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Good and Bad Knife Habits?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

So I am not completely new to cooking, I aided my grandmother in chopping slicing and dicing when her hands could no longer do it(damn arthritis) so I have decent knife skills but not nearly the standards that I would like. Obviously the best practice is to cut things! So instead of asking for other ways to practice and hone skills, I am going to ask do's and don'ts.

 

Any advice is appreciated chefs! Thank you!

 

~Mason

post #2 of 6

Okay, I'll start this one. 

Keep your knives sharp.

Use a good cutting board. 

Give yourself plenty of room to work. 

Use proper hand grips and techniques. Youtube has plenty of tutorials.

Keep your knives stored on a magnetic strip or other place where the edge won't get damaged. 

Wash and dry your knives immediately after use. 

Never put a good knife in the dishwasher. 

Pay attention to what you're doing. Technique first, speed later. 

     And something I don't see suggested often; have whatever you are cutting on one side of the board and 

the container you will put the cut pieces in on the other side of the board. As you cut, clear the board so you always have plenty of room for cutting. 

Keep your knives very sharp. 

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Chefwriter,

I actually already do most if not all of those things you listed above, I was referring more to specifics about knife work in general, like techniques and types of cuts, any information you could give me on that front?
post #4 of 6
Look up Stella Culinary School on YouTube. There are modules on exactly what you seem to be looking for.

And to add one more to chef writers fine list of suggestions: don't intentionally cut yourself.
post #5 of 6

     You should watch the videos. That will be much more instructive than me trying to explain how to use a knife here.

When learning proper knife techniques, some people find them initially awkward and give up too quickly, almost immediately adopting bad habits because they feel more comfortable. In addition to watching the videos, you should have a local cook show you the techniques in person.  Keep in mind that the techniques are a developed skill. That's why you are told to practice. Get the correct technique down first. The speed you see pros using comes from lots of practice. The proper technique allow you to eventually cut accurately, fast and most important, to do both with out cutting your fingers and all without exhausting your arm/hand. But proper technique takes practice to adopt. 

     If you want to learn different types of cuts, google french vegetable cuts like chiffonade, brunoise, paysanne, batonnet.  There are a few others but you get the idea. 

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much for the advice guys!!
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