With the holiday season upon us, the simple joy of breaking bread with loved ones is only outweighed by the pure pleasure of the cooking process. If you love to cook, you know that the process of personally crafting a beautiful meal and sharing it with others is as extraordinary as the experience of tasting that first bite. Cooking is an art form that binds together friends and family and unites people of all backgrounds across the world.
Any experienced chef will tell you that preparing a perfect meal begins with having the right tools for the job. If your knives aren’t up to the challenge, it can affect the quality of your meal.
At Minneapolis Lock & Key in Minnesota, we’re more than just a residential security company. We also offer a complete range of knife sharpening services. Read on to learn some easily recognizable signs your knives may need to be sharpened.
Caring for Your Knives
For people who find true joy in cooking, using a new knife for the first time can be a uniquely enjoyable experience. But from the first time you use a new knife, it’s already beginning to dull. The type of metal a knife is crafted from can affect how long it takes to dull.
All of these activities can damage knives and should be avoided:
● Cutting on hard surfaces like granite, ceramic, steel, or glass instead of soft plastic or wood.
● Storing knives improperly, for example in drawers rather than knife blocks
● Using the wrong kitchen knife for the job
● Sawing through frozen food
● Hacking away at bone
● Leaving knives to air dry instead of hand drying them
● Soaking knives in the sink or leaving them in liquid
● Cleaning knives in the dishwasher
Honing Versus Sharpening
Honing can be done in your own kitchen and is meant to maintain knives’ sharp blades longer. If your knives are dull, you’ll never be able to restore them completely with honing. However, sharpening is actually restoring the edge of the knife. On a microscopic level, this literally grinds the metal blade down slightly. That’s why sharpening must be completed by a professional.
Sharpening Your Knives
It’s a good idea to sharpen your knives regularly, especially if you use them frequently. For knives that are used daily, honing them each month at home is recommended to keep them functioning at their top level of performance. In addition to honing your knives, you should also plan to have them professionally sharpened at least once per year. If your knives are used more heavily, they may need to be professionally sharpened more frequently.
Working with dull knives impacts the quality of work and creates dangerous working conditions. Here are a few signs your knives are in need of sharpening:
1. Blades feel duller than they should.
You may have noticed that the edge of your blades feel less sharp than they used to. Over time, this will become more obvious as the blade dulls. Using the utmost caution, gently touch the edge of the blade to test its sharpness. If the blade’s edge feels sharp and distinctly defined, it is not yet ready to be sharpened. However, a rounded or dull blade requires sharpening rather than mere honing.
2. It takes more pressure than it used to slice through food.
When you’re slicing through food with a sharp knife, it should feel fluid with little to no resistance. Having to apply more pressure is more than just an inconvenience. It can cause you to slip and nick a finger or worse.
3. Knives tear the food as you cut, leaving rough edges.
When your knives are sharp, your food will be neatly cut. A properly sharpened knife should slice well enough to cut cleanly through a piece of standard printer paper. However, with a dull knife, food comes out looking rough around the edges and may even require a bit of sawing to cut.
4. It fails the onion test.
Place your knife against the skin of an onion. A knife that passes the test should glide through the layers easily. Your blade is ready to be sharpened if it slides off of the onion’s skin or slips against it rather than cutting through the layers.
5. Food squashes or flattens under the weight of the knife instead of slicing neatly.
If the pressure of the knife causes food to cave in, flatten, or squash, your knives aren’t working as they should. Your knife should easily slice through food. Tomatoes offer the ultimate knife test. A sharp knife will move through tomatoes easily without crushing or smashing it and the blade won’t catch on the tomato’s skin.
Twin Cities Residential Locksmithing Services and Knife Sharpening
The key to skilled knife sharpening is understanding how to work with the metal. A professional knife sharpener understands the relationship between the type of metal, type of knife, and correct angle required to achieve a sharp blade edge.
In addition to a full range of residential locksmithing services, our pros at Minneapolis Lock & Key can restore your dull or damaged knives to their top condition. Bring your knives into our showroom to have them sharpened professionally. Knife sharpening service also makes a great gift for the chef in your life. To find out more, call us at 612.823.8148 or connect with us online.