Thursday, October 02, 2008

Knife Sharpening

This morning DH was making lunch & I asked him if he noticed that I sharpened the knife & he answered:

“Oh, did you? I thought that I was just extra POWERFUL or something!”

The mind of a man!

If you’re not feeling "extra powerful" when you’re cutting, it’s probably cuz’ your knives need to be sharpened. A dull knife is the bane of a cooks existence. I’ve been to some lovely houses with lovely kitchens with knives that were no better for cooking than they were for bludgeoning with. I always bring my own knife if I know I’m going to be cooking at someone’s house, I've been caught in not so pleasant kitchen experiences all because of a dull knife & no sharpening stone.

Here’s a little test, get off your butt & go to the kitchen, pull out your favorite knife, and a tomato…..ok, no tomato..... so get a piece of paper, hold up the paper & see how easily it cuts. Yeeeeeah…see.......thats bad? There are a few kitchen chores that I just loooove to do & knife sharpening is one of them. It's therapeutic I think! Until pretty recently I always either got it done professionally or when I lived with Mr. McNair, he would do the honors. I was always thought that it was a job that took years of training to do.

Well….I took a little time to research it & learn a few of the basics & it really isn’t that hard. Well, I still like to review it every now & then cuz’ I don’t always get the angles & degrees right. There are a lot of ways & methods but there are a few simple basics that I try to keep in mind.

1. Get a good whetstone (not like my 100Y store one, though it doesn’t do a terrible job)

2. Keep your stone whet (I mean “wet”) when sharpening.

3. Count out the number of strokes you do on each side so you get an even edge.

4. Feel for a burr (the rough little bit of metal hanging off the opposite end you sharpened) before you go on to the next side

5. Keep your knife at 45 degrees & push firmly forward

6. Hold the knife up for the first edge (on the more rough stone) with about enough space for a 10Y coin to fit under. (20 degrees)

7. And your final edge (on the smoother stone) should be at a slightly higher angle with space for 2 10Y coins. (25 to 30 degrees)

8. Apply enough pressure.

Here’s a site that explains it pretty well. I searched youtube for a video of how to hold your blade as there are a few schools of thinking & I had a hard time getting down the strokes evenly on both sides. Whatever works for you.
There is REALLY nothing like chopping away on a good clean blade….I would reeeeeeally suggest you either find a reasonable place or person to do it for you, or learn how yourself.

But if all else fails……Just...........Be extra POWERFUL….grrrrr!!

1 comment:

nina said...

Just by watching your hand motions when u were talking tonite about sharpening your knives, I'm pretty sure I do it totally wrong (gd thing I haven't been the one sharpening the knives for a while now). How about since u got your new whetstone, U take a knife sharpening video clip & post it up here!