Blogs > Cooking from Scratch

Chef Stacy believes that cooking from scratch and using the best ingredients are the secrets to preparing delicious and memorable meals. She has created dozens of classes for the home chef and teaches students how to master culinary techniques and recipes in just one session. Read on to see what she's dishing up for The Oakland Press today....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Cutting Edge- Cook Like a Chef

I know that this post was supposed to be about grilling, but, sometimes, you have to help a cook in need. A a friend emailed me, asking for advice about knife care and sharpening. His concern was that he had been using a stone to sharpen his knives (recommended), and that he wasn't seeing results. Sympathetic, I shelved today's continuance from the Patch & Oakland Press blogs about grilling, and will pick those up again in a couple days.

Lets be honest, cooking can be quite a bit of work. It's a lot more work when your knives have gone into disrepair because of the lack of routine maintenance, or ineffective methods used for routine maintenance. To Bill's credit, he's in the know about a lot of things that some people might not yet be aware, being the foodie that he is. Buying a good quality knife isn't enough (although, it is very important), a new, sharp knife won't stay that way forever, so learning how to properly care for it is crucial.

There are a few things you will need in order to sharpen your own knives at home. A few kitchen towels, a two-sided sharpening stone, a sharpening steel, and mineral oil are the basic supplies you will need at hand. A sharpening steel is used to hone the knife and will not be enough on its own to keep your knives as sharp as they should be. Use a steel to realign the blade each time you use the knife. A sharpening stone should be used to sharpen the knife (I sharpen my knives every couple of months). Mineral oil (DO NOT use any other kind of oil!) must be used to oil the stone prior to sharpening it.

To get started, lay a kitchen towel on your counter-top, and place the oiled stone (oil both sides), coarse side up, on top of the towel. This will keep the stone from sliding around, making it safe for you, your counter and your knives during the sharpening process. Using a 20 degree angle, run the knife blade in a long swipe across the stone. Repeat 15 times, turn the knife over, and do the other side.

Turn the stone over to the fine side and repeat, doing 15 -20 swipes on each side of the knife. Oil the stone as needed. Wipe the blade with an extra towel as needed. Test to see if the blade is sharp by using a piece of paper or, even better, a tomato. If the knife is not sharp enough, repeat the steps above (both on the coarse and fine sides). Wipe knives off and store on a magnetic strip, in a block, or in a sleeve.

Do not use electric knife sharpeners and NEVER allow anyone, even a professional, to grind your knives!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you'd like to know where to buy a sharpening stone, see photos, etc., take a look at Themethodschool facebook page,


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