Knife Skills. 1. Always use sharp knives. Dull blades cause more accidents because they are harder to work with and require more pressure. 2. Concentrate on what you are doing when using a knife. 3. Never play with knives!. 4. Always use a cutting board.
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Always use an appropriate cutting surface – cutting directly on metal, glass, or marble surfaces will dull and eventually damage the blade of a knife.
This will lessen the chance of being knocked on the floor or on someone's foot.
Do not use it as a substitute for a can opener, screw driver, staple remover, or box opener.
Never use the same knife when switching from meat to vegetables, or from raw to cooked foods, unless it’s been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.
Do not leave knives loose in areas where they cannot easily be seen or wouldn’t be found normally (under tables, on shelves, and similar spots).
Large pieces of vegetables take longer to cook than smaller ones. So if you're sautéing carrots that are cut to different sizes and shapes, you'll either overcook the smaller pieces by the time the bigger ones are done, or you'll cook the smaller pieces properly but leave the bigger ones undercooked. Consistent cutting technique ensures your food is cooked to a uniform degree of doneness.
Coarse chopping is generally used for mirepoix or similar flavoring ingredients that are to be strained out of the dish and discarded. It is also appropriate when cutting vegetables that will be puréed.
Trim the root and stem ends and peel the vegetables if necessary.
Slice or cut through the vegetables at nearly regular intervals until the cuts are relatively uniform. This need not be a perfectly neat cut, but all the pieces should be roughly the same size.
Mincing is a very fine cut that is suitable for many vegetables and herbs. When mincing herbs,
rinse and dry well, and strip the leaves from the stems.
Gather the leaves in a pile on a cutting board.
Use your guiding hand to hold them in place and position the knife so that it can slice through the pile; coarsely chop.
Once the herbs are coarsely chopped, use the fingertips of your guiding hand to hold the tip of the chef’s knife in contact with the cutting board.
Keeping the tip of the blade against the cutting board, lower the knife firmly and rapidly, repeatedly cutting through the herbs. Continue cutting until the desired fineness is attained.
Julienne cuts Bâtonnet cuts
are 1/8 inch are ¼ inch
in thickness & in thickness &
2 1/2 inches long. 2-2 ½ inches long.
1/8 x 1/8 x 1-2”
Small Dice: ¼ x ¼ x ¼
Medium Dice: ½ x ½ x ½
Brunoise: 1/8 x 1/8 x 1/8
Fine Brunoise 1/16 x 1/16 x 1/16
The chiffonade cut is done by hand to cut herbs, leafy greens, and other ingredients into very fine shreds. Chiffonade is distinct from shredding, however, in that the cuts are much finer and uniform. This cut is typically used for delicate leafy vegetables and herbs.
For greens with large, loose leaves--Stack several smaller leaves and then roll the leaves into tight cylinders before cutting.
Use a chef’s knife to make very fine, parallel cuts to produce fine shreds.
Certain cutting techniques, such as butter flying meats or slicing a bagel in half, call for the guiding hand to be placed on top of the food to keep it from slipping, while the cut is made into the food parallel or at an angle to the work surface. Holding your hand
flat on the upper surface of the food with a little pressure makes these cuts safe to perform.
When you peel or trim foods, you often hold the food above the cutting surface. In this case, the guiding hand holds and turns the food against the blade to make the work.
The fingertips are tucked under slightly and hold the object--with the thumb held back from the fingertips. The knife blade then rests against the knuckles, preventing the fingers from being cut.