Part of Lesson Plan: Basic Knife Skills and Cutting Techniques
Activity Overview / Details
Mini-Hook for this activity:
Have something difficult to cut. Have two knives - one sharpened and well cared for and one dull and even blemished. Demonstrate the difference in cutting. Then have several students try the cut and then comment. Ask the students to speculate on why two similar looking knives would cut so differently. They should come up with the point of this lesson – care and cost of knives relative to picking the right one.
Choosing the Right Knife
There are several things to consider when you are going to purchase knives, such as price, functionality, maintenance, and comfort. When purchasing knives, always purchase the best quality you can afford. Good quality knives will make the task of using them more efficient and they will last much longer than less expensive knives. When choosing knives, consider the tips below to ensure that you purchase the right knife for you.
Tips for Choosing the Right Knife:
Purchase individual knives rather than selecting a set. If you do select a set, consider what types of knives are included because many times sets will include some knives that you will not use often. It may be hard to find a set where all the knives have the right fit for you. You may be better off purchasing fewer knives and selecting those of better quality that will fit your needs better. Your first set of knives should include the four following items: chef's knife, pairing knife, utility knife and a serrated/bread knife. These knives should take care of most of the basic cutting task. Add more specialized knives as your budget allows. Before purchasing a knife, be sure to understand its features to ensure it will perform the tasks desired. Be sure to pick up the knife and see how it feels in your hand. It should be comfortable to grasp and it should feel balanced. Be sure it is well weighted. A heavy knife will require less effort when slicing and chopping. Consider the type of blade and blade edge the knife has and the care and maintenance involved. Some blades will need sharpening more often than others and some will need professional sharpening because of the type of blade edge they have. See Knife Blades and Blade Cutting Edges.
California Academic Content Standards (Reinforced)
Handling the knives
Have each student hold the five or six knives in their gruops knife block.
Have managers led the knife handling exercise.
Materials / Resource
- Picking the right knife [ Go to Site ]