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How to Use A Chef's Knife

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Secure the Food With the Guiding Hand
Secure the Food With the Guiding Hand

Secure the Food With the Guiding Hand

Photo © Danilo Alfaro

Secure the Food With the Guiding Hand

Now that the your knife hand knows what to do, we need to make sure your other hand does, too. Your non-knife hand is called your "guiding hand," and its job is to hold the food to keep it from sliding around on the cutting board. This puts it in a uniquely dangerous position. With the knife blade flying up and down, you need to keep those fingertips tucked safely away, while still being able to firmly hold the food.

The grip shown here is called the "claw grip" and as you can see, by keeping the fingers curled inward and gripping the food with the fingernails, the fingers stay out of harm's way. The side of the knife blade actually rests against the first knuckle of the guiding hand, which helps keep the blade perpendicular to the cutting board.

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