Help

Knife Skills 101: Looking Sharp

When it comes to sharpening your knife, we recommend having a whetstone in your toolkit. Whetstones are rectangular blocks made out of coarse stone, almost like sandpaper, which helps to straighten and refine the edge of the blade on a knife. Honing on a whetstone definitely takes practice, but if you can set aside 30 minutes once every few months to sharpen your knives, you’ll be cutting edge!

  

 

 

Whetstones usually need to be soaked for at least 5 to 10 minutes. Submerge your whetstone in water until it is completely saturated, and no more bubbles are coming up. Place the whetstone on a kitchen towel so that it doesn’t slide around, as it’s important to make sure your stone doesn’t budge while you are sharpening.

Most whetstones come with a coarse ground side and a fine ground side. Depending on how often you sharpen your knives, that will determine the side you use. If you’re sharpening your knife for the first time, we recommend starting with the coarse end, and then use the fine side.

With your whetstone firmly in place, you can start sharpening! Place the blade of your knife on the stone at a 20-degree angle. Press down with about 4 to 6 pounds of pressure as you drag the blade against the whetstone. Only apply pressure as you drag the blade in one direction.  Repeat this process on both sides of your blade at least 10 to 15 times.

If you’re unsure of what 4 to 6 pounds of pressure feels like, grab your Smart Cooker and turn on the scale function. Press the insert down until the scale reads the desired weight—that’s how much pressure you should be applying. If your whetstone ever dries out while you’re working, splash some water on it and keep moving. Don’t worry about the grey liquid that will begin to form on the surface of the stone. That’s just the water, stone, and steel that you’ve ground off of your knife. In fact, it is beneficial to have that on the stone.

Rinse your knife and use a honing rod to straighten your blade. Then, try out the paper test. Hold up a piece of printer paper and try to slice through it with your knife. You should be able to run the length of the paper without the blade catching. If your knife doesn’t cut the paper smoothly or snags, you can go back over the stone a few more times and test it again!