How to Choose, Use and Care for Knives: A Step-by-Step Guide

Here's everything you need to know to buy, use and store knives.

Kitchen Essentials
A great cook needs a great knife, but you don’t need a zillion of them. These four essential knives are really all you need: (from left) an 8-inch chef's knife, santoku, serrated knife and paring knife.

Gripping Technique
Hold your chef's knife like a tennis racquet, with the handle resting between your thumb and index finger.

Chop Like a Pro
Use your other hand to guide the knife and steady the food with fingers curled under and knuckles against the blade.

Santoku Skills
The lightweight Japanese santoku knife is great for slicing, dicing and mincing vegetables, as well as slicing meat into thin strips.

Paring for Precision
A 3- to 4-inch paring knife is best used for small, detailed tasks, like hulling strawberries or peeling oranges.

Serrated for Slicing
A serrated knife rounds out a basic kitchen knife kit. A 7-inch deli knife is great for slicing breads, cakes and sandwiches. Use a sawing motion with light pressure. It's also great for peeling melon and slicing tomatoes.

Take Care
If you keep them out of the dishwasher and never store them in a drawer, your knives will stay sharper and last a lot longer. Watch our how-to video for more.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Choose, Ripen and Store Avocados: A Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these easy tips for avocado perfection.

How to Hone and Sharpen Knives: A Step-by-Step Guide

Stay sharp with this guide to honing and sharpening knives, then watch our how-to video.

The Basics of Steaming: A Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these techniques to make simple and healthy dishes, then watch our how-to video.

How to Separate Eggs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Read these easy tips and instructions for success every time you separate eggs, then watch our how-to video.

How to Julienne, Dice and More: A Step-by-Step Guide

Flip through this guide to learn how to chop and dice like a pro, then watch our how-to video.

How to Defrost Meat: A Step-by-Step Guide

Flip through our guide for defrosting meat, then watch our how-to video.

How to Wash and Chop Herbs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Flip through this guide on how to wash and chop leafy green herbs that will give your recipes a kick, then watch our how-to video.

How to Clean and Store Mushrooms: A Step-by-Step Guide

Use these tips to add earthy richness to your favorite dishes.

How to Set Up a Grill: A Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these steps to set up your grill correctly and safely.

How to Make Perfect Rice: A Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these steps for 3 flawless ways to make rice.

Get Cooking