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Knife Skills Illustrated: A User's Manual

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  93 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Knives are the most common pieces of equipment in the kitchen, yet few cooks know the basic techniques that can allow them to carve, chop, slice, and mince effectively. Peter Hertzmann teaches you skills that encompass everything you need to do with a knife in the kitchen, whether you're a four-star chef or an at-home beginner. This comprehensive guide fills a gaping void ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 17th 2007 by W. W. Norton & Company
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penny shima glanz
Mar 16, 2008 penny shima glanz rated it it was amazing
This is the book I wish I read when I first started using knives to eat and cook with (ok, maybe a few years later as I was 5 or so). The illustrations by Alan Witschonke are amazing and the plain matter-of-fact tone by Peter Hertzmann have made me fall in love with this book. You don't need a whole large set of knives, 2-3 are enough. He walks you through the basic skills and then applies those through various vegetables, fruits, meats, and fish and shows how they are executed on each of those ...more
Nov 17, 2012 kimberly rated it liked it
2.5 stars.

small blurb on how to hold a knife properly. then the rest is just right and left hand ways to cut different items. tomatoes, potatoes, leeks, artichokes.... BUT NOT PEOPLE.
Michael Zaite
Feb 19, 2014 Michael Zaite rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants better knife skills.
After years of color pictures and small sections in larger cooking books, I finally have a full understanding of classic french style knife skills. The clean scientific line drawing style of the illustrations makes for a cleaner, more understandable way of learning knife technique. Includes both Right and Left handed directions for each task allowing anyone to utilize this book without having to transpose in your head what a lefty needs to do.
Mar 07, 2012 Michael marked it as reference
Recommends it for: foodies, cooks, knife enthusiasts
Recommended to Michael by: Adedoyin Adenuga
Shelves: how-to
This book is a very informative introduction to the use of knives in the kitchen. In addition to highly detailed instructions on knife use on meats and vegetables, it includes a good introduction to knife anatomy, knife care and maintenance, types of knives and cutting boards, and techniques for handling knives. The illustrations help to give visual reference points for knives and their uses, which is essential in learning proper methods. Instructions on knife use are helpfully divided into left ...more
Dan Appel
Aug 02, 2013 Dan Appel rated it it was amazing
The other premier book on knife skills.

Unless you were classically trained in a culinary school kitchen, then you are probably using your knives in ways that are a danger to you and are abusive to the food and your knives!

This book, and the other one I recommend make it simple - that is if you are willing to do what they say and practice as you cook until they become second nature.

My favorite book on use of the knife in the kitchen!
Jul 09, 2013 Nancy rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, cookbook
I did like this book, but it's just hard to work up excitement over learning the correct/safest way to hold a knife and how to chop assorted veggies and fruit. Don't get me wrong, I did like the book and may even purchase a copy later on. I'm just sayin' it's no Game of Thrones with nonstop murder and mayhem. Which is kind of the point since it's a book on safe knife skills.
Jen Healey
Oct 02, 2011 Jen Healey rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-books
No, it doesn't teach you how to slash-up your enemies. But it does have lots of detailed instructions on specific techniques for vegetable, fruit and meat cutting though, with great illustrations. I'm not an expert now that I've read this, but I am trying to use a correct grip and I can dice an onion (almost) like a pro now! We all start somewhere...
Ryan Forbes
Dec 11, 2009 Ryan Forbes rated it liked it
This is a great book for learning day-to-day knife skills. I really enjoy the illustrations. Photographs are great, but for this kind of instruction, the hand-drawn look is key.

It is also a good reference for some of the stranger foods (pineapple) or more detailed techniques (breaking down chickens), and a wonderful book to loan.
Noel M.
Dec 05, 2013 Noel M. rated it really liked it
A perfect gift for someone just starting out in the kitchen! This book clearly details proper knife handing and how to minimize waste. For me, it just confirmed what I've been doing all along is "correct."
Samantha Cira
Sep 14, 2007 Samantha Cira rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking
Amazing book, it's really teaching me how to cut veggies the proper way! I also just got a new chef's knife so I've been having a lot of fun.

This book has illustrations for Lefties as well!
Oct 20, 2012 Katherine rated it it was amazing
Great little reference book on knife skills, the instructions are matter of fact, and the illustrations are great. Definitely keeping a spot in my cooking reference library.
Apr 10, 2008 Lindsey rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-odd-shelf
I don't think I have a knife set nice enough to own a book like this! Great illustrations! :-)
Sep 12, 2008 Moses rated it really liked it
Great book to have around if you'd like to learn some impressive tricks with the kitchen knife.
Mar 23, 2011 Brady rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Best cookbook I've ever used.
Feb 13, 2011 Becky rated it it was ok
Pinch grip. Huh.
David L. Harris
David L. Harris rated it really liked it
Apr 16, 2016
Andrew Parrish
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Feb 29, 2016
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