More About Chef’s Knives

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08 Jan More About Chef’s Knives

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This picture shows two things. One: I need to use hand cream more often. And Two: The curved finger position that’s essential when using sharp knives.

You know this already. I know you do. I bet if I asked you how to position the hand that holds the food, you’d tell me not only how, but why, to curve your grip.

My sister knows this. She also has outstanding hand eye co-ordination. She’s a hair stylist and works with exceptionally sharp scissors and open razor blades every day. And yet, just before Christmas, she cut herself preparing dinner. She was holding carrots with a flat grip and diced not only the vegetable but her index finger. The blade was so sharp it didn’t hurt, but there was a lot of blood, many moments of self-recrimination and days of throbbing. And yes, she knew better. She admits it.

The other day I had only three pieces of advice about knives. Today, I up the ante to four. No matter which knife you use, whether it’s an ultra-sharp ceramic blade or an ultra-cheap Wiltshire-Stay-Sharp, hold your food properly.

I’m surprised no one called me on my omission. Perhaps they were too busy giving great buying advice. In case you didn’t read the comments section for my previous post, I’m summarizing some of the comments below.

  • Tom gave some helpful advice about the different types of steel used in knives and recommended checking out Korin.com and Japanesechefsknife.com. For affordable picks, he mentioned the Korin Tojiro DP or Togiharu molybdenum, which can come in under $60 (US).
  • One Food Guy recommended a MinoSharp Plus water sharpener to keep your knives at their best.
  • Claire from Culinary Colorado pointed me to a Gastronomic Guesswork’s Knife Buying Guide for the Home Chef.
  • And last, but not least, trained chef, blogger and food trend expert, Dana McCauley, shared not one, but two posts that might help. She gives her recommendations and explains five types of knives.

Any knife advice you care to add?

No Comments
  • FRANCESCA
    Posted at 16:13h, 08 January Reply

    oh sorry to hear about your sister’s cut! ouch, I’ve done that too and thank you for this tip of curved fingers. I use the flat approach.
    and Charmian…..the first thing I noticed on this post, was the beautiful RING!

  • cheryl
    Posted at 18:09h, 08 January Reply

    No more knife advice, but you may want to try this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Neutrogena-Norwegian-Formula-Fragrance-Free-Ounces/dp/B000052YP6

    I’m just saying…

  • One Food Guy
    Posted at 07:41h, 09 January Reply

    In addition to keeping your fingertips curved away from the blade, don’t forget to tuck your thumb in behind your fingers lest you slice off the tip of your thumb like I did last month.

    And it’s not like I learned this tip as a result of my mistake, I knew good cutting technique, I learned it from a cook in one of Boston’s great restaurants. I was just in a rush to prepare something and lost my focus! Here’s my story

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 10:33h, 09 January Reply

    Francesca, I used to chop with flat hands too, until I nearly removed a finger. I’m much more careful now.

    And thanks for the comment on the ring. It took me months to find the wedding ring I wanted and six years later I still love it.

    Cheryl, I actually use Neutrogena products and will look for this, although I suspect you were teasing me just a bit. Right?

    One Food Guy, good point about the thumb. I do this without even thinking. Glad your injury wasn’t to debilitating, but forgetting the chipotle chili was just insult to injury.

  • One Food Guy
    Posted at 10:43h, 09 January Reply

    Tell me about it! The chili still came out great, but it just wasn’t the same with the chipotle!

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