If you do any cooking at home at all, you’re going to have to learn a little bit about using a knife to prepare various things, mostly meat and vegetables. So it pays to know a few tricks for using knives. While it’s a little more complex than it looks, it’s also quite easy once you learn everything.
To begin, make sure you have a good solid and spacious surface to cut with. Do not force yourself to cut on a cramped space, it’s actually really unsafe. Clear something out if you have to. Preferably near the sink so you can get rid of all of your garbage easily.
Make sure to get a cutting board that matches your needs. It a good idea to have at least two. A small one for quick and easy jobs with quicker and easier cleanup. Heavier, larger cutting boards are good for large food such as big cuts of meat or large quantities of vegetables. So if you’re making a big meal they’re the way to go. But every once in a while you want just a few things cut so having a small easily cleaned board is nice. So I do well with two cutting boards, a small and a large one.
Also make sure whatever you use is secure on the counter and won’t move around underneath as that’s really dangerous. They make special mats that prevent cutting boards from moving and they work well. But, what works just as well and costs nothing is damp rag underneath the board.
Also, many people don’t know how important it is to hone their knives before using them. Ensuring that your knives are as sharp as possible is important since a sharp knife is a safe knife. So get a honing iron, a big solid one, and hone your knife before using it.
Also the correct knife for the job is important too. This isn’t always the biggest knife either. My parents got me a 6 inch knife for vegetables and I’ve found myself using it far better and more effectively than much larger knives. Make sure to look up online what the best knife is for a given job since the list is exhaustive. But also don’t let that limit you. Personal preference plays a big part.
Make sure your setup is natural when you start cutting. You don’t want to be straining or reaching when you’re cutting since that can lead to dangerous mistakes. You should be able to square up to the cutting board and focus on your work.
I always think about what I’ll be cutting and get all of my bowls together first. One for each set of ingredients as they added to whatever I’m cooking. Some people also like an bowl extra for garbage as they cut. But I find simply cutting all the garbage bits off first and then using one of the bowls to get it to the disposal or garbage can first save on dishes.
Now I could go into cutting techniques but honestly, that’s too extensive. It’s different for every application and preparation. Maybe in a different article. This advice is for making things quicker, easier and safer with a little preparation. Also, keep in mind it’s like anything else. Experience is the best teacher. Just do it safely.