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How often should you sharpen kitchen knives

How often should you sharpen kitchen knives
BHL | 17 Aug

Kitchen - a very important place that is directly connected to the safety of our health. Everything in the kitchen must be in order for our food to be properly prepared. Starting from cleanliness of the countertop, sink, chopping board, knives to dishes and cutleries, everything is directly connected to our health. 

Knife is also one of the most important elements in our kitchen. Knives not only need to be clean but also very sharp for proper food preparation. Knives can either make our food or spoil it. The sharpness of knives is especially important. Why? 

Every vegetable, meat, or fish has its own boiling point. To elaborate, the boiling point of every food item can change depending on how they are cut. There are so many cuts available for a single food ingredient, for example, Allumete Cut, Julienne Cut, Batonnet Cut, Brunoise Cut, Macedoine Cut, Dice cut of varying sizes, etc. 

Only with a sharp knife can you perform those cuts. If you knife is not sharp you will not be able to keep the harmony of the sizes intact and based on how rough the cuts are, boiling point of every single shred or dice will change and we will get a dish with some mashed, some fully done, and some undone pieces of fish, meat, or vegetables. 

This will ruin our food altogether. So, it is very important to ask the question - ‘how often should you sharpen kitchen knives?’ We are going to talk a little about it.

Frequency of knife sharpening

Well, the answer to the question ‘how often should you sharpen kitchen knives’ depends on how your knife is performing. Usually, the softer items you cut, the less frequent sharpening you need. 

If the edge of the knife does not get any resistance from the food item you are cutting, the sharpness will not reduce. However, if you are cutting bones and meat of animals and fishes, the sharpness will definitely fall. So, every knife has its own frequency of sharpening. 

For example, a meat cleaver or a bone saw will need to be sharpened based on the amount of meat and bone it cuts everyday. It is better to check its sharpness after every three sessions of household cutting. For a commercial kitchen, you need a sharp knife at the beginning of every single day.

How to notice the bluntness of a knife

When we are busy with our cooking, it is very likely that we would not easily notice if the knife has become blunt. When suddenly the knife would slip and injure us, we would go and check if it needed sharpening. 

You can easily find out if your knife needs sharpening or not. You can test the knife on paper. Sharp knife will cut through a paper from the side to side or top to bottom like butter, however, if it is not sharp the paper will not be cut. 

You can also test the knife on soft items with tough skin like tomatoes. If your knife is sharp it will cut through tomato skin without distorting the shape of the tomato. Dull knife will have hard time cutting through.

Why is a Sharp Knife Important?

A knife is at its best when it is the sharpest. You can argue that sharpness can be dangerous, but only if you are an amateure handling the knife. Every tool of any trade will need you to practice handling them day after day to become expert in handling; and by expert user we mean that you will be efficient in using a sharp knife and will not injure yourself. 

If your blade is dull, it will slip and cut your finger instead. Without a sharp knife you will not be able to do finer and more uniform cutting of fruits or vegetables.

Common Mistakes during knife handling

Knife’s blade is made from metal. Therefore, it will have the same properties as metal. For example, if you do not care, leftover juices from tomato, lemon, etc., on your blade can ruin your blade if you do not wash and dry it immediately. 

If you do not dry, your blade or knife will catch rust. You need to use a proper chopping board. If the board is too tough then it will not work. Besides, you need to sharpen your knife at a certain interval.

Top Tips for Knife Safety

For your safety do the following:

  1. When you are washing the knife, keep the sharp side of the blade on your opposite side.

  2. Always keep the knife’s blade pointed down while carrying.

  3. Do not touch the knife's blade.

Using a Honing Steel

If you are a regular at the kitchen market, you may have come across something called honing steel. There is a notion that you can sharpen the dull blade with a honing steel, however, this belief is not correct. 

You can only align the blade of the knife with a honing steel. Usually, if you buy a knife set, there will be a honing steel as well. You can also buy one separately from the market. Although you can realign the edge of the blade, the result is temporary. 

That is why you need to do it regularly if your blade is comparatively older. This tool is meant for maintenance, not sharpening.

First, hold the honing steel in one hand at a right angle. You can also place it perpendicularly on a towel for stability. Then run the dull edge of the blade at a shallow angle gently and slowly for the best result.

There are so many knives in the market. Each type has its own purpose. Some knives are meant for bones and meats, some are for fishes, some for fruits, and some are for vegetables. It is important to know which type of knife cuts what. 

If you know you will be able to use the knife for a long time. We hope you have an answer to the question - how often should you sharpen kitchen knives - now.

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