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Sharpest knife in the drawer

Sharpest knife in the drawer

A sharp knife is your best friend in the kitchen. Invest in a quality blade.
It will serve you gallantly for life. Next, invest in a whetstone, preferably of Japanese make - any culture that has spent millennia perfecting the art of honing swords for Samurai, clearly knows their business. Whetstones are measured in ‘Grit’ - the lower the number, the coarser the grain and the more of the knife’s blade it will grind away. Start the sharpening process on low-grade (1000) grit to put the edge on the blade, then, use the high-grade (3000-10000) stone to polish the edge to a scalpel-like sharpness. 

For the average household punter looking to sharpen your quiver of knives, you can find online a combination stone that is double sided and has both 1000 grit and a 3000 grit stone. For the professional and general knife nutter (e.g; most chefs and more hard core mafia types) I suggest a set of 3 individual 1000, 3000 and an 8000-10000 grit stones.  These will quite literally get your shiv sharp enough to shave with.
1. Fully submerge your stone (or stones if you are the Blade Nutter as mentioned above) in water for at least 30 minutes. The stone is porous and you will see small bubbles emitting from the stone as it absorbs water. The water will act as a lubricant while you sharpen to ensure you don’t damage both the blade and the stone from excessive friction. This is crucial.
2. Remove the stone from the water and place on a sturdy bench top on a wet tea towel to stop it sliding around while you get freaky with the knife. Many stones are sold with a rubber stand to help hold it in place, another sound investment.

3. Next, choose your weapon.
4. Starting on the low-grade stone, place the blade on the stone with the tip of the knife facing away from you. Hold the handle of the blade firmly in one hand and with two fingers of your other hand; lightly apply pressure to the tip of the knife. You are going to run the length of the cutting edge back and forth along the stone with the edge of the knife at about a 15-degree angle off the surface of the stone.
5. If you can, count the amount of times you go back and forth and repeat evenly on each side for about 10 minutes. This will put the edge back on your tired, limp and frustratingly pathetic knife. During this process you will see a slurry of liquid, a mixed colour of both the stone and the metal from your knife – this is normal and by now you should be getting moist/hard thinking of how you will soon be able to brunoise tomatoes like Escoffier. I am both moist and hard now just thinking about it.

6. Wipe your blade clean and then repeat the process on the higher-grade stone. Again, making sure to keep the edge at no more than 15-degrees. Again, try to count an even number of strokes per side for about 10 minutes. This stage will barely feel like the stone is having any effect on the blade, but to give a comparison of how this ‘polishing’ stage works, think of how a barber buffs his cut throat razor on a leather ‘strop’. Yep, now is about the time you start having those Sweeny Todd thoughts that most chefs have numerous times a day.

7. Check the edge of your knife by running your finger across the edge. Be careful, it should be sharper than a motherfucker if you have done it correctly and this stage can easily see your sorry ass off to A&E.
Ant Power
 
Ant Power
Trained chef and Global Innovation Manager for the Movember Foundation based in London, Ant is passionate about men’s health and 100% believes in a well-balanced lifestyle that sometimes gets dialed up to 110% on a Friday night. Co-founder of successful London food magazine ‘Root + Bone’ Ant is constantly traveling the globe in search of great moustaches, great food and great stories. Across the issues that affect Men’s lives, this guy knows how to serve a reality check - and what the hell to do about it.
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