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Everything sticks to the knife!

I'm a bit of a cooking newbie. Still ruin dinner about 50% of the time. Having said that, I have this issue when I'm chopping or slicing stuff. How do you make your meats and veggies NOT stick to the knife while you're cutting? My parents bought me a set of good-quality knives for Christmas, so it can't be knife quality (I would guess). Doesn't matter what knife I use, this has always been an issue. Is there a way to prevent this, or do you just have to get used to it?

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  1. <Still ruin dinner about 50% of the time>

    We've all been there.

    <How do you make your meats and veggies NOT stick to the knife while you're cutting?>

    Actually, it is a combination of the knife blade grind and a bit of skill.

    A draw cut can significantly reduce food sticking to your blade (but I personally hate draw cut):

    http://youtu.be/3pS-mLc1m00?t=2m20s

    Alternatively, if you have a knife with a good grind, then it will also reduce food sticking. Watch this video from 0:55 to 1:30 minute:

    http://youtu.be/FFBQ6fwzm08?t=55s

    Sticking is also not the end of the world. I just wipe the stick on food on the cutting board.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      Ah, so helpful! I know it's not a crisis, but I already have enough problems in the kitchen that even the mere annoyance of food sticking is enough to make me lose my marbles sometimes. I'm going to try that draw cut and see if it gets me anywhere.

      1. re: writingislove

        I agree, worse things could happen in the kitchen.if you ca't afford new knives( and I can't but I have a sweet, hungry boyfriend) why not try oiling the blades?

        1. re: writingislove

          <but I already have enough problems in the kitchen that even the mere annoyance of food sticking is enough to make me lose my marbles sometimes>

          True, I know what you mean. There are ways to get around this problem. Draw cut is one way, but I always feel less safe using the draw cut -- probably something I need to work on.

          The technique I use to deal with the sticking problem when it occurs is to quickly "wipe" the blade against the cutting board. I think I could have been more clear in my first response about "wiping". By wiping the blade, I mean something like what Martin Yan doing is this video at 3:35 minutes. I don't do it between every slice. I am sure he is not the only one doing this. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a good video of someone else doing it. Here:

          http://youtu.be/0kB_Gl_8v-4?t=3m33s

        2. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Food sticking on a knife is an annoyance as you say. And if you use a food processor, a lot of product will pack up on on side of the bowl as well. Patience and perseverance will eventually prevail. And ruining a meal? Who hasn't. We all have. That is why you never cook with a wine or beer that you would not drink.

          Seriously, nothing and no one in this world is perfect. You will develop your own techniques for getting things done in the kitchen and they will be good, wonderful, and uniquely you. Enjoy the adventure.

          1. re: dcrb

            <That is why you never cook with a wine or beer that you would not drink.>

            :D It took me a second on that one. Funny.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Sometimes you just have to put yourself in the old timeout corner and settle down. Frustration makes a lousy sauce.

        3. Have you tried the hollow-edged santoku style knife? It reduces drag. The ceramic are especially nice. My favorite. What are you using? Just curious.

          3 Replies
          1. re: suzigirl

            When you say "hollow edged", do you mean a hollow grind like this?

            http://www.knifeprocutlery.com/static...

            or do you mean something like this?

            http://www.chefscatalog.com/product/2...

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              I mean the latter, not the hollow grind. It keeps an edge longer in my opinion.

              1. re: suzigirl

                Those hollows can also be called 'grantons.' They reduce resistance while cutting a little bit. Usually though, it's not super effective at keeping food from sticking to the blade - not as effective as the geometry of the knife that Chem linked to above in the second youtube video, for example. A minimal difference at best, for 99% of knives with grantons.

                OTOH Glestain makes a knife that really exaggerates the effect of grantons and it is more effective in terms of keeping food from sticking to the blade.
                http://japanesechefsknife.com/GLESTAI...

                I agree with chem that knife geometry can play a big factor, but you really have to go looking for knives that are made to discourage sticking - most Japanese knifemakers and pretty much all Western makers don't design a chefs knife that really uses geometry as a major way of preventing sticking. The easiest fix is to work on technique. The 'drawing cut' chem linked to above is effective. For other cutting motions, you can use the index finger of your off hand to reach over the spine and keep cut food from sticking and piled neatly. Or practice 'wiping' the blade by kind of tilting it against your cutting board without losing your rhythm.

                Here's a vid that shows using your off hand index finger to help keep food stacked neatly. Look at about 0:35
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ML5flg...
                That's a little slow and a bit awkward but you can do it faster and more smoothly with practice.

          2. If I am chopping celery or carrots, I just keep going. Eventually I'll stop and flick the sticking food off, or "wipe" the blade against the board. If I am slicing cheese, then that's a whole different story. I just have to rinse the blade off in hot tap water in that case.

            1. "Still ruin dinner about 50% of the time."

              Define "ruin". Dinner still doesn't come out like I want it to often, but it comes out edible most of the time. At least that's what my knife says. :p

              On topic, I splash my knife with a hit of water every here and then when cutting something sticky. Seems to work fine and it seems to make knife clean-up easier for me. Also seems to make the knife *seem* sharper, probably due to less sticking. Could be a placebo though. I should put out that I'm using a stainless knife, keeping water on your carbon knives may be a problem.

              1 Reply
              1. re: shezmu

                For rice and sushi they use the water trick, don't see why it wouldn't work for other things, I'd suggest that as well. Potatoes and other starchy vegetables are usually the worst culprit, water keeps the starch from sticking to the knife as much. Keeping the knife moving forwards or backwards at the same time as down instead of straight down also helps to keep the food moving and give it more of a chance of coming off.

              2. I would hate to eat the dinners I cooked 40 years ago now! Just keep on cooking. Cooking is a skill. And I note, that many of my children's generation haven't really learned to cook from their moms. So its like they start from scratch in their mid twenties. Five years from now, you will have a solid start on a life skill that you will keep developing throughout your life. And five years from now, your meals will be really good, almost all the time.

                1 Reply
                1. re: sueatmo

                  <I would hate to eat the dinners I cooked 40 years ago now>

                  Now, I know you are at least 41. :)

                  <And five years from now, your meals will be really good, almost all the time.>

                  I don't recall my meals taste really good after 5 years of cooking. :)