The Dos and Don’ts of Knife Sharpening and Maintenance
A lot of home cooks think they have poor knife skills when in reality, they’re just using blunt knives. Even the best knife on the market is no good unless it’s sharp. You see, having a razor-sharp knife makes all the difference in the kitchen. It allows for more precise and fine cutting and slicing food, which is obvious enough, while also letting you work faster and safer, completely changing your entire cooking experience.
Undoubtedly, having a nice, sharp knife signifies to those around you that you take pride in the cutlery you use. But after using the knife a few times, the unfortunate realization will start to creep into mind: knives don’t stay sharp forever.
By taking note of the dos and don’ts of knife sharpening and maintenance, you won’t have to worry about your blades and can keep them looking sharp.
Use the Appropriate Sharpener
Keeping a sharp edge on your blade is essential for your safety. Compensating for a dull edge by applying additional force to finish a cut is the root of many knife injuries. Thus, getting the best kitchen sharpener is an excellent way to start when it comes to keeping a knife sharp and nice.
A Japanese whetstone is a highly recommended sharpener for home cooks and chefs alike. However, it costs just about a new knife, and we don’t want that. We want an affordable yet effective alternative. Fortunately, we have on the market LeBeau’s Honer USA, the only knife sharpener you’ll ever need. It’s small for convenient sharpening and practical storage. It’s affordable for those with a tight budget. And it can be used for any tools you need sharpened. Lebeau’s Honer works like magic—recover that sharpness you thought was long gone with just a few quick strokes.
Don’t Run Your Knife through a Knife System
Of course, we know that not everyone is capable of sharpening their blades. There are plenty of basic and jazzed-up sharpeners out there, but hear us out—you don’t need an electric knife sharpener. While advertisements declare that these devices will get the job done much faster than other sharpeners, it’s probably one of the worst things you can do for the long-term health of your knife.
Running your blade through a device will unevenly chew up the edge, scratching the face of the blade, and will not get your knife as sharp as using LeBeau’s Honer. This product is much easier on your knife and also allows for greater control on your end. If you have a cheap knife, go ahead and use a knife system. But if you’ve spent a few hundred dollars on a top-quality knife, avoid using these devices.
Clean Your Knives As Soon As You’re Done Using Them
As we know, knives are the most important items for cutting meats, vegetables, and others. But in order to consistently achieve an ideal cut, they must always be clean and sharp. While the dishwasher is the most convenient way to wash flatware, keep your knives out of there. The dishwasher will damage the blades, and the heat from the drying cycle can warp your blades.
Hand washing is the best way to clean a high-quality chef’s knife as soon as you finish chopping. This way, food doesn’t get a chance to dry on the blade. Go slowly and carefully with washing, give them a quick soak, and dry them right away. The blade can develop mold, mildew, or rust if left wet for extended periods of time.
Don’t Sharpen Your Knives Unless You Know What You’re Doing
Even with consistent at-home knife sharpening, we still recommend bringing your knives to a cutler from time to time to have them tuned up. Although there are honing steels and sharpeners in your kitchen, if you don’t know how to use them properly, you can mess up a knife’s blade.
Get your knives sharpened professionally. It’s not impossible to get good results at home, but there are plenty of reasons to put your knives in the hands of a professional. They can ensure that no more metal than necessary is removed during the sharpening process, prolonging your knife’s life and silhouette. So, visit your local cutler and have your knives every six months or thereabouts.
We, however, encourage you to learn how to sharpen your knives at home. For newbies, using LeBeau’s Honer is the best starting tool to develop sharpening abilities. Knife sharpening is a great skill to have, and with time and practice, you’ll be happy with the outcome of sharpening your blades properly. We’d suggest looking at tutorials on YouTube where you can learn better tricks to sharpening.