Keep your edge in the kitchen

Keeping your knives sharp is one of the best things a home cook can do to make their cooking tasks faster and more precise. For instance, a sharp blade will allow you cut thinner slices of onion and help keep you from crying (because fewer cells that release the pungent aroma are crushed). With all of the gadgets available and conflicting advice floating around, many people are intimidated by the knife sharpening process. It doesn’t have to be intimidating, says Saveur’s Fatima Khawaja, who offers step-by-step primer on how to sharpen your knives simply and effectively.

While you can spend hundreds of dollars on sharpening devices, Khawaja recommends something much cheaper – a double-sided whetstone, with one coarser side to remove chips or dents, and a smoother side for precision honing. She then explains the keys to great sharpening in detail with photographs illustrating the various steps. Khawaja’s technique is different than some experts recommend but looks a lot easier to accomplish.

Once your knife is sharp, you can use a hone to quickly revive the edge between sharpening sessions. Khawaja also offer tips on how to wash and store your knives. Reading this article made me think of an old saying that I put a little twist on: Happy knife, happy life. It isn’t quite that simple, but few things are more frustrating (or dangerous) than trying to cut things with a dull blade.

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