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question about vegetable cutting technique

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r0bz

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i am new to the forum if it is in the wrong section please forgive me.

ok my question is using this technique of rock chopping as in the video i link below which is set at (0:44) i understand the down and through motion my problem is with the Lateral movement do you lose contact with the whole knife off the board in order to move it laterally or do you drag it on the board ?
thanks alot for all the help!!!!
 
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Panamapeet

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I’m sorry but this is horrible to watch. All that scraping of the edge over the board, brrrr
 

r0bz

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I think if the knife can be maintained by a honing steel, which is the case in that video, it would be ok to scrape (or lateral move with board contact) with the edge. If the knife has a finer/harder/thinner edge, it'd be better to use the spine to scrape. And if you are good at it, yes you can lift the knife a bit to scrape with edge down without actually contacting the board.
i changed the video because what panamapeet said, so you say that its okay to move the knife laterally with board contact ? can you look at the updated video and tell me what he does does he move it laterally with the knife contacting the cutting board ? many thanks
 

LucasFur

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I scrape (mildly gently) ... So it dulls the edge .. sharpen it. I see no issues, i even do it with some blades ive put a Zero Bevel on. Edge is always fine afterwards ... If your not proficient with your stones and want to make the edge last the longest ... yea ok ... dont ... but if not .. who cares .. its a piece of steel ... so long it doesnt Gouge the board. ... even sushi chefs you often see after each slice, not a scrape .. but still a side motion, often touching the board.
 

crockerculinary

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@r0bz It’s pretty hard to explain the motion because it is a very slight, almost nonexistent motion where you wiggle the knifes trajectory over a mm at a time while riding the belly. If you stop the video at 55-58 seconds and just inch it back and forth frame by frame you can see it move over every stroke. On the backward motion he readjusts where the heel will come down, there is the tiniest twist where the belly of the knife scoots over, and then you slide it forward at the new location.
 

Hz_zzzzzz

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i changed the video because what panamapeet said, so you say that its okay to move the knife laterally with board contact ? can you look at the updated video and tell me what he does does he move it laterally with the knife contacting the cutting board ? many thanks
I think there are 3 ways to do it. 1. Move the ingredients laterally instead of the knife. 2. Like you said move the knife with board contact. 3. Like you said move the knife while it's natural to lift the knife a little bit in the motion. I just tried 3 ways myself I think 1 and 3 make more sense to me. I feel resistance when I do 2.
 

Hz_zzzzzz

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And by looking at the updated video, I think he is doing 3 by subtly lifting the knife a little bit while he moves it laterally, which is natural when you do it fast.
 

sododgy

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I think there are 3 ways to do it. 1. Move the ingredients laterally instead of the knife. 2. Like you said move the knife with board contact. 3. Like you said move the knife while it's natural to lift the knife a little bit in the motion. I just tried 3 ways myself I think 1 and 3 make more sense to me. I feel resistance when I do 2.
Moving the ingredients towards the blade is almost always a bad idea IMO. You want them secured with the off hand, as well as using that hand to guide, and essentially, secure the blade.

So OP, for a traditional rock chop, or guillotine and glide as some call it, the knife will remain in contact with the board, but barely. You want to make sure there's no pressure on the blade. @crockerculinary explained about as well as you can IMO, it's something that just sort of needs done. Start super slow, and use as little force as possible through the entire process. Let the knife do the work as much as possible.

You should check this thread, and just watch everything as close as you can.

 

Hz_zzzzzz

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Moving the ingredients towards the blade is almost always a bad idea IMO. You want them secured with the off hand, as well as using that hand to guide, and essentially, secure the blade.

So OP, for a traditional rock chop, or guillotine and glide as some call it, the knife will remain in contact with the board, but barely. You want to make sure there's no pressure on the blade. @crockerculinary explained about as well as you can IMO, it's something that just sort of needs done. Start super slow, and use as little force as possible through the entire process. Let the knife do the work as much as possible.

You should check this thread, and just watch everything as close as you can.

Very well said. I also feel more control when I move my hand/knife instead of the ingredients, but I do see others do it so I thought it might just be me not good at it. It’s good to know what you think about it.
 

Hz_zzzzzz

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Er...that I don’t understand. At 2:40 this video shows how to move ingredients without cutting your finder. This is one of earliest videos that I watched in the past so I thought it’s a way that exists although I don’t do it any more.


But I no longer do it because I can’t get better control and precise cut not because I feel unsafe. I barely cut myself in any cutting motion though. The wound mostly comes from sharpening, washing, and wiping knives.
 
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r0bz

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Er...that I don’t understand. At 2:40 this video shows how to move ingredients without cutting your finder. This is one of earliest videos that I watched in the past so I thought it’s a way that exists although I don’t do it any more.


But I no longer do it because I can’t get better control and precise cut not because I feel unsafe. I barely cut myself in any cutting motion though. The wound mostly comes from sharpening, washing, and wiping knives.
but when you dice you cant push the ingredients they wont move together
 
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r0bz

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@r0bz It’s pretty hard to explain the motion because it is a very slight, almost nonexistent motion where you wiggle the knifes trajectory over a mm at a time while riding the belly. If you stop the video at 55-58 seconds and just inch it back and forth frame by frame you can see it move over every stroke. On the backward motion he readjusts where the heel will come down, there is the tiniest twist where the belly of the knife scoots over, and then you slide it forward at the new location.
i watched it frame by frame its very hard to see, does he lose contact with the board completely for a millisecond in order to move laterally ?
 

r0bz

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how do you not leave the tip of the knife behind if is needs to be always in touch with the board ?
 

MarcelNL

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planning your cuts is part of the game, if you dice you usually start with longitudinal slices then cut those into strips and then into brunoise (or larger).
 

r0bz

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planning your cuts is part of the game, if you dice you usually start with longitudinal slices then cut those into strips and then into brunoise (or larger).
i know this, i told him that if you dice you cant use the method he wrote of pushing the ingredients to the knife instead of moving the knife
 

MarcelNL

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I don't rock chop but I usually move the fingers holding the ingredients and guiding the knife rather than move the ingredients to the knife as I too found that it dramatically increases the risk of cutting your fingers.
You may need some lateral movement with the knife to separate the cut part, but without real heavy scraping or you use a finger going over the knife to do it.
 

r0bz

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I don't rock chop but I usually move the fingers holding the ingredients and guiding the knife rather than move the ingredients to the knife as I too found that it dramatically increases the risk of cutting your fingers.
You may need some lateral movement with the knife to separate the cut part, but without real heavy scraping or you use a finger going over the knife to do it.
marcel first of all thank you for the reply you understood me wrong my question was after you press the heel of the knife to the food and then slide it forward (guillotine and glide) in order to make the next cut how do you move the knife towards your guide hand (moving the knife laterally) do you lose contact with the board or do you scrape the knife on the board lightly ?
 

MarcelNL

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AHA, that I indeed missed...I don't rock chop, so I'll leave that to others to answer.
 

Nagakin

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marcel first of all thank you for the reply you understood me wrong my question was after you press the heel of the knife to the food and then slide it forward (guillotine and glide) in order to make the next cut how do you move the knife towards your guide hand (moving the knife laterally) do you lose contact with the board or do you scrape the knife on the board lightly ?
For standard rock chopping you will keep contact and walk your knife across the board as you go. As you push forward with the heel of your knife, the tip of your blade will be pointed upwards at an angle. Pivot at the heel in this position to move the point laterally for your next cut. As you start your guillotine motion again is when you will pivot at the tip to lift at the heel. Repeat and you will get that smooth locomotive look. Imagine walking a chopstick across the table only using the ends. It's the same movement with a cut inbetween.

Aside from rolling your edge, there are other disadvantages that come with rock chopping though. It makes sense to use with thicker and/or softer steel because you can always hone on a rod and it helps with steering, but you're adding a motion. The cross and pivot between moving from point A and point B means you'll never be as fast as the guy not dragging his knife. If you're using a shorter knife that requires more lift, that's even more movement. You will also be less accurate because you're constantly reseting your angle.

The only situation I find it useful is when you want a long, slow stroke to keep the ungodly bundle in your opposite hand intact and you're saving time in a different way.
 

r0bz

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For standard rock chopping you will keep contact and walk your knife across the board as you go. As you push forward with the heel of your knife, the tip of your blade will be pointed upwards at an angle. Pivot at the heel in this position to move the point laterally for your next cut. As you start your guillotine motion again is when you will pivot at the tip to lift at the heel. Repeat and you will get that smooth locomotive look. Imagine walking a chopstick across the table only using the ends. It's the same movement with a cut inbetween.

Aside from rolling your edge, there are other disadvantages that come with rock chopping though. It makes sense to use with thicker and/or softer steel because you can always hone on a rod and it helps with steering, but you're adding a motion. The cross and pivot between moving from point A and point B means you'll never be as fast as the guy not dragging his knife. If you're using a shorter knife that requires more lift, that's even more movement. You will also be less accurate because you're constantly reseting your angle.

The only situation I find it useful is when you want a long, slow stroke to keep the ungodly bundle in your opposite hand intact and you're saving time in a different way.
that was very helpful man thank you !!!!!!!!!!!!
 

r0bz

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As you push forward with the heel of your knife, the tip of your blade will be pointed upwards at an angle.
you mean when you slide the knife forward after you did the up and down guillotine motion ?
 

r0bz

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For standard rock chopping you will keep contact and walk your knife across the board as you go. As you push forward with the heel of your knife, the tip of your blade will be pointed upwards at an angle. Pivot at the heel in this position to move the point laterally for your next cut. As you start your guillotine motion again is when you will pivot at the tip to lift at the heel. Repeat and you will get that smooth locomotive look. Imagine walking a chopstick across the table only using the ends. It's the same movement with a cut inbetween.

Aside from rolling your edge, there are other disadvantages that come with rock chopping though. It makes sense to use with thicker and/or softer steel because you can always hone on a rod and it helps with steering, but you're adding a motion. The cross and pivot between moving from point A and point B means you'll never be as fast as the guy not dragging his knife. If you're using a shorter knife that requires more lift, that's even more movement. You will also be less accurate because you're constantly reseting your angle.

The only situation I find it useful is when you want a long, slow stroke to keep the ungodly bundle in your opposite hand intact and you're saving time in a different way.
you do realise i was not talking about this type of using the knife, i was talking about the style in the vid i posted in the original post
 
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Kippington

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Nagakin's answer is relevent to the video you linked in the first post.

The truthful answer is, you'll always be fighting against the knife at least a little bit, as it wants to travel straight and not move to the side. You can combat this a few ways, as mentioned above, and there's also the option to have your cuts fan out with the pivot point staying in the same spot. Kind of like this:


However, your best option is to not use this cutting technique, and instead just lift the tip of the knife up with every cut. It's called a push-cut and it uses a very similar motion, the main difference being that you do not need to have the knife touching the board at all times. With a bit of practice push-cutting ends up being faster, more accurate and allows you more area to use on your knife.
 

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