Carving Knife Precision: Getting the Best Cuts of Meat

When it comes to serving succulent roasts or perfectly cooked steaks, a carving knife is your best ally:

  • Knife Selection: Choose a long, slender carving knife with a sharp edge. This ensures smooth slicing and minimal effort.
  • Resting Period: Allow cooked meat to rest before carving. This helps redistribute juices, ensuring a more flavourful and tender result.
  • Angle Matters: Hold the carving knife at a slight angle to the meat's surface. Make thin, even slices by using a sawing motion rather than pressing down.
  • Against the Grain: Going against the grain often yields interesting results, and succulent joints are no exception. Pay attention to the meat's grain, to ensure tenderness, carve against the grain, cutting perpendicular to the muscle fibres.

From Cutting Board to Pan: The Santoku Knife Technique

Transferring ingredients from the cutting board to the pan may seem straightforward, but it's a crucial step in maintaining efficiency and consistency in cooking. The santoku knife, known for its precision and versatility, can aid in this process:

  • Knife as a Scoop: After chopping ingredients, turn the santoku knife over and use the flat side to scoop them off the cutting board. This ensures you don't waste any of your hard-prepared ingredients.
  • Direct Transfer: Hold the handle of the knife and tap the blade against the edge of the pan, allowing the ingredients to slide off gently – slide the blade if that works better for you.
  • Confident Handling: Practice this technique to build confidence and minimize the risk of dropping ingredients.
  • Why Santoku? Santoku knives are engraved with small dimples known as the “Granton Edge”: this design feature performs a very important purpose as the scalloped or indented edges of the knife prevent the blade from sticking to the food being cut. No knife will aid in kitchen efficiency quite like a Santoku.

Effortless Onion Handling: Chopping Without Tears

Onions are a kitchen staple, adding flavour to a wide array of dishes. However, they often come with an unwelcome side effect: tears.

To efficiently cut onions without shedding a tear, follow these 5 simple steps:

  • Chill the Onion: Refrigerate or freeze the onion for about 15 minutes before cutting. This helps reduce the release of irritating compounds that lead to tearing.
  • Sharp Knife: Use a sharp knife, like a santoku or chef knife, to make clean, precise cuts. Dull knives cause more damage to onion cells, releasing more irritants.
  • Ventilation: Work near an open window or under a range hood to disperse the onion's volatile compounds.
  • Proper Technique: Slice off the onion's stem end, then halve it vertically through the root. Peel the skin, make horizontal cuts, and then slice vertically for finely diced onion.
  • Do not listen to Online Fallacies: There’s no sense in cooking with a metal spoon in your mouth, sunglasses won’t provide a sufficient barrier to a potent white onion, and never ever cook with matches between your teeth – kitchen’s boast enough fire hazards as it is.

Mastering Fish Filleting: Precision and Delicacy

Filleting fish can be a daunting task, but with practice and the right technique, you can transform a whole fish into delicate fillets. Here's how:

  • Sharp Fillet Knife: Invest in a thin, flexible fillet knife. A sharp blade ensures clean cuts without tearing the flesh.
  • Starting Point: Place the fish on the cutting board with the head facing away from you. Make an incision just behind the gills and cut down to the backbone.
  • Controlled Movement: Run the knife along the backbone while gently pulling the fillet away from the bones. Use controlled, fluid movements to ensure even cuts.
  • Skin Removal: To remove the skin, place the fillet skin-side down on the board. Insert the knife at the tail end and use a back-and-forth motion while gripping the skin, separating it from the flesh.

Culinary expertise is built upon a foundation of skilful techniques. By mastering these essential skills – you'll be well on your way to impressing both your own taste buds and those of your lucky diners. As you practice and refine these techniques, you'll elevate your culinary creations to the level of a true MasterChef. Make sure to sign up to our newsletter to be the first in the know of the next instalments of our “… like a MasterChef” series, you’ll be leafing through a show application in no time!