5 Safety Tips for Knives in the Kitchen

by Rob Sutter
In order to become as proficient in the culinary arts as possible, it's worth noting the importance of working with a knife. Only with knives will you be able to excel as much as possible in the culinary arts, regardless of the campus you are learning from. If you have been working in the kitchen for a long time, you probably already have a general idea of what knife safety is all about. This doesn't mean that you know everything, though.

Regardless of whether your focus has been on the Art Institute of Tampa or any of the other culinary schools in Florida, here are 5 tips when it comes to knife safety in general. They might just save a finger or two in the long run.

1. Always use sharp knives. You have to make sure that you aren't working with anything too dull. If you forgo this, chances are that you will struggle when cutting even the most tender of ingredients, which can then render this process unsafe for you. This is a rather simple step to follow and one that just about anyone in the culinary arts should recognize. No matter what, sharp knives are crucial when preparing food.

2. Be wary of where you cut. One of the ways that accidents can happen in the kitchen is when a knife makes serious contact with the skin. With this in mind, always keep your eyes on where you are cutting. See where exactly your knife is positioned relative to your hands so that you can go about cutting more carefully. If you take your eyes off of your work, for even a second, you open yourself up to an accident.

3. If you drop your knife, let it fall. Mistakes can happen in the kitchen and one of the most common is your knife being dropped. If this happens, do not try to catch it. Many novices may attempt to go about this, since it's more or less instinctive. Fight against this particular instinct. Let your knife fall to the floor so that you can pick it up safety. Wash the utensil in question and get back to work after this is done.

4. Don't forget the cutting board. If you want as much space as possible, in the kitchen, go with a sizable cutting board. You never want to cut your ingredients on a countertop or the kitchen table, since your knife can damage the material used to build them. Over time, your cutting board will become dirty, so make sure it is washed with every use. The better maintained your cutting board is, the longer it will last when a knife is brought into contact.

5. Use your knuckles when cutting. Let's say that you are tasked with cutting a large cucumber or a bunch of carrots. When going about this endeavor, hold the ingredients down with curled knuckles before you cut. The reason for this is because it lessens the risk of the knife coming into contact with an outstretched finger. In addition, your knuckles will be able to bear the brunt of the knife much easier than your fingers will be able to.

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