Knife cutting tips

Kitchen knives

Knife cutting tips

By Matt Stevens

Article 7 of 7

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Knife cutting tips

Find out how to peel, slice and crush garlic and how to safely chop onions, in our guide to getting the best from your kitchen knives.

One of the best ways to get good cutting results is to use a Best Buy kitchen knife, but these tips are for those who want to do more than just cut.

Cutting tips

Creating smooth crushed garlic

Use the paring knife to slice off the top and bottom of the clove, then peel.

With the chef’s knife, slice the clove in half to expose the germ. A white germ is OK to use, but it's best to remove a green germ as it can be bitter.

Place the garlic sliced side down and, using the chef's knife laid flat, crush the clove by striking downwards with the heel of the hand, taking care to avoid the sharp edge of the blade. You can strike it more than once, as you need the garlic to separate.

Add a pinch of salt – this will act as an abrasive to help grind the garlic and will also draw out the moisture.

Create a paste by moving the blade over the crushed garlic and salt until it reaches a fairly smooth consistency – great for garlic bread.

Slicing an onion

Use the paring knife to slice off the top and bottom of the onion leaving some of the root intact; this will help to hold the the onion together when slicing. Peel off the outer and first layer so that a smooth layer is exposed.

Place the onion on its end and cut through the middle.

Take a chef's knife, and with the first three fingers of your other hand make a 'security wall', keeping your fingers in line and the first knuckles slightly forward. This will help keep your fingers away from the sharp edge of the blade and will also guide your knife as you slice.

Slice as thinly or as thickly as you like, moving your security wall back gradually as you slice. Slice using a down and slightly forwards rocking motion suiting the curve of the blade, moving from tip to middle to heel. Don’t worry about your speed – accuracy is the key.

If you’re slicing by working gradually back towards the root, leave the root intact to produce concentric half-rings. If you’re cutting so that each slice goes from top to bottom of the onion, cut the root out first so the rings separate.

Slicing an onion without crying

Some people try running water over the onion or not slicing the root, but these tricks don't always work – everyone cries sometimes, even professionals.