Knife Skills 101 | Grant Johnson | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Tools You'll Need


    • 3.

      Knife Mechanics


    • 4.

      Cutting Celery


    • 5.

      Cutting Bell Peppers


    • 6.

      Cutting Carrots


    • 7.

      Cutting Onions


    • 8.

      Slicing and Dicing Garlic


    • 9.

      Thank you!


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

In this class we will go over the basics of using a knife for cooking. What types of knives and cutting boards to use, how to properly hold a knife, and I'll show you how to use these techniques on a few vegetables to slice, dice and mince your way to beautiful, uniform cuts.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Grant Johnson

Professional Chef, Semi-Pro Educator


I've been in the food service industry for over a decade, working in all caliber of restaurants everything from local mom-and-pop to signature dining at Walt Disney World. Currently, I'm the Executive Chef for a Sports Nutrition company in Oklahoma City.

I'm excited to use my talents to help home cooks around the world create great food at home.

Feel free to message me on here, and check me out on Instagram @chef_john_john. I love to hear from people from all walks of life.

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: E spread Johnson professional shift of industry for about 10 years now, which colder school? And I hope they pretty much every type of food concept from up shop all the way up to some of the best restaurants currently on the shelf For a sports nutrition company, local year of all, it would be a couple of little professionals, our professional sports games. So today I'm gonna teach you guys how to effectively use your knives. How did take care what to use and make its that you guys easily. All the things here from hopefully make your time in the kitchen table less stressful. So we're going to go over the equipment that you're gonna use both knives and cutting boards. We're gonna go mechanics, teach you how to properly hold a nice probably cut and slice and chop big that leader. And finally, we assure you how a couple different ways to cut up onions, peppers, celery, carrots. You can enjoy 2. Tools You'll Need: So let's talk about knives. There's a lot of those would block kids they sell. It has a whole bunch of nice, intentional knives. Most of that is extra. You really need that many knives. Basically, you need three close. He just Syrian and parents. There's a lot of other especially knives out there that your everyday food it's not really first, is. You really need lever. I have one because practically a lot of other knives are for specific persons. It's a very nice tree, not really something most people at home are going to do. So let's talk about systems Chefs Night. Also sometimes noticing cooks is your basic nice. This 95% of your work to be done. It's the most versatile kitchen. It's typically signified by a wide hilt tapers down now. Shift lives come in a couple of different sizes, ranging anything I think the small subset is about five inches ranging all the way up to about 12 rich, and you want to buy a knife based on how so I have really large hands. So I went for a 10 inch based fits well controlled easily, um, so 40 by any knife especially if you're gonna shut out. I would try and go find, like Williams Sonoma. They're pretty good about having a nice selection. Quality knives in there that you can holding Feel that they don't. Oh, so I would go there, Check it out. See, I see what feels good. What looks good on the computer screen is not always transferred. Feels so she is not If this swollen is a global, this one little just a hair over $100 I think. And then you have ones like this. This is a far below where And I bought this a WalMart for six or seven. So being that this is the tool that you're going to use the most kitchens I would highly recommend instead of spending money on big block kit getting a whole bunch of knives there are they were gonna use spent the same amount of money on chefs. You get much more hardball when you buy some of these. Some of the nicer chef's knives. If you take care of these kids, will be family here. You passed down your kids and grandkids as long as they're taking care of they can last long. Steel that's in the night Last. So a good price range for chef science. I would go anywhere between probably 60 and 100. They're literally Chef. Guys up cost $1000 office. You want to go into that range, but I wouldn't go too much on the cheap. Otherwise, you'll find yourself. Dole Life DOESn't CUT WELL. Dolan's actually lead to war Entries chart. So the next time seriously, this museum with little scalps on here is air perfect for any heavy duty stuff. Things with thick skin, tomatoes, melons, squash There also perfect for cutting. Right. And there's a couple different ones. Different types out there. This one, for instance. My favorites offset Separated, which what all this does is keep your hand a little bit further off the cutting board when you're cutting. And this is where the knives where I don't really recommend you buy, you spend a lot of money. This is a Victoria Knox is same people that makes Swiss Army knives, and this is a pretty good Syrian late. This would cost about $20. Uh, you know, unless you use it 56 years. Then at that point, when it starts to get old. I can't really sharp it Syrian and blade, because every blade has different levels of separation. Um, so instead of turning worrying, sharpening it, I would just throw it out. That's why I don't recommend spending money anywhere between 10 and $25 people. Lastly, everybody's favorite. Okay, now there's a couple different styles of these two. But the best one that you want to look for is one that looks just like a small version of the ship where it hasn't tapered skills he goes down to. That's because you're gonna effectively using this same way. Chefs like we're going to that little bit later. This is another area where I really recommend spending to 20 anything over probably 15 train. So the second most important tool that you're gonna have in your kitchen is what you use your now. Generally, there's just only the two different types of I would last now. Plastic, nice and sheep. They're easy to wash some. You could throw a dishwasher. I have a few ones that I used. This one I used primarily for Rid me this ways Chicken. They're very good for stuff like that. You don't want to have to worry about cross contaminating anything, Um, and they're good for that service. Now what? Once I personally used this whole chopping block here as a cutting surface, it's a a fine piece of wood. And just like any other cutting blocking this one, you'll see what's popular right now. Cutting boards The problem with wood is nicer. It's Easter cut, just less the atmosphere knives. It's more difficult to clean your arse care, because what is a forest? I the cuts that get market into there. You have the sand out over time because they could go grab onto bacteria. And even if you cough, wash off so water could still live in there. It could get people sick, so it's important that you also want to treat it with either mineral will. Sometimes you can find these wags for, like a butcher block treatment. Rob, you get people, Um, and I wrote in here about once every couple of months for heavy use. I don't like this about twice a year. I'll take it out back and sand it down, so it's nice and smooth across, so people have really nice created horrible countertops that the knife is not necessarily going to hurt by cutting on top of stone steals like that. However, you don't need to just worry about cutting service, but a nice hits cutting service. It does damage both the surface into the life itself. It's like Nice get told. So you know, you might have something that you won't think get hurt by flying on it. You know, like even if it's that hard, it's destroying your knife. What other thing? When you have good words on the surface, some of them like this, these little rivets on the side or school that can't move You're heading. But it's not, as you can see, strongest group of there. So what? We do professional kitchens, take a towel or hold little full of a couple of paper towns, get a wet, stick him underneath your cutting board and that will people place Really that's good for a plaster or anything 3. Knife Mechanics: So next let's talk about mechanics, which is basically going to entail how to hold a knife, how to cut properly using slicing motion and what to do with your non knife wielding hand. You don't lose any fingers. So the first thing we're gonna do all this chef knife and all these hold be translatable took her. He'll be able to use it now. A lot of people want told knife like this, which is kind of lose. It's not very stuck in your hand. Very, very dangerous. You don't have precise control. Another thing you see people do is this, I think there guiding it. But again, you don't have a really strong grip on it. Don't have a lot of control. You're pushing pressure down. You have to keep a tight grip really painful. If you're prepping for a little talk now, the proper way to hold the knife is to actually start. Keep your fingers above the heel off the handle and you're gonna pinch with your index and thumb and keep your fingers right above the bottom. Wait after a while this and start to feel natural. A lot of chef C. Kallis, right, and then their finger because we have so many hours, hours of holding a knife, they're using it. But in holding this, I don't have a really tight grip on this, but anywhere I need move it. It's very precise, very. It also guarantees that no fingers were going to slip down below, cut, pinched off or anything like that. And it's a relatively easy grip now. A lot of people will start to complaints. A old my finger serves her. It's painful. And when you do that, when that starts to hurt, really probably cutting. A lot of people want to chop wish straight down with a knife. Uh, but that's not how mechanics of Blade anyplace work. It's not with the chopping lotion with a slice. So now that you've got your knife, the proper hold, there's three points to really slicing properly on. This is a technique that's applicable to any sort of knife work at all. You're going to end up moving your hand in a circle and on. Lee really needs to involve your wrist and elbow. Shoulder should be moving it off, and you're not pressing down. You're not pushing, really, just letting the weight of the blade falter. So you start with the tip with the tip of the knife is down and the rest of the blades off the board. This is where you angle. You decide where. What? You're good. Next you bring down the knife, letting the weight of the knife lead through and making sure he'll the very end of life contacts and then driving through these three should want to three. And even when we drive down, I'm not just pushing. Now it's a sliding motion for so the whole method, your mother is in a circle, but there's three points that you want watch. And if you do that, you're gonna be slicing all your food. You know, when you're mincing garlic, you see people doing stuff like this. Slice C is actually going to cut through a lot of times when you're stupid. This unless you have a ridiculously sharp played. All you're doing is smashing things. When you do that, the oils that are in the food gets secreted out, and that's when you get wet liquid all of your cutting board, and a lot of that flavor comes out that normally going in your food next point is a safety better. So when you hold your knife in this holding it properly, you're never gonna cut yourself here. But these folders like to dance underneath blades. So the proper way to hold your non knife is to curl your index and middle fingers and have your thumb and pick you to the side. So, ideally, when you hold something, your pinky and thumb are going to be holding it together. The tips of your fingers are pushing down in your knife will touch right two sides of your knuckles on your index rate or index middle and possibly ring finger cutting. Uh, not only does this ensure with current fingertips that you're never going to cut yourself, it also gives an extra guy for your nice And as you're doing this, your whole hand moves. But the knife is gonna stick right to your knuckles as long as you keep your hands like that and you're moving this hand, not the food. You don't have the food, you love your life and you then those something happens here. 4. Cutting Celery: So we're gonna start cutting with something simple. This is just a stalk of celery. I'm gonna show you a couple different things to do. First, we're gonna clean it up and again, keeping that motion, keeping your non knife hand girl back and keeping your knife right up against the rebels. You've not simple. That's like this just because safest so salary is a really good way to show you how to hold the knife. Because it's something that you need to move along to cut. And it's something a lot of people will cut like this. And that's really not something. That's what you want to get. So we're gonna bring the knife up. Still working in that circular motion, just like we talked about this. Every cut's gonna be like that just like that. And using that knife were able to get nice uniform pieces out of there because we're able to keep that knife measured up against our hand. Really? You knew this looking just like so Here we have a nice evenly cut stop himself. So say you want to go a little bit smaller. Of course you can slice just like we showed before a little bit, just doing, you know, finer size, not moving your figures as much. That's where you get something That's a lot dinner, which you can do that if you want. Alternately, If you want to get a nice cube on the celery, you're gonna cut it into thirds, basically cutting off the pieces of the that the edge that curl up. You get three pieces there, just about the same size. And then you're gonna come through here doing the same motion keeping deny for, I guess, your hand circular slicing motion at the end. Just there's really then you have nice, evenly diced. You wanna have them same size for two reasons. One, they Frankly, they look better and people even their eyes first on two. Being that it's all the same size they're gonna cook at the same time. Well, it's small like this, and it's quick little salt. A. You know, a lot of times that doesn't really matter doesn't come in. But if you cook this piece of celery the same time you're trying to cook this piece of celery, one of them is not going to be cooked when the other one is and then later this will be overcooked. Well, this is. And that's why even though you see it on these cooking shows on TV, sometimes you don't really want to take this pile and just go because you would be hard pressed to find two pieces in there. They're the same size. 5. Cutting Bell Peppers: So next we're going to do Bell Peppers is another vegetable that people use all the time. And they're pretty good about having usually 345 sides. Pretty easy coming here, cut down. But I'm gonna show you a trick to get most the usual meat off and not have little bill Pepper seats scattered, all of creation. And then I'm gonna show you how to cut it down into Julien's, which some people don't match tickets. A long, thin strips and to go from there into a dice. This is a uniformed cute. So you want to take your belt, you're gonna start on the slightest edge, take your knife and you're gonna go straight now, not cutting all the way through. Rotate the bell pepper and curve your knife. Continue rolling the whole pepper all the way through until you get to the end. When you do that, the core comes and the meat of the pepper comes off with no seeds inside of it whatsoever. You take the course. It is just no way we're using if you have a vegetable stock. It's a great thing used for stocks gives good. So now you have this nice, long strip. Did you two break up into pieces? Or you can cut it up into pieces. Leave it flat. You hold your knife just like we talked about. And then comfort. Here, cut your form. Culturally. Julian is a French term. You will see it as having specific measurements. Some places. I believe the exact secret measurements are two inches long by quarter by quarter. Obviously, we're not quite sticking to that. Uh, so the the useful bomb Eclipse Board is just strips. So that's what we got here. They were gonna take these strips smaller pieces. And at times we don't get too overwhelmed. Line them up, just like you would for anything else. Use the base of the knife to kind of push him against that. Get your hand in there holding the peppers in with your pinky and thumb and come from here , guys. Now, pepper, being that they're cut and they're very loose and liquid this vegetable, they will move on. You. So you wanna be careful, Especially when you get down towards the ends here, make sure that you've got a good grip on there. And don't ever try and cut too close to the tip. If, uh, you're afraid of cutting yourself, throw away a little bit of product, then cut yourself. That's number. So here we have whole pepper cut off. We have the strips. We have nice diced bell towers. 6. Cutting Carrots: Okay, so now we're gonna do carrots. This technique that we're going to do, he is going to be translatable to any of your bigger items. Potatoes, wash, sweet potatoes, even apples, pears, anything. That's a large item that you need to take down uniformly size smaller piece. So I went ahead and peeled this characters, I figured most you knew how to do that from the next. We're gonna clean off top, and we're gonna cut it into about two inch piece. Typically two inches is the base that you're looking for. Support as size wise, we're gonna do first going to take this whole piece. We're gonna cut it, the planks slicing down into pieces, and those planks will stack together and we'll cut into strips or matchsticks or Julien's or everyone home. And then, just like we did with peppers, we're gonna turn the strips together and cut those into individual dice. So when you start with your to and to be secured state and you want to make sure again, using your knife in your hands like I taught you, Teoh, keep it guided all there. But you also want to make sure that you're not shopping because even when you have a really sharp blade, you're still gonna get it's gonna move on you as travels. So instead you a slicing motion that allows you to get a much more consistent and safe cut . Now, give us some of the other stuff I could cut through this, But I'm not going to want to cut myself. So we use that for snack games. So we have old place here, just about the same size. This one's a little bit taller because it sounds at peace, but so our staff is back up, make sure we're going the right way that they were just like so, uh and then we're gonna go using your fingers to guy and again you could use your picking and thumb. I have big answer. Someone will use the ringing bum to keep this stuff pension together like that. Oh, still getting against the knuckles. Come here again. A slicing motion cutting them interest sticks. So he gets a nice, mostly evenly sized except for a few large pieces from the end piece. And this is what, like carats of rough because they like to bend is the piece that I cut straight, but it doesn't like the city streets. The vegetable naturally turns. A lot of times when you're cutting it, you have to use your pinky and ring or pinky and thumb to really hold them into place. So we're gonna take our sticks like we do with peppers, pushing them up against the knife to make sure they're nice and even and again in slicing motion. Come through here, call up nice, beautiful dice. Now, this technique works great for really anything you want to do. You could make him go for this little dice. You can also take this make care sticks. You can have a nice piece to dip in. You make little sticks for kids. Maybe a quick little stir fry that you're doing. And like I said, these techniques translate Teoh pretty much any eventual 7. Cutting Onions: Okay, so now we're gonna do onions. This is Ah, nature's most versatile vegetable. It also is the building block for pretty much any dish. So it's good to know how to cut these, because you're gonna do him for just about. So starting with the onion, there's a couple different cuts we're going to do. First, we're going to, uh, get the ends off, cut it in half, and the 1/2 I'm going to show you how to dice an onion. On the other half. I'm going to show you how to slice or Julianne, not onion rings like you see a lot of places but nice uniforms. Pieces of um, No. One. Is there another big wanted? And as a professional, people asked this a lot. How do you cut onions and not cry now? Part of that comes back to using your using any having a good night. Be using it properly. So when you slice through the onion instead of job, slicing through allows you to cut vegetable, whereas chopping breaks it when you break the structure of the onion. That's when a lot of the juice and oils and flavor comes out on. That's what causes that reaction? When you smell it, your eyes start. So if you have a nice nice and you're working through really quickly you know, there's been days where I've done 10 £15 of onions, no tears, Um, course some onions or must here than others. So sometimes you get that. So then the only way we're gonna start kind of cleaning up the route in here. I don't like having these little hair little bits of dirt on here, so we're gonna cut that off, but not very deep. You only wanted just barely cut it just enough. So that stuff is offer there. But we don't lose the because the root end is what's gonna keep it together is gonna keep it so that when we're trying to dice it, it doesn't fall apart. Come over here with this and then cut it half through the route. And it feels so sometimes. Like that onion there. When I was cutting down, I reached and support this once You have it a bit into the vegetable little you do want to still slice, but some of the tougher vegetables just give yourself a nice even pushed her you hold your hands up, I would never recommend doing this. You see a lot of people doing this. Your hand. They're your palm, rather not very good at guiding thing. It's not very strong. It's not very pointed. Fingers, on the other hand, the best thing you can use. So never use your palm to push. And this really find anything trying to use your fingers whenever possible, because that will help you get much more. So we're gonna peel this. So we have this half were to use a dice. The other half were gonna Snus. So when you guys and onion, unlike when you guys almost anything else and this applies to onions, shallots, garlic pretty much anything if the allium family that hasn't, um we're normally like with care. We cut into planks that we cut the links in the strips and then we got strips into cubes. Now onions because they have layers and Shrek taught us they'll fall apart. So it's important toe only cut through about 70 80% of the way and make sure that all those pieces have an attachment to this room, and that's why we left. We're gonna get gonna come through and be a little difficult to show that you want to come in and cut into it and, uh, level angle, so that is level with the table or whatever. You're working surfaces. But you also want to cut through it the size that you want it to be. Sweater your height of your finishing dice that you want that to be. That's the level you want. Country. So we're gonna go for about immediate Nice, really cut through again. Slicing motion here a little and to about there so you can see it's only about 70% of the way through. And that's a about as far as we're gonna cut every single horizontal going. Yeah, kind of the same thing. And again, don't control with the heel. Use your fingers. You're not gonna cut like this, but it gives you better control now that we have a nice horizontal cuts to divide this up. And they're about the same size top being a little different. Usually those are gonna be pieces. I could make another cut here, and we would get that these front pieces here would be the nice size. But when you got further back here. It's platter. It won't be the same size of the rest will be significantly smaller. So it's never an exact process. It's a lot close. So now we have our planks. We're gonna come in here and using the tip of the knife cut down and still drive through so that he cuts all the way through the and we're gonna space are cuts about as far apart as the Fort Collins here. Okay, get a piece like this. You're gonna have a little bits that fall off. That's fine. Kind of roughly down to her eventual product. So we don't horizontal down a vertical. And now it's time to our final cuts. And this is what's gonna make it the perfect ice again. Using your fingers Like I thought, you line up just how you wanted to cut the exact same size you ordered all verticals cuts coming here sliced, and you want to go back just about to the point where you could make those cuts. That's the finished onion. You can use this for rough chop onions or bench from stock or any other purpose. But the rest of these are nice uniform. Nice Now, you can also see a little difficult to tell in this light. But there's almost no liquid on my cutting board. A lot of times when you cut onions, you notice there's just juice and liquid oil all over the place. And when you use a knife that slices through and doesn't chop, that's when you get less of the oil like I was talking about, unless of tears. So right now I have No, I don't smell any onion really at all. Uh, that usually will keep that process. Okay, now we're usually the other half of the same one you were going to go into a Julian or slicing, So we're gonna come in here. And even though we kept the other one on the room this we don't want to do that, and we're gonna cut it at the same angle as we did the front. So if you started doing this from a raw onion, you would cut off both sides of the onion root and the tip and then cut the onion. Now we have a nice clean onion ready to go and cut into Julian's. So the thought process here is that we're going to cut into the onion at even verticals and an alternating angle, because the onion has altering sockets, different angles and as we cut through, will change the angle the knife, which will be held onto by hand. And this is more of a case of the knife, pressuring the fingers to move it's kind. It's not just the fingers guiding. You don't have to just inch along here on, then once we get to about here, World onion on side What? Let's left and finish up. So here we go. We're gonna go for a nice, thick piece on him. When it's really tight like this, you can do just one finger, sometimes two if you have to tell them to do one for now. So cut through a needle and we'll get to the top. You really want going strength? So you've got to about here, Roll this over. Now that we've rolled it over, we're gonna do the same thing finishing this angle because it's really dangerous. Displace. If this were here, you would want to cut here, here, here, here. Very dangerous. You can't really guide it. It's a great way to cut. So we're gonna roll it over, We're gonna repeat the process like we did for going in the naval. And again, this is also still slicing and may not look like doing very much of it past. But it's still it's not straight now, you know, go like this. It's still a little bit. It's not going through that. I mean that we have the layers. We're nice, evenly sized pieces of onions. These will look great and they'll cook consistently. 8. Slicing and Dicing Garlic: All right, So now we have garlic, Everyone's favorite sticky, smelly, delicious friend. So to take a little head like this and to break it up individual close, you really use the flat side press up against it. This is one spot where you do use the hell because all you're doing is pushing. You're gonna push down until you hear a crack, and that separates the pores. I think you could break them up into individual cloves. Whole part ready. So because this is such a small piece, this is something where our new friend parent knife, he's gonna come in handy. So to get the last little bit of skin off, they're gonna do the same thing that we did. The whole use the flat side of the blade. Which down? So your crack. It's generally pretty easy. That's for Chris for a little bit. Okay, way over, new friend. So, in order to admit and really chopped down a garlic the same way, you can treat it like an onion because it doesn't have a root. And here they are from the same family, so you can't come in here and chase through a couple different levels. they come in, cut it in strips like and still remember, You're not pushing through your sliding your slicing, and then it's a little bit more difficult. Notice that I am holding the parent in a same way, just as you would a full chef's knife coming here lining up against the knuckles. We're in a You have nice you only shaped little pieces of garlic. Garlic is one of the things that it's really most important have even shapes on, because it can burn that it's it's cooks so quickly. If you're doing a quick saute and you have big pieces of garlic, little pieces of girl that you're trying to get it all will be cooked. You can either end up with crunchy pieces of garlic. They're large and small bits of garlic that we cook well or are Theresa garlic. There could 12 little bits of burnt horrible witness you can also, instead of minutes of ah, dicing and girl act that another clothes. I'm here to the same thing. This'll it'll crush. They're silver other ways that pick Ehrlich as well. You can put it in between two bulls and shake it up. Put in a cocktail shaker and shake it up. It's all the same process. Another one that I've heard of that I used under a lot of it is you can put it in water and hasn't set some water Over time, it will. Paper leaves announce I start to separate from So say you want to do a nice stir fry and you want to come through and have sliced garlic. Do the same thing, treated like you just would. Bigger piece coming here. Use your chef's knife of your little paradise and just come in is nice. 9. Thank you!: all right. And pretty. That's it for me. Uh, you guys learned a couple of things, and I hope I make it a little more efficient. Kitchen, please. Show me what you guys cut up. It looks like. And show me what you think. Whatever. You're the final dish stock, sue. Whatever. Whatever you know, they always do stuff out through the world. You might see something I've never seen. Do free to ask questions of the project area will be on there pretty often to check and make sure that us having his others.