Video tip: Understanding the slicing knife

With its long, thin blade, a slicing knife, or "slicer," is meant to cut through meats thinly and cleanly with precision, whether you're tackling a cooked roast or ham, or even raw fish for sashimi.

Longer and thinner than a chef's knife, slicing knives are meant to handle slicing in smooth single strokes.

The blades are often flexible and may or may not be serrated; they may also feature what’s often called a granton edge (those "dimples" in the blade that help keep the meat from sticking to the knife as it is cut).

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To use a slicing knife, line the heel of the blade (the part of the blade nearest the handle) against the meat where you want to slice, then slide the blade down through the meat in a long, simple stroke, gliding all the way to the tip of the blade.

Ideally, you should be able to slice through the meat in a single cut, giving the slices a cleaner edge than if you used a shorter, thicker knife, which would require you to "saw" through the meat, giving the slices a jagged edge.

Slicers vary in size, type and price. They are available in cooking, specialty and housewares stores, as well as online.

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