That looks crazy satisfying, doesn't it? Good news: You can easily replicate that with nothing other than a steady hand and a sharp knife. And even if you're not striving to slice veggies in such a(n almost erotic) manner, sharpening your knives helps you work faster, more precisely, and reduces the possibility of injuries - as ironic as that might seem. So here's what you do:
That long steel poking device you always thought was a knife sharpener is actually a honing steel, and it's meant for maintaining your knife in a tip-top shape in between sharpenings. The blade of your knife naturally bends during chopping, and the mission of the honing steel is to straighten it out - it does not shave any steel off the blade, hence does not sharpen the knife.
Place the tip of the honing steel down on a tabletop or a folded tea towel, and slide the blade of the knife against the honing steel in a 20-22 degree angle, starting with the base of the knife, until the tip. To find the right angle, place the blade against the honing steel in a 90 degree angle, then cut it in half to 45, then in another half - that's what you need! After every swipe, change the side. Check out this Tasty video to see how it's done!
If used regularly, your knives will get duller in about 1-2 months, and a honing steel won't help maters. What you do then, is you take any basic knife sharpener and just do a couple of swipes on that. Hold the knife straight and steady, so the blade sharpens evenly. If your knife sharpener has only one slot, that's fine, but if you happen to have two, start with the coarser setting and move on to the finer one.
It's important not to skip this step, as you risk to make your knives so dull that even step 3 won't help.
If you've got a really dull and damaged knives on your hands or it's just been a while since the last proper sharpening sesh, it's time to either bring them in for professional sharpening or whip out a whetstone.
First, submerge the whetstone in water until the stone has released all air bubbles. Then place it on a folded tea towel, and swipe the knife in a 20-22 degree angle from the base of the knife until the tip. Again, start with the coarser side of the whetstone, do a couple of swipes there, and then move on to the finer side. If you're not sure what's the right angle for sharpening with a whetstone or how to better do it, definitely give this video a watch!
Knife maintenance tips
FIRST: Always, always use the honing steel every or every second time you cook.
SECOND: Only wash your kitchen knives with hands, it takes seconds. NO dishwasher!
THIRD: Store your knives in protective cases, so the other items don't mess with the blade.
The bottom line is - make sure the blade of your knife only touches food, the chopping board when chopping food, and the sharpener or honing steel.
NB! Now that you've got your knives extra sharp, it's time to make sure they only get your food, and not your fingers. First of all, always keep your fingers away from the blade, and fetch yourself a pair of cut resistant gloves - it's better to be safe rather than sorry, isn't it?
Got any questions or sharpening/maintenance tips? Let us know in the comments below!
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