Knife Skills

Videos and step-by-step guides, each highlighting an essential knife technique.


Knife Skills: How to Slice Scallions

Knife Skills J. Kenji López-Alt 18 comments

When scallions are used as a base ingredient in a stir-fry or salsa, a fine rough chop will do you just fine. But the beauty of scallions is that they're as pretty as they are flavorful—provided you know how to cut them. Here are the basic knife skills you'll need to produce three different types of garnish-worthy scallion slices. More

How to Clean Soft-Shell Crabs

How To Daniel Gritzer 22 comments

Cleaning your own live soft-shell crabs is incredibly easy, and guarantees that you're going to eat the freshest, best soft-shells possible. Here are the basic steps for preparing the soft-shells for cooking. More

Knife Skills: How to Cut a Pineapple Like a Badass

Knife Skills J. Kenji López-Alt 24 comments

It's easy to waste a lot of delicious pineapple if you don't slice it the right way. Here's how to get the most out of the fruit, while removing skin, core, and all those annoying eyes. More

Knife Skills: The 4 Knife Cuts Every Cook Should Know

Knife Skills J. Kenji López-Alt 12 comments

Learning how to cut properly can make the difference between seeing kitchen work as a chore and a joy. It can mean the difference between unevenly cooked dishes and poor flavor development, and excellence. There's a good reason why the very first class any culinary student takes and the very first job any starting cook has in the kitchen is knife work. Cooking without mastering these basic strokes is like trying to run without knowing how to tie your shoes. These are the four strokes everybody should know. More

Knife Skills: How to Cut Citrus Fruit Into Wedges, Slices, and Suprèmes

Knife Skills J. Kenji López-Alt 13 comments

This week we're gonna show you how to cut citrus fruits into slices, wedges, and suprèmes (aka fancy-pants segments). Seems like simple stuff, right? And it is, but doing it right can make a world of difference in how your finished dishes look and taste. More

Knife Skills: How to Slice Chicken Breast for Stir-Fries

Knife Skills J. Kenji López-Alt 14 comments

The key to a good chicken stir-fry is starting with evenly sliced pieces of meat that will cook quickly and uniformly. Here's how to do it. More

Knife Skills: How to Debone a Chicken Thigh

Knife Skills J. Kenji López-Alt 11 comments

Recipes often call for boneless skinless chicken thighs, yet finding them in supermarkets can be a bit of a hassle. You're far more likely to find bone-in thighs or even whole legs. Knowing how to take that bone out yourself will save you some hassle and provide you with some good bones for making stock in the process. Here's how to do it. More

Knife Skills: How To Trim Skirt Steaks

Knife Skills J. Kenji López-Alt 15 comments

Unless I'm going for a big, juicy, dry-aged ribeye, the skirt steak is my favorite cut for grilling. It's got a loose texture with a distinct grain and big, buttery swaths of fat that run through it, keeping it nice and moist as it cooks. And while it's no longer necessarily dirt cheap at the supermarket, it's also a cut that comes out juicy and flavorful, even when you don't spring for the extra-fatty prime-graded stuff, which can help keep a few bucks in your wallet. At my local supermarket, it runs around half the price-per-pound of a prime ribeye steak—a bargain in my book. As with any inexpensive steak, the key to success starts in knowing how to trim it properly to maximize flavor and tenderness. Here's how to do it. More

Knife Skills: How To Break Down A Chicken

Knife Skills J. Kenji López-Alt 14 comments

If there's one knife skill that can save you money and make you look cool at the same time, it's breaking down a chicken. Consider that boneless breasts often cost around three times more than whole chicken does. So for the same price as a two-pack of breasts, you can buy a whole chicken, which comes with those same breasts, plus two legs, and a back. More

Knife Skills: How to Prepare Portabella Mushrooms

Knife Skills J. Kenji López-Alt 9 comments

Whether you spell it portabella, portobello, or portobella, nobody can tell you you're wrong. Here's another place you can be right: when you tell someone that portabella, white mushrooms, button mushrooms, champignon mushrooms, and crimini are all actually the same fungus. The difference in color on the cap between white and crimini comes down to the specific strain of Agaricus bisporus they're cultivated from, while a portabella is simply a mature version of the same fungus. More

Knife Skills: How To Peel Pearl Onions

Knife Skills J. Kenji López-Alt 13 comments

To be honest, pearl onions are available pretty much year-round at the same quality level, but they're especially useful in winter when other vegetables aren't in their prime. Available in white, yellow, or red (just like their full-sized brethren!), they are generally milder than full-sized onions and take on a noticeable sweetness when cooked. Here's a little trick to help you remove the skin easily with your fingers by blanching the onions first. Watch the video for full instructions. More

Knife Skills: How to Prepare Belgian Endives

Knife Skills J. Kenji López-Alt 4 comments

Pale yellow with an elongated bulbous shape, Belgian endives are made up of a series of tightly overlapping leaves. Here's how to cut them for using in salads or for cooking. More

Knife Skills: How to Prepare Leeks

Knife Skills J. Kenji López-Alt 22 comments

Leeks are like the Lord Thistelwick Flanders of the onion family. The refined and aloof European cousin who needs to be nudged before his true onion character emerges. But once you start cooking with them, they offer a variety of characteristics that you don't find in regular onions. More

Knife Skills: How to Prepare Fennel

Knife Skills J. Kenji López-Alt 21 comments

Fennel is a generally divisive vegetable. Crisp, with a distinct anise flavor, it can be overpowering for some people. I like my fennel in small doses. Sliced super thin on a mandoline and tossed with citrus segments and a nice lemony vinaigrette, it's a great winter salad that goes well with sausages, terrines, and other charcuterie. More

Knife Skills: How to Remove Pomegranate Seeds

Sweets J. Kenji López-Alt 26 comments

This video will show you an easy method to take advantage of the relative densities of the seeds and pith of a pomegranate to separate the two as painlessly and stainlessly as possible. More

Knife Skills: How to Cut Apples For Pies

Sweets J. Kenji López-Alt 13 comments

Slicing a whole bunch of apples for a pie can be a chore. If you're awesome with a paring knife, you can use the Jacques Pepin technique: twirl the knife around the top then the bottom, split it in half, cut out the seeds, and slice the wedges, all without ever letting the apple leave your hand. For the rest of us, here's the easiest, most consistent technique I've found. More

Knife Skills: How to Cut Mushrooms

Knife Skills J. Kenji López-Alt 10 comments

Have you ever tried to make a mushroom out of George Washington's head on a dollar bill? Well, we're not going to do that today, nor are we going to do the opposite, which is significantly more difficult (and altogether more impressive). Instead, we're going to learn how to cut button mushrooms into two basic shapes, which for most practical purposes, is all you need. More

Knife Skills: How To Prepare Chicken Paillards

Knife Skills J. Kenji López-Alt 4 comments

A chicken paillard is just a fancy French way of describing pounded chicken cutlets. As a technique for home cooks, it's one of the most useful; Once you know how to do it, a hot chicken dinner is only a few minutes away. When pounded to a quarter inch, chicken breast takes about four minutes total to cook in a hot skillet. More

Knife Skills: How to Carve a Turkey

Knife Skills J. Kenji López-Alt 4 comments

Our turkey shopping and cooking guide will be coming tomorrow, but here's your chance to bone up on your carving skills. More

Should You Cook Your Turkey in Parts?

Knife Skills Aaron Mattis 22 comments

Here's the problem with turkey: above 145°F or so, white meat begins to dry out. Dark meat, with its connective tissue, on the other hand, has to be cooked to at least 165°F. How do you cook a single bird to two different temperatures? It's difficult at best, and downright impossible at worst, even more so when you consider the variation in shape and thickness of turkey meat, especially on the breast of a large bird. More

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