Commercial Cutlery

How to Sharpen Your Chef’s Knife

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Most chefs know that a sharp knife is a safe knife. That’s because a sharp knife requires significantly less pressure to be applied for it to do its job. Dull knives require more, making them more likely to slip and cause injury. Most chefs also know that a sharp knife is also an efficient knife that will help you improve your cooking and make your job in the kitchen a lot easier. Cutting jobs simply go much faster with sharper knives. Sharp commercial cutlery will also enable you to create more uniform cuts, which will aid in more even cooking and improve the taste of your dishes.

Honing vs. Sharpening

If you have a higher quality set of knives, you may have honing steel. That’s the long, abrasive steel rod with a handle that you see TV chefs running their knives across. The honing steel is a tool made to maintain the edge of blade, to keep it smooth and straight. It isn’t for sharpening and shouldn’t be used as a substitute for sharpening. Use it once every few cutting jobs to maintain the quality of the cutting edge.

Sharpening Your Kitchen Knives

If used with regularity, you should sharpen your blades about every 60 days, especially the most used ones like your chef’s knife. The best way to sharpen your knives is with a whetstone. There are other methods, especially sharpening machines, but they tend to grind away too much of the blades surface, which will greatly reduce the knives useful lifespan.

Five Steps to a Sharp Knife

A good set of well-maintained knives should last you a long time. Here are the five steps to caring for your blades.

  1. Lay the whetstone on a cutting board or non-slip counter top with the coarse side facing up
  2. Grasp the handle in one hand and hold the edge of the blade to the surface of the stone with the other at about a 22 ½ degree angle
  3. With medium pressure slide the blade forward and across the stone. Left to right or right to left will depend on whether you are right- or left-handed. Maintain both pressure and angle as you run the entire length of the blade across the stone. Do this 10 times on each side of the blade
  4. Flip the stone over so that the fine side is facing up and apply 10 similar strokes to each side of the blade
  5. Finally, apply five to eight strokes per side with a honing steel. Be sure to maintain the same 22 ½ degree angle used for sharpening

Rinse the blade under water and carefully (it’s sharp) dry with a soft cloth or towel. Your knives are now as sharp, or sharper, than when you first bought them.

Commercial Cutlery Buying Guide

cleaverCutlery is an important commercial and home kitchen staple that can directly impact the preparation and presentation of food.  Ever start chopping away inside your kitchen and wonder if you’re using the right knife? You’ll typically see key points such as size, shape, blade and type of edge when specifying the appropriate knife for cooking and food prep. Here, we’ve taken it a step further by offering general descriptions to serve as a basic guide for the most common knife types.

Boning Knives

Boning knives have a sharp point and narrow blade. Typically available with blades ranging from 3″ to 8″ in length, boning knives are used in food preparation for separating and removing the bones from poultry, meat, and fish. Boning knives are not as thick as some of other popular kitchen knives, as this makes precision boning, especially in deep cuts and holes, much less difficult. A stiff boning knife is good for boning beef and pork, but a very flexible boning knife is preferred for poultry and fish.

Bread Knives

Bread knives are designed with serrated edges to cut soft bread and fruits like tomatoes without crushing them. Bread knives can have straight or slightly curved blades and range from 6-10 inches in length.

Butcher Knives

Butcher knives are designed especially for breaking through larger, tougher cuts of meat. A slip resistant, nylon or fibrox handle is ideal for slicing and dicing an assortment of meats, ensuring that the user maintains a firm grasp. Butcher knives have heavy, wide and slightly curved blades.

Carving Knives

With a thinner handle and wider blade than traditional slicing knives, these sturdy cutting tools are perfect for separating larger pieces of meat, such as poultry, roasts, and hams into thin, precise slices.

Chef’s Knives

Chef’s knives are ideal for everything from slicing meat to chopping and dicing fruits and veggies. Available in sizes ranging from 6 to 12 inches, chef’s knives are designed to perform a variety of tasks in busy kitchen. These versatile knives feature sharp, high carbon steel blades for more precise cutting, slicing and mincing.

Cleavers

Cleaver knives are ideal for slicing meats as well as chopping or mincing vegetables, and can even be used to crush bulbs of garlic or ginger. Cleavers feature large, stainless steel blades with wooden handles.

Churrasco Knives

Designed specifically for Brazilian steakhouses, churrasco knives are the perfect cutting tools for slicing large chunks of meat directly from spits onto the plates of hungry customers. Constructed almost as a mix between slicing and carving knives, these unique cutting tools are great for slicing through cooked meat at all different angles.

Paring Knives

Paring knives are used for small, intricate work like peeling and coring. A good paring knife typically measures between three and five inches on the blade.  Paring knives are designed to be an all-purpose knife, similar to a chef’s knife, but on a smaller scale.

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