Food preparation is art. It is making beautiful and excellent meals. That's why culinary schools fine-tune cooks and turn them into chefs who serve scrumptious courses from appetizers to desserts.
But most of us can be too busy for formal schooling. What we do have are pockets of time to prepare food. Mostly, on the weekends in between doing laundry and other house chores. Yet, we want to eat good food, and we realize it'll take more than just getting the basics figured out.
Your solution to leveling up your food preparation skill is here. We're giving you some advanced techniques you can practice at home, even without a culinary degree. Plus, we're recommending an exquisite kitchen knife set that will fast-forward your development.
Chef-Level Cutting Techniques to Improve Your Food Prep
Practice with: Potatoes
What to use: Bird's beak peeling knife, chef knife, santoku knife, paring knife
First on the list is Tourne. It’s a simple design perfect for decorating your soups, stews, and steaks. It's normally done on potatoes as it can be a dish on its own when you grill it or be included in another dish.
Tourne, or in English parlance, "turn," is straightforward. Just make the potato look like a football by sculpting around its outer layer. On the other hand, it does take practice to make the perfectly-shaped tourne.
Practice with: Basil
What to use: Chef knife, prep knife
Ribbon cut is what most cooks call it. The chiffonade technique helps trap the flavor inside the ingredient after it's sliced. This cutting style is best practiced on basil leaves because of its aroma. So do the following:
- Rinse the basil with cold water and dry it.
- Stack the leaves, roll them tightly, chop off the edge and slice the rolled leaves as fine as possible without applying too much downward pressure.
- You’re doing it right if you don’t smell the basil’s aroma as you slice.
Practice with: Carrots, Zucchini
What to use: Bird's beak peeling knife, santoku knife, chef knife
We're used to the basic, straight-line cutting of vegetables that we haven't experimented on doing differently until roll cut is introduced.
Also known as an oblique cut. It's an excellent technique if you want to glaze a carrot or cook it with an even texture. Do a 45-degree angle slice, then roll the carrot inwards until the sliced part faces upward. Cut another 45-degree angle, then rinse and repeat.
Other Advance Food Preparation Techniques
Cutting Against The Grain
Practice with: Steak
What to use: Santoku and chef knife (if raw)
Serrated utility knife and steak knife (if cooked)
Cutting against the grain is an absolute way to turn your steak into gold. It's a slicing technique to ensure the meat melts in your mouth when it's cooked. Here's how you do it:
- Find the grain of the steak—it's the lines of muscle fibers that look like clumps of threads.
- Once you've seen the grain turn the meat so that if you slice, your knife and the grain will form a letter "T" from your point of view.
- Slice slowly until you reach the bottom of the chopping block or the plate.
Practice with: Tomatoes, baguette, loaf, or any hard-surfaced fruit
What to use: Serrated utility knife (for small pieces)
Bread knife (for large pieces)
Sawing technique is fantastic if you can't peel the skin off fruit or if you want to cut bread perfectly without squishing it out of form. It's a simple technique, but it needs advanced knife equipment to pull off, particularly one with a broad, serrated edge.
Just rock the blade back and forth slowly to penetrate the hard surface as if you're using a saw. Once you're past the hard surface, you can continue slicing according to your specifications.
Practice with: Shrimp, Lobster, Crab
What to use: Shears
Shears are superb for any shelling technique. There's no other tool that can get you through removing a lobster, crab, or shrimp shell with ease other than a good pair of scissors.
Instead of using a knife, shears are your friend here as they can pierce a shell and cut both on the outer and inner sides of the hard exoskeleton. This tool helps you cut around the hard layers and leave the meat intact.
Shelling can be tricky as you need to find the right areas to cut through to make sure everything is taken out intact. As a rule, for lobsters, you start on the sides of the swimmers; for shrimps, you cut the swimmers and the segmented abdomen; for crabs, you cut the legs and the claws.
Your Food Prep Upskill Equipment: Henckels Pro S Chef Knife Set
Henckels is a long-term, practical choice for cooks and chefs. It's got every tool you'll need to practice advanced cutting techniques that will propel you to become a savvy cooking aficionado. Let’s take a dive into what the Henckels set is packing.
|Chef Knife||8||Your multi-purpose knife. This is your main knife, and you'll always be using this for cutting, slicing, dicing, and chopping almost anything.|
Perhaps a more in-depth discussion of the Pro S chef knife here?
|Santoku Knife||7||Another multi-purpose knife, but its design is inspired by the east. The sheepsfoot profile makes it a strong blade for slicing and chopping anything. But you can also use it for basic knife cutting techniques.|
|Bread Knife||8||Bread is the main foodstuff this knife is meant to cut. But this blade found good use in tough fruits and vegetables.|
|Prep Knife||5.5||This is called a prep knife because it's the perfect instrument for cleaning and skinning meat. A practical tool if you don't want to spoil your chef or santoku knife for the dirty work.|
|Serrated Utility Knife||5||Henckels’ utility knife has a wide range of use because of the added serrated design. For example, if you could only cut small and soft fruits and vegetables before, now you can peel tough and large ones.|
|Paring Knife||4||If you want to achieve a definite cut such as the one demanded by the tourne, a paring knife is your aid. It will let you calculate the thickness and angle of a cut with ease.|
|Bird's Beak Peeling Knife||2.75||It's fulfilling to master peeling off fruit and vegetable skins with a knife. It gives you more control. And that's what this bird's beak knife wants you to accomplish.|
|4.5||This is a table essential. If you're prepping steak for a meal, this dinner table knife must be present to allow your guest to enjoy the steak better.|
|Shears||N/A||Many food preparation basics become easy to do when you have shears. If you need something cut speedily and doesn't require much work, use this tool.|
|Honing steel rod||9||A honing rod is your knives' comrade. Make it a habit to use this and condition the edges of your blades before any food-prepping session, and you'll have faultless knives for life.|
|Knife block||N/A||All these terrific tools can be misplaced without something keeping them together. That's what the knife block is for.|
What Makes Henckels the Best Kitchen Knife Set
Investing in a good kitchen knife set is important, an essential kitchen tool you need for your cooking endeavors. So it's only important to know what makes it worthy of throwing money on. Here's why we know we'll get a Henckels set.
A Reputation for Excellence
Henckels' twin logo has established a reputation since 1731. You may have seen it on the shelves under the premium knives section. Perhaps you've heard it from your cooking enthusiast friends or have seen it used by a celebrity chef.`
Credibility is what Henckels have achieved over the years. Their knives have the kind of quality that passes through word-of-mouth, and that's something you want to have in your kitchen.
Durable and Retains Edge for a Long Time
To sharpen knives well, you need to allot time for it. While there are excellent whetstones that will put your knives back in pristine edge condition, it's also equally important for a blade to have a sharpness that can last months or even years. That's what this Henckels knife set can do.
The Henckels Kitchen Knife Set's Stumbling Block
Henckels knives will leave you wanting nothing. The slots where the knives are inserted can be a little more precise to fit the blades completely. But this is a minor hiccup that you can resolve with a few wood crafting skills or a new knife block purchase.
An Exceptional Kitchen Knife Set Makes it Easy to Advance Your Food Preparation Skills
More than art and taste, preparing food is an experience. It is a moment enjoyed by the cook—a process rich in romance that hinges on presentation and taste.
To improve a person's food experience, growth in cooking must come first. And Henckels knives' shortens the road to get there. With a premium knife set, it becomes a breeze to practice and execute your desired food prep outcome, and it can all happen in the comfort of your kitchen. So invest in Henckels, and invest in growing your food preparation skills.
If you want to explore more knife sets that can help you reach your desired food-prepping expertise, look at the blogs on our website. It contains knife reviews from other brands that will hone your buying decision.