Holding a kitchen knife properly and using the right cutting techniques can greatly improve your efficiency and safety in the kitchen. Here are some tips on how to hold a kitchen knife and different cutting techniques:
How to hold a kitchen knife: The most common and effective way to hold a kitchen knife is the "pinch grip." To do this, grip the handle of the knife with your dominant hand and place your thumb and index finger on either side of the blade, near the base. Your other fingers should wrap around the handle to provide support. This grip allows you to have better control over the blade and makes it easier to chop and slice.
Different cutting techniques:
Chopping: To chop ingredients, hold the knife with the pinch grip and use a rocking motion to move the blade back and forth through the ingredient. Keep your fingers curled under to protect them from the blade.
Dicing: To dice an ingredient, first chop it into rough cubes. Then, hold the ingredient with your fingers curled under and use a back-and-forth motion to make precise cuts.
Mincing: To mince an ingredient, first dice it into small cubes. Then, hold the knife with the pinch grip and use a rocking motion to make very fine cuts.
Julienning: To julienne an ingredient, first cut it into thin slices. Then, stack the slices and cut them into thin strips.
Remember to always use a sharp knife, as a dull knife can be more dangerous to use as it requires more force to cut through ingredients. Keep your knife sharp by regularly honing it with a honing rod and sharpening it with a sharpening stone or electric sharpener.
By following these tips and practicing your cutting techniques, you will be well on your way to becoming a pro in the kitchen.
For a detailed guide with everything you need to know about (Japanese) kitchen knives read our ultimate kitchen knife guide here.