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Knife skills


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Knife skills

  1. 1. Knife Skills CHAPTER 9
  2. 2. Before we start … Knife skills are not learned quickly or casually Speed is not the first goal in learning how to use a knife The first step is to master proper technique The second goals are accuracy and consistency Speed will increase naturally with time
  3. 3. Preparing the Workstation The first step in learning knife skills is to set up a proper work station Preping your workstation consists of the following steps  Select a clean and sanitized cutting board  Place a damp towel between the cutting board and worktable to keep board from shifting  Make sure cutting surface is at a comfortable level  Select appropriate knife and make sure edge is sharp  Stand facing work surface with feet shoulder-width apart
  4. 4. Using the Chef Knife The chef’s knife is the most important and most used knife in the kitchen The knife grip  The dominant hand grips (right or left)  1. Grasp the portion of the knife blade just next to the end of the handle with the thumb and forefinger  Place your fingers like this gives maximum support- placing the thumb or forefinger on top of the blade is incorrect  2. Wrap remaining fingers comfortably around the handle
  5. 5. The Knife Grip
  6. 6. The Guiding Hand Once you can grip the chef knife properly, we need to focus on the other hand- “the guiding hand” This hand holds the product while cutting as well as guides the knife When positioning the guiding hand remember …  1. Fingertips should be curled under slightly, this protects your fingertips  2. The thumb and pinkie are behind the other fingers where they help grasp the object during cutting
  7. 7. The Cutting Motion The knife stroke used with a chefs knife is a combination of a downward and forward method Starts with the tip of the knife touching the board, and in one unbroken motion, glide the knife slowly forward descending the handle of the knife to the board. It is NOT a sawing motion The knife is not to go backwards
  8. 8. Basic Knife Cuts It is important to cut shapes that are the same size consistently Accuracy begins with learning and practicing the three basic knife cuts  Slice  Stick  Dice
  9. 9. The Slice cut Most knife cuts begin by cutting slices If slices are cut correctly, they should all be the same thickness A specific cut is called a rondelle- a round slice cut from round food such as carrots  To keep stationary sometimes one side is trimmed to be flat to avoid the object rolling
  10. 10. The Stick cut Sticks of various sizes are used often in the kitchen Two common sticks are …  Batonnet- 2 x ¼ x ¼  Julienne- 2 x 1/8 x 1/8 
  11. 11. The Dice cut The dice is a continuation of the stick cut technique To dice, simply cut across the sticks to make cubes the most common 5 dice cuts are Large dice- ¾ x ¾ x ¾ Medium dice- ½ x ½ x ½  Small dice- ¼ x ¼ x ¼  Brunoise- 1/8 x 1/8 x 1/8  Paysanne- ½ x ½ x ¼  Technically not a dice because not all sides are even, not a true cube
  12. 12. Mincing Mincing is the process of chopping food into very fine pieces Used for herbs, garlic, onion and olives During mincing, food might stick to the sides of the knife occasionally push the food off the knife Food spreads out over the chopping block, periodically push it back to the center 
  13. 13. The Paring Knife The paring knife is the smallest knife in the kitchen Used for carving vegetables, peeling pearl onions, trimming mushrooms, peeling fruit Chefs use paring knives to prepare vegetable tournés  A seven sided football shape, common in high end restaurants 
  14. 14. The Slicer and Bread Knife The slicer and serrated bread knife are used in similar manners The knife blades are long and slim, and are used in a sawing fashion Pressure should be limited