How To Use A Kitchen Knife Correctly And Safely

woman slicing vegetables with a proper knife grip

If you don’t use a kitchen knife the right way you can not just get cut but hurt yourself very badly.

If you ask anyone if they ever cut themselves in the kitchen my guess is that about each of them will confirm this with a yes!

That is the reason I am trying to write this article with some easy-to-follow tips on how to use a kitchen knife the right way.

Basic Knife Safety

There are some basic knife safety rules that you should always follow.

  • Use the right knife for the job
  • Use a sharp knife
  • Cut on the right surface

If you follow these rules you will eliminate the chance of cutting yourself with a large number.

How to hold the knife.

There are a few ways to hold a knife and one of them not to use is to hold the knife handle with your whole hand.

Using this method will end in very poor control of the knife.

It is, however, used by many beginning cooks because it is easier.

The best way to hold a kitchen knife is by using your pinky, index finger, and middle finger around the handle.

Now place your forefinger and thumb on opposite sides of the blade just in front of the bolster of the knife.

This is the best way to hold a knife in the kitchen.

A video can explain it better than I can.

Most uses for knives in the kitchen

Now we have a way to hold a kitchen knife the best way it is time to show the best way to use them.

There are  a few things that we use a knife in the kitchen for and the most important ones are:

  • Slicing
  • Dicing
  • Mincing
  • Chopping.

At least that is what I use my kitchen knives the most for.

For each of these techniques we can dig deeper into the several methods there are but here we just cover the basics.

How to avoid cutting yourself

The way and place where you put the hand that holds the product you are about to start cutting on is very important to protect you from cutting yourself.

Slicing and Dicing

For slicing and dicing, it is very important to keep your fingers away from the knife blade. You can do this with what many cooks refer to as the “claw” method.

You start by holding the food you want to cut with your fingertips and then slowly move them in a way that they form a claw.

hand holding an onion with the claw grip

Mincing and Chopping

For chopping and mincing, you use the same method but there are variations on this.

When you chop herbs or vegetables that came in your meal delivery kit you use the rocking method and here is a video to show you what that is.

More tips on how to use a kitchen knife

One thing comes to mind while I am writing this article that is “practice makes perfect”.

I am not the best at using a kitchen knife and have cut myself many times in the past because I wanted to go too fast.

Taking your time and getting used to your knife and the method you are using is very important.

When you start slow you build up what is called muscle memory and your hands will sooner or later automatically start doing what they are supposed to do.

I have written about the 4 essential cooking knives you need and for all these knives the start slow advice is the best advice I can give you.

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Peter Jameson

Peter Jameson is passionate about eating healthy food. While he is doing his search for this, he will share that with the Couch Potato Delivery's readers. As an experienced home cook, he knows what to look for in the food delivery services he reviews. You can find more about him here.