Are you ready to be on the cutting edge? Literally! Well, almost, we’re back in the kitchen yet again to get our knife skills in tip-top shape.

Janelle Whempner is the Culinary Arts Instructor at CTE Academy. She joined us today to continue our lesson on knife skills, so that we can continue to keep our digits in tact as we chop and dice our way into being better chefs. Janelle.

RELATED: Disaster in the kitchen? Here’s how to fix it

Honing a knife

Honing a knife
Honing a knife

A honing steel is often the first step in sharpening a knife and can also be done in between sharpening sessions to keep knives at their best.

Twenty degree angle

Hold the knife at a 20 degree angle when honing and sharpening. To check yourself, draw a line with a sharpie marker on the edge of the knife. The line should disappear as you sharpen it.

Sharpen your knife at a 20 degree angle
Sharpen your knife at a 20 degree angle

This was the third part in our knife skills series. Make sure to watch for the fourth and final part next month.

Part 1: Sharpen up your kitchen skills

Part 2: Kitchen skills not cutting it? Check out these tips!

Knife pressure

Put 4lbs-8lbs of pressure on your knife as you sharpen. To see how much pressure that feels like and build up muscle memory, push your knife down on a kitchen scale until you reach at least 4lbs.

Use a kitchen scale to test your pressure
Use a kitchen scale to test your pressure

Sharpening

Soak your sharpening stone in water for 15 minutes. Depending on how much work your knife needs, use the course, medium or fine side of the stone. Add water as needed from a fresh water source (the water you soaked your stone in likely has metal shards in it).

Sharpening a knife on a sharpening stone
Sharpening a knife on a sharpening stone

Types of knives

Chef knife

A chef knife, which is also known as a chef’s or a cook’s knife, is a kitchen knife that has a long and broad blade with a very fine and straight edge. It is the knife we used in our sharpening demonstration.

Santoku knife

Santoku knives originated in Japan. The literal translation refers to three uses that are cutting, mincing, and dicing. These knives have dents on the blade to avoid flesh from sticking on its surface. 

Santoku knife
Santoku knife

Utility knife

A utility knife is similar to a chef knife, however it is smaller and slimmer. It is blunt and thick to provide more strength to the sharp edge.

Utility knife
Utility knife

Serrated knife

A serrated, or saw-like, knife is very useful for cutting through different types of hard and soft loaves of bread. It is also good for spongey or fermented foods.

Serrated knife
Serrated knife

RELATED: Food plating: The art of food presentation