Which sharpener should you be using in your Kitchen?
Meat Hacks: Which sharpener should you be using in your Kitchen?
Learn which sharpener you should be using in your Kitchen with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
Comparing knife sharpeners
Nothing makes processing as annoying or as difficult as a dull knife. When you can’t slice cleanly through a piece of meat you are damaging your product, adding processing time and most importantly putting yourself in danger. You might have heard me say in that sharp knives do not cause accidents, dull ones do! It’s true, a sharp knife will easily slice into whatever cut of meat you want, while a dull will skip or slip and then whoops, here we go to the emergency room! We sell numerous sharpeners that are designed to keep your cutlery in tip top shape so we are going to review and compare a few of them for you.
Most of the knives in your kitchen are just going to be slightly dull, not seriously damaged or have a truly rounded edge so we have purposefully dulled some knives here to the same degree as what you would normally find in a kitchen. We will be testing them before and after with the paper test which is an easy way to see if a knife is sharp. If the knife passes through the paper cleanly and easily it is nice and sharp, if it pulls or tears the paper then it is still dull.
The Multi-Cut Steel and is more abrasive than a normal steel, it also has these grooves which will help sharpen it up. When we try the paper test on this knife it grabs the paper instead of slicing cleanly through it. Let’s try running it ten passes a side on the Multi Cut steel. We want to make sure we are doing one side and then the other so we do not push the edge one way or the other too much. After about a minute of using this steel this knife is slicing cleanly through the paper, no tears or pulls. This was a nice and easy way to get us from a dull knife to a nice and sharp one.
Chef’s choice is a popular name in home sharpening and the Chef’s choice 120 120 is their economy model. The 120 works in two stages, the first stage has an orbiting diamond sharpening surface which helps sharpen and set angle of the edge and then the second stage is finer and hones the edge. The first stage will take quite a long time the first time you use a knife with this sharpener. This is because it wants to reset the angle of the blade, as the sharpener can only do one angle. You will have to make 15-20 passes a side with your knife. The good news is that according to the instructions you only need to do this one time per knife, subsequent sharpenings will only require 3-4 passes in stage one. So, I made 20 passes a side in stage 1 and 3 passes a side on stage two and the knife passes pretty cleanly through the paper. This took a little longer than the steel but still did a fairly nice job.
The Swiss Sharp Handheld Sharpener from Victorinox is an inexpesnive sharpener from a well respected brand. It has a groove at the end of the handle with two angled pieces of metal to sharpen the knife as you pull it through. As you pull the knife through you can hear the metal being shaved off and see some metal shavings. This did a surprisingly good job on this knife with minimal effort.
The the [Tru-Hone] (https://www.waltonsinc.com/tru-hone-knife-sharpener). This is what we use to sharpen our customers knives when they send them in and believe me when I tell you nothing else going to work as well or as quickly as this. It puts a great edge on any blade with minimal fuss, a blade that just needs a basic sharpening will be done a minute but it does have the ability to restore extremely dull knives or ones with large nicks in them. The only downside of this unit is that at just over $1,100 it is out of most people’s price range. We have a knife here in need of some basic sharpening so we are going to follow the simple and easy process that tru hone recommends. We will do three passes with the bevel set to the Red knob and the speed at a 7, then move the bevel knob to the white setting and do 2 more passes at a 7 speed, finally we are going to move the bevel down to the blue knob and move the speed down to a 3 and very lightly pass the blade through. If at this point we are not satisfied with our blade we will just repeat the process. But after a single run through this process you can see that this knife it razor sharp. Just to show you what this sharpener can do we have a knife here that we have intentionally ground down to have no edge. We are going to make 10 passes through the first and second steps and then 3 through the third. After going through these steps this is razor sharp again!
So of the four the Tru Hone clearly does the best job but for now let’s set that aside as the price point makes it a little unrealistic to have in your home kitchen. Between the Chef’s Choice and Swiss Sharp Sharpener I liked the Swiss Sharp better. It did a nice job with very little effort and it is about 1/3 of the price. The best of these three though was the Mulit Cut Steel. It worked beautifully, it is easy to use and is more versatile than either the Chef’s Choice or the Swiss Sharp.
For our product review we have the hexarmuor NXT cut resistant glove. A lot of cut resistant gloves are bulky and make it awkward to handle a knife for long periods. The hexarmor is nice and thin so I retain pretty much full range of motion and dexterity. It has additional coating that exceeds ISEA level 5 cut protection on the palm and first three fingers which is where the majority of accidents happen. We just sharpened this knife and I can press down and saw pretty hard and it is nowhere near to breaking through the glove. It also has the added benefit of being poke resistant where it has this extra coating. Again, I can stab at my hand with some pretty serious force and my hand is protectedc. So, do yourself a favor and add a Hexarmour NXT glove to your next order from Walton’s, they are only $15.99 and they can prevent a trip to the emergency room!
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@parksider Thanks for the follow up!! I was really watching the internal temperature when they were in the rolling (HOT) water and making sure to pull them right at the 165. And then right into the ice water bath.
You guys got a great job! Im pretty passionate about this kinda stuff. I enjoy it a lot and love doing R and D stuff! Keep up the fun work!
@Jonathon Yes Jonathon-it’s in your head
@mikeihuntr My only advice is to keep the water around 170F, not a rolling boil. If the casing are too tight they WILL explode then you have a really big pot of bad soup! A nice simmer is the way to go, take them out 155-160 and into a water bath. Here is a pic, we just use the turkey fryer with the basket. It makes it really easy to remove from the water and rinse. I will also recommend keeping a temp probe right in the meat you can see the wire going into the water. Good luck!!
This was a big topic of conversation because we do freeze/thaw/process/refreeze venison and pork, never an issue. As a former restaurateur and certified food handler here is what Dept of Agriculture has to say. I’ll defer to the experts:
Author: Alice Henneman, MS, RDN
The U. S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) advises:
Once food is thawed in the refrigerator, it is safe to refreeze it without cooking, although there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through thawing. After cooking raw foods which were previously frozen, it is safe to freeze the cooked foods. If previously cooked foods are thawed in the refrigerator, you may refreeze the unused portion. Freeze leftovers within 3-4 days. Do not refreeze any foods left outside the refrigerator longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F.
If you purchase previously frozen meat, poultry or fish at a retail store, you can refreeze if it has been handled properly, according to USDA.
DO NOT thaw meat at room temperature, such as on the kitchen counter.
Safety will depend on whether the raw product was handled properly before it was frozen, refrozen shortly after it was thawed, cooked to a safe temperature when it is eaten and handled safely if there are any leftovers.
What temperature should I pull my cured and smoked bacon out of my smokehouse?
@jonathon it is printed on the Box. I’m looking for a bag that has a evoh barrier. Does Waltons carry a four or five mm evoh High barrier bag?