Friday, January 18, 2008

Thrift Store finds

I love thrift stores! Brent ran over to one close to his office during lunch yesterday and found a brand new KitchenAid knife set. He got a great deal on it! We have needed to invest in some new knives for a long time! We're still using the set we got at our wedding. I don't think we've ever even sharpened them. I really like this new set and can't believe how nice it is to have a set that actually cuts through chicken. I don't need a saw. But here's a dumb question -- What is the long, metal dowel looking thing for? I've just never seen one used before.


Mike and Adrianne said...

I'm pretty sure it's a sharpener. We have a big black one. Also, to cut chicken we just do it the easy way--scissors. We are cheap though, we have meat scissors but if they are dirty, we just use normal ones. Kind of gross but does the job.

Papa Doc and the Duke said...

The long round thing is called a hone. It is used to straighten a sharp blade on a knife. You run the blade up a the hone and turn it over and over to straighten each edge.

Sharpening is not really that hard. But it does require some technic. It is best done on a long stone which you can usually buy at any good hardware store. Butchers usually use one that is about eight or ten inches long and can be bathed in light oil. But you can use one that is about two inches wide and about six inces long. You can easily and cheaply buy that kind.

You can use light oil too, as a lubricant. Just pour it on the stone and wipe it off when you are done.

Sharpen by moving the blade along the stone in one direction holding the blade at the angle you want on your edge. A steep angle give a longer lasting edge, but is not as sharp cutting things. A narrow angle (the knife flatter against the stone as you sharpen) gives a sharper edge, but it is thiner and gets injured and dulled more easily. You just run the different parts of the knife along the stone to get the whole length of the blade sharpened. The more professional stones are just wider and longer and easily used. The finer the stone the sharper the end product, but the courser stone is used first to get things going in the right direction and then the fine stone to finish the job. Most stones are different on each side of the stone.

The hone is used to staighten the edge and take off any burrs after it is shapened. Butchers hone often. It makes a knife cut more effectively for longer.

Chelsey, you would find your old knives would work just as well as your new ones if they were sharpened.

These proceedures are not for serrated knives. They usually are just thrown away when they get really dull. They are usually used for cutting things like bread, or tomatoes, since very sharp knives are needed otherwise.

Hope this has helped. I learned this stuff in my meats classes at the Y from Dr. Orme. He was terrific.

Also, a stainless knife is not as easily sharpened as a carbon steel one. But they are stainless. That is, they do not take on funny colors as do the carbon steel ones. But the coloring does not mean anything negative except esthetically. So a carbon steel knife is usually the sharpest one.

Dad Clark

Lokodi said...

Chelsey, that is so funny that you posted this, and of all days! I was just over at my friend's house for dinner and she was showing me her brand new set of knives she got for christmas. I pulled out the "long, metal dowel looking thing" and asked, "what's this?" On the same exact day that you posted this! How strange. By the way, her new set of knives were red too and I love them! Congrats on the great find. And Adrianne, we use meat scissors to cut all our meat too and when they're dirty, we use normal scissors too. Hey, they still work and it's easier than using a knife! Smart thinking.