There aren’t many things that bother me as much as a dull knife. And, I am sure would be true for, at least, most people if not all, though I would be very skeptical of anyone who claims otherwise. Besides, you’re practically mutilating the food instead of cutting it if you’re using a dull knife. I can’t help but imagine a tomato being torn up, just by writing this article. And, I am sure you’re picturing it as well. So, how to keep kitchen knives sharp?
To be absolutely frank, there is no way to keep your knives sharp forever. I mean, not without having to sharpen them again. It’s pretty basic. If you use it, it deteriorates. If you don’t use it, you lose it nonetheless. Getting a bit dark, isn’t it? Don’t worry, we will move on.
As mentioned above, all knives will lose their sharpness over time, so there is no avoiding that. We can, however, employ proper care and make sure our knives stay sharp for as long as possible. And, when it dulls anyway, we can sharpen them again. So in this article, we will talk about how to keep kitchen knives sharp and then how to sharpen them once they start to dull.
Answer to the Elusive Question of, “How to Keep Kitchen Knives Sharp”
In a way, we can safely say that keeping your knives sharp is as important as sharpening them in the first place. So let’s take a look at some of the ways we can make sure our knives stay sharpened for as long as possible.
A Chopping Board
There is a significant reason why you will always find a chopping board in every kitchen. The type of chopping board we use also plays a dramatic role in keeping our knives sharp. A wooden board is an ideal choice. Since wood is soft, it minimizes the impact on a knife’s edge when it touches the board. Such wooden boards would have its end grains facing up, just as in a butcher’s block style. Such styles are quite durable and also allow a knife to slide between the vertical fibers of the wood, preventing needless damage to the knife’s edge.
After the wooden chopping board, the second option would be a plastic chopping board. These plastic chopping boards are also relatively soft with a visible grain-like pattern on them. These patterns allow a knife’s edge to slide off with minimal friction.
Anything other than a wooden or plastic chopping board dramatically affects the sharpness of a knife and prematurely dulls it. Under no circumstances should you use a marble, glass or a ceramic surface as a cutting surface. Since ceramics and marble are much harder than wood or plastic, they tend to damage the edge and dull its sharpness.
Cleaning Your Knives
Cleaning itself results in dulling of a knife’s edge. However, this is mostly due to being washed in a dishwasher. All knives losses its sharpness when it comes into contact with other objects. In a dishwasher, everything moves around and comes into contact with other items. It’s no wonder that washing knives in a dishwasher will affect its sharpness. Hand washing your kitchen knives is the best way to make sure they stay sharp. And don’t forget to dry the knives immediately after you wash them lest you want them to start to rust.
Proper Knife Storage
A knife block is more than just an aesthetically pleasing way to store your knives. It is a significant step towards ensuring your knives stay sharp.If we’re not using a knife block, most of the time knives end up in a drawer where they get banged around with other utensils and silverware and ultimately lose their sharpness. So this is another simple way to make sure your knives stay sharp. And besides, sharp knives shouldn’t be lying around in drawers, where most of us tend to rummage through when we’re in a rush.
Sharpening Your Kitchen Knives
Now that we’ve discussed proper ways to handle our knives and make sure they don’t start to dull prematurely, let’s talk about how to sharpen them. No matter how careful we are with our knives, they will lose their sharpness over time. In such cases, we have no choice but to sharpen them and here we will talk about how to go about sharpening our knives and the various options that are available to us.
Honing rod is also known as sharpening steel. It is a long metal stick kind of device that is used to realign the edge of the knife without needlessly removing too much metal from the blade. It’s a simple process that doesn’t take much time. Simply hold the knife in your dominant hand and run the knife across the top of the rod, making sure the knife runs from top to bottom. Do this for six to eight times before using your blade again.
A sharpening stone is also known as a whetstone or diamond stone. It has two sides, a smooth and a rough one. To sharpen your knife, you will start on the rough side of the stone by grinding the edge of the knife against it. The motion would be opposite of what you would do when you’re trying to peel a fruit. If you grind just one side of the blade, you will get a single sided edge, doing both sides should give you a symmetrical edge.
Once you’ve completed grinding on the rough side, turn towards the finer side of the stone. Now, you would do the same thing on the finer side to smoothen the blade. Once it’s smooth enough, you would alternate each side of your knife with each stroke for the final few touches. Once you’re finished, your knife should be as good as new.
It’s important to take care of the tools we use on a daily basis. Not only does it make our work pleasant but also easier. Simply taking care of our knives will ensure that we don’t find ourselves with dull knives and end up tearing the ingredients rather than cutting them. Also, it reduces the hassle of sharpening our knives far more than it’s needed. Oh, and of course don’t forget to wash the knives after you’ve sharpened them properly, you want to remove any excess metal shavings that might have been left behind.