How to Sharpen Kitchen Knives: A sharp knife is actually a safer knife because it requires less effort and less pressure to cut, chop, or dice. If your knives are dull, they are more likely to slip and cut you. Sharp knives make the task much easier, and regular maintenance will keep your knives in good shape. So what’s the best way to do this at home?
Likely the good set of knives you purchased came with a honing tool. It looks like a long steel rod with a handle. This tool realigns the teeth on the edge of your knives. Hold the steel perpendicular to the cutting board so it is straight up and down. Then run the length of the blade on a 15 degree angle with a little pressure. Do one side of the knife and then the other and repeat several times. Use it after a few cutting sessions to maintain the edges of your blades. Here is a great video on how to hone your knives from Sur La Table.
In addition to honing, you should sharpen your knives to reshape the cutting edge and make them sharper. When you sharpen, you are grinding a bit of the steel away from the knives’ edges. Professional chefs will tell you that the best way to sharpen your knives is with a whetstone. You can find instructions on how to use the whetstone at Le Cordon Blue College of Culinary Arts, or there are plenty of videos on You Tube. However, if you are like me, you may want an easier, less labor-intensive solution and use an electric sharpening machine. (All the pro chefs are now cringing because they believe this method grinds the blade too much.)
Whatever method you choose, remember to use the steel rod honing tool again after you sharpen your knives to smooth out the rough edges from the sharpening. It’s good to sharpen your knives every two to three months, but use the honing tool after a few cutting sessions.
Having the right tools in the kitchen always makes the task easier! Wolf Gourmet (Sub-Zero Wolf) just came out with these new knife blocks along with their new small countertop appliances.