Cutting fruit and vegetables seems simple enough, right? In many cases, however, things are definitely easier said than done. Try to cut some avocados, mangoes, or even carrots properly and you’ll find out that it is not easy at all. Of course, chopping fruit and cutting vegetables much boils down to the quality of the knife you’re using, but if you can’t handle it properly and learn how to cut right even the best knife in the world won’t be of much help. Also, keep in mind that knives cause more injuries than any other type of hand tool. Accidents can and do happen while people are cutting fruit and vegetables, and one of the main reasons is that they’re not doing it the proper way.
And what is the proper way, you might ask? We have prepared a small list of some of the most difficult fruits and vegetables to cut, as well as some tips on how to do it correctly.
If you’re wondering how to cut an avocado, cut it in half lengthwise, from top to bottom. As you will be able to see, there’s a large pit in the center, and that is also where the avocado stone is placed. Using a spoon, scoop out that pit, and then, again using the very same spoon, ease the flesh of the fruit away from the outer peel.
People often hold down the pit-laden avocado half in one hand, and then use a large knife to dip into the stone and pull it out. Not only is the technique hardly correct, but it can also be quite dangerous. You can probably easily imagine why. If not, imagine the knife missing the stone and instead of cutting right through the avocado into the open palm.
When it comes to cutting vegetables, you might not consider carrots an issue. But are you sure you are doing things right?
To properly cut a carrot, first cut a large section, and then slice it halfway through the middle. It should then lay flat on the cutting board, with the rounded part on top.
Many people simply set the carrot down and try to cut it into rounds. While it is not as dangerous as cutting the avocado incorrectly, it can simply cause the pieces of the carrot to roll away and fall to the ground, making the process unnecessarily lengthy.
When it comes to cutting fruit and vegetables, hardly anything beats corn in terms of the difficulty level.
First, cook the corn and let it cool down a bit before chopping it in half, widthwise. Place the cut side down and use a small knife to scrape the kernels to the cutting board.
Many people do not chop the corn, and instead are just trying to scrape the kernels as the corn rolls around the table. Of course, this method is very messy. Kernels tend to fly away all over the place, and instead of tasty corn, all you get is a kitchen you need to clean up.
Now, who doesn’t like kiwis? They’re sweet, they’re juicy, they’re soft – just about the perfect fruit. Chopping fruit in this case, however, is not that easy.
Do not remove the fuzzy skin – instead, cut it in half and place the fuzzy side on the board. Peel it in stripes using a small knife. Cut towards the board, not towards yourself. Of course, you can always just cut a kiwi in half and scoop the juicy green pulp using a spoon.
Definitely do not use a peeler, however. They often slide on kiwis, as the green pulp is very slippery. In the best case, your fruit will simply fall out of your hand – in the worse scenario, you may end up cutting yourself rather than kiwi.
There is a variety of dishes you can make with sweet potatoes! Fries, for example, tend to be even tastier than the “standard” ones. So, how to cut and chop a sweet potato?
Unlike kiwis, to cut a sweet potato you can just use a basic peeler. After peeling the potato, cut it in half and set it on the cutting board with the cut side down. Cut in large sheets, and then chop them down with a knife into squares.
Do not cut sweet potatoes into pieces of varying sizes, especially if you are going to bake them. Having uniformity in sizing will ensure a smooth and even cooking process, which is often true for cutting vegetables for cooking in general.
Mangoes are without a shadow of a doubt, some of the tastiest (and most slippery) fruits there are. Chopping fruit in this case can be really challenging.
First, peel the skin with a peeler, or by using a small knife. Next, cut off the larger end of the mango and place it on the cutting board. Just like with carrots, aim for a flat surface. Cut in small sections towards the cutting board, and next work around the pit.
We know some people like to stabilize the fruit in their hand, and then cut it with a knife. Keep in mind, however, that even despite the size of the mango, your knife can still slip right onto your palm, or even worse, wrist.
Pomegranates are some of the most difficult fruits to cut properly. They are unique, because, contrary to the other fruits we’ve mentioned here, most of the time only the pomegranates’ seeds are worthy of attention. So, how do you get to them?
It’s not hard, but it can take a while. First, prepare a clean bowl of water. Cut the pomegranate in half (widthwise), cut side facing away from you. Smack the other side (the one facing you) with a spoon a few times. That will cause the inside to separate from the peel and fall into the water. You can then scoop up the seeds (they will separate themselves from the membranes).
There are many “shortcut” methods, but none of them is as safe and easy as this one. We heavily recommend you opt for the method we have given you in this guide.
Lastly, it’s important to consider some practices that will help you learn how to improve knife skills properly. These are very basic ideas, which will make the cutting process safe and smoother.
First of all, always use sharp knives. Dull knives require you to use more force, and thus, in turn, become more dangerous than sharp ones. Your best option will be a steel knife; after all, you can always sharpen the blade.
Keep your fingers connected while cutting. Plant them on the cutting board, or curl them up completely. This way, the widest part of the knife will be next to your knuckles. This will vastly speed up the chopping process.
Keep the point of the knife at the cutting board. This will make cutting both safer and way, way faster.
Also, contrary to what the owners of kitchen specialty shops want you to believe, you do not need a ton of different knives in your drawer. Basically, when it comes to cutting and chopping most types of food, you only need a peeler, a large and sharp chopping knife, and a serrated knife for cutting bread.
Always clean the cutting board up after using it. Having multiple pieces of previously chopped items on the cutting board will make your chop surface smaller, and thus the process more dangerous. Now that you know how to improve knife skills, your cooking time might become considerably more enjoyable – and shorter.
If you’re looking to spruce up your dining experience and taste the most delicious meals prepared professionally at a reasonable price, don’t hesitate to pay us a visit at Stubborn Seed. We’re sure that we’ll become one of your favorite go-to places to wine and dine in Miami.