Posted by Simone Strik on 06/23/2022
From newbies to experienced Michelin-star chefs, the same rule applies: a good kitchen knife is a must-have in any kitchen. That's because kitchen knives have specific properties for easily cutting certain types of food – especially if you use the right cutting technique. Below are a few examples. This way, you'll be up to any cutting challenge and save lots of preparation time, leaving you with more time to enjoy your meal. Yay!
Since you can use the Chef's Knife and Sous Chef's Knife for any cutting technique and any type of food, we explain the different methods of cutting with these knives.
But first... the right cutting position!
Always use a cutting board and stand directly in front of the cutting board. When not cutting, face the knife away from you. When using the "rocking motion" and "chopping" cutting methods, the fingers of your non-knife hand should be curled like a claw over the food you are cutting. This keeps your knuckles safely away from the blade when cutting. In other words, no fingers on your cutting board and perfect guidance of the knife.
Cutting technique 1: rocking motion
Place the tip of the blade on the cutting board and push the knife through the ingredient using a rocking motion. Lift the knife again as you pull it towards you – while part of the blade always remains on the cutting board – and repeat these movements.
Cutting technique 2: chopping
A cutting method widely used in Japan! It's also referred to as push cutting. With this cutting technique, you place the blade in the center of the ingredient. You then move the knife up and down or forward in combination with a pushing motion.
Cutting technique 3: rocking chopping
This cutting technique is also called mincing. Place the fingers of your non-knife hand on the back of the knife for added safety and control. Now rock the knife back and forth – easy thanks to the curvature of the blade – without letting the knife leave the cutting board.
Cutting technique 4: peeling and slicing
The most common cutting techniques that can be used with virtually any type of kitchen knife is slicing. With this method, you move the knife back and forth, while at the same time pushing it carefully downward. Or use a Paring Knife to first peel the ingredient before cutting it.
Equally as important... the proper way to hold a chef's knife
Most kitchen knives are simply held by the handle while cutting. The Chef's Knife and Sous Chef's Knife can also be held using a "pinch grip". This means holding the handle of the knife with the palm of your cutting hand and then, with your thumb and forefinger, grasping the top of the blade right next to the bolster. This gives you direct contact with the blade and greater control while cutting.