How to Use a Knife

Becoming an adult male includes:

  • Buying a damn good leather couch.
  • Learning how to make a serious cocktail.
  • Learning how to cook something fine.
  • Buying a serious knife.

Most of us buy a bargain knife block at Bed Bath & Beyond right after finding pillows and hangers. Bad move. According to Eytan Zias—local ‘Knife Master’ and owner of the epic Portland Knife House—you should forgo the block of lousy knives and instead spend your money on one really, really good knife that you use for everything.

In the first of three videos on knives, our own food enthusiast Josh Ozersky speaks to Zias about how to use a knife properly.

Here are some tips from the master:

  • Most people hold a knife incorrectly; they hold it like a hammer. You have no control when you do this.
  • You need to use a pinch grip. Hold the knife above the bolster (the silver part between the blade and the handle).
  • You should be able to cut almost anything while holding the knife with just two fingers (if it is a nice sharp knife).
  • While cutting, make sure the fingers of your other hand are curled under your knuckles. This will protect your fingertips from cuts.

There are four main knife techniques:

  • Slicing
  • Running through the board
  • Mincing
  • Chopping

Zias’ go-to knife is the 8-inch chef’s knife.

If you know how to use a knife properly, you can use it for everything.