I think that how to hold and use a Chef’s knife and Paring knife should be taught more. Most people end up buying a knife block at some point in their life, but they don’t have a clue how to even properly hold a knife. Now, this way is my own personal preference, but I imagine that a lot of you will like it better once you start doing it. This way allows you to have more control over what you are cutting and it keeps your fingers out of the way so you don’t chop your hand off. Which is actually quite important. 😉
Oh, and did I mention I’ve got a great giveaway for you too? BOOYAH!
Alright, let’s talk about how to use a chef’s knife and paring knife. Let’s start with the chef’s knife. I personally think that this is one of the most, if not THE most important knife you could own.
If you are an at home cook, whether you are just getting started or you focus mainly on cooking quick and easy dinners for your families there really is no need to go out and buy a $400 Chef’s knife. You can still find great knives and take good care of them and they will work perfectly for you.
Chicago Cutlery has a fantastic 8″ Chefs knife that has a great sharp edge and I love that it has a place right behind the blade and on the bolster where you can pinch your thumb and pointer finger.
The new Chicago Cutlery DesignPro line takes the guess work out of slicing, dicing and chopping with its innovative grip that will guide a home cook’s hand to the best position on the knife for superior cutting and control.
“All DesignPro knives have ultra-sharp, Japanese stainless steel blades that make cutting effortless. Steel runs from the tip of the knife to the end of the handle for durability and strength. DesignPro knives offer a full lifetime warranty.”
How to hold a chef’s knife
As pictured above, you’ll want to lay the knife in your hand with your last three fingers at the handle.
Close your last three fingers tightly around the handle, leaving your thumb and pointer finger out.
Now pinch the bolster (that thicker portion before the blade), or on some knives you’ll actually slide your hand up to the blade because the bolster is not as prominent. This allows you to keep control of the blade at all times.
Think of a paring knife as more of an extension to your fingers, than a blade sticking out. A paring knife is the perfect knife for close up work like, peeling, slicing slits in pastry dough etc. Again, you’ll notice on the Chicago Cutlery that you have the perfect indentation for your thumb, and you can easily keep a grip on the handle while peeling fruit etc.
When you are using the paring knife to peel, use your thumb to press against the fruit and pull the knife around to create even peels.
And of course I need to mention that when you are chopping, or cutting foods, it’s best to pull your fingers, grip the food with your finger tips in a claw shape, and press the knuckles forward. This way, if the knife slips, your knuckles keep the blade away from those tender finger tips. Also, try keeping the tip of your blade on the cutting board, if the food allows, and use a rocking motion to cut.