Knife Skills 101: How to use a Chef’s Knife at Home

September 8, 2015 | By | Reply More

how to hod a chefs knife - thumbnailChoosing and mixing high quality ingredients is a fun way to spend hours in the kitchen (cooking is fun!) but before you put things in a hot pan, you will often need to cut, slice, chop or otherwise separate the ingredients you have selected. In this article, I will show you how to use a chefs knife, as well as a few important safety tips to keep in mind.

Using a knife safely is one of the most important skills you will need in the kitchen, and sadly, it is often overlooked. I know because I did for quite a while, so I want to share some of the things I have learned to keep things fun and safe. In this article I will show you how to use a Chef’s Knife as well as a few techniques that will make things easier when using a knife at home. First, you will find a video, and then a written summary so you can make notes.

Using a knife safely is of the most important things when you are cooking a lot of food for yourself, or when you are preparing dinner for guests. As you probably already know, a lot of the time you spend in the kitchen is spent chopping, slicing and dicing ingredients.

So, here are a few tips that I learned when I was working in a commercial kitchen. Let’s see…

Should you use a sharp knife?

The first tip is, make sure that you have a good sharp knife. More people are injured from using blunt knives when compared to sharp ones, and it only costs about 5 dollars to get a knife sharpened so make sure you get it done every couple of months.

How to hold the knife:

The second, is how you hold your knife. Most people, are used to holding their knife like this:

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However, holding a knife like that does not provide good leverage and it’s hard on your wrist. It might be alright if you are just chopping a couple of things, but if you get into the habit of using your knife the correct way, you’ll find that it is a lot easier, a lot quicker and it’s also safer.

The first step is holding the knife by the base of the blade using your thumb and your index finger as shown here:

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The second step is to wrap your hand around the handle until you hold it like this:

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By holding the blade between your thumb and index finger, you will get a lot more control and leverage when cutting, which will make things easier for you.

What about the other hand?

After you have mastered the way you hold your knife, then next step is the actual cutting, chopping and dicing, let’s see…

The most important thing, is the position of your other hand, I’m talking about the one that is not holding the knife. Chef’s often refer to it as “the claw.” The main point is to keep your fingers out of the way as you use the knife.

This is what “the claw” looks like:

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Pay special attention to the thumb, and notice how it is rolled back from the other fingers to prevent any accidents, as shown in this image:

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Also, pay attention to the interaction of the knife and your knuckles. It is NOT the tip of your fingers that touches the blade of the knife as you use it, it’s the knuckles (this keeps the tips of your fingers out of they way):

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In the end, learning to use a knife safely and productively will save you a lot of time and headaches for many years to come. It’s only a matter of learning the proper technique and practicing consistently.

Learn how to make easy healthy breakfasts in minutes, over here: healthy breakfast recipes

If you found these tips to be useful, please share this article with your friends on Facebook so they also learn how to use a chef’s knife like a pro and cut food safely.

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Category: Food

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