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Knife Skills 101

Learn to Use Your Chef's Knife Like a Pro

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Culinary Arts Knife Skills

Knife skills are one of the most important parts of the culinary arts. These articles, tutorials and how-tos will help you practice your knife skills.

The Anatomy of a Chef's Knife

Lemons on cutting board
Maria Toutoudaki/Stockbyte/Getty Images
The chef's knife is probably a cook's most important tool. And given the amount of time it spends in your hand, it's definitely worth making sure you have a good one. Here's a quick tutorial on the various parts of a chef's knife, what they do and why they're important.

How to Use A Chef's Knife

How to Use A Chef's Knife
Photo © Danilo Alfaro
This tutorial will cover the correct way to hold a chef's knife, and how to grip the food with your other hand to avoid cutting yourself.

How To Chop an Onion

How To Chop an Onion
Photo © Danilo Alfaro
Chopping an onion is one of the most common kitchen tasks. This illustrated tutorial shows how to chop an onion the fast, easy and safe way.

Basic Knife Cuts

Basic Knife Cuts & Shapes
Photo © Danilo Alfaro
Good knife skills helps improve the quality of the food you cook by ensuring uniform cooking times and making it look nicer. Check out these illustrated examples of all the basic culinary arts knife cuts.

Knife Cut Photo Gallery

Knife Cut Photo Gallery
Photo © Danilo Alfaro
Want to see examples of all the basic culinary arts knife cuts and shapes? This photo gallery highlights nine common culinary knife cuts including the batonnet, allumette, julienne and more.

Video: Make Batonnet & Allumette Knife Cuts

Video: Make Batonnet & Allumette Knife Cuts
Photo © Danilo Alfaro
Here's a video that shows how to make the batonnet and the allumette cuts. These long and thin cuts also form the starting point for the dice cuts. For example, to make the small dice, you'd start with the allumette and just trim it down into cubes.

How to Make an Allumette Cut

How to Make an Allumette Cut
Photo © Danilo Alfaro
The word allumette is French for "matchstick," and these slender knife cuts are perfect for lending a touch of elegance to soups, salads and other vegetable preparations.

Keep Your Chef's Knife Sharp

Keep Your Chef's Knife Sharp
Photo © Danilo Alfaro
Keeping your chef's knife sharp will make your job in the kitchen easier — and safer, too. That's because when you're using a dull knife you have to apply more pressure than you would with a sharper blade, making the knife more likely to slip.

Sharpen Your Knife with a Whetstone

Sharpen Your Knife with a Whetstone
Photo © Danilo Alfaro
Learning how to sharpen your knife with a whetstone may take a bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it you'll be able to keep knives razor sharp, and save time and money. Also check out this video on using a whetstone.

Hone Your Knife with a Honing Steel

Hone Your Knife with a Honing Steel
Photo © Danilo Alfaro
Using a knife steel, also called a sharpening steel or honing steel, helps align the knife's edge so that it cuts smoothly and easily.
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