Many people are intimidated by cutting some fruits and vegetables. Mostly they are worried about cutting themselves, but they also worry about their knife skills. Many people spend time watching Food Network and feel that their knife skills are not satisfactory. While I can’t teach you how to cut produce like a professional chef, I can teach you some basic knife skills. These aren’t fancy knife skills, but these are skills that will keep you safe.
Easy Tips for Cutting Produce #1: Always Use a Cutting Board
I’ll admit that I grew up in a Southern family and we never use cutting boards, but this will get you hurt. One slip of the knife and you could easily cut off part of your hand. In other words, do as I say, not as I do. A cutting board will allow you to cut produce uniformly. A cutting board also keeps you safe and allows you to keep your fingers out of the way of the knife. The produce will also be more stable when placed on a cutting board.
Easy Tips for Cutting Produce #2: Use the Proper Knife
The biggest mistake people make when cutting produce is using the wrong knife. Different types of produce will need different types of knifes. For example, hearty produce like potatoes and carrots are best cut with a chef’s knife. But smaller produce, like strawberries, can easily be cut with a paring knife. If you use the wrong knife, you could not only hurt yourself, but you can also ruin your knives.
Easy Tips for Cutting Produce #3: Never Use a Dull Knife
You are more likely to cut yourself with a dull knife than a sharp knife. This is because when you use a dull knife, you apply too much pressure. If the knife slips while you are applying that much pressure you could seriously hurt yourself. On the other hand, when you use a sharp knife, you don’t have to apply much pressure at all so if the knife does slip, you have a less likely chance of seriously injuring yourself.
Easy Tips for Cutting Produce #4: Create a Flat Surface
When cutting large pieces of produce, you need to create a flat surface. For example, let’s safe you want to peel a cantaloupe before cutting into small pieces. You will need to cut a small piece of the rind off the bottom of the cantaloupe. This will create a flat surface and make it easier to peel the rest of the produce. The same theory applies to all types of produce, whether it’s a large potato or an onion you want to slice.
Easy Tips for Cutting Produce #5: Avoid Slick Surfaces
When cutting produce it’s easier to work with pieces that aren’t slick. For example, when you cut open a bell pepper, place the pepper cut side up. This way you will be able to slice through the pepper easily. The same goes for other produce that has slick skin, such as tomatoes and eggplant.