Knife Skills

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

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Knife Skills: How to Slice Scallions

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

Knife Skills: The 4 Knife Cuts Every Cook Should Know

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 Debone a Chicken Thigh

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

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 Prepare Portabella Mushrooms

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

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 Fennel

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 Cut Apples For Pies

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

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

Should You Cook Your Turkey in Parts?

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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