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Basic Knife Skills

Everyday Food, Volume 30 March 2006

Mastering these techniques will help you use your chef's knife more effectively. Begin by learning how to hold the knife correctly.

Rest tip of blade on cutting board, and raise heel; slice downward while pushing blade forward.

For stability, use your thumb and index finger to steady blade.

Hold knife as you do for slicing, and make quick downward strokes. It's important to protect the fingers of your non-working hand by tucking them under into a "claw" for both slicing and chopping.

Holding the knife parallel to you, rock it up and down without raising the heel more than an inch or so. Stabilize with your other hand.

Smashing Garlic
On a cutting board, place unpeeled clove under the flat of your knife, and press down with your fist or hand to crush the clove. Remove and discard skin.

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