So, your cooking skills aren’t on par with Eric Ripert or Daniel Boulud—join the club. Still, being a great home cook has less to do with creating grandiose, time-consuming dishes and more to do with technique. One particular ability top chefs emphasize time and time again? Proper knife skills. It might sound crazy, but studies have consistently shown that the way you cut vegetables and fruit can actually make a big difference—not only with how your food looks and tastes, but how nutrients are absorbed into the body, too.
Chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain considers learning how to cut the right way basic cooking 101. “The first [cooking] skill you’ll need is this: Basic proficiency with a knife,” he shared with us. “Everyone should know how to use a knife, it ain’t that hard.” As for how to become a pro? According to Bourdain, practice makes perfect. “Practice, practice, practice, practice. Sit around and buy a bunch of cheap onions, turnips, and keep cutting. Cut yourself, put a bandaid on, wait a couple of days, and try again.”
Because time is precious—and we totally get that it can often seem easier to hack a carrot into uneven chunks or waste an entire tomato just to get a few useable slices, but learning how to chop, slice, and cut produce the right way is actually insanely easy thanks to the sheer number of tutorials on a little site called YouTube.
Here, we’ve compiled a handy video guide that shows you how to cut 38 different fruits and veggies, many with cool shortcuts and hacks. In fact, some of these tips will cut your cooking time down so much, you might actually take an extended Seamless hiatus.
1. Cherry Tomatoes: This cutting hack involves two plates, and will basically blow your mind.
2. Onions: Chef Gordon Ramsay’s tips for doing the seemingly impossible–cutting onions without crying.
3. Avocados: If your avocado cutting technique is really just smushing the green part from the skin, here’s how to cut it into perfect pieces.
4. Mushrooms: Do it quickly—and perfectly—with these tips.
5. Watermelons: Cutting this fruit can seem daunting, but it’s actally pretty easy to chop it into perfect cubes.
6. Eggplants: Martha Stewart’s guide for cutting an eggplant four different ways.
7. Mangos: Here’s how to cut a mango without wasting any.
8. Bell Peppers: This is how to cut a pepper into perfect slices.
9. Cucumbers: How to cut a cucumber quickly, courtesy of Jamie Oliver.
10. Strawberries: You’ll love this super=easy technique for cutting strawberries into perfect slices.
11. Apples: You think you know how to cut an apple–until you watch this video.
12. Oranges: This is how to cut oranges into perfect slices–perfect for fruit salad.
13. Pineapples: Don’t get intimidated by pineapples! Here’s how to master cutting it.
14. Artichokes: In just a few easy steps you’ll be enjoying fresh artichokes.
15. Celery: Cutting celery is easy. Cutting celery into perfect sections? Not so much. Watch this video, and you’ll be nailing it in no time.
16. Radishes: Learn how turn a radish into four perfectly cut pieces.
17. Broccoli: This is how to cut broccoli into perfect florets.
18. Zucchinis: How to cut zucchini to make it perfect for grilling.
19. Carrots: Learn how to dice, strip, slice, julienne, and chunk a carrot.
20. Peaches: This cutting technique teaches you where to make incisions on a peach so you can easily pull out the core.
21. Grapes: Use this cutting hack to cut a bunch of grapes in half, all at once.
22. Garlic: Cutting garlic properly requires using your hands. Watch the video to find out how to do it.
23. Pumpkins: This is how to peel, seed, and cut a pumpkin, and quickly.
24. Cantaloupes: Use this technique to turn a cantaloupe into perfectly cut cubes.
25. Figs: The good news? Cutting a fig the right way only requires one slice of the knife.
26. Pomegranates: You love pomegranates. Cutting them? Not so much. Here’s how to do it without a headache.
27. Kiwis: How to get the skin off, and then cut this fruit into perfect slices.
28. Lemons: This tutorial on cutting lemons will make you realize you’ve been doing it very wrong.
29. Bananas: This magic trick involves slicing a banana without peeling it first.
30. Plums: How to cut a plum in under ten seconds.
31. Asparagus: Learn how to dice asparagus the right way.
32. Cauliflower: Finally, learn how to cut a cauliflower the right way.
33. Cabbages: You probably think you know how to slice cabbage–until you watch this video.
34. Potatoes: Learn how to cut a potato four different ways.
35. Pears: You actually do this cutting hack using a spoon!
36. Parsley: Wonder how top chefs chop parsley so quickly? This is how.
37. Beets: Master cutting a beet into perfect slices.
38. Iceberg Lettuce: Not all salads are created equal, and a lot of it comes down to how you cut your lettuce. Here’s how the pros do it.