Kitchen Techniques: Knife Cuts

Tue, Apr 6, 2010

Techniques, Utensils

We’ve talked about the very basics in knife techniques which is how to hold a knife properly. Now lets talk about the cuts that are used in cooking. There are different types of cuts and great tips to make cutting easier or more like how the pros do it.

When getting ready to cut, the first thing that should be done is have your cutting board stable. A great way to do this is by laying a wet paper towel or cloth on the counter and then putting the cutting board on top. This should keep the cutting board from sliding around and reduce the chances of you cutting yourself because of it.

Next, choose your weapon! Knives aren’t created equal and you want different knives for different things, however the knife you will use most often will be your chef’s knife. The other two types that will get quite a bit of use in the kitchen will be a serrated knife (it has jagged teeth) and a paring knife (small very sharp knife).

Trim the edges of the item you wish to cut to make it even. The more even the sides of the item being cut, the easier to make your cuts uniform.

On to the cuts.  If you want a stick shaped cut you’ll be doing julienne, batonnet, baton, or allumette. These are from bigger to smaller with julienne being short and slender. These will be cut length wise. Think French fries when cutting in this style.

Rondelle is another well used cutting technique. It is basically a fancy way to call a cut from top to bottom to make a round cut on vegetables that are usually long and round such as carrots, eggplant, cucumber, celery, etc. These come out as thin circles.

Mince, dice, and chop are all chopped cuts. Mince is the smallest, you want this at about 1/8 of an inch (the very smallest mince is called Brunoise). Dice is a little bigger with about ¼ of an inch and usually in a cube form. Chop is usually anything bigger than a dice.

Shredding and chiffonade are basically making ribbons out of  leafy vegetables or herbs. Roll the herbs or leaves into a long “cigar” shape and slice from one end to the other. Shredding is when it’s a heavier leaf (cabbage) and chiffonade is for thinner leaves (spinach).

The above are basic cuts and definitely not all the ones that are out there. Below is a how-to video that will give you more information with some extra tips!

Photo by  daedrius
Video by 7×7Magazine

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This post was written by:

Rochelle - who has written 324 posts on Made in Kitchen Blog.

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