How To: Choose, Use and Care for Knives
A great cook needs a great knife, but you don’t need a zillion of them. These four essential knives are really all you need. From left: 8-inch chef's knife, Santoku, serrated knife, paring knife
Hold your chef's knife like a tennis racquet, with the handle resting between your thumb and index finger.
Chop Like a Pro
Use your other hand to guide the knife and steady the food with fingers curled under and knuckles against the blade.
The lightweight Japanese Santoku knife is great for slicing, dicing and mincing vegetables as well as for slicing meat into thin strips.
Paring for Precision
A 3-to-4-inch paring knife is best used for small detailed tasks, like hulling strawberries or peeling oranges.
Serrated for Slicing
A serrated knife rounds out a basic kitchen knife kit. A 7-inch deli knife is great for slicing breads, cakes and sandwiches. Use a sawing motion with light pressure.