Knife Science: Slicing Technique – Weighing, Chopping And The Right Grip

In order to cut meat, vegetables, and herbs, you must first hold the knife correctly. There are different cutting techniques that make the preparation easier for you and bring the desired results. You can find out everything you need to know about cutting technology thanks to our knife guide.

Cutting: holding the chef’s knife correctly

Sometimes the seemingly banal makes all the difference. The correct cutting technique does not begin with the vegetables or meat, the basis is the correct posture. Because if you grip the handle of your chef’s knife correctly, it will make the cutting process much easier. To do this, if you are right-handed, place your ring, middle and little fingers around the handle, while your index finger rests on the right and thumb on the left of the blade. You don’t have to press too hard. The knife should be stable, but not held in your hand as if it were held in place by a vise. Of course, be careful not to touch any of the sharp parts of your chef’s knife. This holding technique offers you both feeling and security.

Cutting technique – the claw grip

Whether you want to properly cut meat or are looking for a vegetable cutting technique, there are two broad basic approaches with the chef’s knife. Before you slide the blade through the bacon or aubergine, however, make sure you position your hand correctly. Many cooks prefer the claw grip. Place your free hand on the material to be cut where you want to apply the blade. You align all your fingers so that only the tips are resting. The thumb and little finger move backwards, while the middle finger is slightly forward compared to the index and ring fingers. Curl your fingers. The fingertips go backwards, so they are protected from the knife. This, in turn, slides with minimal contact along the bearing surface of the second phalanx, which acts as a kind of rail while you pull your hand back slightly as you cut and guide the knife over the material to be cut.

Cutting techniques: weigh and chop

The knife fits perfectly in the hand. The claw is ready. You’re good to go. The most common cutting technique is now weighing. To do this, place the tip of the knife on the board and then pull the blade from top to bottom through the material to be cut. You rock the knife up and down as your fingers gradually guide the blade to the end of the carrot or cucumber. The tip of the blade never leaves the board. Start slow and get a little routine. After that, you can always weigh faster.

If you want to cut meat properly, you have to adjust the weighing technique a bit. Fillet or belly, but also the whole cucumber, are simply too voluminous. The basic idea remains the same, except that the blade does not rest on it. Instead, gently pull them through the flesh from top to bottom while your free hand guides as you would a cradle cut. Let the knife do the work and don’t press too hard. Our experts know how to cut up meat, i.e. carve it, for example to prepare our turkey with cranberries, or how to fillet fish.

If you want to cut nuts or herbs such as parsley, you should chop. The blade rests on the board for this too. However, hold it gently with your free hand to chop through the clippings from top to bottom with the knife until everything is nice and fine. Tip: Stability brings security. Your cuttings should therefore always lie as stably as possible on the cutting board. For example, if you cut onion rings, you can cut off a little at the bottom to create a support surface.

Cut into slices, cubes, and julienne

Different recipes call for different shapes. Sometimes you read from discs, sometimes from cubes or stripes. The latter are also referred to as julienne, in the spirit of French cuisine. Everything builds on each other. From slices cut lengthwise, you can make strips, which in turn can be used to make cubes. There are special designations for Japanese cutting techniques. For example, “Tanzakugiri” means “paper strips” (rectangular strips), while “Hosogiri” means “julienne”.

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