Most people have used a kitchen knife before, so it might seem straightforward enough how you pick a knife and use it. However, there are a few tips and techniques that are worth learning to get the best results preparing food. Knives are sharp and to avoid injury, it’s important to use caution and establish a strong foundation with some essential knife skills that everyone should know.
Gripping the Knife
When you pick up a knife, your natural tendency may be to curl all your fingers around its handle. However, this is not the most stable and effective way to help control the knife. We recommend using what is called a pinch grip. Take your thumb and forefinger and pinch either side of the blade at the part where it meets the handle. Then loosely grasp the handle with your remaining fingers. A pinch grip will allow you to keep good control of the knife and prevent it from slipping and sliding around. Being able to control your knife will help guard against accidently cutting yourself.
Curling Your Fingers
Now, let’s look at what you are doing with your nondominant hand -- the one that is helping to stabilize whatever it is you are cutting. Holding the ingredient steady is important for precise knife work, but it’s important to keep your fingers away from the blade. The best way to achieve this is by curling them towards your palm. This will protect your fingers from accidental harm, while still providing the essential stability you need for fast, stable cutting.
With the fundamentals covered, let’s not forget how important the way you move the knife is. Slicing is certainly an essential knife skill everyone should know. Slicing is more than just moving the knife in a downward motion. When you are using a super sharp knife, there is no need to saw through the ingredient. We recommend making deliberate long strokes that pull towards you, rather than push away. This allows for greater control and the ingredients will sever in a single stroke.
If you want to learn more about how to use your knives, visit our blog for content on essential kitchen skills you should know. You can find high-quality Japanese slicing knives on the Chubo Knives website today.