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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New to the forum and excited to learn! Looking to smoke my first batch of summers on my smoker. I noticed they have strings for hanging, but my smoker is set up more like a traditional barrel grill.
Questions: If I lay my summers on the grate of the smoker, will the casings burst/burn?
Thanks in advance!
The article does not cover when to cold smoke a cured ham. I have 16 wild hog hams in brine as of last night. I need to know at what point do I put them in the smoke house for this phase of the process.
For this version of Landjaeger, we did actually cook it. It could be made differently, but for our entry level MeatgisticsU course, it’s easier and safer to give instructions on doing a proper thermal processing. (Someday we will have to try to get to doing a completely traditional dry cured version.)
Smoked Meat Stabilizer and Sodium Erythorbate are similar to each other, but definitely not a replacement for a real cure, like Sure Cure. They simply act as cure accelerators, speeding up the conversion of nitrite in sausage during thermal processing. Using an accelerator (like one of these, or Encapsulated Citric Acid) allows you to skip the holding stage after stuffing and go straight into the smokehouse.
In the ‘Meat Block’ you don’t list using a cure. The packet of Landjaeger seasoning I purchased came with a packet of Cure.
As this is a sausage that is ment to be consumed without cooking shouldn’t a cure be used. I know you put in the wrap up about using Smoked Meat Stabilizer or Sodium Erythorbate are they equivalent to using a true cure.
You shouldn’t have a noticeable difference in stuffing based upon the difference of using a grinder or a bowl chopper.
Your biggest help in making stuffing easier will be using plenty of water. At least 1 quart per 25 lb meat block, but up to 2 quarts is even better. And, your lean to fat ratio will make a difference. Leaner meat will be harder to stuff while a higher fat content will make things easier. Keep the meat as cold as possible too and that will help make things a little easier to stuff as well.
I would continue to use the grinder and just add a little more water to the mixture and make sure you lube the gasket and you should be good to go. Although you could definitely use the Buffalo chopper and just add ice instead of straight water and that should help.