Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cook With Style Tuesday - Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Chef's Knife?

Q. How do I overcome my fear of the big chef knife?

A. Thankfully this is a simple fear to overcome as it usually stems from self-imposed images of that sharp blade hitting innocent fingers being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I have seen attempts to overcome this fear by using the small pairing knife for all food prep needs. However you won't display much style using this approach when it takes you 20 minutes to dice a carrot. Others choose a dull chef's knife thinking it’s safer than a sharp one when in fact it is actually more dangerous than wearing a Backstreet Boys concert tee to a Metallica concert.

You see a dull knife doesn’t cut through the food, it slides off it and when it does it tends to take aim at those fingers of yours. Conversely a sharp knife does what it is supposed to do and cut through the food. A knife going straight down is much safer than one going sideways.

It's important to note that holding a chef’s knife is similar to grasping a golf club. It’s all in the grip. For best control, hold the knife like Eddie Van Halen holds a guitar pick, with the thumb and index finger. The index finger and thumb should be opposite each other on either side of the blade while the remaining three fingers are sort of loosely curled around the handle.

With these tips and a little practice you'll easily overcome your chef knife fear. It will also allow you to free yourself from pain staking pairing knifes and the dangerous dull blades so you can journey down the path of cooking with efficient chopping style!

Have a stylish cooking question you would like to share? Leave a comment or e-mail brent@cookapalooza.com

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Brent Garell
The Kitchen Roadie

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