During yesterday's class I had some questions regarding knife skills, so I thought I would offer a few thoughts on the subject. First - the knife What kind should you use? My answer, depends on what you are doing. I suggest that you invest some money in three basic types of knives. 1. Chef's Knife 2. Paring Knife 3. Serrated/Bread Knife
For most of the jobs in your kitchen these three will handle most jobs. They also need to be sharp. Most accidents happen because the blade is too dull, not because it is too sharp. The best way to test the sharpness is to cut through a tomato. If it slices easily, its sharp enough. If you have to "get the slice started" before cutting through - too dull!
Second - cutting Here is a visual aid when it comes to cutting.
When you read through recipes, most will specify what type of cut they suggest to get the best results. This will insure the ingredients will cook evenly. An example, have you ever made mashed potatoes and upon taking the first bite notice some pieces are still rather undercooked and you do not have a smooth texture? This is probably due to multiple size potato chunks. When you pierced a piece to check for doneness it may have been smaller than others and cooked more quickly. Cutting them evenly will give you better results.