Tips & Info

Learning basic knife skills

From Sound Dietitians, a partner of the Verdant Health Commission. View the complete blog post and resources from Sound Dietitians at


What do knife skills have to do with nutrition? More than you’d think! A new study has found that “Adults who don’t flip on the TV during dinner and those who eat home-cooked meals are less likely to be obese.” Why is cooking at home healthier? An article from HealthDayquoted, “Preparing your food at home gives you control over what goes on your plate.” YOU are the one who decides what ingredients you use and how much!


Do you forgo cooking at home because it’s too time consuming? Brushing up on your knife skills and practicing can make a world of difference! You’ll be chopping onions, slicing peppers, and dicing tomatoes in no time. ​​


Check out this awesome knife skills packet from Utah State University Cooperative Extension for more detailed information on knives, knife care, storage, and using your knives. Additionally, this is an excellent resource from NY Times Cooking with video tutorials for different knife cuts.
Tips on Holding a Knife

  • Don’t hold your knife with a death grip – relax your hands and wrists and let the blade do the cutting!
  • Position all 10 fingers so that it’s virtually impossible to cut them.
  • Your hand that holds the knife should grip both the handle AND the blade. This “Blade Grip” gives you more control.
  • Keep your knife at the same height or just below your elbows. This allows you to use your whole upper body to put pressure on the knife.

Sharpening and Storage

Don’t wait until your knife is dull to care for it. Keeping your knives sharp will save you time in the long run and will keep you safe! A dull knife is more dangerous, as it is more likely to slip. How often should you sharpen your knife? Home cooks typically only need to sharpen their knives once or twice per year! You can hone your knife as often as you like, but weekly should be plenty for most home cooks.



View the complete blog post from Leah, a Dietetic Intern with Sound Dietitians, for more about sharpening, honing, cutting boards, storage, washing, and recipes (the Earthbound Farm Health Salad, Tofu-Dill Dressing, and Pineapple and Jicama Salad with Honey Vinaigrette) on the Sound Dietitians blog: