See Also: Cooking Club
A Few Knife Sharpening Hints
for the home kitchen
All straight edge knives need to be maintained after every use, and sharpened regularly to bring back the edge.
Know the difference between:
~ Grinding (don't do often as it eats away the blade but is necessary for a VERY VERY DULL AND MISTREATED KNIFE)
To do this, have it done professionally.
~ Honing (this is done with a whet stone or a knife sharpener and is necessary if you need to bring back the edge...if you maintain your knives using the steel, this does not have to be done often.)
~ Steeling (this is done all the time, after every time you wash and dry your knife and after several slices through meats or vegetables.) It realigns the edge so that it remains sharp for each cut. DO IT! I like the diamond edge steel, as it is very effective and easy to use. I also recommend the Chantry or Wusthof Universal Knife Sharpener. Easy to use, has the right angle built into it. It also helps to bring back the edge a little, so acts as a sharpener as well a a maintainer.
It is easy to maintain the knife, just learn the procedure of washing the knife, drying it, and then steeling it before putting the knife away in a protected sleeve or knife holder.
Every once in a while, you will need to use a whet stone or a knife sharpener (different from the steel) to bring back the edge. Then, finish the knife with the steel and you are all set.
Some knives hold the edge better than others. Always use a wooden or a plastic cutting surface when chopping and slicing. Glass and ceramic surfaces are very hard on the edge of the knife. It is good when there are slash lines left on the wooden or plastic surface as that indicates that the knife cut right through your food and found little resistance even on the board or cutting slab. When the sharp edge meets a very hard surface, such as a glass or ceramic surface, the sharp edge gets flattened and you will quickly lose the edge of the knife.
Never put your knives in the dishwasher. Detergents are hard on the metal, and the knives jiggle around a little, harming the edges.
Keep those knives sharp! You will enjoy cooking even more when using sharp knives.
If using a wooden knife holder, the best is one where the slots are horizontal so that the knife is not resting on its edge. If you do use a holder with vertical slots, place the knife in up-side-down so that the cutting edge is facing up and thus not resting on its own weight.
Recipe created 1996-02-02.
© 1996-2013 Dorothy McNett. All Rights Reserved.