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6 Knife Skills to Learn and Master

Dec 10 2015 - 2:00pm

Don't let the fancy names or the impressive chopping speed of master chefs intimidate you when it comes to learning basic knife skills. With a little practice, cutting techniques are rather simple and easy to perfect. Knowing how to properly cut fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruit will make recipes and preparation easier, while taking your dishes to the next level in terms of aesthetics and texture. For mastering everything from mincing garlic to cutting a chiffonade, turn to these six step-by-step tutorials.

Chiffonade Cut

A chiffonade is a simple cut of leafy vegetables, like basil, into long, thin strips. To learn this elegant cut or garnish, take a look at step-by-step photos to cut a chiffonade [1].


Mincing is a very fine chop that can bring flavor to a dish without significant texture. It is most common when cooking with garlic, but can be done with several vegetables. Since many recipes begin with minced garlic, take a look at how to mince garlic cloves [2].

Large Dice Cut

A large dice is a straightforward cut that can really speed up the prepping process. Ideal for large vegetables like tubers, practicing with peeled potatoes [3] is a great way to start.

Rondelle and Diagonal Cut

The rondelle and diagonal cuts [4] are basic but often used for root vegetables like carrots. These cylindrical cuts offer more surface area for vegetables, so they cook and tenderize faster.

Julienne Cut

A julienne is a very useful way to cut and prepare fruits and vegetables such as zucchini. Mastering the julienne cut using this tutorial [5] will take many of your dishes to the next level in terms of aesthetics and texture.

Brunoise Cut

A mesmerizing tiny cube measuring 1/8 of an inch on each side, a brunoise cut is a rather simple way to achieve fine dice using fruits and vegetables. Take several julienned vegetables, and slice them into brunoise [6]. This cut looks especially dainty as a garnish for soups.

Watch the Techniques in Motion

Before you start chopping up a storm in the kitchen, make sure you've got basic knife skills in place by watching this video primer.

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