One of the most important tasks in any kitchen is “cutting stuff up.” This happens every day. In fact, it’s hard to make a meal without slicing or chopping anything. Now I suppose that you could buy pre-cut veggies and meat or frozen dinners, but eventually you would crave something homemade. That’s when you’d have to take out a knife and cutting board to prepare your recipe.
While I have set my kitchen up to facilitate easy chopping, I realize that this isn’t the same for everyone.
In fact, during a recent visit to my parents, I realized that it took twice as long to make dinner there because the cutting board was tiny and unstable and the knife was small and dull. (It was still twice as fun to be there because I enjoy visiting with family, of course).
Anyway, that experience has inspired this kitchen hack.
Here are a few tips and tricks to make the chopping and slicing parts of meal preparation easier...
- Dishwasher-safe cutting boards that don’t slip are ideal. Once you find one you like, get a couple of them. I like the white plastic cutting boards with non-slip rubber grips on the edges. I also like the flexible plastic ones that you can use to chop and then slide the ingredients into a pan or bowl. A stack of them is great! Multiple cutting boards make every day in your kitchen easier. With a bunch of boards, you can easily prevent cross-contamination. I also use a big wooden one for rolling dough.
- A Japanese mandolin is a workhorse in my kitchen. It’s so cheap and makes creating thin slices a breeze. Plus, with a mandolin you don’t have to peel much of anything because it slices everything so thinly that the peel can stay on to provide more fiber and nutrients (think beets, carrots, fennel, etc). Plus, most mandolines can go in the dishwasher when you are finished with them. Just be sure to use all the safety equipment they provide and be careful near the sharp blades.
- Stock up on great chef’s knives that are both big and sharp. Santoku knives are often less expensive for their size compared to French Chef knives ($79 versus $120) and they’re easy to use because their blades have built-in air pockets so that food doesn’t stick.
- Serrated knives are very handy and sturdy as well. You can buy a serrated inexpensive chef’s knife with a plastic handle in most value stores for about $8. These are great for any kitchen as utility knives. I would use them on projects like chopping chocolate or apples in bulk.
- Good vegetable peelers that are sharp and easy to handle make lots of kitchen chores an absolute breeze.
And there you have it! A few fun tips to make “cutting stuff up” a lot easier.
These are great for cooking demos, email blasts, and even your next newsletter. How will you use them to help your clients?
Here are a few more kitchen resources, just for you...
Stephanie Ronco has been editing in a professional capacity for the past 10 years. In addition to her work as an editor, Ronco has also served as a ghostwriter and writing tutor. A voracious reader, Ronco loves watching language evolve and change. When she’s not delving into her latest project, Ronco can be found teaching acting classes, performing in community theater, or sailing with her husband.