Learn basic knife skills using the right knife - How to Hold and use a Cooking Knife
Articles

Learn basic knife skills using the right knife – How to Hold and use a Cooking Knife



hi welcome to worldwide culinary apprentice I'm chef Lisa McCourt and today I'm here to talk to you about selecting the right knife for your task at hand you don't always make the right choice and what we want to do is maintain the integrity of our food while we're going through our prep work into our final stage of cooking so the first knife I want to discuss is the three and a half inch paring knife that you're going to see react are throughout all of the demos because it's a very versatile knife and I'm going to need to keep going back to back to it to do some finer detailed work right now I want to show you how to deal with a strawberry it's strawberry season in our area and the berries are beautiful right now so I picked up some for today I'm going to take the tip of my knife and hold it up very high to remove as little of the tip of the strawberry as possible because as you'll see it's going to help with the plating of the strawberry going to keep my finger up here keep the berries secure drag the tip of the knife straight back keeping this edge of the strawberry intact for fanning purposes there you go strawberry the next knife I want to talk about is the four and a half inch utility knife you could use this knife for the strawberries as well the strawberries are a little soft today so you could easily use a thinner blade than the pear and have a great result but right now let's do some basil chiffonade basil from my garden washed already and remember with with your herbs you want to wash and dry them before cutting into them if you cut into a wet herb you will just smash the cell walls and your herb will turn black before you can use it basil in particular needs to be used immediately after cutting so remember Shifa nod is lightly rolled and flat on my board and I'm going to once again utilize the tip and drag backwards when I cut herbs I tend to use this cut instead of the traditional chef's knife rolling this particular method tends to damage the herbs less and once again we're maintaining integrity here of our ingredients so here's our basil chiffonade with our utility knife and put that right next to my strawberry here also with this knife we can work with a shallot there's all no shallots I'm sure first thing I do right is I take this dirty rotten root off of my shallot make sure you get all the dirt because the dirt doesn't belong in the dish cut my tip and I can feel inside here that there's actually two bulbs and separate them like this now with this knife it has a nice sharp tip so I can get in between the layers of the shallot and peel back the cut we're going to utilize the shallot with is going to be a C's Olay so the next stage is to cut my shallot in half just to make it a little bit more easier for me to handle it's a little bit that I want to trim there that I don't like it's a little dry and now I take the tip of my knife here's the bulb of my shallot the root end and I follow the growth of my shallot straight down also following the curve around then I make my cut this way straight back holding it together pushing back and now my last cut zeizel a finely diced next we're going to deal with our tomato and we're going to move on to our 6-inch utility knife same as the last knife just bigger same shape the blades are the same same pointed tip same kind of grip I'm gonna cut this tomato in half this way wow that is a beautiful beautiful knife Wow nice thin cuts almost like a tomato carpaccio dragging the tip straight back now with the tomato sometimes you can get really squishy Tomatoes with that are kind of mealy on the inside serrated knife might be better for this if you're if this knife maybe isn't as sharp as you need it to be in this case that's not a problem for us beautiful tomato tomato season here as well and that's our 6-inch utility going to show you all so let's do some chives with that once again these chives have already been washed and dried and one of the things I like to do with chives normally they come very long right so wash them and trim them down these came partially trimmed from the market today but I'm going to cut them in half this way and then now that I have a straight edge all my cuts will be the same so I like my chives nice and thin and in this case I'm not dragging my tip back I'm just rolling my blade on the board so I'm allowing all of the flavor to come out and all the cuts are the same also you see what I'm doing I'm scraping the board try not to scrape too deeply into your board because you will start picking up little pieces of plastic be very careful you might want to use a pastry scraper when you're working in larger batches now we're going to work with our carrots and three separate tools we have our peeler of course and we're going to move on to our 8-inch cook's knife or chef's knife and utilize our parer once again so first you wash of course and then we're going to peel so this is a very versatile peeler it's a straight edge peel straight back make sure you're over your bowl okay and then the trimmings that come along with this on the ends you have the root end here and then I like to trim this a little bit at the end sometimes they're cracked and damaged okay so pair two pair we're going to pair down our carrot to the point where we want to make a julienne so julienne is seven centimeters long it's about that long and I'll try and get another one out of this and here it's kind of small make sure they're the same okay and we're going to use the cook's knife to square off tip down first then the back end down now I have a flat surface remember carrots grow tapered so if my knife is here in the front it's going to be here in the back tip down back down straight okay and a wise old chef once taught me don't cut that last side because you're going to need it in the end when you're pushing your carrot I wonder who that was chef Roche okay so now I'm going to make my planks remember Julianne's are nice and thin try and keep them even I'm looking straight down on top of my knife and now I can make my julienne and I hold my knife my thumb here my index finger wrapped over the top lots of support and then we just start to roll there you go carrot julienne with our cooks knife our paring knife and our peeler okay the next knife we're gonna take a look at is our first of the two serrated sour bread knife and I have a nice baguette here just to show you how we can cut bread on the bias or not on the bias it depends on what you're doing I always save the keel for myself okay so you can cut as such remember this blade is very sharp just as sharp as a regular knife you can cut on the bias this way if you're doing a lot of work and need to move faster you can cut this way so keeping the bread on its side can get a better handle on it and have more consistent cuts I like cutting this way better there's our baguette now this knife has more purpose than just to cut bread we're going to cut into our tomato as well so remember I was saying how sometimes your knife needs to be sharpened and you just don't have the time in this case you can use a serrated knife for a tomato it makes beautiful cuts nice and thin and it doesn't damage the tomato at all there we go just as beautiful as these last last cuts and finally with this knife going to break down a cantaloupe so remember always wash your fruit even though you're not going to eat the peel these guys grow in the ground and they can carry e.coli so please make sure you wash these if you don't you're just dragging all that dirt right for your fruit so similar to the method of pelea beef we're going to cut off the top and the bottom of the cantaloupe pelea beef is a technique we use a lot with lemons citrus things like that to remove the outside but maintain the inner flesh without the peel attached in this case top and bottom and then we can work from a nice flat surface okay so we're going to take this knife and follow the curve of the cantaloupe around the outside now when I go to make this next cut I can see where the rind ends and the fruit begins so I place my knife right at the right angle so I don't have to go back and catch anything I missed and I'm gonna cut this last one a little bit thicker so I can show you something very quickly very quickly with maybe the carving knife just so that you can you can see how thin these blades can cut okay so if you're working with prosciutto and melon you can see here you can almost get it so that you can see through the melon okay and at this point you can just cut this in half take out your seeds and then use different kinds of knives to get different shapes you can cut it super thin you can cut them into chunks if you're making a fruit salad of course you have to scoop out the center okay so I have a little bit of green I'll remove and then like I said you can cut straight back make thin slices you can cut into chunks the fruit salad okay the next serrated knife we have is the smaller one it's the sausage knife and I have dry cured Italian salami here okay so I take I'm gonna remove this piece just for presentation purposes once again you can slice straight down or you can slice on the bias whatever your presentation needs are this is a very nice knife very nice slices nice and thin very consistent so we're moving on to our kitchen shears very versatile tool in the kit I love working with shears some people look down on them saying oh it's not a knife but I loved on those two blades comes apart for easy cleaning probably dishwasher safe but I'm not sure about that but right now I'm going to show you an old trick that one of my friends told me about and his grandmother taught him shot glass some fresh herbs if you don't have a really sharp knife to use and you need to get your herbs chopped in a pinch if you're camping and you only have scissors into a shot glass some mixed herbs I have some basil and sage here and then you take your shears and don't overfill your cup this works great all right if I want just a rough chop and ashay there we go all done put them on my pasta at the last second mmm mmm smell good beautiful thanks for that trick okay now we're gonna move into working with our carving knife in a different way than it was probably intended we're going to use it as a filet knife it has a really long thin blade not as flexible as some filet knives I can I can bend it on the on the cutting board but it's not the kind that you would see really bending okay so today we have a mackerel I'm gonna use this for my discard mackerel the oily fish no scales it looks like the fins have already been removed at the market we have the collar here gills are already gone it looks like and the head still on so what we'll do I'm gonna take the head off for you so you can actually see both sides of the fillets we're going to cut in a curving way around the collar so like with much butchering you're going to let the item your butchering dictate which angles you cut at so like with your butchering meat you're going to stay as close to the bone as possible same thing with fish butchering but you have to know a little bit about the anatomy and a fish you can't just hack into it it's very delicate especially mackerel it's very oily so here there's just some skin here here's your collar and back here is the beginning of the fillet okay not straight over here you have to follow the curve okay so I'm just gonna cut through here just that dead skin and right up toward the back here I'm gonna roll the fish and I'm gonna follow that curve right around this way and because the mackerel is kind of a soft bone fish it should be easy to cut through the spine so I take with my fingers I pull back on the collar my cut is all the way to the back of the head and with the thicker part of the knife here cut right through the bone okay and now I can see the inside of my fillet right here that's the spine hear it and then here's one fillet and here's the other fillet here make sure to utilize any any trimmings you can in mackerels case there's not much you can do because it's so oily okay so in this case here's my spine okay I'm touching it right here if I look here here's the fin line okay I'm going to support my flesh with my whole hand not a finger pressing into my flesh my fish is nice and cold it's been in the refrigerator until this moment okay I have to change the way my body is to address the fish okay so here's my spine and I'm gonna use the very tip of the knife make sure I'm right on the bone now with the mackerel skin you have to be careful because it can be a little tough to get through don't make that first cut really deep if you make a mistake you cannot correct it if you've gone too deep so I'm gently making my first cut I get down to the tail here's where my fillet will end okay so let's go back I'm on the bone I can feel the bone click click click click click my tip is running right across the bones okay and I'm gently going to open this up so you can see where I'm at here okay right on the bone hear it click click click okay and at this point I can come all the way through the tail remember a spine is round you have to come up and over the spine because if you don't there'll be a line of meat that you miss remember fish is very expensive once again I'm clicking right on the bone okay and straight out the belly okay so there's the clean side and then this knife just followed the curve of the fish to clean for your presentation and if you see this fillet stops at this angle so I'm just gonna trim the tail this little bit of tail because that's just gonna overcook and not be very palatable at the end so now I have a really beautiful fillet I have to pin bone of course in this case and then probably take our skin off for presentation as well one more knife it's a boning knife if you plan on doing any butchering it's worth the investment you know it's going to be a good quality knife and we're gonna break down half a chicken with it right now so what I have here is a bone-in half chicken still intact just going to remove a little bit of the skin here just so I can see a little bit better what I'm doing so here's the spine wing breast leg and thigh okay first thing I'm gonna do since the chicken is half already and there's probably no wishbone right is I want to maintain one bone of the three separate bones that's in the way okay so here's the wing tip here's the center part makes good buffalo wings and this part I'm gonna leave on to make this a bone-in breast okay so I'm gonna take the tip and I'm gonna pull the tip back like this with my chicken on the board flat I'm going to hold my knife a little bit higher choked up on it and if you can see there's just flesh here okay that's just flesh I want to follow that angle and pull back until I cut into the joint okay then I'm gonna pop the joint back okay and then we have a beautifully exposed bone for presentation purposes this is called a mansion a okay and then you can take the chicken away from the spine the breasts away from the spine and serve that on its own which I'm going to do right now so if you take a look here this is just skinned leg and thigh so I'm going to follow the skin around here and make sure not to cut into my oyster my oysters right here so I follow this straight back until they reach the oyster cut through that and this comes apart very easily you save this for the second part so here's your breast you can leave this bone in it doesn't matter but if you're going to be presenting actually I'm going to show you one more thing with shears if you want to leave some of these bones in but this is too big just make sure your skin is all intact here nice and covering and then you take your shears and just cut out the spine there you go this is called an airline breast a bone-in breast lots of different names French cut breast just gonna trim this excess skin here because that would just end up burning when we cooked it anyway okay and there's our bone-in breast and we'll move on to the leg and the thigh here's the tail I'm just gonna trim that tail a little bit okay and sometimes you have you know you'll have a need to remove the thigh bone I'll show you how to do that with the four-inch utility that comes with the Wisthoff set but in the meantime I'm going to separate the leg from the thigh and the way I do that is I pull the skin taut on the inside and if you look closely here you can see the line that you need to cut out in order to separate these into proper muscle groups you can see the same thing on this side okay so here's where the skin ends for my drumstick and here's where the side begins so I'm just gonna follow once again you follow the natural curve the animal tells you where to cut so it just it sliced through the cartilage like it was butter okay so here's my drumstick right and then here's my thigh I'm gonna switch over to this 4-inch four and a half inch utility and right in here there's a big bone okay there's also if you look here there's another big bone here okay so this it's gonna remove fat with the shears this is part of the spine here so so we don't cut myself this is when they slice these chickens sometimes they put them through bandsaw and then they have splintery bones and if you can see that this splintery bones coming out and I don't I just don't want to cut myself on that okay so I take this knife and I hold it up so I can utilize the tip a little bit better and then if you spread this out a little bit you'll be able to see there's a fat line here that tells you where to cut so you follow the fat line once again don't cut too deep like when we were talking about the fish if you make a mistake you can't fix it so I'm nice and close to the bone and I follow the tip of the bone around remember there's a big piece of cartilage right here that was holding the bone in place so now I come to the second bone which is right here and if I remove this little piece here you'll see there's a little line there so you follow that around okay and now I'm under the bone so once I can touch my two fingers together I'm in business here okay so I'm utilizing this part to scrape down making sure all the meat remains behind and there we go there's a joint I can see the joint capsule there it is there's a joint capsule and you can just pop it out okay and then if you really wanted a truly boneless you would remove the spine as well so where's my oyster okay skin is intact if I take that other bone out you can stuff it roll it roast it

19 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *