WATCH: How to Sharpen and Maintain a Knife
You chef's knife needs plenty of TLC. Learn how to sharpen it right!
Watch how to hone and sharpen your knife: it needs both to be properly maintained, and taking these extra steps give the knife the respect that it deserves.
A dull knife doesn't only make your work more difficult for you, it is also dangerous. It could slip, exposing the blade and increasing your chances of injury. If a knife does slip while doing prep work, step away and let it fall onto the floor. Never catch a falling knife.
Before you start your cooking, always hone your knife using a honing or sharpening steel.
1 At a 20°, place the heel of the knife at the end or tip of the steel.
2 Pull down across the length of the knife, ending at the tip.
3 Switch to the other side of the knife and repeat the same motion.
4 Do 10-15 counts on both sides of the knife.
Remember: keep your hand behind the guard and on the grip only.
To properly sharpen and maintain your chef's knife, use a whetstone. Home cooks should do this at least twice a year.
1 Wet both sides of your whetstone in a tub of shallow water to moisten it. Let it soak for at least 30 minutes. Whetstones are available at grocery stores.
2 Starting with the rough side of the stone, which grinds out the blade. On one side of you knife, run 10 to 15 rounds on your whetstone, starting from the heel and ending at the tip, maintaining a 20° angle. Repeat with the other side of your knife.
3 Flip the stone over to the smooth side and do the same with both sides of your knife. The smooth side of the whetstone hones out your blade and makes it clean and even.
Alternatively, you could do use a motion where in you move up and down on the tang of the knife.
1 At a a 20° angle, use both hands to slide the knife up and down the whetstone, beginning at the heel of the knife and ending at the tip.
2 Repeat of both sides of the whetstone and both sides of the knife with 10-15 counts on each side.