 3 fingers, index finger resting flat against one side of blade and thumb on opposite side
  • 4 fingers, thumb firmly against the blade’s back

Guiding hand is the hand not holding the knife:

  • Form a claw on the table top with the guiding hand, thumb tucked inside the four fingers

Move the knife through the product with a downward and forward motion, being careful to cut fully through the item.

Types of Knives

  • Chef/French –trimming, chopping, slicing, dicing
  • Serrated—slice coarse foods, bread and cake
  • Utility—peeling and slicing
  • Paring—peel or work delicate cuts
  • Boning—thin knife to remove bones
  • Fillet—pointed tip used to fillet fish
  • Butcher—large rigid blade tip curves up, saber shape

Basic Knife Cuts

  • Julienne (matchstick)
  • Brunoise (square)
  • Batonette (french fry)
  • Dice
  • Slice
  • Chop (irregularly shaped pieces)
  • Mince (very fine)
  • Chiffonade (shred)
  • Diagonal

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