hen preparing for a barbecue, it’s common for you to prepare some meat for your guests to enjoy. In some cases, it might be easier for you to cook a larger piece of meat. This means that you will be able to dedicate more time to it, rather than splitting your attention amongst other smaller cuts.
This means that it will be cooked perfectly. However, thicker cuts of meat can be more difficult to cut, especially if you have a dull knife. For this reason, it’s essential that you learn how to properly sharpen a knife. Let’s look at some of the best tips to help you do this.
Using A Steel Sharpener
Most high-quality knives will be accompanied by a steel sharpening rod, or you can purchase one in most cooking stores. This works best for re-honing a dulling blade, rather than sharpening a blunt knife. To use your steel sharpener, you will have to make sure that you get a hold of the rod vertically.
Then, place the base of the knife on the rod at a 15-degree angle. For your safety, make sure that the blade of the knife is facing away from you. This will reduce the chances that you can accidentally cut yourself. Slowly move the blade down the rod, maintaining the 15-degree angle and pulling it towards you.
As you get more confident doing this, you can start to move faster. To get the best results, you will need to repeat this motion on the other side of the knife. In most cases, you will need to do this between eight to ten times to re-sharpen the knife.
Using A Knife Sharpener
You might also want to use a sharpening block. There are multiple options available on the market, though they can be classified into two broad groups. You can purchase either a manual or an electric knife sharpener.
In general, though, they work in a very similar way. You will place your knife into a notch in the machine, then you will need to pull it through the device, making sure to apply an even amount of pressure. Next, flip the blade over and repeat the same procedure.
The owner’s manual will give more detailed instructions, such as how many times you will need to use the machine before your knife will be sharpened.
Using A Whetstone
The third sharpening method is also one of the most difficult, however, it will be able to work for most kinds of knives. To use your whetstone, place it on the bench with the coarse side facing upwards. You might need to use towels or a non-slip service to hold it in place.
To ensure that you are kept safe, you should make sure to keep the blade facing away from you. Next, place the knife on the whetstone at the angle of your blade. In most cases, this will be between 15 to 20-degrees. Then, slowly move the knife down the whetstone, using a large circular motion to make sure that the blade is sharpened evenly.
You might need to do this several times. To test whether that side has been sharpened properly, hold the knife up. You should be able to see burring on one side of the blade. When you notice this, you are ready to flip the blade over and repeat the process on the other side.
Testing How Sharp The Knife Is
Once you’ve sharpened your knife, you might want to test it. Though there are several ways of doing this, one of the most effective is the paper test.
To do this, you should hold up a piece of newspaper. If your knife can slice through this cleanly, the blade is sharp. Alternatively, you might want to use it try to cut through an onion. These tend to be very slippery. If your knife can easily cut through this food, it is sharp enough.
How Often You Should Sharpen Your Knives
The frequency that you will have to sharpen your knives at depends on how often you use them. The type of surface that you use them on can also have an impact on how quickly they dull. For example, hard surfaces like glass or wood can dull a blade faster.
You can use some of the above tests to determine how sharp your blade is. However, in most cases, you will need to sharpen your knife once a month.
Picking The Right Knife
It’s also key that you choose a high-quality knife. This will make it easier for you to keep it sharp. There are a few things you should be looking for when choosing the perfect blade. First, you should make sure that it’s got a good handle.
This is important to test the balance of the knife, which will determine how easy it will be to chop food. If the weight is geared to the back of the knife, or too far forwards, towards the blade, it can be more difficult to control.
You should also consider how much it weighs and how big it will be. In this area, it’s essential that you find the characteristics that you feel comfortable when using the knife.
This will ensure that you are confident when carving meat at a barbecue. If you want more tips, and the ability to compare some of the best knives available, check out this excellent compilation of knives for cutting meat.
Cutting meat can be a very important role, especially if you are preparing for a dinner party. To avoid butchering the meat, you will need to use a sharp knife. Hopefully, you will now have the ability to sharpen and maintain your knives properly.
It’s also hoped that you will be able to choose a high-quality knife, which will be easier to use and take care of. So, the next time that you host a barbecue you will have the knife skills to carve the meat with confidence.