How To Learn Great Knife Skills

published Feb 1, 2010
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We are plunging wholeheartedly into a month of How To tips and tutorials, and we are asking you what you would like to learn in the kitchen. But first, we want to make a note on the most requested How To of them all: How to acquire great knife skills. Here’s the secret — are you ready for it?

Unfortunately the real way to acquire truly mad knife skills is not very sexy. It’s just the old-fashioned answer:


Yeah, that’s not really exciting or new, I know, but as we kick off this month, I wanted to make a point of it. We hear requests for knife skills tutorials all the time. And while we are definitely committed to bringing you tips, videos, and tutorials on how to use your knives most efficiently, in the end the only thing that will really help you be proficient with cutlery is practice.

Did you see Julie & Julia? I absolutely loved that scene where Julia Child, having just been humiliated in her first professional cooking class, stands and chops what looks like 30 pounds of onions in one go. The scene is played for laughs, with Paul Child staggering away and his eyes streaming with onion tears. But Julia’s determination is very real, and I just loved the way she bent towards her work, so fiercely committed to training every fiber of her being in this skill.

Like I said, we are definitely working to bring you better tutorials and more helpful tips on holding your knife and using it effectively. It’s so great to have someone show you a better way to grip your knife or to use it well. But in the end, the best way to acquire really great knife skills is to do what Julia did here: Get 30 pounds of onions or carrots, and dice them. Dice them fine, dice them coarse. Slice them thin and thick, and train your muscles into good habits.

Knife skills are unlike many other kitchen tricks and techniques; there aren’t many secrets or insider tips to make them easier. You just have to practice, and I certainly know the need of this myself! Have you ever done this? Chopped a few pounds of something at one go?

(Image: Sony Pictures)

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