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Knife cutting techniques

What are the most used cutting techniques? We explain chopping, dicing, slicing, trimming, peeling and turning and give you a chance to practice each.
© International Culinary Studio

There are many cutting techniques, we will discuss the 7 most used here, and in our next discussion we will look at precision cuts in more detail.

Chopping

Chop

When you are chopping you are cutting food into small pieces.

There are two different chopping techniques:

Cross chopping

Cross chopping is where you chop quickly without having to worry about presentation.

Rock chopping

You hold the handle of the blade and keep the tip of the knife down on the board. Holding the handle of the knife with one hand, put the palm of your hand on top of the blade (this helps you guide and control the chopping pace). Keep the tip of the blade down whilst you lift the handle of the blade to chop.

Cubing

Cube

Using a more precise method than chopping, cubed ingredients are cut to a uniform size.

Dicing

Dice

Dicing is cutting something smaller than a standard cube, the dice cut also creates uniform squares for even cooking and a polished look.

Slicing

Slice

Slicing means to cut across the grain into thin, uniform pieces.

Remember the correct slicing motion shown by Chef Andy below:

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

Trimming

Trim

Trimming is neatening the item by removing any unattractive or unwanted parts. For example sinew on meat, seeds from fruit.

Peeling

Peel

Removing the skin from a fruit or vegetable.

Turning

Turn

Turning vegetables is a classic French technique used in a variety of international cuisines. Vegetables are turned in order to form exactly the same barrel shape and size thus ensuring even cooking while being pleasing to the eye.

Some other basic cuts are:

Orange

Activity

Now that you have gone through knife safety, how to use a knife and different techniques, get out your chopping board, chef’s knife, cloth for under the board and an onion and potato.

Take an onion:

  1. Prepare your onion and cut it in half.
  2. With the one half, practice chopping an onion.
  3. With the other half practice slicing the onion.

Take a large potato:

  1. Practice peeling the potato
  2. Cut the potato in half.
  3. Now cube one half of the potato.
  4. And dice the other half of the potato.

Don’t worry, if you are new to this, it will take time, remember practice makes perfect!

© International Culinary Studio
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