Lessons > Handling a Chef's Knife

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★★★★★ (337)

33,190 Students
All Levels

Lesson Overview

The old saying ‘you are what you eat’ is not quite accurate. If you want to be in control of what you eat, then, more accurately, ‘you are what you cook’ and if you are not cutting, this means you are not cooking. It’s that simple.

All too often people choose not to cook because the slicing an…

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Lesson Objectives

At the end of this lesson you'll be able to:
  • properly grip a chef’s knife
  • perform the rolling technique safely
  • describe the up-and-down chopping technique
  • define the pivot chopping technique
  • learn how to keep you knife sharp through honing

Course Syllabus

START: Watch Lesson Platform Tour
1. Introduction: Handling a Chef's Knife 4 mins
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2. Complete Your Self Assessment 2 mins
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3. The Knife Grip 1 min
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4. The Rolling Technique 2 mins
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5. Positioning Your Guide Hand 2 mins
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6. The Bench Scraper Practice Activity 12 mins
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7. Cutting with a Chef's Knife 20 mins
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8. Other Methods of Using the Knife 3 mins
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9. How to Hone Your Knife 5 mins
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10. Lesson Quiz 15 mins
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Finish Line 1 hr 6 mins Total Time

Practice Recipes

A few of the practice recipes you'll learn in this lesson.

Prerequisites & Related Lessons

Please consider these additional lessons to support your learning and discovery. Some of these lessons are prerequisites that may help contextualize what you are learning and form a baseline of knowledge and skill. Other lessons are related and may help you explore next steps or dive deeper on a learning topic.
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Selecting a Knife Set

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★★★★★ (514)

Thumbnail how to cut using a chef s knife

How to Cut Using a Chef's Knife

13 Tasks | 10 Videos | 7 Recipes | 1 hr 53 mins

★★★★★ (186)

Thumbnail knife sharpening with a whetstone

Knife Sharpening w/ a Whetstone

7 Tasks | 6 Videos | 0 Recipes | 1 hr 8 mins

★★★★★ (169)

What People Are Saying

Donavan W "Great lesson." Donavan W. ★★★★
Scott C "Strait forward, easy to follow and absorb." Scott C. ★★★★★
Tamara D "I'd rate this lesson a 5. It was very helpful as well as interesting." Tamara D. ★★★★★
Maj-britt A "I Learned a lot of theory, now to practice on flour lol. That is a good idea, I was worried I had to cut a ton of vegetables that I would nerver have time to eat." Maj-britt A. ★★★★★
Elizabeth W "I feel much more confident handling my chef's knife safely. Great lesson!" Elizabeth W. ★★★★★
Sandra C "Always hated using knife because I often nicked myself. Even enjoyed cutting the 10 feet of celery in this lesson. My technique is not perfect yet but have the knowledge now and desire to improve. Also now know how to hone my knife, always had hubby do it. Thanks!" Sandra C. ★★★★★
Scott S "This lesson was very helpful! I now know a lot more about using a knife than I did before and, while I'm still not perfect, I have much more confidence in my knife skills and safety." Scott S. ★★★★
Adaire O "This was educational and fun! I loved how the lessons have activities/tasks that we can do at home and found them (especially the recipes!) fun to complete. This, coupled with the awesome video instruction, really accelerated my performance level quickly. The program's focus on safety was greatly appreciated, since I have been a bit hesitant when it comes to knives. I became more and more comfortable and confident with each lesson and look forward to learning more!" Adaire O. ★★★★★
Default profile "Great lesson." ★★★★
Default profile "Didn't have all the elements for the non-tuna salad, but I used onions, celery, pickles, with salt and pepper to taste, and left over peanut sauce. Felt good and tasted good. I am handicapped so don't use a knife very fast, but I get the job done. This time with a smile on my face. Like this school, Rouxbe, thanks. You definitely get 5 stars. :)" ★★★★★
Default profile "This was very good. It helped me to learn a lot! Thanks so much! I never could cut efficiently." ★★★★★
Default profile "I'd rate this lesson a 5. It was very helpful as well as interesting." ★★★★★
Default profile "Strait forward, easy to follow and absorb." ★★★★★
Default profile "I feel great to learn how to properly used a knife! I definitely feel more confident using a knife." ★★★★★
Default profile "I Learned a lot of theory, now to practice on flour lol. That is a good idea, I was worried I had to cut a ton of vegetables that I would nerver have time to eat." ★★★★★
Default profile "- missing some mention of why it is not good to sharpen the knife with home sharpeners - doesn't describe how to deal with bones, or scrapping" ★★★★
Default profile "Great and very useful information! Makes cutting good so much easier!" ★★★★★
Default profile "VERY GOOD FOR ME I WAS NOT AWARE OF THOS CUTS..." ★★★★★
Default profile "It demonstrated the various cuts very well!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Very cool!" ★★★★
Default profile "I love this" ★★★★★
Default profile "I am reviewing this material as I already took it few years ago. It is great to see the new format, with better mixture of reading, videos, and recipes." ★★★★★
Default profile "Important useful info on proper use of a knife." ★★★★★
Default profile "It was really useful lesson for me. Thanks for it." ★★★★★
Default profile "Cutting techniques have now been demystified for me!" ★★★★★
Default profile "I feel much more confident handling my chef's knife safely. Great lesson!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Excellent videos! Got a lot out of watching those. Can't wait to start chopping!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Excellent information!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Another excellent lesson…..." ★★★★★
Default profile "I particularly like the fact that you can see the correct answers for the questions that were scored incorrect." ★★★★★
Default profile "Very useful lesson, and one that everyone should view before picking up a knife." ★★★★
Default profile "My 8 year old is learning with me and she finds the info helpful as she begins to work in the kitchen more often." ★★★★★
Default profile "yes" ★★★★
Default profile "Always hated using knife because I often nicked myself. Even enjoyed cutting the 10 feet of celery in this lesson. My technique is not perfect yet but have the knowledge now and desire to improve. Also now know how to hone my knife, always had hubby do it. Thanks!" ★★★★★
Default profile "I didn't know I knew how to cut so well until I took this lesson. It added extra safety knowledge for me." ★★★★★
Default profile "I think I'm going to enjoy cooking more with my new knife skills." ★★★★★
Default profile "Excellent.." ★★★★★
Default profile "was very helpful!!! :))" ★★★★
Default profile "Enjoyed learning proper vocab and sharpening up on skills I was already using." ★★★★★
Default profile "Very clear descriptions and demonstrations of the various techniques." ★★★★★
Default profile "Nice refresher" ★★★★
Default profile "This lesson was very helpful! I now know a lot more about using a knife than I did before and, while I'm still not perfect, I have much more confidence in my knife skills and safety." ★★★★
Default profile "I always wanted to learn this." ★★★★★
Default profile "I recently purchased a expensive knife and had no idea when to hone it. This lesson educated me on the proper care and use of knives" ★★★★★
Default profile "I would like to know which question I got wrong and what the correct answer is. How else will I learn from my mistakes?" ★★★★
Default profile "This was educational and fun! I loved how the lessons have activities/tasks that we can do at home and found them (especially the recipes!) fun to complete. This, coupled with the awesome video instruction, really accelerated my performance level quickly. The program's focus on safety was greatly appreciated, since I have been a bit hesitant when it comes to knives. I became more and more comfortable and confident with each lesson and look forward to learning more!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Incredibly helpful, I cook a lot and still picked up some useful knowledge" ★★★★★
Default profile "This was well presented and easy to understand, for someone new to the subject mattter" ★★★★★
Default profile "Very informative. Easy to follow and improved my skills immediately." ★★★★★
Default profile "I've always been a little scared of the knife because of always cutting myself. But now I have skills & I love using the knife! Thanks Rouxbe!" ★★★★★
Default profile "very good lesson!" ★★★★★
Default profile "I felt like I came to the lesson with some knife knowledge and I learned several new tips to help me make better, quicker and more consistent cuts." ★★★★★
Default profile "The lesson was easy to understand and to follow. I just need to practice." ★★★★
Default profile "Very important and needed lesson also very thorough" ★★★★★
Default profile "It is good." ★★★★
Default profile "this lesson was so great and helpful. I think every one:) should watch these videos" ★★★★★
Default profile "Very practical, clear, effective use of videos, photos, recipe skills. Thanks, my knife skills have improved already. I also see how much practice it takes to cut things professionally and safely!" ★★★★★
Default profile "I was kind of confused because the videos showed a left hander using the knife and I am a right hander." ★★★★
Default profile "I’ve thought I was properly using my knife, boy was I wrong. Great tutorials!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Question on rolling motion answer" ★★★★
Default profile "This was very helpful & informative. I especially liked the explanations given for the how & why. The instructional videos would have been more helpful to me if they used a right handed demonstrator." ★★★★
Default profile "learned a few new types of knives n how to properly hold them took some fear out of using a big sharp knife!" ★★★★★
Default profile "I am really excited, am proud of Rouxbe,you guys are doing a great job. Nice one" ★★★★
Default profile "I definitely have more confidants in using my chief knife!!!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Great information and help." ★★★★★
Default profile "I thought cutting was cutting. These techniques will give me so much more control with some practice. Loved it." ★★★★★
Default profile "Very Informative! I had been focusing on the wrong side of the knife during cutting." ★★★★★
Default profile "I’m finally learning to use my knives. Thank you." ★★★★★
Default profile "Very informative. Thank you, for the lesson I will be practicing." ★★★★★
Default profile "I learned alot but would like to know what answers were wrong..." ★★★★★
Default profile "I learned alot but would like to know what answers were wrong..." ★★★★★
Default profile "This Online lesson was amazing and oi recommend this to people who are new to cooking because it helps you with even the most basic of techniques which will benefit you later in the future." ★★★★★
Default profile "love this lesson." ★★★★★
Default profile "Essential to know if you want to cook" ★★★★★
Default profile "excellent lesson, videos are great..love Rouxbe" ★★★★★
Default profile "It was fine." ★★★★★
Default profile "It helps me learn a lot about knives that I did not know before." ★★★★★
Default profile "Very Interesting and Fun." ★★★★★
Default profile "I appreciated this lesson tremendously. I thought that the words used to describe the actions were thoughtfully constructed, and well executed. They were clear, concise, easy to understand, and well supported by the accompanying videos. Congratulations on a lesson very well presented. It was a pleasure to have participated." ★★★★★
Default profile "Using the pot lid as a tool visualize the proper motion for the rolling really helped me." ★★★★★
Default profile "Very helpful and informative" ★★★★★
Default profile "It was a very simple but well explained leason and it was enjoyable." ★★★★★
Default profile "Very easy to understand and very straightforward" ★★★★★
Default profile "wish the videos showed more of a right handed person using the knife and guide hand" ★★★★
Default profile "I have competed several units and lessons in the Rouxbe curriculum, and every time I return to this one I am reminded of the basics and how I may have drifted into poor habits. It is important to pay attention to this lesson and to revisit it from time to time." ★★★★★
Default profile "it was good" ★★★★★
Default profile "I think that this is a good quiz but number nine is a little vague. It can take someone thats inexperienced a very short amount of time to improve while a seasoned chef can spend hours practicing. Other than that I don't think there is anything else that is confusing." ★★★★★
Default profile "In question 3, the question was "It takes hours and hours of practising proper cutting techniques to improve your knife skills. Shouldn't the answer be True? rather than False? I mean, It asks "to improve your knife skills". You can improve your knife skills by practising more rather than just a 10 to 15 mins workout using a bench scraper and not a knife. I guess everyone has their own opinions, but this question was just too biased for the one who wrote it, because its his/her own opinion. I really liked the lesson." ★★
Default profile "Brilliant videos." ★★★★★
Show More
10 Videos | 10 Tasks
Task 1: Introduction: Handling a Chef's Knife
Task 2: Complete Your Self Assessment
Task 3: The Knife Grip
Task 4: The Rolling Technique
Task 5: Positioning Your Guide Hand
Task 6: The Bench Scraper Practice Activity
Task 7: Cutting with a Chef's Knife
Task 8: Other Methods of Using the Knife

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