Mastering a culinary knife is essential for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a chef or simply want to improve your cooking skills. Preparing food that is visually appealing and tasty without cutting ingredients the right way is next to impossible.
We know that many people can wing their way through recipes, but they do not have the finish that everyone craves. So, if you want to boost your culinary knife skills, we suggest you understand the various knife cut options you can use. Getting a clear idea of these cuts and how you can use them will help you improve your skills in no time. You will easily prepare delicious-looking and appealing food once you master the various knife cuts.
Culinary Knife Cut Options
Following are some of the knife cuts that you should consider next time you want to cook good food. We divided these cuts into categories for your ease, so ensure that you take a good look at them. Let us start with our list
Categories of Culinary Cuts
There are several kitchen knife cuts that you can use. You can differentiate between these types according to the width of the cut. We can divide the culinary cuts into two categories, which are as follows.
- Strip cuts
- Cube cuts
These cuts have many sub-categories, but we will discuss the common ones.
Pont-Neuf is the first pick on our list for a thick cut. You can find chefs using this cutting method for thin potatoes. It ranges between 1 and 2 cm per cut on each dimension. However, this method is best for cutting potatoes only after skinned and washed to make big chunks of potatoes.
Batonnet is a French word that means thin sticks. It is one of the basic cuts and is also the first step to a small dice. Remember that mastering a batonnet takes a lot of practice, so do not get overwhelmed if you can’t get it right after a few attempts.
Professionals also call julienne “allumette.” The length of each strip is between 1-2 mm in this cut, which makes it one of the finest cut options that you might come across. The chef needs to cut the ingredients into a rectangular cut. They can proceed with this fine slicing technique and create thin matchstick shapes for the ingredients.
The julienne cut is most famous for carrots, celery, or other vegetables. Remember that mastering julienne is important if you wish to proceed to the more advanced cuts.
Fine julienne is another variant of the julienne cut with finer and more precise cuts. It is ideal for smaller vegetables and is also the first step to the brunoise cut.
Chiffonade is the last cutting technique in our strip cut category. It includes rolling green leafy vegetables and slicing them. Keep in mind that the rolling sections range between 4-10 mm widths.
We will discuss the cube cuts with six sides, which include:
We call the large dice cut “carre,” which means square in French. The sides of the ingredients are around 20 mm in length. These large dice are great for cooking a raw vegetable or working on big chunks of meat. You can also cut fruits like a watermelon using this technique.
The medium dice typically ranges between 1/2 inch × 1/2 inch × 1/2 inch and is a smaller version of the large dice we mentioned before. The medium dice are ideal for recipes that do not require the cook to follow a specific size. So if your recipe says something like “diced tomatoes,” go for the medium dice -not too big or too small.
This is the smallest cutting variant (as the name suggests). You can prepare a small dice by starting with an allumette and then cutting it into further ¼ sections.
You can use the brunoise cut for garnishing, and it is the smallest cut that you need. The average size of the brunoise cut ranges between 1/8 inch × 1/8 inch × 1/8 inches, making it the finest cutting method. If you feel like you need to go a step further, you can go for a fine brunoise which consists of 1/16 size.
This completes our list of the basic cuts and cubes that you should know. However, there are other cuts that you can learn if you want to master culinary knife cuts.
Other Cuts to Practice
Wedges are a simple cutting technique that includes splitting the vegetable or ingredient into equally cut sides. You can use this method for slicing lemons, tomatoes, and potatoes. You can choose to cut round vegetables into four or six pieces as per your requirement.
Mincing is a common technique for cutting the ingredients into equal fine pieces. Mincing helps refine the cuts on the vegetables or garnish, which is why you should try it.
Not all cuts in culinary work are precise and clean. The rough cut includes slicing or cubing the vegetables into random sizes. This is a quick way to cut your ingredients, but it won’t have a gourmet look to it.
The tourné cut includes creating seven faces that are 2 inches long with a bulge in the centre portion.
Fermière is slightly different since you need to cut them length-wise first and then slice them into the desired thickness.
So, as you see, there are plenty of culinary knife cut options that you can choose from. It all depends on your cutting skills and the recipe you wish to prepare. We suggest starting from the simplest cutting techniques and working your way up to the more complex ones. You can already see that one cutting method leads to another in most of these cutting styles. Thus, the more you master the basic ones, the easier it is to learn advanced skills.