Have you ever watched a cooking show and felt amazed at the chef’s knife-cutting skills? Maybe you’ve tried using a kitchen knife only to find out you have no idea what you’re doing. Anyone can master good cutting techniques-even you; all it takes is a little bit of practice!
The best place to start when learning the proper cutting technique is with the knife itself. Beginners would benefit most from using a chef’s knife, a long heavy knife used for all-around chopping of various foods. Now that you have the right utensil, you need to know how to hold it. Simply wrap your middle, ring, and pinky fingers around the handle and squeeze the top edge of the blade between both your thumb and forefinger. Using this grip will give you balance and control regardless of what you are cutting through.
For beginner cooks, cooking jargon can be confusing. What does it mean to slice a tomato? Is that different than dicing a carrot? If you’ve found yourself asking similar questions, you’re not alone. Below is a list of the most common chopping techniques you will use in the kitchen and what they mean.
Slice: Slicing is simply cutting the food into thin flat pieces—for example, a slice of bread or an apple slice.
Dice: Dicing is cutting food into small squares (picture the game dice.) The size can be large or small, depending on the recipe.
Mince: Mincing is cutting the food into tiny pieces that mix with the other ingredients to form a cohesive dish—for example, minced garlic or onion.
Chop: Chopping is cutting the food into large pieces—for example, chunks of potatoes in a stew.
Julienne: To julienne is to cut vegetables into long, thin strips, also known as “matchstick.”
Chiffonade: The chiffonade technique creates fine ribbons of herbs or leafy vegetables. Simply stack the leaves, roll them into a cylinder, then slice them into thin strips.
Knowing how to use a cooking knife takes practice, but we’ve got the tools you need to cook like a pro in no time! If you have a passion for cooking and want to learn more tips and techniques or participate in fun, easy-to-follow cooking classes, all you have to do is click here.