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Not only is it important to keep knives clean and sharp, but learning how to cut food correctly can also prevent accidents. The way you cut your vegetables can make your dish look more appealing and should change from dish to dish. For example, a hearty stew will use larger vegetable pieces than a thin soup. 

Every kitchen Chef/Cook should understand basic knife skills to help you prepare your dishes, prevent wastage of ingredients and keep you safe in the kitchen.

ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT

  • Paring Knife (A) - This knife is used to cut fruits and vegetables, it is like a Chef/Cook’s knife, but smaller.
  • Chef/Cook’s Knife (B) - This is the largest knife of the three. It is your all-purpose knife used for chopping, slicing and mincing of food including meat products. 
  • Bread Knife (C) - This knife is only used for cutting bread. You will recognise it by its long blade and wide teeth.
     

OTHER KITCHEN ESSENTIALS

  • Knife Sharpener (D) - This is the tool that you will use to sharpen your knives. There is a wide range of easy-to-use sharpeners including a pull-through or a classic steel rod. It is essential to keep your knives sharp, as a sharp knife is safer, easier and quicker to use and will give a good finish to your food.
  • Vegetable Peeler (E) - Use a vegetable peeler when peeling vegetables/fruit such as potatoes, carrots or apples. Using a knife to do this is more time-consuming and will produce more waste.
     

THE 3 S’S OF KNIFE CARE  

  • Storage - Knives should be stored away from other utensils to prevent damage or accidents.
  • Surface - Knives should not be used on granite, glass or steel surfaces - use the right chopping board for the ingredient you are cutting.
  • Sharpening - A sharp knife is safer and easier to use than a blunt knife as a blunt knife’s edge needs more pressure to cut which can cause accidents.

OTHER TOP SAFETY TIPS

  • Never cut frozen meat with your knives. 
  • To prevent harm, place a damp cloth or rubber mat under your cutting board to prevent it from slipping.
  • Use the knife facing away from your body.
  • When cutting, cut downwards and tuck in your fingers to prevent cuts.
  • Never open a can with a knife.
     

CLEANING

  • Keep knives clean to prevent harmful bacteria contaminating your food.
  • Wash your knives in hot soapy water and dry with a paper towel.
  • Keep knives away from the dishwasher and wash straight after use.
  • When cleaning, keep the pointed end away from your body and your fingers away from the blade.

Use the correct colour board when cutting to eliminate contamination.