Most potatoes need a little knife work before you cook and eat them; unless you are baking whole spuds to consume alongside a juicy steak, slicing and dicing is just part of the process. The premise behind chopping a potato is simple: Steady the potato on a cutting board and push or drag your knife through it. Repeat as needed until the potato pieces are the size and shape you need them to be.
If you’ve ever chopped a potato before, you might have noticed that the spud segments have a tendency to stick to the blade of your knife. This isn’t any great tragedy, but it is annoying. Luckily, Kenji Lopez-Alt has a very elegant solution.
Kenji can show you how it’s done in the quick video you see above this paragraph, but in short, the secret is, like many things, all in the wrist. Instead of pressing the blade of the knife through the spud and towards the cutting board — the “normal” way, which causes the potato segments to stick to the blade — Kenji pulls the knife through the potato from front to back.
I don’t want to spoil the ending, but the potato segments do not stick to Kenji’s knife, and I think that’s nice. This move makes the task of chopping potatoes a little faster and a little less annoying, and there are more than enough annoying things going on in the world today.
Once you’ve sliced, diced, or chopped, you are ready to fry, boil, roast, or mash. You could also make a nice little gratin, if you have any heavy cream lying around. However you decide to cook your prepared potatoes, you can do so with the smug satisfaction of knowing you chopped them the right way. (You can also tell your friends they are doing it the “wrong” way which, let’s be honest, is fun.)