Knife skills 101: Chopping onions and garlic

(CBS News) Using my knives properly took me months to get right. And I still can't say that I've mastered the art.

That, I believe, would take years.

As you can imagine, these skills are a big part of your grade in the beginning of culinary school. If you can't chop properly, you can't cook properly.

Video: Knife skills: How to chop onion and garlic

Not to mention how much more time everything takes if you don't know how to get the small stuff out of the way fast.

In the video above, you can learn the basic techniques for chopping an onion, as well as a quick and efficient way to mince garlic.

Here are some more tips:

  • Put a damp paper towel underneath your cutting board. This will prevent it from moving around while you chop.
  • Notice how you stand. Your cuts won't be as straight if you aren't standing up straight and looking directly down at your knife. I like to stand at a slight angle to my board, but some people like to be squared off.
  • Use the right knife. Having the right tools makes a huge difference. Use a paring knife to peel the skin off an onion, but a chef's knife to chop.
  • Alison Stravitz

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