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Stay Sharp

Kitchen Knive Sharpening

Date: 5/16/2013 1:37:00 PM

If you are one of those people who enjoy spending time in the kitchen trying new recipes or inventing new dishes of your own, Then this article is for you. The one most important tool in any kitchen is the knife. They come is all sorts of styles and sizes, and each one has a different use. The one thing they all have in common is to preform the tasks they were designed to do they need to have a clean sharp edge.

To help keep that edge in good condition, the edge needs to be honed regularly. If you have a block of knives, it probably came with a steel rod. This is a good way to clean up the edge between sharpenings. Simply hold the rod's handle and place the tip on a table or counter top. Hold the knifes cutting edge at a 20 degree angle and with light pressure run the blade down the steel from the heel to the tip. Bring the opposite side of the blade back up the steel in the same manner. Doing this will remove the small burr on the edge leaving the cutting edge crisp and sharp.

Have the knife sharpened when it becomes dull. According to an article in realsimple.com by taking an onion and sliding the blade across the skin. If it slides off the skin of the onion, it need to be sharpened. They suggest to stay away from the electric sharpeners, as they tend to take more material than needed off the edge.

To help keep the edge from getting nicked and dull, use a proper cutting technique. When chopping those veggies, keep part of the blade on the cutting board and rock the knife back and forth while feeding the veggies into the action. This prevents hitting the edge causing it to fold over dulling the cutting edge. Slicing is another good way to cut the food items. Try to learn not to force the knife blade through anything in a shearing motion, as this will dull that fine edge.

It is always best to wash your knives by hand in warm soapy water. Dishwashers will bang the knives around, knocking the cutting edge against not only other items around it, but the rack or shelf in the dishwasher as well. Again this will cause the edge to bend and nick, leaving a less than desirable edge on the knife blade.

Knife storage is the last but equally important way to keeping the edge on your knives. Store them in a sheath if possible, laying flat. If a knife rack is used find one that allows you to store the knife so it rests on its side and not on the cutting edge. The less the cutting edge of your knife touches anything other than foods, the longer it will stay sharp.