Kitchen 101: Knife Skills to Help You Cook Like a Pro

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Knowing how to use a kitchen knife is an essential skill for anyone who cooks. Chopping around with a blunt blade is an excellent way to waste time preparing food and (potentially) injure yourself. And then, there’s the number of knives people are expected to own! You don’t need a 12-piece knife set to cook well.

Knowing your knives is easy and knowing just a few easy skills can help you:

1. Keep your blades sharp

2. Know when to use the right knife

3. Slice, dice, mince, julienne, and chop like a top chef

Let expert chef Jamie Oliver gives you the full rundown in 5 minutes for safe and necessary knife skills:


1. Paring knife- peeling, topping, trimming

2. Serrated knife- carving, bread, heavy duty work

3. Chef’s knife- the other 90% of your work in the kitchen


Always sharpen the knife before every use. Buy a sharpening steel with a finger guard and keep you fingers behind it at all times!


1. Cross Chop: safe, clean and able to be mastered in 45 seconds

2. Tap Chopping: Great for slicing. Be careful with the blade, curling your fingers under. It takes more work to master, so start slowly.

3. Rock Chopping: Rock the blade using the curve and weight of the blade to do the work. Again, start slowly.

If you are cognizant and take your time learning the motions, these three knives and cuts will cover all your needs in the kitchen.