Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How to : Sharpen Kitchen Knives

Things you will need:
-A sharpener (I use a tri-stone.  Other options are electric or other manual sharpeners)
-Honing oil or mineral oil (if you are using a stone)

The honing steel, while not 100% necessary, makes a big difference in the final product of your newly sharpened knife.  Its job is not necessarily to sharpen, but to take the microscopic tattered edges of the blade and pull them into a straight line.

Instructions for using a tri-stone:
1.)  Apply about 2 teaspoons of oil to the coarse side of the stone (enough to make it well lubricated. Note- it will quickly absorb.  That's OK)

2.) Place the blade of your knife at a 20-25 degree angle, and starting at the base of the knife, act like you are slicing off a thin piece of the stone, quickly sliding up to the tip of the knife by the time you reach the other end. Really, it's just like you are making a half moon shape over the whole stone, while holding the knife at the same angle.
Repeat this half-moon shape 10-15 times, and then turn the knife around and repeat with the other side of the blade.

 3.) Repeat the same process with the medium side, and finally with the fine side - don't forget the oil!

4.) Now, wipe off the blade with a paper towel, and hold your honing steel in one hand (in the air is fine, or with the tip down on a towel if you want).  Use the same basic motion to run the blade down the steel, working from the base to the tip in a quick half-moon swipe.  Repeat this 10-15 times on each side of the blade.

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