I recently took an online knife skills class that taught me the proper way to do several things in the kitchen that I have been doing wrong my entire life!
I am a huge fan of food shows on TV. They make it look so easy! A few flicks of the knife here, a few slices there and you have a uniform meal masterpiece!
Unfortunately, when I try to recreate the same recipe in my kitchen, I am limited by my ability to use a knife. Not only does the food end up haphazardly sized, but it takes me forever. Often it takes me so long to do the prep work that I am a little grumpy by the time the actual cooking begins.
Oh, and I have sliced a finger or thumb 3 times this year! <—ouch.
Home Knife Skills
It was a nice surprise to find out that most kitchens only need 3-4 knives.
Types of Knives Every Cook Should Have
He went through the purposes of each and why I could empty out my knife drawer of some extras that I would likely never use. The knives that I need to have handy in the kitchen are:
- Chef’s knife
- Paring knife
- Serrated/bread knife
- fillet or boning knife
Cutting Techniques Every Cook Should Know
The Knife Skills class then went on to show how to hold a knife and the four main cutting techniques that would be used to cut nearly every food – even the tricky ones:
How to Hold a Knife
I learned that I was holding my knife too far away from the blade. It makes sense that after cutting myself so many times, I would be timid around anything sharp! But once I understood why holding a knife closer could increase the control and safety of my meal prep, the simple changes in hand position really made a difference.
My favorite part of the course was the shortcuts for fruits, veggies and herbs section. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had been “peeling” an orange like Brendan suggested…
How to Use a Knife to Peel an Orange
I had been slicing the peel off with a knife, but he had the further suggestion of slicing out each wedge which makes orange eating even yummier!
Steps for Knife Peeling an Orange
- Slice off each end.
- Use the knife to slice down the side of the orange between the flesh and white layer.
- Clean up any leftover white – Brendan mentioned the more cuts, the less waste.
- Slice each segment out.
- The leftover orange now resembles a book with pages that can be juiced to get all the good stuff!
The other thing that I really loved learning was an easy way to core a jalepeno. Pico de gallo is a daily necessity at my Texan home, so this is something that will literally change my life!
How to De-Seed a Jalapeno with a Knife
This easy way to core a jalapeno can cut down on getting too much contact with the spicy core or seeds.
Steps to Core a Jalapeno
- Cut the end off.
- Insert pairing knife with the BACK spine leading.
- Gently guide the back spine around the interior edge.
- Let the seeds and core drop out.
And speaking of pico de gallo, have you seen the easiest way to slice tomatoes?
MORE KITCHEN HACKS YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS
- Baking hacks that will change your life
- Cake mix hacks that transform box cakes to magically homemade creations
- Make box cake better with these simple tips!
- Easy kitchen tips that will make dinner easier
- Make orange peel cupcakes
- School lunch hacks
- Snack hacks for kids…super easy and yummy snacks to make
- Kitchen tips for saving time and energy
How do you feel about your kitchen knife skills?