A sharp knife makes a safe kitchen, but there are so many conflicting schools of thought out there that learning how to sharpen your own knives can be overwhelming. My philosophy is this: I'm a cook, not a bladesmith. I need a fast, reliable sharpening method because I don't have backup knives to use while mine are at the hardware store getting sharpened and I don't care to spend a couple decades mastering the art of honing a blade.
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There are few things more satisfying than slicing into a big loaf of fresh, crusty bread. However, if the loaf is bigger than your bread knife, getting a uniform slice can be a slight challenge, especially when you hit that bottom crust. Luckily, there is a very easy solution: just flip the loaf on its side.
Learning to sharpen a knife by feel makes sure your knives last longer and are easier (and safer) to use -- even more so than an automatic sharpener, which can grind your knives down and shorten their life. This method, from sharpening master Peter Nowlan, is a solid "four pressure" system you can learn at home.
Shallots are delicious in lots of things, but getting the best flavour and presentation from them demands you learn to slice them a little differently depending on what you're making. This video, posted to Instagram by Food52, shows you three different slicing methods, and the dishes each is best for.
If you're an outdoors adventurer, DIY-er, PC builder, or just like to be prepared for anything, you need a good multitool. The Leatherman Wave and SOG PowerLock are both reliable, sturdy, well-built and popular choices, but if you could only have one, let's decide which deserves to live in your carry-all.
You really only need three or four knives in your kitchen: an 20cm or 25cm chef's knife, a 7.5cm or 10cm paring knife, a serrated bread knife and maybe a 17.5cm or 20cm Santoku. Those will take care of most of your cutting needs, but once you master those, you might want to supplement your collection with a few choice additions.
As we've often said, dull knives are dangerous knives, not to mention a pain to use when it's time to cook. Keeping them sharp is surprisingly easy, and this guide from the folks at KnifePlanet is detailed and rich, but boils down to three simple steps: maintenance, honing, and eventually, sharpening.
We've mentioned that sharpening your knives with a whetstone (or water stone) is the best way to keep them sharp and safe, but this video will walk you through picking the right stones, learning the right angles and getting the perfect edge -- all in one sitting.
Learning to use a whetstone is the best thing you can do for your knives, especially nice ones, but learning how can be tricky. Luckily, this (very detailed) guide from KnifePlanet teaches you how, from start to finish, and includes a simple method for making sure you've sharpened enough to make a difference.