Introduction to Basic Knife Skills

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Last Updated on March 25, 2024 by Share My Kitchen

Mastering the basic knife skills is essential for cooking and keeps your knives sharp! Sharp knives will not only make your work easier but also safer. A blunt knife can cause serious injury since you need to use a larger amount of pressure to cut through food.

You should also consider the type of knife you will need for each task. For instance, you wouldn’t use a large chef’s knife to deseed a chili. Moreover, the key is how much control you have over your knife at all times.

Basic Knife Skills: Knowing the Different Cuts

Traditional French cuisine is known for its simplicity in terms of cuts and sizes. The most commonly used cuts are dice, brunoise, chiffonade, and julienne.

Julienne is technically a baton that measures 5cm x 3mm x 3mm. Then, it is called dicing when these batons are chopped into cubes. For Brunoise, the batons are cut into fine 3mm cubes.

It is better to learn basic knife skills by practicing julienne. You can use cheap vegetables, like a potato or a carrot, then turn the trim into a soup or mash.

It is not necessary to know exact measurements for different cuts. However, it is useful to know how to cut vegetables into uniform shapes and sizes, particularly when you are preparing a special dish that will wow people eating it.


It’s a rewarding feeling to cook meat absolutely from scratch. Although it may seem daunting at first, once you gain confidence, you will soon be able to do it without worry.

Start with smaller animals, like rabbits or hares, to learn how to butcher whole animals. They are easier to manipulate and handle.

The butcher will be happy to do most of the work, but you can also learn how to do it if you prefer to butcher the meat yourself.


Fish can be more difficult to prepare and fillet correctly than meat because there is less room for error. It is better to prepare the fish yourself so you can get a better idea of how fresh fish is. Moreover, the bones you can get from the fish can be used to make a delicious stock.

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