1. Heat: Things like hard ice cream or chilled pies can benefit from a warm knife. What's the easiest way to accomplish this? Try a large glass filled with the hottest water possible. Dip the knife in the glass and quickly wipe it clean and cut your slice. It will make your next slice of cream pie perfectly crisp and smooth.
2. Cold: While heat helps out many items, cold can be just as beneficial. In this case, it's usually reserved for ridiculously sticky items. Specifically caramels. An ice cold knife used quickly can cut through caramel without pressing or rounding down the edges. It doesn't squish, it just cuts. The trick? Work quick and use a towel on the handle of your knife so your hands don't get chilly!
3. Butter: Although many of us knew about water or heat to help a knife cut through desserts, butter works better in many cases. When it comes to crumbly things with air pockets, a buttered knife keeps it gliding through. It works especially well on cakes, cobblers and quick breads with sticky or crumb toppings. Just wipe on at bit of butter (or use saved butter wrappers) in a small amount and cut away.
Do you have any quick tricks for getting perfect slices? Something your mother did and you made part of your kitchen arsenal? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
More Cutting Tips From The Kitchn Archives:
• How To: Slice a Mango
• How To Slice a Bell Pepper
• Quick Tip: Slice Loaves of Bread Before Freezing
• What's the Best Way to Neatly Slice Lemon Bars?
• How To Cleanly Slice Soft Goat Cheese