Surely when you watch cooking shows on TV that is currently in fashion, you’ve wondered how the hell the chefs do to handle the knives with that insulting ease. But the truth is that learning to use the knife professionally, like almost everything, depends on two conditions. The first is to know the technique, and the second is practice and work between the stoves.
In this article we will give you some tips to learn how to use the knife like a professional. Take note!
Before using the knife as a chef
Before imitating the professionals and cutting ourselves for not doing things well, let’s prepare. First of all, have a good knife with the best cut and possible balance.
The second element that we must take into account, if we already have a good knife, is that it has a correct edge. Always keep the knives sharp, to ensure efficient handling and improve safety. A badly sharpened knife causes sudden movements in the kitchen, and we must avoid them at all times. Finally, before using the knife with professional techniques, try that the cutting surface is good. Nothing to cut on stone or marble tables, among others. The best are classic wooden boards or plastic boards.
It is best to clean the knife every time it is used, without leaving too much food residue impregnated on its blade, passing a damp cloth with hot water over its blade. The residues of the food damage the leaf, accelerating its oxidation and reducing its cutting capacity. Some non-abrasive detergent may be used. The drying, on the other hand, must be done thoroughly. There should not be a drop left that could damage the blade.
Tips for using the knife as a professional
As we have said, using the knife like a professional does not only depend on the technique. Therefore, once these tips are known, do not try to cut the onion in two seconds as the professionals do. First you start more slowly, and with practice you will be gaining speed.
- The first advice is to hold the handle well. Do not use your index finger to put it on the blade, since it unbalances the knife, although it seems that we exert more pressure. All fingers gripping the handle of the knife. Sometimes the knuckle of the index finger can be placed on the blade.
- The type of cut: Saw mode and normal cut. They are the two most common types of cuts in a kitchen. The handsaw mode, in which to slide the knife forward and backward, is common for cutting bread, for example; a cake, a roll of meat, etc. The normal cut, for most ingredients, requires putting the point of the knife on the board and cutting by raising and lowering the blade. A kind of guillotine.
- The knife, in most cases, does not remain immobile. We must accompany the movement down, with a slight forward cut. In such a way that the knife lowers and slides forward, recovering then its initial position and repeating the action until cutting all the food.
- Well hidden fingers. The purpose of using the knife like a professional is to make the cuts correctly without putting a finger in front of us. Those of the hand of the knife are protected if we have them well placed. But one of the hands will always be grasping the food to be cut. To avoid cuts, we must firmly grasp the object to be cut and hide the tips of the fingers behind the knuckles. This position, in the form of a claw, will prevent us from taking a finger when we lower the knife to cut the food. It will also allow us to measure the size of the cut well.
- The knife always in the dominant hand, because with it we have more strength and generally much more precision.
- Adapts the food: In many occasions we will not find perfect foods to cut. What we have to do is adapt them, to avoid dangerous situations. Cut them so that they support the table well, for example. A large leaf of cabbage can fold and make a roll to cut it into strips. A pepper can crush it on a board so that it is as flat as possible and is stuck to the surface.