Chris Cooks: Knife Skills

February 16, 2020

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Ok y’all, no recipe today, but I wanted to share something that will be helpful, no matter what you’re cooking – knife skills!

Now let me preface this by saying, the way I cut is not THE way to cut. I don’t believe there is such thing as “the” way. But I use my knives a bit more intensely than the average cook I’d say and have learned a few tricks, both from culinary school and just daily practice. It may seem trivial, but for anyone really wanting to amp up and enjoy their cooking routine, proper knife skills are a big step.

I’ve been buying and using Wüsthof knives for over a decade now, and they’re tops for me. This is not a sponsored post by them, but they did send me some (not all, but some) of the knives you see in this post and the video above. Here are links to the Cook’s Knife and Santoku I use, but anything from them is solid. I give them my enthusiastic and unpaid endorsement. 

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What do you think?

  1. Bethany says:

    I bought a set of wusthof knives this week. Wondering if the cutting board you use matters? Is there a quality wood cutting board you reccomend to maintain the knives? Thanks!

  2. Drew says:

    I bought a chef knife but I’m worried to use it until I know how to keep it sharp. What are the steps you take to sharpen it and how often?

    • Chris says:

      Hand wash only, store in a block or on a magnet (not in a drawer where it would be banging against other things), and run it over your honing steel a few times before each use. Also, use a soft cutting board like wood or polypropylene. I love these from OXO – use them every day. That it! They’ll keep their edge for a good year or two, then you can sharpen them yourself on a whetstone or take them to a restaurant supply store – they often offer knife-sharpening services.

  3. Jeanna says:

    Since this was a knife skills video, could you recommend your favorite knife sharpeners? Thank you!

  4. Penny Houle says:

    This is awesome. Thanks!

  5. Betsy says:

    Normally a Wusthoff fan. But I bought a new paring knife right before Christmas at Williams Sonoma, and I hate it. Does not seem to be very sharp. I’ve gone back to using my old Wusthoff paring knife. Ever had a “bad” one? Wondering if I should just return it. Thanks for your thoughts!

    • Chris Loves Julia says:

      Hm… You might have a dud. In my experience, both Wusthoff and Williams Sonoma have great customer service. I bet they’ll make it right. Please check back and share your experience!

  6. LavandulaLady says:

    That was awesome! Best tip I learned was how to hold the knife i.e. where to put my fingers on the blade, not the handle; would have never thought of that.
    If you don’t mind answering this… what’s the back story on your cooking experience? You mentioned cooking school, so where, when, which one, etc.

    • Chris says:

      It was just the Culinary Arts Program at Brigham Young University in Idaho (I don’t even think the CA program exists there anymore). I earned my minor degree in Culinary Arts – so it wasn’t any well-known CA school, but it was a great program! Mostly I just learned a love for cooking, and have kept it up since.

  7. Jamie says:

    This is awesome. I practiced some of your suggestions tonight when I diced vegetables for dinner and it was so fun! Thanks!

  8. Ela says:

    Didn’t you guys just get Shuns? How do you like Wustoff compared to Shun?

  9. RC says:

    Love the video, heads up – stabilize is the correct spelling (garlic part of the video).

  10. TP says:

    Awesome video! Thanks Chris!!!

  11. Patricia says:

    Helpful to see the garlic paste technique. Would the same technique work on a woodier item like ginger? Referring back to your veggie stir fry …

    • Chris Loves Julia says:

      It’s a little tougher with ginger. I’d peel and chop and then pulse in a blender with a little olive oil.

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