Saturday, 9 June 2012

Stay Sharp - How To Sharpen A Knife

There are many ways to sharpen a knife. The traditional honing steel is the easy way to keep your knives sharp,here is an easy step by step guide to sharpening your knives.

Keeping A Sharp Knife

Whilst  recently carving my latest roast joint of beef,I realized I was making a hash of it again.The reason being the knife I was using was not a sharp as it should be.The solution I always used to use was simply to go out and by a new knife, rather than sharpen the knife.

Well apparently I have now been informed you should be sharpening your knives every time you come to use them.So what is the best way to sharpen a knife.

Honing Steel

A stone is probably the best  for grinding a well used knife,but for home use a honing steel is a perfectly good method.A honing steel is basically a rod of hardened steel,and ingrained with tungsten or diamond grit, they will last a long time.After cleaning  in soapy water, they should be dried thoroughly.

My earliest memory of a honing steel is of my father sharpening the carving knife using a criss cross technique.Here is a chefs routine for sharpening a knife.

How To Sharpen A Knife

  • Firstly lay a damp cloth on your work surface or chopping board keep a small amount of pressure on the handle of the knife sharpener,but don't press down too hard.The cloth will stop it from slipping.
  • Pick up your knife in the other hand and firstly place the heel of the knife(the thickest end)of the blade nearest the handle end of the sharpener, with the blade at a 15-20 degree angle to the rough sharpening surface of the steel.
  • Pull the knife towards you running the blade of the knife down the honing steel.This should be completed in a swift movement,so as the tip of the knife finishes at the tip of the sharpener.
    knife sharpening
  • You should proceed with these sweeping movements,alternating on each side of the knife blade until you consider the knife to be sharp enough.
  • Next is quite an important part that some people forget:make sure you wipe the blade of the knife to remove any metal filings that mat have accumulated.
  • Now you can test how sharp your knife is by testing it on a root vegetable such as a carrot.Now you should have a knife sharp enough for any job in the kitchen.

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