Mastering essential cutting techniques for chefs: from cross chop to batonnet. Everything you need to know!
Becoming skilled in using a chef’s knife is an essential art that every chef must master to stand out from the rest and work towards becoming a head chef. Knowing recipes, cooking techniques, and appropriate attire for the job is essential for a chef, but learning and mastering different cutting techniques is equally important.
From the Julienne to the Batonnet, chefs are under constant pressure to learn the cuts, chops, slices, and dice.
Here are some crucial cutting techniques that every chef should know to excel at their job and improve their skills.
1. Cross Chop : One of the cutting techniques that chefs should learn is the Cross Chop. This technique is ideal for quickly chopping small vegetables or herbs without worrying about presentation. To execute the Cross Chop, hold the knife’s handle with one hand and place the other hand on top of the blade to guide and control the chopping pace. Then, lift the handle of the blade and chop while keeping the tip of the blade down. As your hands are out of the way, they will be safe.
2. Rock Chop : Another useful technique is the Rock Chop, which is similar to the Cross Chop. Hold the handle of the blade, keep the tip of the knife down on the board, and use your other hand to move the ingredient. As you chop, keep the blade still and push the vegetable-forward. Remember to curl your fingers to keep them safe from the blade.
3. Julienne Cut : The Julienne Cut is a fine cut where the thickness of each slice is between 1-2 mm. It involves cutting the vegetables into thin rectangular shapes, followed by using the fine slice technique to create thin matchstick shapes. This technique is commonly used for carrots, celery, and Julienne Fries from potatoes. Mastering the Julienne Cut is essential as it is the initial step for other types of cuts.
4. Brunoise Dice : Chefs can use the Brunoise Dice technique to dice the ingredients into small cubes. The cube size should be 2mm x 2mm x 2mm, making it the smallest dicing cut, popularly used for soups.
5. The Small Dice : The Small Dice technique is a slightly larger cut than the Brunoise Dice, with dimensions of 3mm x 3mm x 3mm. Chefs can begin this technique by Julienne Cutting the ingredients and then dicing them into slightly bigger cubes than the Brunoise.
6. The Batonnet : The Batonnet technique is used to cut baton-shaped vegetables like chips, with dimensions of 6mm x 6mm x 6mm. The Baton technique, on the other hand, is used to create large dice with dimensions of 12mm x 12mm x 6cm. Although not regularly used, the Baton technique is still a useful technique to master.
7. Pont-Neuf : Lastly, the Pont-Neuf technique is only related to cutting potatoes. After peeling and washing the potatoes, cut them into 2cm x 7cm shapes to create chunky chips.
Every chef must learn and master these cutting techniques to become an expert in their field. With regular practice, even new chefs can become professional chefs.
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