kniveSource Logo
The Online Source of Knives

Mastering the Art of Knife Skills Like a Pro: A Guide to Holding a Knife

February 18, 2024173 ViewskniveSource


Most of the techniques you use in the kitchen are important because they contribute to your ability to cook effectively and produce tasty food. But another reason it’s really important to use the proper techniques is for safety purposes, and this is particularly true for knives.

When it comes to chopping, carving, slicing, and dicing, there are a few aspects of technique that you need to master. First, it’s how to hold a knife, which isn’t quite as simple as you may think. In fact, there are several common mistakes that amateur chefs make that have the potential to end in injury or damage to their knives, and nobody wants that!

After knife holding comes the specific techniques – that is, how to perform all of the particular methods of using your knife. We’re talking about chopping, slicing, and mincing.

But it’s not all about what you do with your knife at the moment. One of the most important things that you can do to make your life easier (and safer) when chopping things up in the kitchen is to keep your knives sharp. The sharper your knives, the less likely you are to have your blade slip and accidentally injure yourself!

Something that can make things even easier when you’re slicing and dicing is using the appropriate knives for whatever it is that you’re doing. And it’s not just about knives – you need to use the right cutting boards too. Believe it or not, if you get these two things right, your life will immediately be a whole lot easier.

So, we’ve put together a guide to teach you about all of these things – how to hold a knife, common mistakes people make when holding knives, tips for specific cutting methods, important chopping skills, the importance of using sharp knives, and the appropriate knives and chopping boards to use for specific things.

I assure you that once you’re done with this guide, you’ll be ready to cook up a storm in no time! And using the correct techniques and tools no less. Let’s get into it!

Tips on How to Hold a Chef’s Knife and Slice and Dice Properly

There aren’t exactly a hell of a lot of ways to hold a Chef’s knife – it’s not like there’s a long list of different grips you can choose from. So, in reality, it’s pretty simple, and we’re going to stick to the two main ways in which you can grip your knife.

To begin with, the handle is the part of the knife you hold – well, obviously. You don’t grip the blade whatsoever (other than possibly putting pressure on the spine with your non-dominant hand, but we’ll get to that later).

Now that we’ve established the obvious, let’s consider the most common type of grip that people tend to start off with.

Common Knife Holding Mistakes

Now that you know how to hold a knife and what to do with your other hand, we’re going to have a look at some of the most common mistakes amateur chefs make when trying to chop, cut, slice, and dice efficiently.

How to Chop, Slice, and Mince Using a Chef’s Knife

How to hold a Chef knife might be pretty straightforward, but when it comes to the different techniques you can use with a knife while cooking, it’s a little bit more complicated. Mostly because different foods require different methods.

So, we’re going to focus on the three main ones – chopping, slicing, and mincing – and we’re going to give you detailed instructions on exactly how to do each one effectively (and safely).

How to Chop Using a Chef’s Knife

How to Mince Using a Chef’s Knife

Mincing, when it comes to herbs (not meat), is the process is finely chopping whatever it is you’re using.

Here’s how you do it:

How to Slice Using a Chef’s Knife

Slicing is probably the most common technique used with a knife, but even if you think you know what you’re doing, you may not be totally right.

Here’s how you should be doing it:

Why It’s Important for Your Knives to be Sharp

As we’ve seen, there are lots of things you need to know about how best to use a Chef’s knife – how to hold it, the different techniques, and so on. But one of the most essential things to remember is that your knives need to be sharp, and here’s why:

Best Types of Knives for Slicing and Dicing

If you don’t know a lot about kitchen knives, you may be pretty surprised to learn that there are actually many different types. And, they differ based on several components – mainly their shape, purpose, and the material from which they’re made. But whether you’re looking for a Damascus steel knife or a straightforward steel knife, we’ve got you covered at Bamboo Guy.

But the question right now isn’t about all the different types of knives we offer (but if it were, you’d be able to find them here). We want to tell you about the best type of knife for slicing and dicing. Note, however, that we’re not going to include the obvious ones (like bread and cheese knives), because we’re pretty sure you can figure those ones out yourself!

As for the rest, here’s what they ought to be used for.

Other types of knives that we didn’t really think were necessary to explain include bread knives, tomato knives, cheese knives, a cleaver, mincing knives, and carving knives.

At the end of the day, when it comes to the best knives for slicing and dicing – that is, the most versatile knives – we’d have to opt for the good old Chef’s knife and the ever-hand utility knife. With these two tools in your kitchen, you can’t go wrong!

Best Cutting Boards for Chopping

The other thing that has a big influence on your chopping experience is your cutting board. That is, how you use it and what kind of board you use. Because the type of cutting board you use can influence the safety of the process, how effective it is, as well as the condition of your knives. So, let’s have a quick look at the best cutting boards you can use.

Final Thoughts on How to Hold a Chef’s Knife and Slice and Dice Like a Pro

There you have it – everything you need to know about how to hold a knife, common mistakes people make when holding knives, tips for specific cutting methods, important chopping skills, the importance of using sharp knives, and the appropriate knives and chopping boards to use for specific things.

With this knowledge in hand, there’s nothing stopping you from becoming a whizz in the kitchen and always keeping safe!