Nothing screams “perfection” like a cheese plate full of well-presented, evenly cut cheese. Perhaps you want perfect cubes of cheddar to top off a salad, or maybe slicing Brie into thin pieces for your next cheese board. Regardless of the shape or size, cutting cheese can be easy with the right knife and practice.
Cheese comes in different textures, from soft to hard, with shapes and sizes just as varied. You can cut the cheese into wedges, slices, or cubes. Other styles include bricks and blocks, curls, and gratings. The key to a perfect cut is using the right knife for the job.
This article will take you through a step-by-step guide on how to cut cheese into different shapes and styles. It will also discuss how to prepare cheese, depending on the type.
The first step is to select the right knife. Cheese knives come in different shapes and sizes, each designed for a specific purpose. If you plan on serving cheeses regularly, it’s worth investing in a good set of cheese knives.
The different types of cheese knives you select will depend on the types of cheese you want to serve. For example, a hard cheese knife with a serrated edge is perfect for slicing through aged cheddar or Parmesan. On the other hand, a soft cheese knife with a relatively blunt edge is ideal for cutting Brie or Camembert.
Different types of cheese
Below are descriptions of the most common types of cheese.
Brie: Brie is a soft cheese perfect for spreading on crackers or bread. It has a creamy texture with a slightly salty and tangy taste. Cutting Brie is relatively easy if you use a soft cheese knife.
Camembert: Camembert is another soft cheese that’s perfect for spreading. It has a pungent smell and a creamy, smooth texture. Camembert is similar to Brie in taste and consistency, but it has a robust flavor. The best knife to use for cutting Camembert is a soft cheese knife.
Mozzarella: Mozzarella is a fresh, soft cheese with a mild flavor. It’s often used in salads, pizzas, and pasta dishes. You can slice Mozzarella with a sharp chef’s knife or use a cheese grater.
Cheddar: Cheddar is a hard, crumbly cheese with a sharp flavor. It’s one of the most popular types of cheese and is often used in sandwiches, salads, and burgers. Cheddar can be difficult to cut due to its hard texture.
How to cut cheese wedges
Wedges are perhaps the most popular way to serve cheese. They are perfect for serving at parties or as a snack. Cutting cheese wedges is relatively easy if you use the right knife.
Note that cheese can either be soft or hard.
How to cut soft cheese wedges into slices
Follow these steps to cut soft cheese wedges into slices
- Position each wedge on the wooden cutting board such that one side of the wedge faces up and the rind faces towards you.
- Use the cheese wire or soft cheese knife to cut the triangular shape rind from the wedge.
- You can also cut a thin slice along the edge of the cheese to create a clean edge.
- Proceed to cut similar-sized slices, preferably 1/4–1/2 inches thick, from the rest of the wedge
- Repeat the same process for the other wedges
Camembert, Brie, or Chevre are excellent choices for soft cheese wedges. Ensure the soft cheese knife you use is sharp to avoid squishing the cheese. One with holes increases the precision of your cuts. Chefs also recommend using a narrow and sharp blade like a boning knife for clean cuts.
How to slice hard cheese wedges
For hard cheese wedges, use the following steps:
Lay the wedge on its side and hold the side with the rind with your non-dominant hand
- Position a sharp chef’s knife or a core knife ta the furthest end where the cheese is the thinnest
- Cut down the width of the wedge while applying even pressure. Don’t push too hard to avoid crumbling the cheese
- Proceed to make widthwise cuts that are about 1/4 inches thick as you move towards the end of the wedge with the rind
- As you move up the rind, the slices get bigger, so you may want to cut them into halves
Hard cheeses like cheddar, Parmesan, or Pecorino are good candidates for wedges. Start by cutting off the rind with a sharp knife. Then, use a serrated knife to make clean cuts if you find it challenging to cut hard cheese. Remember to use a sharp and durable knife like a chef’s or a core knife to get clean cuts.
How to cut triangle cheese
Follow these steps to cut cheese into triangles:
- First, cut the cheese block in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. Use a sawing motion with a gentle back-and-forth movement to get a clean cut
- Slice 1/8 inch rectangular pieces from each half. Ensure that the pieces are of even thickness
- Cut each rectangular piece along the diagonal to make two triangle-shaped pieces
- If you want smaller triangles, cut each diagonal piece in half
Triangles are a classic way to serve cheese. They work well with most semi-firm cheese types like Cheddar, Swiss, and Gouda.
How to slice cheese
To cut cheese into slices, follow these steps:
- First, cut the cheese block in half crosswise with a sharp knife. Ensure that the pieces are of even thickness
- Next, hold the cheese firmly on a cutting board with your dominant hand. Use a flat cheese knife or a chisel knife to slice the cheese into thin pieces about 1/8 inch thick.
- To use the chisel knife, hold it perpendicularly over the cheese. Slice the cheese in a downward motion while applying gentle pressure.
Slices are ideal for hard cheeses like Parmesan, Pecorino, or cheddar. A chisel knife is the best tool for this type of cut since it gives you more control over the thickness of the slices.
How to cut pyramid cheese
Pyramid-shaped cheese is cut differently than other cheese shapes. Pyramid cheese makes excellent wedges because of the shape. For soft cheese, use a sharp narrow knife like a paring knife. For harder cheese, use a utility knife.
How to cut pyramid cheese into wedges
Below are steps on how to cut pyramid cheese into wedges:
Position the pyramid cheese on a cutting board, with the large side being the base
- Cut the cheese as you would a small cake or a muffin. Ensure the vertical cut goes through the center of the pyramid
- Use a pronged cheese knife or a fork to extract the wedge
- Lay the wedge down on its side with the rind facing towards you
- Cut off the rind with a sharp knife, and then cut the wedge into even thinner wedges
Wedges from pyramid cheese are ideal for serving with crackers or bread. The rind can be left on or removed, depending on personal preference. Use a paring knife if you want to remove the rind before cutting the wedge. If the cheese is hard, use a utility knife.
How to cut a log cheese
As the name suggests, log cheese is log-shaped. The most common type of log cheese is brie, but there are other types. Cutting log cheese into coins or slices is simple.
How to cut a log cheese into coins and slices
- Lay the log cheese on the cutting board such that it is parallel with the table edge
- Slice the log cheese into 1/4-inch thick pieces using a sharp knife. You can also use a flat cheese knife or a chisel knife.
- You can opt to cut the rings in half to achieve moon-shaped pieces
Semi-hard cheese like Cheddar or Gouda can be cut into coins using a paring knife. If the cheese is hard, use a chisel knife. For extra-smooth cuts, use a flat cheese knife.
How to cut crumbly cheese block or wedge
Given that crumbly cheese is fragile, it can be challenging to cut. An exception is when the cheese is dry and firm, like Manchego. Crumbly block or wedge cheese requires a different approach from other types of cheese.
Follow these steps to cut crumbly block or wedge cheese:
- Place the cheese on the cutting board such that the side with the flattest surface is the base
- Hold the cheese with your non-dominant hand and use a small hard cheese knife and insert the knife vertically into the cheese.
- Make the precise incisions along the edges of the cheese and wiggle the knife into the cheese. ensure it doesn’t go all the way through
- Push the knife outwards to get a large crumble of the cheese. For smaller crumbles, make smaller cuts.
Crumbly block or wedge cheese is best enjoyed as is or on top of salads, pasta dishes, or pizzas. Cheddars and Parmigiano Reggiano are some of the best types of cheese for crumbling.
How to cut cheese (FAQs)
Different types of cheese require different cutting techniques. Understanding how to cut cheese correctly will ensure that you enjoy its flavor and texture. With the right tools and a little practice, you’ll be able to cut cheese like a pro in no time.Our has detailed information on the different types of cheese knives and how to use them.
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