Dancing Spoon: Keep Your Knives Sharp
At its foundation, cooking really only needs a few tools. They should be as good quality as you can afford and you should take care of them. This is especially true of your knives. Here're the basics of knifedom. Knives are for cutting. To cut they need to be sharp. When you use a knife it becomes dull. You need to sharpen your knives. Here's what happens. Through usage, a knife's edge actually wears away. To bring back the sharpness to the knife you must remove a small amount of material from the sides of the knife. That's what a sharpener does. There are many types of sharpeners, from sharpening stones (I've used them) to a manual sharpener like the Wusthof 2-Stage Sharpener (I've used them) to the electric sharpeners. I'm currently using the Chef's Choice 300W Diamond Hone Knife Sharpener pictured at the top. From the web site: The Chef's Choice sharpens in the two different stages: the sharpening stage and the second honing stage, which polishes the blade to a razor edge. Those two stages create different bevels, putting a "shoulder" on an edge instead of sharpening with a single bevel. The shoulder strengthens the edge so it lasts longer. And I think it does. The first time you use the sharpener you create those two bevels. After that, putting a new edge on takes just a minute or so. To make sure the angle is correct it has magnetic guides that hold the blade at the proper angle.