People’s Biggest Fears: Knives

They don’t buy them right, they don’t hold them right, and they don’t use them right.

And I wonder why people are afraid of knives? These essential tools are a kitchen newby’s nemeses.

Rather than go through a complicated and confusing description of how to properly hold and use a knife, I am offering up this tutorial for your enlightenment.

Here are a few clarifications and additions that I think are helpful.

* When buying a chef’s knife, it should be at least seven inches long. Pay attention to the amount of space there is for your three supporting fingers under the handle. The more the better. You don’t want your fingers to be hitting your board the whole time. This knife is my suggestion, and it is still sitting as the top-ranked home chef knife by Cook’s Country.

*Buy quality types of the three knives they suggest. Unless of course you like spending an hour just chopping the food you actually wish was in your mouth right now.

*This onion chopping method requires a very sharp knife! If you don’t have one, take off both ends, and lay the flat side on your surface. Slice the onion half into half moon discs, holding them in place, and then rotate it and chop into pieces. I find the video method personally a little difficult to tackle right off the bat, but it is helpful if you need a very fine dice for something.

*Start slowly, focusing on the right hold and motion. It’ll still be faster than your previous method. Then you can gradually speed it up.

*Wooden cutting boards are always better. Always. And the bigger the better, as you have more room to spread stuff out, without having to worry about losing your tomatoes on the floor.

*Flat surfaces are your friend, whatever you are chopping. Cuts happen when people are trying to chop something with a dull knife, or on an uneven surface, whether from board or food.

There is a plethora of YouTube info on how to chop certain foods. If they’re not holding the knife as shown above, don’t continue to watch it. But the method is pretty universal, so you should be relatively safe conducting your own research.

Happy chopping! I leave you with a short sharpening instruction, just in case. If you have decent knives, you might want to invest in a steel. Good ones are as low as $15.

(Yes, this is technically called honing, because you are not actually put a new edge on the blade.)



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