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Knife Skills 101: Cutting Time in the Kitchen


Discover a set of simple techniques for quicker, safer, and more consistent meal preparation in the kitchen.

Lesson Objectives:
• Working safely with knives
• Selecting which knives to use
• Proper cutting techniques
• Understanding knife cut terminology

Lesson Summary:
Efficient and confident home cooking depends on proper knife skills. This lesson focuses on the cornerstones of proper cutting. With a little practice you’ll be amazed at your increased efficiency will, which not only saves you time, but yields more consistent and delicious results.

Fun Fact: Knives have been around for a long time. More specifically, they were invented all the way back in 3000 BC during the Bronze Age. Read on to discover how to use this historic tool in today’s modern kitchen!

Part 1: Knife Safety

How to confidently and comfortably handle your knife

Proper knife skills and technique will increase efficiency and reduce the chance of injury and food waste, thereby saving you time (and money!)

Proper Hand Positioning

By pinching the knife between your index finger and thumb, then grasping with the other 3 fingers, this will allow you to increase the hinge in that movement and contour around what you’re cutting.

Part 2: Knife Selection

Choosing the right knife for the job

Using the right knife in the can create efficiency and enable you to take control in the kitchen.

Examples of the right knife for the job

TIP: Consistency in cut size equals consistency in cook time!

Knife Anatomy

You really only need these 3 knives to get through the day, the rest are decorative. The anatomy of the knife is also really important. Most of the cutting takes place either on the tip or on the heel of the knife

How Do I Sharpen My Knives?

When you don’t have a sharp knife, you will put more pressure into your cuts which may cause you to slip and possibly injure yourself. The steel helps realign the edge of the knife to create a sharper surface.

Part 3: Tap Chop

The first of three basic cutting techniques that everyone should know

This is the knife cutting technique that makes everyone look awesome. The tip of the knife comes downward, similar to a hatchet.

Part 4: Rock Chop

The second of three basic cutting techniques that everyone should know

The rock chop uses the same motion as a rocking chair. Rock the heel of the knife forward to easily cut through thick veggies.

Part 5: Cross Chop

The third of three basic cutting techniques that everyone should know

The cross chop combines the two techniques you just learned to finely chop up garlic, herbs, or even nuts.

Part 6: Bringing It All Together

Cutting comes full circle with a lesson on cutting an onion

Additional Equipment

Knife Cuts & Sizing


Want to know what type of knives fit your style and budget?