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Knife Skills Question


Underfoot
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Preface: I am in no way professionally trained in the culinary arts. Okay.

How do professional cooks keep slices from falling underneath their knives when they are rapidly slicing something? I would think that it would be in their best interest to maintain the pretty shapes they are making for certain purposes (salads, garnish, etc), so it seems that any slice accidentally cut in half would be a waste of product in these cases. Or is it unavoidable and just shrugged off as just another casualty?

Thanks for any professional insight.

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Granton (or scalloped) edges exist so that the gaps of air between the knife and the food push the vegetables (and many fruits like apples) away from the knife slightly instead of sticking to it. Add them to a thin, sharp blade and you'll be surprised at how rarely the problem you describe happens.

But, basically, yeah, sometimes you don't have 100% of your product sliced perfectly. If it's an inexpensive item like an onion, c'est la vie. If it's a truffle, well, then you should be using a truffle shaver, mais oui!

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Granton (or scalloped) edges exist so that the gaps of air between the knife and the food push the vegetables (and many fruits like apples) away from the knife slightly instead of sticking to it. Add them to a thin, sharp blade and you'll be surprised at how rarely the problem you describe happens.

Granton edges (scalloped, Santoku)are often produced only on the left side of fine Japanese blades, to reduce cutting friction. There may be no right side indentations because the intention is not to prevent sticking.

Edited by jayt90 (log)
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Try using a hollow blade knife like a Santoku. The alternating hollows on blade's sides prevent food from clinging if you are slicing correctly. It takes lots of practice, that's why they call them knife "skills". The more perfect you want your slices, the slower you need to slice. You will get fast in time.

Make sure the knife is ~sharp~.

I'm a not pro chef, but I know how to hold a blade, and I never have problems with sticking. You should learn to grip the knife correctly -- use a "pinch grip" for most knife chores like this. Remember, slicing is a special technique, unlike chopping . Maybe this will help: http://www.cutlery.com/tech.shtml

Different types of knives use different techniques. This will show you how to use a chef's knife:

http://www.cheftalk.com/content/display.cfm?articleid=119

Edited by Batard (log)

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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If the cut pieces are piling up and it's getting annoying I add a little outward flick to the end of my stroke. IE dicing an onion I'll push through it and flick the knife to the right as I'm lifting it back off the board for the next stroke. Takes a liiiiittle practice but not much.

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Thanks all for the informative responses. For the record, I was slicing mushrooms with a Santoku when this question popped into my mind, so it must be my technique!

Quick little tip for mushrooms if you have a child that wants to help...use an egg slicer. You get uniform slices and no blades

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Granton (or scalloped) edges exist so that the gaps of air between the knife and the food push the vegetables (and many fruits like apples) away from the knife slightly instead of sticking to it. Add them to a thin, sharp blade and you'll be surprised at how rarely the problem you describe happens.

Granton edges (scalloped, Santoku)are often produced only on the left side of fine Japanese blades, to reduce cutting friction. There may be no right side indentations because the intention is not to prevent sticking.

Of course. I forgot that not everyone is left-handed. :wink:

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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