Improving your cooking skills takes lots and lots of practice. There are so many techniques to master, facts to learn, and tools to familiarize yourself with. Of course a little natural ability can go a long way in the kitchen! Time and time again you’ll realize that nearly every recipe you encounter requires some kind of knife work. That’s why polishing up on your knife skills or even creating them is incredibly important. If you’re going to enter the incredible world of cooking, whether it be professionally or just for family and friends, you’re going to need to know how to properly use a knife. Here are some great ways that you can improve your knife skills!

To start things off you’ll need to know how to properly hold a knife. This may seem like a silly step that can be overlooked, however it could not be more crucial to your overall skills, and safety! Knowing how to properly hold a knife is key. The hand that holds the knife is important but the other hand, the helping hand, plays a very important role as well. One of the most common knife grips, used by most chefs, is one in which you’ll use the palm to choke up on the handle. Then you’ll take your thumb and index finger to the top of the blade, this might be different from how many people at home hold their knives but in professional kitchens this is the way to go! This chef’s grip uses the weight of the knife in the most efficient way possible.

Now that you’ve got the grip down let’s move onto the helping hand. The best position for your helping hand to be in is a position some like to call the “bear claw”. It’s kind of self explanatory. For this position the fingertips are curled under and the knuckles are pressed down on the ingredient. Like a bear claw! This keeps the ingredient that you’re cutting from rolling away or sliding all over the place.

Keep practicing your grip and helping hand placement to make sure that you’ve really learned your knife skills and once you have you’ll want to entertain. Whipping up a big delicious meal is the best way to host a dinner party. Of course if you’re hosting a dinner party you’ll want to look your best so head on over to Old Navy where they have incredible deals on must have looks for the whole family!

Be sure to use caution when practicing knife skills and when necessary look up tutorials online to make sure you’re doing things safely and efficiently.