Does this sound familiar? You bought a pretty decent chef’s knife at some point and it came with a honing steel or you bought one of those handheld “knife sharpeners”. You honed that knife pretty faithfully, but after a while, that knife didn’t work very well anymore. You find yourself reaching for the serrated bread knife to slice a tomato because your “good” knife mangles them too much.
Or is this your story: You’ve always been afraid of sharp knives so you deliberately haven’t sharpened them in case you cut yourself with them.
So your knives suck and I bet you don’t really know how to use them. No one taught me, and I bet they didn’t teach you, either.
The second part of this problem is pretty easy to solve. Just click on the link below, or go google videos on basic knife skills. Then practice.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here, because you need a sharp knife to practice with. If the only knives you have are a set from Walmart that you bought for $35, you need a new knife. I’m sure you’ve seen advice to go to your nearest chef’s store with an open wallet and try out various knives until you find one that has a nice feel and balance in your hand. You could do that, or else just go online and search for the best price you can find on a Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8 or 10 Inch Chef’s Knife. I’m linking to a listing on Amazon, but I’m not an affiliate or anything, so just buy one wherever it’s cheapest. This knife is incredibly sharp and light and gets rave reviews. Also, you won’t need a mortgage to afford it. I prefer the 10 inch version, but that’s a personal preference.
More likely, you’ve got a decent knife but it’s dull. You have a couple of options. You can apprentice yourself to a Japanese knife master for a few years and practice using a sharpening stone on thousands of knives, then tackle your own. Or you can bring it to a professional knife sharpener. Just make sure they know what they’re doing. Here’s a hint: if you see a bench grinder and a bunch of lawn mower blades lying around the shop, proceed with caution. The same advice applies to husbands – unless you married your Japanese knife master.
Here’s what I did: I totally splurged and bought one of these: Chef’s Choice Trizor XV Sharpener (once again, I’ve linked to Amazon, but I’m not an affiliate, so shop around and get one wherever you find a decent price) on the recommendation of America’s Test Kitchen. I don’t regret that splurge for a second. Until I sharpened my old knives with it, I had no idea they could even be so sharp. I’ve never had sharper knives: not when they were new, and not after professional sharpening.
So let me tell you about using a sharp knife. Sharp knives slice through food without effort. You don’t have to use a lot of effort to get through your veggies, so you run much less risk of losing control of it and chopping the end of your finger off. Of course, this is where your newfound knife skills come in handy too. You can chop things up faster and with less effort, so preparing a salad or a bunch of stir fry veggies just doesn’t seem like a chore anymore. You like cooking more so you cook more. You cook more and your meals are healthier, so you get healthier and feel better. You might even lose some weight.
Yep, all that because your knife is sharp.