As an aspiring chef or home cook, it’s important to understand the basic types of knife cuts to ensure that your meals look and taste great. Mastering these techniques can elevate your cooking skills and make meal prep faster and more efficient.
In this article, we’ll discuss the most common types of knife cuts used in the culinary world.
Table of Contents
The chop is perhaps the most basic and versatile of all knife cuts. To chop, hold the knife with one hand and the food item with the other, and quickly bring the blade down to cut the food into small pieces. This cut is great for rough chopping vegetables or herbs for soups, stews, or salads. A fine chop can also be used for making pesto or salsa.
The Wrist-fulcrum Method
This technique involves using the wrist as a fulcrum. Keep the heel of the blade close to the cutting board and use a simple up and down motion to chop your materials.
The Tip-fulcrum Method
This method involves using the tip end of the knife. You chop in a similar motion, but are instead using a lighter pressure on the reverse side of the blade.
Dicing is a type of knife cut that involves creating small, even cubes of food. This cut is used when you want your vegetables to cook evenly or when you want a consistent texture in a dish. To dice, start by cutting the vegetable into thin slices. Then, stack the slices and cut them into thin strips. Finally, cut the strips into small cubes. The size of the dice can vary depending on the dish you’re preparing.
The julienne is a type of knife cut that involves cutting food into long, thin strips. This cut is commonly used for vegetables that are going to be stir-fried or sautéed. To julienne, start by cutting off the top and bottom of the vegetable, then cut it in half. Turn the halves so the flat side is on the cutting board, then cut the vegetable into thin slices. Finally, stack the slices and cut them into thin strips.
The brunoise is a type of knife cut that involves creating tiny cubes of food. This cut is used when you want your vegetables to be barely noticeable in a dish, or when you want a very fine texture. To brunoise, start by dicing the vegetable into small cubes. Then, cut the cubes into tiny pieces that are the same size as a grain of rice.
The chiffonade is a type of knife cut that involves cutting leafy vegetables or herbs into long, thin strips. This cut is commonly used for basil, spinach, or kale. To chiffonade, stack the leaves on top of each other, roll them tightly, then cut them into thin strips.
Mincing is a type of knife cut that involves finely chopping food into small pieces. This cut is commonly used for garlic, ginger, or herbs. To mince, start by chopping the food into small pieces, then rock the knife back and forth over the pieces to make them even smaller.
The Bias Cut
The bias cut is a type of knife cut that involves slicing food at an angle. This cut is commonly used for creating a visually appealing presentation or when you want to expose more surface area of the food to heat. To bias cut, hold the food item at an angle and cut it into thin slices.
The Tourne Cut
The tourne cut is a type of knife cut that involves shaping vegetables into a football shape with seven sides. This cut is commonly used for potatoes, carrots, or turnips, and is often seen in fancy culinary presentations. To tourne, start by cutting off the ends of the vegetable. Then, use the knife to make angled cuts all around the vegetable, removing the skin and shaping it into a football shape.