We Tried 4 Popular Methods for Dicing an Avocado and the Winner Was Also the Easiest
Skills Showdown
For guacamole, smoothies, salads, avocado toast, and so much more!
Everything You Need to Know About Using a Knife
Kitchn Cooking School
Learn to wield an eight-inch blade (safely!) as well as any sous-chef in the business.
How To Carve a Turkey: The Simplest, Easiest MethodSkills
All you need is a sharp knife and a steady workstation, and we'll show you the rest.
To Carve Pumpkins Safely, You Only Need These Two ToolsSkills
While those inexpensive pumpkin carving kits you see at the grocery store may seem appealing, they're actually not your best bet.
Knife Skills & Shopping: 23 Ways to Educate Your Eye in the KitchenSkills
Knowing how to cut your food, and how to eyeball the size and weights of things at the grocery — these little instincts are best taught by looking at examples over and over. This year we helped you educate your eye in the kitchen and at the grocery store.
How To Cut a Jalapeño the Right WaySkills
Watch the video to learn how to cut jalapeños the right way.
What’s the Difference Between Carbon Steel and Stainless Steel?Skills
Carbon steel pans are pretty awesome. They are a mainstay of restaurant kitchens for searing, sautéing, and, of course, frying eggs. “The best endorsement is that every Chinese restaurant kitchen has only carbon steel woks,” notes food writer Grace Young. But carbon steel isn’t just for pans (be it a skillet or a wok or a cassoulet pan) — carbon steel is also for knives.
How To Sharpen a Knife: The VideoSkills
While there’s definitely an argument to be made for taking your knives to a pro to get sharpened, there’s also a case to be made for doing it yourself. “I highly recommend knife sharpening,” says Eivin Kilcher, homesteader, cookbook author, and one of our “Cutting Board” knife experts. “It really is a great skill to bring into your life and an important thing to be able to do at home.
The Most Important Thing to Know About Storing Your KnifeSkills
You finally took the plunge and invested in a good knife — or maybe a few good knives. Either way, you’ve spent good money and your blades deserve a storage place that will keep their edges pristine for as long as possible. Here’s what not to do, and three ways to do it right. Tossing your knives in a drawer along with other kitchen gadgets and cutlery is a lousy idea.
Sep 27, 2016
The Best Trick for Keeping a Cutting Board from SlippingSkills
You don’t need any fancy grips or gadgets to keep your cutting board in place while you work — you just need some good old-fashioned ingenuity. This little trick, which is common practice among professional chefs, will save that board from sliding all over the counter while you dice and chop. It’s of utmost importance to keep your board from slipping while cutting; it’s knife safety 101.
Sep 26, 2016
5 Things Your Knives Want You to Know About Cutting BoardsSkills
I have been using the same single cutting board for several years. It is bamboo, maybe? I think it is bamboo. I am happy with it, but are my knives happy with it? Is it the best kind of cutting board? Am I secretly doing something that is ruining them in some way I do not yet know of but will live to regret? If you have these questions, too, read on to find out what your knives want you to know about cutting boards. This is arguably an overstatement. There are uses for glass cutting boards.
Sep 23, 2016
Learn Just What Minced Looks LikeSkills
The next time a recipe calls for minced garlic or chiles, this is exactly how you want to use your knife to produce that cut. Here’s what minced ingredients should look like and why recipes call for them. The smallest of the knife cuts, mincing refers to ingredients that have been cut into very fine pieces of similar size. This is a smaller cut than foods that are chopped or diced.
Sep 23, 2016
You Need a Bigger Cutting Board. No, Bigger.Skills
Want to know a secret to better knife work? One that doesn’t require a new knife or more practice or a sharpening stone? Here’s a little-known tip for working better, faster, and smarter that starts not with your knife, but with your cutting board. A common cutting mistake is using a cutting board that is too small for your knife.
Sep 22, 2016
Learn Just What a Julienne Looks LikeSkills
Keep your knife skills sharp — this is what a julienne cut looks like and how it’s frequently used in recipes. Julienne refers to ingredients that are cut into long, thin, uniform-sized strips that are about 1/8-inch wide and two inches long. It’s similar to a matchstick — just a little smaller.
Sep 20, 2016
5 Essentials in Caring for a Chef’s KnifeSkills
A good knife should last pretty much forever — that is, if you take good care of it. But what exactly does that mean? We asked our “cutting board” of knife experts to weigh in. Here’s what they had to say. This may seem obvious, but it’s worth saying: Never put your knife in the dishwasher. Why not, you ask? Well, there are two big risks, according to Taylor Erkkinen, founder of Brooklyn Kitchen. The first is that you’ll dull your blade.
Sep 19, 2016
Learn Just What a Fine Chop Looks LikeSkills
Keep your knife skills sharp by knowing just what a recipe means when it calls for an ingredient to be finely chopped (not to be confused with simply being chopped0. Here’s what this common cut looks like, it’s standard size, and why it’s used in certain recipes. Finely chopped ingredients are cut to a similar (although not precise) size — smaller than a chop and larger than a mince. This renders the ingredient roughly the size of kernel of corn.
Sep 19, 2016
5 Smart Ways to Use a Paring KnifeSkills
File your paring knife under the category of “small but mighty tools.” With a blade that averages about three inches in length, this is the knife we reach for when our chef’s knife feels a bit too cumbersome. In addition to peeling and trimming fruit and vegetables, here are five smart ways you can put your paring knife to work. While serrated knives are your best choice for slicing tomatoes, you’ll want to reach for a small paring knife to remove the core.
Sep 16, 2016
The Most Important Step in Buying a New KnifeSkills
This month, we’re exploring all the different considerations that go into finding the right knife for you — and there are several. Are you buying your very first knife or are you already a member of the knife club? What are you planning to use the knife for? Are looks important? And what’s your budget? Still, when it comes down to it, there’s one thing that is critical — and that’s how it feels in your hands.
Sep 15, 2016
What’s the Difference Between German and Japanese Knives?Skills
When you’re shopping for a new knife, it’s likely that you’ll come across two main types of knives: German and Japanese. There are, of course, many more knives out there besides German knives and Japanese knives. However, it’s safe to say that these two are the most prevalent — and so it’s worth understanding what the differences are.
Sep 13, 2016
Learn Just What a Dice Looks LikeSkills
Exactly what does a recipe mean when it calls for an ingredient to be diced? Here’s what that common cut looks like, it’s standard size, and why it’s used in certain recipes. Dice refers to ingredients cut to a small, uniformly sized square. The standard size is a 1/2-inch square. Basically that’s the size of — you guessed it — a die. Of course, the size can vary (some recipes may call for a two-inch dice), but most often this is the size to go with.
Sep 10, 2016
Why You Should Pay a Pro to Sharpen Your KnivesSkills
For years I had my knives sharpened by a grizzled older gentleman who occasionally drove through my neighborhood in a converted Mr. Softee truck, ringing his bell to summon customers and using the same grinding wheel to hone everything from paring knives to hedge clippers. I loved the price (low) and the convenience (house calls!
Sep 9, 2016
The Wedding Gift That Makes Me Excited to Eat More TomatoesSkills
Sometimes it’s the littlest things in the kitchen that can elicit the feeling of pure joy. For me, it’s a kitchen tool I received as a wedding gift — one that, right now, is making the bounty of perfectly ripe summer tomatoes even more enjoyable. Roughly the size of a utility knife, with a serrated blade and a sharp, two-pronged tip ideal for coring, tomato knives are a tool of pure genius. For a true tomato-lover, these knives are the darling of the knife block.
Aug 17, 2016
Help! The Knives at My Summer Rental Are Crappy.Skills
Of all the disastrous kitchen scenarios you can face when you show up at a rental cabin or beach house, dull or flimsy knives might be the most painful. So what do you do if the kitchen you’ll be cooking in for the next several days or weeks has crappy knives? Here are a few solutions, depending on how you’re getting to your rental and how long you’re staying.
Jul 28, 2016
Watch Jacques Pépin Teach You How to Turn a Tomato into a RoseSkills
Slicing a tomato is pretty boring. In general, just use a serrated knife and aim for uniform steaks. Pop one or two on your burger or salad and dinner is served. But sometimes plating calls for something more inspired. Maybe you’re trying to impress someone, or maybe you just want to treat yourself. Whatever the case may be, you’re in luck! Jacques Pépin has spilled his technique for turning a humble tomato into a work of art.
Feb 25, 2016
What Are the Most Important Pots and Pans to Keep When Downsizing?Skills
Q: I just moved to a new apartment with roommates. While it has a great location and size, the kitchen is ancient (like Victorian, last remodeled in the 40s ancient) and postage stamp-sized. In addition, the oven in our giant enamel gas stove doesn’t work. So we’ve got two working gas burners, a medium-sized toaster oven, and a microwave.
Feb 5, 2016
This Is the Best Way to Cut an Acorn Squash in HalfSkills
I love acorn squash. You love acorn squash. But these gourds can be a real pain in the you know what to cut in half. Let’s just make sure we all survive the winter with our fingers intact and no visits to the ER for stitches. Here’s the best way I’ve found to cut an acorn squash in half. Use your sharpest, sturdiest chefs knife for this task.
Nov 12, 2015
A Tip for Cutting Raw Meat More EasilySkills
Last week a reader wrote in with a question about knife skills. There were a couple of kitchen knife tasks tripping her up consistently; one of these was chicken. There was lots of great advice in the comments (sharpen your knives!) but here’s one final comment I thought was especially helpful. I love this tip — it’s one I’m putting into practice straightaway.
Sep 8, 2015
I Have Knife Skill Problems with These Two Things. Help Me Out?Skills
Q: I have been cooking since I was a teenager, but I have not mastered the proper way to cut tomatoes and chicken. Every time I try to cut either one of these, the slices are uneven and I end up making a mess. Do you have any suggestions on how to cut these ingredients successfully without smashing the tomatoes or messing up the chicken? Thank you! Sent by Maia Editor: For cooked chicken, I like to let the chicken cool off a bit, as it’s easier to cut up when it’s firmed up a bit.
Sep 3, 2015
3 Wrong Ways to Hold a Knife (Video!)Skills
Are you holding your knife the right way as you’re chopping, dicing, and slicing your way around the kitchen? Good technique will not only keep you safe, but will help you speed up your cooking. If you want to improve your knife skills, this is the place to start. In this short video, we show you how it’s done. Which technique are you practicing in your kitchen? Do you find yourself falling for the floppy goose technique, the dainty rider technique, or are you doing it the right way?
Sep 1, 2015
Why Sharpening Your Knives Is Like Going to the DentistSkills
The words dentist and knives together in the same sentence don’t sound very pleasant, do they? Don’t worry, they have nothing to do with any painful dental work, but instead are a good way to think about knife honing and sharpening! We have talked about how a honing steel doesn’t actually sharpen knives, but actually just realigns the edge of the knife back to the center. One extremely wise comment came in from our reader: This analogy is absolutely perfect.
May 28, 2015
Do You Have Any Recommendations for Inexpensive Ceramic Knives?Skills
Q: Ceramic-coated knife sets are showing up in stores. Do you have any experience with them? I love my Kyocera ceramic knives but need to buy an inexpensive set for some friends. Many thanks for all the inspiration you give me. Sent by Karen Editor: Here are a couple of posts and reviews we’ve done on ceramic knives: Lightweight & Sharp: Kyocera Ceramic Chefs Knife Product Review: Victorinox Ceramic Knives Readers, are there any inexpensive brands you could recommend?
May 12, 2015
6 Clever Uses for Kitchen ShearsSkills
I’ve come to use my kitchen shears on a more regular basis. In early days, I only really used them to cut open packages, but now I reach for them daily for all kinds of prep and cooking tasks. Here are six ways to use them around the kitchen so they get as much use as your regular knives! When serving grapes at a party, or even if you’re just prepping them to snack on at home, use your kitchen shears to cut a big bunch of grapes down into smaller single-serving clusters.
Mar 24, 2015
Can You Recommend a Great Potato Peeler?Skills
Q: I’ve tried and tried to replace my 10-year-old fixed-blade potato peeler. Finally ordered one but the cutting edge is too short. I’m looking for one with a 2-1/4-inch blade like my old one, but that info is not included in the internet descriptions. Any ideas? Sent by Vivian Editor: Readers, can you recommend a good potato peeler with a long blade?
Nov 12, 2014
This Free Online Knife Skills Class Will Teach You Everything You Need To KnowSkills
Before watching Brendan McDermott’s series of knife skills lessons, I thought I knew my way around a chef’s knife. You guys, I was wrong. In under two hours, this mini class taught me more about slicing and dicing than decades of trial-and-error experience in my home kitchen. Watch it right now and you’ll see exactly what I mean. Oh and best of all? It’s completely free. Brendan McDermott has cred to spare when it comes to culinary instruction.
Nov 3, 2014
This Tool Does Not Actually Sharpen Your Knife. Here’s What a Steel Really DoesSkills
If you watch food competition shows, you’ll probably see a competitor or chef expertly running their knives over that steel tool pictured above. In fact, you might even own one of those steels if you have a big knife set or knife block. So do you know what that tool is? It sharpens knives, right? But here’s where you’re wrong: That tool, no matter what it is labeled, is decidedly not a sharpening steel. The tool many think of as a sharpening steel is actually a honing steel.
Oct 21, 2014
Where Do I Go to Get My Knives Sharpened?Skills
Q: What type of shop or store should I go to to get my knives sharpened? Sent by Melissa Editor: Readers, where do you take your knives?
Oct 14, 2014
Cooking School Day 1: Knife SkillsSkills
Today’s Lesson: Knife Skills The Goal: 20 lessons, 20 days to become a better cook at home Enter to win The Kitchn Cookbook: Simply share and tag photos of your Kitchn Cooking School progress on Instagram and Twitter with #kitchnschool to enter for a chance to win. We’re giving away one copy for every homework assignment during The Kitchn’s Cooking School. See rules and regulations.
Oct 6, 2014
Why a Serrated Knife Is the Best Tool to Slice TomatoesSkills
While those big knife blocks seem to send the message that every kitchen needs a dozen knives, it’s really not true. Invest in a good chef’s knife and small paring knife and those can take care of almost all of your slicing and dicing needs. There is one more knife, however, that is essential for cutting bread and tomatoes: the serrated knife.
Aug 11, 2014
How To Cut FennelSkills
Fennel is a vegetable with a lot going for it. It’s crunchy and sweet when tossed raw into a salad, or silky and toothsome with slow-cooked with a braise. But before you can eat it, you have to slice it. Here’s how to take that hefty bulb of fennel and trim it down into bite-sized pieces. Fennel is at its peak season from late fall to early spring, though it can usually be found year round. Choose bulbs that feel heavy for their size and have tightly packed layers.
Apr 23, 2014
Best Chef’s Knives for Big Hands?Skills
Q: What are some good kitchen knives for someone with really big hands? My partner and I just combined households and he really likes my Wusthof Classic 6″, but he’s 6’3″ and his really big hands might do better with certain knives than others. He enjoys basic cooking and is new to the “expensive knife” thing, so I want to take him shopping for his very own quality knife. Can you suggest some we should look at?
Apr 16, 2014
Video: The 3 Best Ways to Mince GarlicSkills
No, you don’t need a garlic press to mince garlic! In fact, you can use any number of everyday kitchen tools, like a chef’s knife or even a simple dinner fork. Or if you’re feeling frisky, you can even use a surprisingly effective (and cathartic) tool. Today, we show you how to mince garlic with all three. Ok, a hammer might not quite be the chef-recommended approach to this particular task — but it sure is fun!
Apr 15, 2014
Can You Help Me Find a Small, Inexpensive Knife to Keep at Work?Skills
Q: I often cut up apples, carrots or fresh herbs at the office. The kitchen has HORRIBLE knives and I am afraid one of these days I’ll cut myself badly. Can you suggest an inexpensive knife that I could store in my desk that either wouldn’t need lots of care/sharpening or is compact and secure enough to bring back and forth between my kitchen (to hone it) and work?
Dec 12, 2013
Help! I Need a Vegetable Peeler That Doesn’t SuckSkills
Q: My last peeler broke, and since then, I’ve bought three others…and they’re all awful! The serrated one barely takes anything off the vegetable (though it’s fantastic at taking skin off my fingers), and the non-serrated ones are ineffectual. Last night’s butternut squash was the last straw — I need help finding a strong and effective peeler! Sent by Christine Editor: Christine, I use and love the OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler.
Oct 10, 2013
Kitchen Skill Classes with a Kid? Absolutely!Skills
When a local kitchen store called to see if I would be interested in trying one of their classes, I jumped at the chance. I’m a self taught cook and I have the scars and culinary tragedies in my past to prove it. Hoping to save at least one of my children from their own mistakes, I brought my 12 year old son Xander with me to the class. It was a lot of fun and we both learned how to use knives in a safer, more efficient way. By the time it was over, we were pros!
Sep 25, 2013