The right cutting technique: the claw grip

Let’s continue our little teaching series. This time, we are going to explain a basic type of grip that almost every cook uses on a regular basis – the claw grip. This is mainly used for chopping using the dicing technique.

Before we show you the claw grip in detail and with photos, let’s look at the safe way to handle your cook’s knife. This starts with the way you hold the knife in your hand:
That's the way to hold a cook's knife - picture 1.
Place the lower three fingers of your hand around the handle, with your middle finger on the bolster.

That's the way to hold a cook's knife - picture 2.
Then clasp the blade of the knife left and right with your thumb and index finger.

That's the way to hold a cook's knife - picture 3.
This is how you hold the knife safely. It will not slip away from you and it will allow you to aim the blade and guide it precisely.

Now let’s look at the claw grip and the dicing cut:
Hold the knife as described above.
That's the claw grip - picture  1.
Use the other hand to hold the food to be cut. Important: your fingertips should be pointing towards the inside of your hand! In relation to the blade, your thumb and little finger are safely behind the three middle fingers. This prevents any accidents involving your fingers.

That's the claw grip - picture 2.
When chopping, set the knife close up against the fingers so that the blade only lightly touches the fingers when cutting, using the most protruding knuckles as a guide for cutting straight down from this point.

That's the claw grip - picture 3.
Move the cook’s knife straight up and down along the fingers with the tip of the knife always staying on the cutting board. So the knife makes a rocking movement.
At the same time, you can move the food towards the blade using your thumb.

You’ll need a bit of practise before you get it right. This technique might seem quite difficult at first. The important thing is not to tense up. Stay relaxed and start the rocking up and down movement slowly at first. You’ll see: as you get into the routine, you will get better and faster at doing it!

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