The Knife Swap For Cleanly Cut Brownies

Making brownies might be simple task, but cutting them into clean squares without getting brownie chunks all over the counter can prove to be a challenge. Metal knives often lead to a mess of crumbs and fudge fusing to the blade, making each subsequent cut sloppier and sloppier. However, a plastic knife can turn you into a brownie-cutting expert.

Though it may seem odd, a plastic knife is better than a metal one when it comes to cutting brownies because of its non-stick nature. Brownies are less likely to adhere to plastic, so you can cut through them cleanly without worrying about tearing or crumbling. As an extra bonus, you won't scratch up the bottom of your pan with a plastic knife, the way you might with a metal one.

Pro tip: For the cleanest cuts possible, use a smooth slicing motion when you cut into your next batch of homemade brownies — we suggest these gooey, fudgy skillet brownies — instead of sawing back and forth.

What if you don't have a plastic knife?

Understandably, you might not have plastic knives handy, or you might prefer not to use single-use plastics. Fortunately, you can still leverage plastic's non-stick benefits. For instance, consider purchasing reusable plastic kitchen knives, or investing in a baking-specific plastic knife.

If you don't want to buy new utensils, you can temporarily make a metal knife non-stick by applying cooking spray or oil to the blade. This aids in cleaner slicing, though keep in mind that you might need to reapply the non-stick solution frequently throughout the cutting process.

Another option is to dip your metal knife in hot water between cuts to prevent sticking and accumulation of brownie residue on the blade. Once again, this method requires repetition after each slice to properly work, so if clean cuts are your ultimate goal, investing in a plastic knife could be the easiest solution.

Give your brownies time to cool before cutting them

We get it: It's tempting to cut into your ube cheesecake brownies straight from the oven. However, it's best to wait. Freshly baked brownies are not only too hot to consume safely — as no one wants to burn the roof of their mouth — but they're also too gooey to cut cleanly, even with a plastic knife.

Rather than digging right in, let your brownies cool on the counter, or chill in the fridge. At room temperature, it typically takes brownies at least 30 minutes to cool — in fact, sometimes it takes up to two hours, making the fridge a faster option. If chilled, just be sure to let your brownies reach near room temperature before cutting to avoid hardness.

Once your brownies have firmed up and finished cooking inside, tackle them with your plastic knife, employing smooth slicing motions for the cleanest cuts.