The Morning Show

Kitchen Confidence: Knife Sharpening

CHAMPAIGN,Ill - Cooking Coach Adam Wisnewski joins the Morning Show and in this week's Kitchen Confidence he is giving us some skills for keeping our knives sharp.

Technique
A sharp knife is a safe knife.
Learn the basics on a number of different sharpening tools.


When using a dull knife, you naturally use more force to make the cut.  Dull knives tear, sharp knives cut.  A sharp knife with minimal force gives you maximum control.  Sharpening a knife means giving it a new edge: Removing some material, smoothing burrs. 
You sharpen a knife using a coarse stone. (Cuts the paper, but catches). you can refine a knife using a fine grain stone. (Cuts the paper smoothly). You can hone a knife regularly to maintain the edge. (Polishes the edge without removing material.)  Sharpening and honing your knives gives you experience with how the tool works. You build confidence when you know your tools.
There are lots of ways to sharpen knives. Find one that you are comfortable with and learn it well. Learn a couple of methods.

How often should you sharpen? 
It depends. As often as it needs it. If you use your knives a lot, then maybe monthly (i’ve even seen recommendations for weekly!). If you use them regularly, then maybe 2-3 times/year. If you use them rarely, then every 12-18 months. Depending on how you care for them in between sharpening. 
Are you honing regularly? Does it cut nicely? Then it’s not ready for sharpening, yet.


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