The knife is among the most important kitchen tools you can have. Whether you are preparing ingredients for your favorite meal, or if you are cutting up a snack, your knife is always within reach. Therefore, you must know how to take care of your kitchen knife to ensure it is cutting well, and doing so safely.
When it comes to caring for kitchen knives, here are few tips on how to sharpen, when to sharpen, and the importance of having a sharp knife.
Sharpening your knife is one of those kitchen chores that everyone hates, but you have to do it nevertheless. You can sharpen your knife using either a honing rod or a whetstone.
- Whetstones – With this tool, you can sharpen knives with different blade angles. First, you need to soak the stone in water for 10 minutes. After soaking, use the rough side of the stone first and finish with the soft side. When sharpening, face the knife away from you, and then hold the blade at a 20° angle against the whetstone. Gently sweep the knife across the stone, starting at the base, and ending at the tip of the knife. Flip the knife and repeat. Repeat several times on both sides of the blade before turning the stone over to the soft side. Stop when you achieve the right sharpness.
- Honing rod – This is effective when your knife is relatively sharp, but you need a little oomph! These honing rods are popular with chefs because they like to hone the blade before use. To hone your knife, hold the sharpening steel in one hand and have the knife in the most active hand. Sweep across the steel and apply even gentle pressure. Be sure to hone the entire blade starting from the base to the tip repeatedly, until you achieve the right sharpness.
- Use a knife sharpening service – These services are becoming increasingly popular. They take the stress away from sharpening your knife, which can be dangerous. Check out services such as Knife Sharp.
You will find many knife sharpening tools in the market besides the whetstone and honing rod. You can buy whichever suits your needs and budget, but be sure to use the sharpener appropriately to avoid damaging either the sharpener or your knife – or yourself!
How Often to Sharpen Your Knife
When to sharpen your knife depends on how often you use the knife. If you rarely use the knife (you do not cook often), sharpening after 3 – 4 months is sufficient. However, for a busy kitchen, you can sharpen your blade every 2-4 weeks. However, this is only for through sharpening. To keep your knives sharp and up to the task, you need to hone the blade before every use. In this case, a honing rod will do the job. When you have a sharp knife, working around the kitchen becomes easy, and you will enjoy preparing your favorite meals.
Importance of a Sharp Knife
Whether you are a professional chef, or love preparing delicious meals for your family, it is essential to have sharp knives in your kitchen. A sharp knife makes a significant difference in your kitchen. Here are reasons why you should keep your kitchen blades sharp:
- A dull knife is dangerous – you will be using excessive force when cutting, and you can lose control and cut yourself.
- Using a sharp knife is effortless, and results in less mistakes.
- Sharpening your knives is a maintenance practice, and proper maintenance means your knife will last longer.
- A sharp knife can do many things in, and outside the kitchen.
Proper Care for Kitchen Knifes
Besides sharpening your knife, other care and maintenance practices will ensure your blade lasts longer and keeps you safe. They include:
- Do not keep your blades in the utensils drawer
- Never leave your knife in the sink
- Always clean your knife by hand
- Always cut on the right cutting boards
- Store your knives in a magnetic wooded strip