Veteran Move #1: Keep Your Knives Sharp!

Nothing is more important in the kitchen than having sharp knives. Nothing! Chopping is the most critical piece of preparing food and a sharp blade makes chopping easy and even fun. A sharp knife simplifies everything you need to do most in the kitchen. And when food prep feels simple your confidence soars and the recipes you attempt become more and more delicious.

Over the years I’ve acquired a variety of tools to keep things sharp in my kitchen. From my honing steel which keeps the blades in my kitchen straight so they hold a sharp edge longer to my favourite sharpener of all: my little Smith’s pocket sharpener, finding the right tools and getting in the habit of sharpening at least very other day is when things really took off for me in the kitchen. So, I can’t stress enough it’s absolutely vital you develop kitchen habits that support keeping all your cutting tools as sharp as they can be.

Most people recognize the typical honing steel. While there are steel sharpeners that look like the above there’s a difference. Every time you cut something you bend and nick the blade’s edge. The honing steel is used to keep blades straight between sharpening.
Honing requires you to methodically draw the blade along the shaft of the steel. Make sure you hone both sides of the blade. Honing removes nicks and other irregular features that naturally occur every time you use your blades for regular kitchen duties. Those are what create dull cutting tools.
Most people recognize the typical whetstone. These are made of either naturally quarried stone, usually a quartz base, or more frequently these days, artificial composites designed with sharpening in mind. They come in all shapes and sizes and many feature different grits on either side to treat different types of blades.
More common sharpeners used in everyday home kitchens are usually ‘pull through’ models. The units pictured above are my favourites. Both are relatively inexpensive and use metal ‘v-slots’ to put an edge on my blades.
It’s as easy as lining the blade up in the v-slot and pulling it through s few times. A pull through like the one pictured above makes sharpening so very easy.
My absolute fave is the little pocket sharpener which features a carbide v-slot for coarse blades and a ceramic slot on the opposite end for finer blades. I both this one at a home improvement store for under $20 and I use it ALL the time!
My little pocket sharpener cost less than $20 and it’s so compact i can take it with me any time we rent a cottage or beach house with a kitchen. I love to cook even on holiday and you can bet knives in rental units are going to be dull!
Years ago I bought A Samurai Shark. Similar to the two pull through models above, it features a so called ‘Delta Blade’ pictured on the left end of the unit. It is meant to use with hard to handle blades including serrated knives.

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