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How to Sharpen a Knife with a Rod or Steel

(but you are actually honing it)

The phrase Rod and Steel are both used.

It’s far harder working in a kitchen with a blunt knife than it is with a sharp knife. The secret behind keeping a sharp knife. Sharpen it before and every time you use it. First grip the steel. Feel really comfortable with holding the steel. Imagine you are holding a tennis racquet or you're playing squash. You got to be really comfortable with it. Now, 45 degrees. Confident grip. Confident grip with the knife. This is the berth of the steel. Really important to keep your fingers behind that. You never grip a steel with your fingers over that. Cause your knife comes back in, you lost a finger. Always grip behind. Nice long strokes so we get the whole of the blade over the steel. Stroke. And we start from the bottom to the top. From there, across. From there, across. Close strokes over the top of the steel and then come back into me. And then back into me. It’s so dangerous working in the kitchen with a blunt knife. They cause so much damage. Working with a sharp knife is ten times quicker, more efficient. Now, that’s ready to start chopping.

To stop your chopping board rocking or slipping. A great tip is to simply wet a kitchen cloth, kitchen paper, or tea towel and place it underneath. Now, you can chop with confidence.

Although a rod is used to ‘finish’ sharpening a knife Gordon Ramsay is actually honing the knife by keeping it sharp before and every time he uses it as he states in the video above. Since, the knife never has a chance to get dull it never needs sharpening because of the constant honing. In fact, if you read this article, it explains in more detail about how you are not making the knife any sharper. This is a common misconception out there. Another thing will notice out there is that many people say to hold the knife angle at 20 degrees, a few at 22.5 degrees, and Gordon Ramsay says to hold it at 45 degrees. It is only recommended to hold it at 45 degrees if you are very experienced and keep the same angle consistently as you drag the blade along the whole length of the blade and to switch sides consistently as well.

The video gives a good visual on the technique you are to use so that is why it was included in this article.

Here is a quick test to see if you need to sharpen your knife. Hold up a sheet of paper then take your knife along the top of the paper and try slicing back to see if it slices the paper easy and smoothly. If it does not re-sharpen, then re-hone the knife.

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That is one big knife!
That is one big knife!

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