Saturday, November 1, 2014

How to Hold a Kitchen Knife

I’ve never really cooked in my life.

Being such a huge fan of the Asian Food Channel, I know all the ins and outs of each cooking show and I got by with knowing squat about anything.

But, now that I’m a married woman, and a complete noob, I’ve dabbled a little bit into the mystic arts that happen in the fabled land of The Kitchen. Such wonder, such mystery! What delightful smells that come wafting in from this unknown sanctuary of culinary treats!  And so, filled with eager curiosity, I stepped into the secret world they call Cooking.

The first thing I did was cut myself.


So here I am, fresh with a Band-Aid wrapped around my finger, to tell you how to properly hold a kitchen knife.

The chef’s knife may be big and daunting, especially to newbies like me, but experts find it to be the most natural kitchen tool in the world. Plus, I have to get it over with if I want any of my recipes to have flavor. How else will I fry up some amateur corned beef if I don’t chop up some onions first, right?

Image source:
Image source:

This kind of hold is what they call the “Pinch Grip”, I think. What you need to do is to kind of wrap your index finger along the top part of the blade, while holding the opposite side with your thumb. Essentially, you’re kinda pinching the top back of the blade with your thumb and forefinger. The other three fingers should be wrapped loosely around the handle.

The idea here is that your grip should be more focused on the thumb and index finger holding the knife, rather than on the three fingers on the handle. Having a death grip on the handle does nothing but strain your wrist further, and give you less control over the knife. Remember, that knife is your biyatch and you’re the master! Not, you know, the other way around (snap, snap, snap).

Image source:

Now that you’ve got the hang of the knife, it’s time for another grip called the “Claw Grip”. This time, the grip refers to your other hand that’s used to secure the food you’re chopping. Keep those fingers from getting chopped off by curling them inward, gripping the food with your fingernails. This keeps them out of the knife’s danger zone. The side of the knife then rests against your first knuckles instead of your actual fingertips.

If you need a more visual demonstration, this video from Lifehacker might help.

Alright. I’m off to nurse this cut and I’ll be back for more soon. Happy chopping!

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