If You Hold Your Chef’s Knife Like This, You’ll Have More Control

Rachael Ray shows you exactly how to grip your knife when you’re cutting veggies.

December 22, 2019
Host Rachael Ray's crudite with yogurt ranch and bloody mary dip, as seen on Food Network.

Host Rachael Ray's crudite with yogurt ranch and bloody mary dip, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Scott Gries

Scott Gries

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Imagine holding your chef’s knife one way for as long as you’ve been cooking — only to find out that you’ve been doing it all wrong! That’s what just happened to me.

In her video about knife skills on the all-new Food Network Kitchen app, Rachael Ray pauses in the middle of making perfectly trimmed zucchini sticks for her crudité platter, looks straight into our eyes (via the camera, of course) and cuts right to the chase.

“Let’s look at the knife. Where’s this finger?” she asks, wiggling her pointer. “Where’s your index finger when you hold your knife? Is it here?”

The top of the knife, she means. And yeah, that’s exactly where I put my finger when I chop.

“That’s wrong” Rachael says. “That position is OK for detail work like boning, but not for when you’re working with a larger knife, like a chef’s knife. You want to wrap your hand fully around the handle of the knife and really have control of it” she advises as she wraps all her fingers firmly around the handle of her own knife.

I give it a try and I have to admit, holding the knife this way feels good. It brings so much more control. The knife feels (as Rachael suggests) like an extension of my own arm.

For even greater control, Rachael says “It’s like baseball; you choke up on the bat” — a technique she demonstrates as she moves her grip closer to the blade and presses her thumb onto the side of the knife (still keeping her fingers safely curled around the handle).

Armed with this new technique, I’ve found that slicing, dicing and chopping veggies is so darn easy. I have more control over my knife when I’m cutting and can choose between paper-thin slices and thick chunks, at will. In fact, I’m having so much fun practicing my new skill that I might just make crudité for dinner (and maybe lunch tomorrow, too)!

You can sharpen your own knife skills and slice vegetables along with Rachael when you sign up for the all-new Food Network Kitchen app. You’ll get access to all her classes, tips, recipes and more!

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