Knife Skills Safety Tips
Everybody knows knife skills are fun to learn. However, did you also know that knife skills also means safety and precise cutting methods means best cooking results? As much as it is fun to cut, it is not fun to cut yourself. A lot of people take chances on just winging it with their own ideas about how a knife should be used. They can do it for so long before they get into a bad accident. I’ve been cut plenty of time with knives. I’ve done a lot of mistakes over time and so I can lend my tips to you.
The first thing you need to know about knives is a quality chef’s knife is important. Bad knives will lead to poor cutting habits. Good knives will work smoothly for your knife cuts. You do not have to spend a lot of money on a decent chef’s knife. I would say the cheapest I’ve purchased was about $30 and I’ve seen some for $23 which is a good deal.
The second good tip. Keeping the knife in tip-top shape is important to knife safety. A dull knife means accidents are more likely to happen. So you need to make sure you have a steel around to hone your blade and a wet stone around to sharpen the knife. I take mine once a year to a cutlery store to get it professionally sharpened. You can find videos on youtube.com to learn how to hone a knife or use a wet stone.
The third good tip how to grip and hold your item while cutting with your knife. Here are two important ways to hold your hands when cutting with a chef’s knife.
The bear claw and the bridge. The bear claw helps to grip the cucumber in place while tucking the fingers in so the blade doesn’t touch the fingers. You want to hold down the vegetable while you are cutting and moving to glide down as you cut smoothly and always tucking in those fingers.
Next is the bridge hold. We call it the bridge your hand in the shape of a bridge that the knife is across lengthwise so you can make an even cut across without hurting your fingers. It gives a good grip all the while protecting the fingers.
Another big safety tip about cutting is always getting a rounded vegetable item to be safe before you cut it. Like bell peppers and tomatoes they are round and easily can slip off the cutting board. You can cut the bottom of the bell pepper get it to be flattened on the cutting board before proceeding to cut it.
Once you cut it you can make your desire slices. Rounds, half-moon dice or match stix.
Match stix slice is stacking thinly sliced cucumbers and then cutting in lengthwise. All the while using the bear claw to hold and glide down your fingers as you slice and dice.
Once the bottom is flattened you can cut it easily now that it is safer to cut the round.
Knife skills are life skills. Holding a piece of fruit or vegetable in the air and cutting with your hand is never the best idea. Practice your knife skills it always gets better. Once you have learned the basic safety tips for cutting with your knife I know you will not go back to the old way cutting. We all want to keep our fingers attached.
And yes, there are cheating ways to julienne a carrot and cucumber. As I showed above you can cut thin slices and then cut them thinly lengthwise. Then with a carrot, you can use a vegetable peeler and slice them thin pieces and then slice them again lengthwise very easy! They cook up fast too.