How To: Choose, Use and Care for Knives

Here's everything you need to know to buy, use and store knives.

Kitchen Essentials

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

Grip Technique

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.

Santoku Skills

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.