Meatgistics: How to Choose and Use a Steel

  • Walton's Employee

    Meat Hacks: How to Choose and Use a Steel

    Not all Steels are made for the same purpose, some are going to realign your knives and some are going to allow you to resharpen your knife. Learn how to choose and use the best steel for your needs.

    Meat Hacks

    Why Use a Steel?
    First things first let’s talk about the purpose of a steel and why and when you should use one. A regular or polished steel, which is what most people have, is not going to sharpen your knife, it functions as a re-aligner for the edge of your knife. No matter how careful you are with your knives as you use it the edge of it will start to push one way or the other and a steel can be effective in pushing that edge back to center to give your knife a better edge. So, when should you use your steel? As soon as you think you notice that it might not be cutting as cleanly as it was. If you wait at all past that point then you have waited too long! For a steel to be effective it has to be used often! If you aren’t someone who is going to use a steel very often then save your money and buy a real sharpener instead!

    You want to make sure that your steel is at least 2 inches longer than the knife you are going to use it on. We are going to go over two different techniques for using a steel. The first is the best way for beginners to become comfortable with using a steel. You will ground the tip of the steel onto a cutting board, then 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, try to think of removing the bark from a branch without cutting the wood underneath, this is an easy way to be in the 15-20 degree range. Once you have finished a stroke on one side do the other side, remember the goal here is to push the edge of the blade back to the center, so doing three on one side then three on the other is not going to work. For a simple touch up 3-5 passes a side should be enough. An alternate technique is to hold the steel horizontally across your body and then with your other hand work the knife from the tip of the steel towards the handle in the same motion as above. Make sure you move only your wrist on your knife hand, this way the tip of the knife should not be able to reach your hand holding the steel. Either technique you decide to use remember to select a steel longer than the knife and to keep your fingers behind the hand guard on your steel for safety!

    If you have used a regular or polished steel and your knife is not cutting any better then it is time to move on to a diamond cut or multi-cut steel. These have an abrasive surface and will put an edge back on some knives. To use these types of steels following the same process as above but make as many passes as needed until you have the desired edge on your knives. This type of steel is not going to work on an extremely dull blade, if you have tried a diamond and multi-cut steel and it is still not cutting as cleanly as you like then you need to use an actual sharpener like the Tru-Hone. The Tru-Hone is a commercial grade sharpener that can put a razors edge on even the dullest of knives but most people will not have access to or want to pay for this type of sharpener. You can always send your knives into Walton’s and for a small fee we will sharpen them for you!

    So follow the above tips to keep your knives working well for you in the kitchen. A sharp knife is an essential tool in the kitchen and having one will make your cooking experience much more enjoyable! Remember, sharp knives do not cause accidents in the kitchen, dull ones do!

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    I have the a Himalayan Salt Slab, but really didn’t know how to prep before cooking or clean it, so I have only used it once.
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  • Meat Hacks: Cooking on a Himalayan Salt Slab

    Learn about cooking steak on a Himalayan Salt Slab with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.

    Meat Hacks

    Cooking on a Himalayan Salt Slab

    Salt is a key ingredient in almost any meat recipe. It improves the general flavor of almost any meat and has many other benefits as well. What happens when instead of putting salt on your steak you put steak on your salt? Himalayan Salt Blocks Like this one from Cameron’s have been increasing in popularity as a cooking and grilling surface. The Camerons Himalayan Salt slab is 8" x 8" and is 1.5 inches thick.

    It appears to offer a few advantages over traditional methods like cooking on grill grates or cast iron. Since it is a solid slab of natural Himalayan salt it will season your meat as you cook it, so you don’t need to add any rubs or seasonings to your steak, if you don’t want to. This can help cut down on your sodium intake as even though you are cooking on a salt slab and will get some salt into your food the transfer will be less than a fully seasoned steak. Himalayan Salt also has a stronger flavor than regular salt so you don’t need as much to get the same flavor. Aside from the flavor Himalayan salt also contains micro nutrients that are not present in regular table salt.

    These Salt Slabs are very good at heat retention, once you get them up to heat they will maintain a nice even heat and are suitable for cooking at extreme temperatures. These Himalayan Salt Slabs have a melting point of over 1,400 degrees so they can be used for almost any application. The surface is not very porous and the salt helps dry out and kill bacteria so it is a very hygenic cooking surface.

    To get this ready to cook on we need to heat it in stages. Camerons recommends to preheat this slowly, so we will do 15 minutes on low, 15 on medium and 15 on high. This will work well because I like to give my steaks 45 minutes to come to room temperature before cooking them.

    We are cooking a ribeye today, so we want to get this salt block up to around 500°, we are going to check that with the Laser Infrared Thermometer but if you want to know when you Slab is properly pre heated you can sprinkle some water on it and it should immediately sizzle. I am going to cook the steak for 3-4 minutes a side, as I want to get this steak to around 130°. When using a Himalayan Salt Slab it is recommended that you use a metal spatula or tongs, no plastic.

    You could also cook vegetables or seafood directly on this but steak was the first thing I wanted to try.

    So we have a Medium Rare Ribeye with a beautiful crust on it, that is partly because the salt from the block helped draw out the moisture from the outside of the meat and it crisped up beautifully.

    To clean this you will need to let it cool first, so turn off your grill and leave it in there for about an hour or until it is cool to the touch. Then wipe it down with a moist towel or sponge until all the food particles are gone. Do not use soap on this or place it directly under running water or soak it.

    All in all the Camerons Himalayan Salt Grilling Slab is a great tool to use in your kitchen or grill for when you want to try something different or impress your dinner guests. It cooked a very tasty steak and was a lot easier to use than I initially thought it would be. As a bonus it can be used as a serving dish and it looks great when left out on a counter or on a shelf.

    Subscribe to WaltonsTV

    Make sure you subscribe to WaltonsTV and remember to tap the bell next to the subscribed button to get notified about all new videos, plus like and comment on this video, and visit and to find Everything But The Meat!

    Subscribe to Meatgistics

    Easily subscribe to any category or topic on the Meatgistics community site by clicking the green “Subscribe” button to get an email each time a new post is made!

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