Have you ever watched those cooking shows where people chop all kinds of vegetables and fruits at what seems to be the speed of light?
Well, all of those people had to practice a lot to get to where they are now but you can be sure that they started by knowing the basic rules of safe knife handling and vegetable chopping. Below you will find these basic rules so you too can get started on a long and successful journey of speedy chopping:
Start with the correct surface
Choose a cutting board that is made of plastic or wood. Do not use a glass cutting board because it will ruin your knives.
Choose the appropriate knife
While some chefs believe you only ever need a chef’s knife for all your chopping needs, it is always useful to have a full set of knives, which includes:
- A paring knife: used for cutting small areas.
- A chef’s knife: has a curved front edge and it is useful to cut meat or vegetables.
- A boning knife: used for removing bones of poultry, meat, and fish.
- A carving knife: used for carving cooked meats into slices.
For chopping vegetables, you should choose your chef’s knife.
Hold the knife correctly
Use your dominant hand and hold the knife in the following way:
This placement will make it easier to learn the next step.
Learn to “roll” the knife
Instead of the blade landing flat on the cutting board with every cut, “rolling” the blade will make chopping easier and faster. Here’s how to do it:
- Keep the tip of the knife down on the cutting board.
- Place the vegetable underneath the blade at the position where you want to cut it.
- Make the knife blade go forward and down at once.
- Pick the blade back up, making sure the tip still touches the cutting board, move the blade to the position where you want to make a cut next and repeat step 2.
Learn to place your other hand to avoid accidents
Typically, the hand you are not using to hold the knife is the hand you use to hold the vegetable you are chopping, which can be dangerous and can result in nasty cuts if you are not careful.
When holding the vegetable, check that your fingertips are firmly pressed against the cutting board or the vegetable. You also need to make sure that you hand is moving as fast as your knife and away from it. If you are starting out, this might not be too much of a problem but as you start getting used to “rolling” your blade and you start picking up speed your fingers will run a higher risk.
We understand that accidents happen, so if you ever damage your hands while chopping vegetables or performing any other activity give the hand specialists at HSST a call! We are here to help!