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Knife Skills

Knife workshop leader Kirsten showed us a thing or two about how to use a knife. Below are Kirsten's key tips on using and maintaining knives that will make food prep easier and faster, and most importantly keep you safe!

Knife Safety









  • Hold knife pointed down at hip when moving around the kitchen

  • If you're sharing kitchen space, say "going around sharp" or "knife!" when going around a corner

  • Don't put knives in the sink as others might not see and cut themselves

  • If you accidentally drop the knife, don't try to catch it

  • Sharpen your knife prior to use as dull knives slip more easily

  • Place a wet paper towel underneath your chopping board to keep it from moving

Maintenance + Sharpening

With practice and a few key tools, you can sharpen your own knives at home! 

Tool tip: If you're looking for a more economical and easier to use sharpening tool we recommend getting a knife sharpener. If you are looking to invest in something long-lasting, go for a sharpening stone. We recommend Dunlevy Food Equipment for affordable options.

  • Dull knives are much more dangerous for injuries. Sharpen your knife once a week -- here's a How-to guide

  • If using a sharpening stone, be sure to soak it in water for 30 minutes prior to use

  • Wash by hand and dry in dish rack where it's visible

  • Don't put your knives in the dishwasher as this makes them dull

  • Use a knife magnet or stand to store your knives as this is safer than a drawer. If this is not an option, you can at least buy a hard plastic cover for your knife.

Food Tips & Techniques

  • Use a 'pinch grip' and 'claw grip' while chopping  -- (video)

  • The 3 most common types of chopping are the rock, tap and cross chop (video).

    • Rock chop -- useful for thick-skinned veggies like sweet bell peppers​

    • Tap chop -- for medium soft items like zucchini

    • Cross chop -- best for rough chopping herbs and nuts, or mincing items like garlic

  • For round or unstable items like carrots that can roll away from you, cut one side length-wise to make it flat

  • Avocado: cut through length-wise all the way around, twist the 2 halves in opposite directions, and use the edge of a cup or bowl to knock the avocado pit off. Cut both halves length-wise again, and peel off skin. 

  • How to cut an onion

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