What is the sharpest tool in your kitchen? Your answer is undoubtedly one of the many sharp knives you rely on for quickly chopping herbs, dicing or slicing vegetables, meat, fish, ... If not, it's time to take care of your knives. In this blog post, together with our three ambassadors-top chefs, we discuss what you need to know about blunt knives, how to maintain, hone and sharpen your knives and to what extent sharp knives can improve your cutting skills.
Safer and better results with sharp knives
Every chef who respects himself will agree that you can work faster, more accurately and more safely with a sharp knife than with a blunt knife.
“Sharp knives are considerably safer than blunt knives”, confirms chef Bart Desmidt of the tweesterrenrestaurant Bartholomeus in Heist. Bart is one of the ambassadors of Chef & Knife Belgium. “Dull knives often lead to accidents because more effort is required to cut.”
“Besides being safer, sharp knives also help you improve your cutting skills”, emphasizes Chef Michiel De Bruyn of the restaurant Sense in Waasmunster. He still uses a lot of cutting techniques for his classic dishes.
“Whether you're slicing brunoise or julienne for a garnish or dividing up meat for a stew, keeping your knife sharp will improve your cutting precision. And food that is cut evenly cooks evenly.”
Sharp knives in other words, yield better results.
What is a dull knife?
A sharp kitchen knife is very thin at the edge and is subject to enormous pressure, but it can hardly withstand lateral forces. Over time, the edge bends and the alignment is distorted to such an extent that we can speak of a blunt knife.
"You know it, you chop parsley and then you scrape it off the cutting board, or when you don't concentrate much you wiggle your knife while chopping", says Peppe Giacomazza, chef of restaurant ‘La Botte’ in Genk as an example. His restaurant has been named 'Best Italian restaurant in the country' twice by Gault & Millau.
For knives with a steel hardness of HRC60, there is an additional effect. These kitchen knives stay sharp for an extremely long time but can chip at the edge. This causes microscopic particles to come loose from the edge.
Honing your knives
The easiest way to keep your knives sharp in the kitchen is to keep them sharp. You do this by honing, which is different from sharpening. See further in the article for this. You keep sharp in the first place with a Honing rod.
If you hone your knives often enough; they are always razor sharp every time you take them in your hands.
“The point is to keep your knife consistently sharp with a high-quality ceramic sharpening rod to keep the blade aligned”, legt Bart Desmidt uit.
Honing means that the honing rod and blade are held at a certain angle. The blade is pulled along the edge to the point on the sharpening rod. Each time and alternately on both sides of the blade.
“After a few strokes, check the sharpness by gently resting your knife on the nail of your thumb”, explains Michiel De Bruyn. “If the blade stays put easily, it is sufficiently sharpened.”
With a sharpening steel or honing rod you bring the deformed edge of your knife back into its straight position. A sharpening steel must therefore always be harder and larger than the knife. This is the reason why we are in our webshop have a variety of high quality sharpening steels.
Bij messen met een hardheid boven HRC61 gebruik je dan ook best een ceramic sharpening steel dat meestal hetzelfde effect heeft als een watersteen van korrel 1000.
Sharpen your knives yourself with a water stone
You often hone your knives, for example before you start a task. But if honing no longer gives the desired result, it is best to use a sharpening stone to sharpen your knives. There are several types of sharpening stones from different materials and several sharpening techniques, butJapanese sharpening stones, also sharpening stones named are the most famous and also the sharpening stones that we recommend. Not without reason, because the Japanese make sharpening a knife a true art.
Before you start sharpening, the sharpening stone must be thoroughly wetted with water
When sharpening you will notice that the surface of the sharpening stone a slurry is released. You should not rinse that slurry away because it promotes sharpening and ensures that loosened metal particles from your knife do not get stuck in your sharpening stone.
As an avid hobby chef, a Japanese sharpening stone in your kitchen is certainly an important asset. For an optimal result you have 2 to 3 grain sizes at home, although most stones often have 2 sides.
Knife sharpening workshop
During sharpening workshop we teach you how to sharpen your knives yourself with a water stone. With a little practice you will soon notice that the result is amazing. Certainly better than with any other sharpening technique.
Have knives sharpened by Chef & Knife Belgium
With intensive use of your kitchen knives you will soon notice that they show more wear in certain places. This wear is due to frequent use, which causes the original profile of the blade to disappear.
It is our task as sharpener not only to sharpen your knives, but also to re-profile them. It is not easy to know and recognize all profiles, but at Chef & Knife we manage to do that.
How often do you have to sharpen a knife?
It can generally be assumed that knives from a professional chef must be sharpened every three months and that of a hobby cook once a year.
The duller you let your knives get, the more steel has to be removed to restore the edge and shorten the life of your knife. And if you always want sharp knives without any worries, use our leasing service.
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Chef & Knife Belgium
Als kookwinkel gespecialiseerd in messen, levert Chef & Knife Belgium zowel aan de horeca als aan hobbykoks en iedereen die houdt van kwaliteitsvol en professioneel materiaal met advies en service. Op afspraak kan je altijd terecht in de winkel te Brakel met al je vragen en om messen te testen.
Chef & Knife Belgium is gespecialiseerd in Japanse keukenmessen zoals Kikuichi: handgemaakte messen met een eeuwenoude geschiedenis. Daarnaast ook een assortiment kookgerei en cooking appliances voor de fervente hobbykok.
In our own knife sharpening slijpen we met passie voor het vak en met de grootste precisie alle keukenmessen, scharen en ander huishoudelijk snijgereedschap.