How to Properly Care for your Knives
Meat Hacks: How to Properly Care for your Knives
Learn how to properly care for your Knives with Walton's and Meatgistics. Read the guide and then post your questions or comments below.
Learn how to properly care for your Knives with Walton’s and Meatgistics. Read the guide and then post your questions or comments below
A question we often get asked is how can I keep my knives sharp? We will go over a couple of quick and easy tips that will help you keep a sharp edge on your knives longer. The first thing to think about is how good are your knives? This is going to make a huge difference in how long you can expect a knife to hold a good edge. If you have Vitcoronix or Henkels or some other premium brand then you should expect an edge to hold for a long time, if you have a bargain brand you picked up at the dollar store, well you are going to be sharpening often!
So let’s talk about why knives get dull. One of the main causes of a dull knife is improper storage, do you have a drawer full of knives at home? Well this is going to cause the knives to bang into each other and will dull them quicker than just about anything else. How do you prevent this? One easy way is to use a Wood Block they secure your knives and prevent them from dulling, plus they look cool on your counter top! If you don’t want to use a block then Victroinox has two products that will keep your knives safe in that drawer, the Knifesafe and the Edge-Mag both come in different sizes and are great options to keep your knives protected and as a bonus they protect curious little hands in the knife drawer!
Another reason that knives dull quickly is contact with the cutting board. The best cutting boards for your knives are ones made out of Bamboo as it is soft enough to not hurt your edge but hard enough to stand up to heavy use. Bamboo cutting boards do require some maintenance though, you will want to use a Conditioner but with occasional application you will have a great cutting board for a long time. If you don’t like the idea of a wood cutting board then your next best option is a plastic cutting board, they require less maintenance but are going to dull your knives faster than a bamboo cutting board. Just don’t use a stone or glass cutting board! Yes they look awesome but they are going to kill your knives!
Also, hand wash your good knives! Don’t put them through the dishwasher, the dishwasher is for butter knives not your food prep or steak knives. Hand washing them takes a few extra minutes but it is a super simple way to extend the life of your knives!
This next one is something that many people get wrong, it is using a “sharpening” steel on your knives! First of all most Steels are not meant to sharpen your knives, they are designed to realign and debur them. No matter how careful you are with your knives as you use them the edge is going to be pushed to one side or the other, a steel can be effective at correcting this. To properly use a steel you want to make sure that you are using a steel that is a little longer than the knife you are going to be using it on. Hold the steel vertically with your off hand so the point is resting on a cutting board, take your knife and place the edge of the blade near the handle at the top and pull down while sliding the knife back so that the entire length of the blade comes into contact with the steel. You will want to try to maintain a 15-20 degree angle when you are doing this, too little and you are not doing anything, too much and the edge is going to be dulled. Once you have finished a stroke on one side then do the other side, remember the goal here is to push the edge of the blade back to the center. Doing 3 swipes on one side then three on the other is not a good idea as you are just pushing the edge all the way one way and then all the way back.
They do make steels that will sharpen your knives a little, they are often called honing or diamond steels but it can be very hard to master the use of these.
So even if you have followed all of these tips and pamper your knives well guess what? They are still going to get dull! It will happen much slower if you follow the above tips but it is going to happen. At this point you really have two options, you can buy a Knife Sharpener or Sharpening Stone and sharpen them at home or you can send them into a company to do it for you! Both are good options but letting a professional do them is generally going to give you better results. We sharpen knives on our Tru Hone System its allows us to take a dull knife and put an edge on it that’s probably better than what it left the factory with! Read the expert review on the Tru Hone if you want to see how much I love this sharpener.
So for a quick recap, don’t put your knives in a drawer, or if you do use an edge protector of some sort. Do use a Bamboo cutting board, hand wash your knives, learn how to properly select and use a steel and when they do eventually dull bring or send them somewhere to get a professional to put an edge put on it! Remember, sharp knives don’t cause accidents in the kitchen, dull ones do!
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@scottwaltner i too used to have that same problem until I made my mix about 30 percent fat added non fat powder milk for a binder and mixed till it gets good and sticky and then the rest cooking temp and water shower @ end.
@parksider I am using fibrous casings and soaking in warm water for alt least 30 minutes. I mixed the meat, 20 pounds for about 12 minutes. The casings were tight when I was stuffing them. I was processing at 125 for 1 hour, 140 for 1 hour, 155 for 2 hours and 170 until the internal was 165. I water bathed them, forgot to hang them over night, but just put them in the refrigerator. I didn’t take the internal temp after I water bathed them.
The outside of the sausage does not appear fatty and the flavor is great.
Ive been wrong many times before lol! But i dont feel like it would turn out super good unless you found a seasoning mix that would blend well with the bacon taste which might take some nasty sticks to figure it out. Possibly willies snack stick from waltons might be ok… if you do this please let us know how it turns out. Commercially seems like a bit of a bad thing, the cost of bacon/pork fat is huge. Profit margin would be horrid!
@scottwaltner i agree with parker on a few things. You always need to soak your fibrous summer sausage casings for sure! At least 30 minutes if you got time. Also you dont want the casings to stick too much to the meat either though. Fine line there. I think maybe you need to mix the meat longer for that protein extraction would be the main thing. Also you want to stuff those casings about as tight as you can with out exploding, but those casings are tough. What temperature is the summer sausage after cooling them down?
I want to make fresh not smoked nitrate free Hot Dogs. After stuffing I am hot bathing them to 160. These are all beef I must add. What can I use to keep the color so they don’t end up grey looking and have that nice pink color?
Very similar process. Try dividing the spice into 1/3’s. Rub 1/3 on each day for 3 days. Yes it’s very thin, doesn’t take much. Local hardware store had crocks on sale so i got 2. I rub, and rotate each day.
After day 3, rotate each day for 5 more days. If it’s cold out i leave on the floor in my garage, if not it goes in the fridge-great either way just depends on weather.
Hang one day-i never rinse. Cold smoke (100F) for 6 hours. rest overnight, cold smoke for 6 more hours. Rest overnight.
I like mine to be a deep cherry color, that’s how i determine when to stop smoking. If it’s not that rich cherry color, smoke it more! Then rest it for 3 days and slice. We slice it on a slicer so i get super thin slices. Uncle Cecil said slice it thin enough that you can read the paper through it!
One tip-Walton’s has the little drying pouch that’s in the store bought jerky, They are cheap and make it last forever in the fridge or freezer. I also vacuum seal to 98% with the chamber vac or it get too hard. Here is a pic of what I’m looking for. The fellas have named this George Washington Jerky. It was the only way i could explain it to them before i made it. Told them we were going VERY old school, and now they love it!