The Hospitality Guru: (cooking) Back to Basics – Steel/stone

A Steel is an essential part of your tool kit, a steel is used to maintain the cutting edge of your knife, this is called honing. When buying a steel; its important to get one that is harder (higher on the Rockwell Scale) than the knives it is going to sharpen.  A stone can also be used to sharpen knives.

You’ll need to practise honing your knife with a steel a bunch of times, it’s a technique that will become easy & natural the more you practise.  The following steps are recommended for honing a knife with a steel.

  • Hold the steel at an angle of 45 degrees with your thumb facing upwards on the handle.
  •   Maintain an angle of 10 degrees against the steel and place the heel of the knife against the tip of the steel.  Using a slicing motion, move the knife against the steel along its full length.  Work from the heel of the knife to the tip. 
  • Stroke the other side of the knife against the steel in the same way. Two or three strokes per side is all that should be needed.
  • Wash and dry the knife carefully.

You will also need to learn how to sharpen a knife using a stone & as with using the steel, you’ll have to spend many hours practising this technique.

  • Put the stone securely lengthwise on a bench.  A folded damp cloth under the stone will stop it from slipping.
  • Smear the stone with an appropriate lubricant.  (Refer to manufacturer’s recommendation)
  • Hold the knife by the handle. Rest the fingers of your free hand on the side of the blade.
  • Hold the knife at a 10-15 degrees angle to the stone.
  • Use long, even strokes to move the knife along the whole length of the stone.  Work the knife from heel to point, and alternate between sides.
  • Clean the knife under cold running water to wash off any metal grindings.
  • Dry the knife carefully.

Diamond and sand stones are used for sharpening knives; they are lubricated with detergent, water or oil, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation & in some cases your preference.

Grinding a knife is only necessary when the blade needs to be reshaped after long and continuous use or poor treatment & should be left to the professional because an inexperienced person may do more harm than good.

More by this Author


Comments

No comments yet.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working