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    Username Post: Basic Knife Skills        (Topic#790597)
    Chad_Ward
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    03-10-07 03:24.16 - Post#1176879    



    This is a series of photos I shot as background info for my illustrators . The actual photos in the book will be very different (and won't involve me triggering the camera remotely and trying to get my hands into position before the timer goes off )

    This covers only the most basic skills, but almost all vegetable cuts are based on the same sequence:
    * Square off the sides of the veg. or at least cut one flat surface.
    * Cut planks/panels
    * Stack the planks and cut logs/sticks
    * Cut across the logs to produce cubes

    * Large dice is 3/4" x 3/4" x 3/4".
    * Medium dice is 1/2" x 1/2" x 1/2" The logs (1/2" x 1/2" x 2") are your basic steak fry cut.
    * Small dice is 1/4" x 1/4" x 1/4" and is cut from logs called battonet (1/4" x 1/4" x 2)
    * Brunoise (broon wahz) is 1/8" x 1/8" x 1/8" and is cut from logs called Julienne (1/8" x 1/8" x 2)

    Top to bottom:
    * Pinch grip front


    * Pinch grip back


    * The Claw (guide hand)


    * Get Square


    * Walk the Plank


    * Log In
    * Roll the dice


       Attachment

    Chad Ward
    An Edge in the Kitchen
    William Morrow Cookbooks
    www.chadwrites.com


     


    Chad_Ward
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    Re: Basic Knife Skills
    03-10-07 03:26.11 - Post#1176881    


        In response to Chad_Ward

    And the final two.

    Cutting logs:

    Cutting cubes:


       Attachment

    Chad Ward
    An Edge in the Kitchen
    William Morrow Cookbooks
    www.chadwrites.com


     
    Chad_Ward
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    Re: Basic Knife Skills
    03-10-07 03:37.34 - Post#1176888    


        In response to Chad_Ward

    A little additional information. Battonet are about the size of the average fast food french fry. However, you can cut battonet from any firm vegetable and they look great as a side dish. Same with julienne, a finer cut. For julienne, by the way, check the width of the spine of your knife. The average European style chef's knife is about 1/8" wide, so you can use it as a depth gauge to cut planks, logs and cubes.

    Absolute precision isn't required at home, but consistency is vital. Cutting the vegetables to the same size ensure that they all cook uniformly rather than having some carrot cubes, for example, too hard and others too mushy.

    I realize this is pretty rudimentary, but I had the photos and figured they'd do somebody some good.

    Chad
    Chad Ward
    An Edge in the Kitchen
    William Morrow Cookbooks
    www.chadwrites.com


     
    Chad_Ward
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    Re: Basic Knife Skills
    03-10-07 03:39.42 - Post#1176890    


        In response to Chad_Ward

    Dunno why the photos are showing as links rather than being embedded in the posts. Do I need to shrink them a bit?

    Chad
    Chad Ward
    An Edge in the Kitchen
    William Morrow Cookbooks
    www.chadwrites.com


     
    ken123
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    03-11-07 21:47.04 - Post#1178327    


        In response to Chad_Ward

    I'm seeing the pics. there's some mismatching and so forth between links and pics, but one way or the other they are there. Artistic license

    Other than switching knives, they are good clear illustrations of basic concepts, free of distractions, a good common ground for an audience more broad than just knifenuts.

    Even though the Nenox is flashier than the Mac, the cullens are more distracting IMO.

    ---
    Ken
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    Ken's Corner


     
    Chad_Ward
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    04-23-07 05:45.59 - Post#1211447    


        In response to ken123

    In case anyone is curious, here's how the illustrations turned out.
    Chad

       Attachment

    Chad Ward
    An Edge in the Kitchen
    William Morrow Cookbooks
    www.chadwrites.com


     
    joe_c
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    04-23-07 05:50.54 - Post#1211450    


        In response to Chad_Ward

    Looks great Chad now hurry and get it published.

    Joe


     
    Kentucky Jeff
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    12-28-09 14:04.49 - Post#2017029    


        In response to joe_c

    I'll add that the pinch grip is the correct grip on a chef's knife but there are many other grip styles specific to different knives and techniques.

    But mastering the pinch grip is an essential skill.

    Here's some tips for a newbie:

    The pinch grip will be awkward and slow at first. MAKE yourself use it! It will take some practice and muscle memory to use a pinch grip. Your hands and muscles will rebel because you it feels awkward/uncomfortable at first. Again...FORCE yourself to use it.

    As your muscle memory and motor skill improves you will thank me! The pinch grip gives you SOOOO much more control over that big chef knife. You won't think so at first. TRUST ME! KEEP AT IT!

    Speed will come. Work on precision first. Everyone wants to cut like a pro but few really appreciate how many tons of vegetable and meat prep that pro had to go through to get to that level of speed and skill. And when he started I promise he thought the pinch grip was awkward and slow as well.

    Practice. Stick with it. And one day you will pick up that knife with a pinch grip without even a thought and you will use the knife with precision, skill and dexterity.

    The basic swing in golf starts with teaching a golfer the proper grip. Like using a pinch grip the standard golf grip is awkward at first. You have to consciously will your hands to conform. And you don't begin by hitting the ball like Tiger. It takes time and practice and muscle memory.

    I read some where that muscle memory only develops after you have done something the same way 700 times. That's a lot of knife handling!

    Keep at it...its worth it.

    My wife was like a lot of newbies intimidated by my large chef knives and her comfort level was a 6" petty when we first got together. I taught her the pinch grip and she understood immediately what I was teaching her. In no time and on her own accord she moved to a 10" then a 12" blade... She wields a 12 inch chef knife now like nothing and its her preferred knife when she's cooking!

    Stick with it...FORCE yourself to use it. Work through the initial discomfort and the slowness of the pinch grip. It will be worth it.
     


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