Learning how to chop with a chef’s knife is an essential skill in food preparation. Professional and home cooks alike need to master the proper and correct use of knives to make decadent dishes. If you don’t know how to use a knife, your dish’s outcome will be significantly affected. More so, mastering your knife skills is also crucial for your safety.
If you’re curious to learn how to chop with a chef’s knife, read on. This article will guide you on the basics of honing your knife skills.
The Basics of Knife Handling
The skills on how to chop with a chef’s knife can be summed up in two aspects:
A secure grip is essential when learning how to chop with a chef’s knife. Your index finger should cover the handle fully while the thumb should meet your index finger on either side. Let your other three fingers be loosely curled on the bottom part of the handle.
The force of the grip should come directly from the thumb and index finger. Getting a handle that’s too big or too small won’t produce a stable and strong grip. Thus, it might result in accidents or injuries while in use.
To secure the food your cutting and prevent it from slipping, utilize your non-knife hand, also known as guiding hand. It keeps the food in place as you chop or cut. Since your guiding hand comes close to the knife’s blade, you have to make sure to keep your fingers out of the way by tucking them safely.
Use a claw grip for your non-knife hand. Keep your fingers tucked inward while carefully gripping the food using your fingernails. The blade of your knife should be where the first knuckle of your guiding hand is. Doing so will help in keeping the edge upright.
Safe Use of Knives
Although very useful in the kitchen, knives can also be quite dangerous. The very sharp edge can cut through your finger if you’re not careful. To prevent accidents, here are some ways on how to chop with a chef’s knife safely:
- Make sure your knives are always sharp. Dull knives are more prone to slipping when used. Keep your knives in a safe place, far from reach of children.
- Steer-clear your fingers from the blade. Use the claw grip to ensure your fingers are tucked away when using the knife. It will keep your fingers safe even in the event of slipping.
- Never use your palm as a cutting board. You might put extra force that will slide and cut into your fresh directly.
- Ensure that your cutting board is slip-resistant. If not, put a damp towel under to prevent it from slipping.
- Always use your cutting board when slicing. Doing a freehand slice can cause accidental cuts.
How to Care for your Chef’s Knife
Learning how to chop with a chef’s knife isn’t the only thing you need to know. Pay attention as well to the proper care and maintenance of your kitchen knives. Doing so ensures that you can use them for extended periods.
- Use mild dish soap to wash your knives. Tossing them in the dishwasher is not ideal since it can make the blade dull and lead the metal parts to rust. Also, make sure to dry the knives first before keeping in the cupboard.
- Most knives come with sharpening instructions. Carefully follow the steps and always make sure that your knives are sharp. Using dull knives can cause you to exert more force, which can result in accidents.
- Use a standard cutting board when using your chef’s knife. Alternative boards or hard surfaces can easily dull the blade of your knife.
- Use a proper knife storage block to keep your knives safe and sharp. Tossing them together in a messy and crowded drawer can cause them to dull and possibly damage some parts.
The proper way on how to chop with a chef’s knife is an essential skill all cooks should learn. Doing the opposite can harm your dish and can also lead to accidents and injuries. Knives are crucial in every kitchen. However, proper maintenance and storage are also required since they can also be dangerous when mismanaged. Here’s how to learn more about Chef’s knife.