10 Basic Knife Skills for Thanksgiving Day Prep

Mastering these knife skills will make prepping for Thanksgiving a breeze.

Chopped Butternut Squash

For most American cooks, Thanksgiving Day presents the most intense cooking challenge of the year. The sheer number of dishes that need to be prepared and served at the same time is intimidating, but add on heightened expectations, (groundless!) fears of failure, and the inevitable last-minute runs to the grocery store, and the prospect of making the meal can seem terrifying.

But one way to ease your feast-prep anxiety is to brush up on your knife skills. Making a large meal means you'll need to cut up a large amount of vegetables, and knowing exactly how you want to cut each one will come in handy. Even if you generally know what you're doing, you may want to take a look at some of the items here—when was the last time you peeled a pearl onion?

This list is limited to vegetables, so if you need a refresher on how to carve your bird, you can check out our guide here. And if you want to really perfect your mise en place, you may want to check out our guide for how to set up a prep station like a professional.

And, of course, the best thing you can do to improve your knife skills is use a sharp knife. So do yourself a favor and either take your blade to a professional sharpener or sharpen it yourself before you do any heavy Thanksgiving chopping and slicing. At the very, very least, hone it!