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Knife Skills

Knife Skills

Knives are essential tools in any kitchen and can be your best friend when you're preparing food.
Chef's Knives

Chef's Knives are great for cutting both raw and cooked meat. Before you slice raw steak, put it in the freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour before cutting into slices. Cut steak across the grain, straight up and down and as thinly and evenly as possible, holding the chef's knife at a 45-degree angle to the cutting board. Chef's knives are also handy for thinly slicing raw beef for stir-fries. You can use them to chop large or hard vegetables and mince smaller items such as garlic, too.

Tips for Buying a Chef's Knife


  • Buy the best quality knife that you can afford.
  • Make sure there are no gaps at the joint where the blade and handle meet.
  • Sizes range from 6- to 12-inch blades, but an 8-inch blade is standard.
  • The blade should curve toward the tip to allow a rocking motion.
  • A hefty bolster (the metal part between the blade and the handle) will help balance the knife and give you more control.
  • The tang (metal extending into the handle) should extend to the butt of the knife handle.
  • There is no rule on how heavy the knife should be. Some people like a weighty knife while others like a lighter one. It’s important to hold the knife before you buy to make sure it feels right for you.


Paring Knives

Paring Knives are an excellent choice for precision work and can be used to cut out the cores of peppers. To chop or slice, stand the pepper on its end on a cutting board. Cut down 3 or 4 times to form vertical slices. Discard the stem, core and seeds. Remove the white veins or membranes. Cut the slices into strips or chop as desired. Paring knives are also good for peeling fruits and vegetables and slicing smaller items.

Serrated Knives
Serrated Knives have a wavy blade that has teeth along the edge. This gives them a greater ability to cut, and makes them ideal for foods that are hard on the outside and soft on the inside. Serrated knives are also perfect for slicing more delicate foods such as tomatoes and cakes. They cut much better than plain-edge knives, even when dull, so they can also last longer without sharpening.
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