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Foods 1: Introduction to Knife Skills

Knife skills are crucial to mastering the culinary arts. Knowing how to handle the knife properly and safely, as well as knowing which knife to use for the job, will make all the difference in food preparation.

Cara Jackson

on 8 February 2016

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Transcript of Foods 1: Introduction to Knife Skills

Knife Skills
Every Chef Knows 4 Things:
Safety First
All you really need is 1 good knife
You must keep your knife sharp
You must use the proper finger position
A Chef Knife
(also known as a French Knife)
is the most commonly used knife. If you are going to buy one knife, this should be the one.
It is large enough for slicing,
has a point perfect for penetrating tough skin
has an ergonomic handle for a firm grip
The correct finger position for non-cutting hand is:
three guide fingers in the front
pinky and thumb tucked behind supporting the food
dominant hand holdng the knife
(always cutting away from yourself)
Knife Safety Rules:

Always keep your knife sharp!

Never catch a falling knife.

Let it fall.

Walk with the knife point down at your side.

Never soak your knife in soapy water.

Store knives separately with handles closest to you.

Lay the knife down on a flat surface when passing it to someone else, let them pick it up.

Place a damp towel or sticky mat under your cutting board.

Keep workspace clean and uncrowded. If you have to leave your knife, tuck it under the cutting board.

Maintain proper finger position and slice away from yourself.
Optional But Helpful:
Serrated Knife: used like a saw to cut bread, delicate vegetables, cooked meats.
Paring Knife: small straight edged blade, used for coring, peeling and creating garnishes.
Keep it Sharp!
Hone/ "TRUE" Your Knife
by running the blade against a steel at a
20 degree angle.
Maintains the edge, but does not sharpen a dull edge.
Must be used every time you use the knife (before and after)
Creates a new edge on a dull blade.
If you use your steel regularly, you only need to use the stone about once or twice a year.
Triple faced Whetstone: progress from coarsest to finest surface
Boning Knife
: thin flexible blad used for separating flesh from bone.
: heavy rectangular blade, used for cutting through bone
Your knife skills lay the foundation for everything you do.
, there are machines that can do some cutting for you...
the true test of a skilled chef is what you can do with your hands.
Most Common Cuts

Random small bits,

not uniform

Super fine chop

(typically used for garlic, shallots and herbs)

and Batonnet
: Match-stick, long strips.

(first cut before you can dice)
cube shaped. large= 3/4 ",
medium= 1/2"
small= 1/4"
tiny dice= 1/8" = the smallest of the classical cuts.
Knife Cuts
7-sides, football shape
small 2 angle side cuts
julienne potatoes
ridged slices of potato
Chiffonade: uniform
. very fine julienne
flat square cut
Parisienne: use a scoop that makes small
uniform spheres
Utility Knife
For holding the knife:
thumb grips the knife around the top of the blade, with the hand wrapped around the bolster of the knife
Batonet to CUBE (1/2")
to DICE (1/4")
Full transcript