“With a bit of practice and the right tools, you can easily slice cheese without a special slicer,” says chef Gordon Ramsay. (1)
Keep reading to learn foolproof methods for hard, soft and even blue cheeses using just a knife or peeler.Discover tricks to get picture-perfect slices for any use, from snacks to sandwiches.
How To Slice Cheese Without A Slicer?
The best slicers are often already in your kitchen. Give tools like a plane, potato peeler or rolling pin a try – you might find a new favorite way to slice any cheese with ease.
The 3 Best Tools for Slicing Cheese Without a Slicer
A sharp knife is one of the best ways to slice cheese without a special slicer. A high-quality stainless steel knife will allow you to cut nice, thin slices with a sawing motion. The bonus is you can always use a good knife! A cheese plane is another useful tool. It has a flat blade that you drag across the cheese like a carpenter’s plane. This gives thin, even slices. A cheese wire is a flexible wire that loops around the cheese. You press the wire into the cheese and push or pull to slice. This works well for hard cheeses.
How to Use a Knife to Slice Cheese Perfectly Every Time
Using a sharp knife is the easiest way to slice cheese without extra tools. First, take your cheese out of the fridge 30 minutes before slicing so it’s not too hard. Place it on a cutting board. For soft cheeses like brie or camembert, use a serrated knife. It’s best to press down firmly and saw through the cheese. For hard cheeses like cheddar or Parmesan, use the tip of a straight knife to slice. Hold the cheese in one hand and saw back and forth with short strokes. Rinse your knife between each slice to keep them uniform.
Can a Potato Peeler Really Slice Cheese? Learn This Simple Hack
You’ll be amazed but a veggie peeler actually works great for slicing softer cheeses like mozzarella! Just loosely wrap the cheese in plastic wrap so it doesn’t slip around. Holding the peeler vertically, press down firmly and pull it towards you in long, continuous strokes. The peeler’s blade will shave off thin layers instead of sawing like a knife. Use a light touch for an even thickness. This unique hack is fast, easy and perfect for blocks of soft cheese.
The Easiest Ways to Slice Hard Cheese Without Struggling
Hard cheeses like cheddar and Parmesan can be difficult to cut without sawing back and forth with a knife. An underrated tool is a mandoline slicer which has very sharp rotating blades. Just cradle the block in the guard and push it along to get consistent, thin slices with minimal effort. For a no-tool method, place the cheese rubbings between two sheets of wax or parchment paper before using a rolling pin to roll back and forth until thinly sliced. Either of these foolproof ways slices hard cheese smoothly without fuss.
Cut Soft Cheese Effortlessly With This No-Fail Method
For soft and spreadable cheeses like Brie, Camembert or cream cheese, try this simple no-knife method. First, take the cheese out of the box or wrapping and reshape it into a neat square or circle. then, use a pizza cutter or the side of a butter knife to mark scoring lines into the cheese where you want each slice to be. Just press down without sawing. Then gently break the cheese apart along the lines. This makes perfect portions without messy fingerprints in the cheese. Great for snacks or appetizers!
Get Blue Cheese Slices Just Right With This 1 Minute Technique
Blue cheese can be crumbly but enjoys its unique texture. To slice, lay the wedge flat and use a long serrated knife to saw back and forth. Hold the wedge in one hand and saw with short strokes so you don’t mash the veins of flavorful blue mold. For appetizers, cut thin slices about 1/4 inch thick. To serve on burgers or entrees, slice thicker about 1/2 inch. Keep your knife and cheese cold until just before slicing to maintain its shape. With a bit of care, you’ll be slicing blue cheese like a pro!
Slice Cheese Perfectly Thin for Sandwiches Like a Pro
The key to great cheese sandwiches is slicing the filling paper thin so each bite is evenly cheesy. If using pre-sliced cheese is not an option, start with a long sharp knife and very cold cheese straight from the fridge. Hold the cheese in one hand and saw back and forth with steady, even strokes. Try not to press down too hard which can crush the slices. Aim for 1/8 inch slices. Go slowly and rinse your knife frequently. With some practice, your hand-sliced cheese will look just like store-bought slices!
Dice, Cube or Crumble Cheese With Ease Without Special Tools
Whether grating over salads, toppings for potatoes or snacks, breaking cheese into pieces is easy without special tools. For dicing or cubing semi-firm cheeses like cheddar or Monterey jack, use a sharp chef’s knife. Cut the cheese into 1/2 inch wide planks then rock the knife back and forth to chop into even cubes. Softer cheeses like cream cheese can simply be crumbled between your fingers over food. Hard grating cheeses like Parmesan work well using the large holes of a box grater. Fast, simple and you control the size.
While a cheese slicer aims to make the task swift, no special tools are truly needed. With practice, your knife skills suffice to slice any cheese. Softer types fall neatly to a peeler. Hard cheeses roll smoothly too by pin. Now just select your board and blade. Then go dice for snacks, slice for sandwiches or cube for salads with ease. Your method improves slice by slice until presentable as store-bought. Best of all, your cheese drawer stays spacious while learning techniques. Do share any special hacks you stumble on in your kitchen adventures at slicing without an appliance.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best knife for cutting cheese?
There are a few types of knives that work well for cutting cheese depending on the type of cheese. A stainless steel cheese knife is a good all-purpose knife that holds its edge well. For soft cheeses, a soft cheese knife which has a narrow blade and gentle curved edge makes neat slices. Serrated knives also work nicely for soft and hard cheeses alike due to the toothed edge.
How do I keep my cheese slices uniform?
There are a few tricks to maintaining consistent thickness when slicing cheese. Rinse your knife frequently between slices to prevent thin or thick spots. Hold the cheese steady with one hand and saw back and forth with short strokes of the knife. Go slowly and take your time, especially with softer cheeses. Consider re-shaping the cheese block into a neat square or circle for clean slicing lines.
What knives should I avoid for slicing cheese?
Steer clear of using steel knives with sharp pointed tips for slicing cheese, as it’s easy to gouge the cheese. (2) Also avoid ceramic knives which are more brittle and can develop nicks in the blade over time. Nicked blades will give you uneven slices. Stick with quality stainless steel or carbon steel knives designed for food use. Serrated knives work well too if kept sharp.
How do I get uniform slices from shaped cheeses?
Some specialty cheeses like cutouts of hearts or stars can be tricky to slice evenly. An easy trick is to reshape the cheese into a cube or round shape before slicing. This provides clean, flat surfaces and sides to work with. Go slowly and rinse your knife regularly. Serrated knives can also help with irregular shapes since the teeth cut instead of sawing. Take your time for presentation-worthy slices.
How do I slice cheese from a wheel?
Fresh cheese from a wheel needs to be cut from the outside in. First score cutting lines through the outer rind where you want each slice. Use a sharp lame (wire) or knife. Hold the wheel steady and cut down straight, rotating the wheel as you go. Aim for thin slices about 1/4 inch. Go slowly and steadily to avoid crumbling so each slice maintains the wheel’s shape. Rinse frequently. With practice, you’ll be able to slice wedges like a true cheesemaker.
How should I store sliced cheese?
To maintain freshness and prevent browning or drying out, store sliced cheese in an airtight package or sealed container. Plastic wrap or bags work well. For block cheeses, rewrap the leftover portion in its original wrapping or in parchment/wax paper and store in the cheese drawer or coldest part of the fridge. Harder cheeses can also be kept in a cheese board or plate—just be sure to wrap cut or sliced surfaces.
What types of cheese are best for slicing without a wire slicer?
Semi-hard cheeses with a higher moisture content slice most easily without special equipment. Good options include Swiss, provolone, mild cheddars and certain French cheeses. They hold their shape well enough while still cutting cleanly. Very soft or extra-hard artisan cheeses may crumble more. A cheese knife, peel or wire cutters can help achieve clean slices from a variety of cheeses.
How do I store an opened wheel of cheese?
If you purchase a partial wheel of brie, camembert or other bloomy rind cheese, it’s best to wrap the cut or torn surface in wax or parchment paper. Then re-wrap the whole thing tightly in plastic wrap or place in an airtight cheese bag or container. Store in the main part of the fridge. These soft cheeses will maintain quality for 3-5 days opened this way before starting to dry out. The rind helps prevent moisture loss.
How do I know when it’s time to replace my cheese knife?
Stainless steel and high carbon cheese knives typically last 6-12 months with regular home use before needing replacement or sharpening. Signs it’s time for a new blade include frequent snapping or shredding of cheese instead of smooth cuts, a dull blade that mashes cheese instead of slicing, and visible nicks/wear patterns along the edge. For optimal performance, shop for a cheese knife made from hardened steel that can hold an edge well.
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