With the holidays quickly approaching, you may be spending more time in the kitchen than usual. Before you begin your holiday meal prep, here are some helpful pointers on how to use your knives properly. Though knives are one of the most used tools in the kitchen, they’re also one of the most dangerous. If you’re not wielding your knife properly, you could end up with a serious injury.
Use the Proper Cutting Technique
Whether you are cutting meat, veggies, fruit, or other ingredients, use the same technique each time and don’t cut any corners. If you have to hold an ingredient with one hand to prevent it from slipping, always slice away from your free hand to ensure your fingers stay clear of the blade. This especially holds true for round items which are more difficult to cut, including fruits and veggies. Make round objects easier to cut by slicing them in half first and then placing the flat edge of the object on a cutting board.
Always Use a Cutting Board
If you’re bustling around the kitchen in a hurry, you may be tempted to cut an item, such as a loaf of bread, in your hand. Make sure to use a cutting board, as accidents often occur when you don’t have a stable surface to cut on. If you have trouble getting your cutting board to stay put, place a damp cloth beneath it to prevent slippage. Cutting an object in your hand or on a slipping board may accidentally cause you to injure your hand or fingers.
Mince Food Correctly
If you are mincing ingredients, such as garlic or fresh herbs, there’s a special technique to use. Always keep the tip of your knife on the cutting board and pump up and down quickly while slowly pushing your food under the blade. Never lift the tip of your knife off of the cutting board while mincing or you will have less control. The quick motion needed for mincing increases the risk of injury, so always make sure to use the proper technique
Don’t Multitask While Using Your Knife
Knives are sharp! A good knife can slice right through a finger, so concentration is essential. While watching TV or chatting with family may help to pass the time as you’re cooking, don’t multitask while cutting. One wrong slice could leave you with a serious cut!
We hope these tips will help keep your hands safe this holiday season! If you happen to get injured, 844-HAND-911 is the official Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas hand trauma hotline. Our hand specialists and registered nurses are here to take your emergency calls regarding any injury from the upper arm to the fingertips, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For less urgent matters, you can also give us a call at 713-374-4263 or schedule an appointment online. Happy Holidays!