sharpening and caring for your kitchen knives

Your Carving Knife — How to Make the Most of It

carving knife w/fork

Weeeeell, it’s carving season again—you know that time of year when turkey and roast fowl and roast anything are being thought about and planned for and the typical cutlery questions are all coming out of the woodwork: What knife am I going to carve the bird with? Is my carving knife sharp enough? Should I buy a new one? Should I improve my carving skills? Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. . .
 

A Sharp Carving Knife

There’s nothing that will make your carving easier and more enjoyable that getting your knife freshly sharpened. Period. To protect your knife, please make sure to do some research—not all professional sharpening services were created equal. Here are three articles on the KKG website that can offer some more in-depth advice:

And if you’re mailing out your carving knife, it will be much more cost effective if you send more than one knife. So check out all your kitchen knives and see which need it most!

Sharpen Your Honing Skills

If your knife is pretty sharp already, but you want to be sure it’s at its very very best, here’s a two-word tip: HONE IT!

two honing steels_sml
Take that metal pole with ridges (aka honing steel) out of your butcher block and give your carving knife some serious swipes before you start carving. Keep it handy and swipe some more halfway through your carving session.

For instruction on honing, see my article How to Hone a Knife which includes a video lesson. And if you don’t own a hone, check out my favorite hones.

If your knife is not that sharp in the first place and you haven’t had time to get it sharpened, then lay into your honing steel more than you would normally. It won’t be the same as sharpening, but it will bring the edge back a touch and make your carving easier.

Hope these two tips help galvanize you. When it comes to carving the turkey on Thanksgiving Day, I ascribe to the Boy Scout motto: “Be prepared.”

If you’re interested in shopping for a new carving knife, make sure to visit Best Carving Knife — Some Recommendations.

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Other Resources

An Edge in the Kitchen
by Chad Ward

Mastering Knife Skills
by Norman Weinstein