sharpening and caring for your kitchen knives

Father’s Day Gifts — for Men Who Cook

V-shaped smoker box_on grill
For all you last-minute shoppers for Father’s Day gifts! If your Dad is one of those cool guys who cooks, here are some suggestions for kitchen tools that might tickle his fancy. I cover a range of tastes and budgets—everything from barbecue extras to kitchen essentials. For, as we all well know . . . every Dad is unique!

Premium BBQ Grilling Tools Set — Heavy-Duty Stainless

BUY NOW @ Amazon: $35
BBQ set_premium
Pure stainless and classic design, this pro-grade grilling set speaks of quality and no-frills style. And, to top it off, you can toss them in the dishwasher without worrying about wood or plastic handles getting destroyed.

John Boos Walnut Cutting Board, Reversible w/Juice Groove, 21″ x 17″ x 1½”

ON SALE @ Sur La Table: $120 (reg $150)
John Boos walnut cutting board
This manly-looking walnut board (nothing like dark wood to exude “male”) is a best seller on the Sur La Table website. It’s big (maybe too big for some), versatile (one side boasts a juice groove), and darkly gorgeous—a step up from the standard pale yellow board made of maple. You can easily fit any cut of meat on it—flank steak, ribs, 20-lb turkey—with room to spare. And if you’re dicing up a large onion, you won’t feel cramped.

Now if you happen to know Dad craves an end-grain board (they’re easier on your knives), here’s my runner up: John Boos Cherry End-Grain Chopping Block. For more about cutting boards see the KKG website: Cutting Boards—Wood and Plastic.

Sportula New York Yankees spatula

Sportula Products New York Yankees Sportula

BUY NOW @ Amazon: $23

Would any Father’s Day list of gifts be complete without at least one novelty item? A Sportula spatula (trying saying it five times fast) is for the Dad who’s passionate about his favorite teams. And he doesn’t have to be a Yankees fan or even of baseball—Sportula makes spatulas with logos from the Boston Red Sox to the Green Bay Packers and on and on. . .

Nonstick V-Shaped Smoker Box for Gas Grills (Charcoal Companion)

V-shaped smoker boxBUY NOW @ Amazon: $15

If you’ve got a grillmaster Dad who’s getting tired of the same old and yearns to branch out, this is the perfect NEXT STEP. Easy to do, yet offering maximum flavor potential. Everything tastes delicious when it’s been smoked!

Miyabi Kaizen II Chef Knife, 8-inch

ON SALE @ Sur La Table: $100 (reg $170)
Miyabi Kaizan2 chef knife


In good conscience, I couldn’t call myself KitchenKnifeGuru without offering at least one knife suggestion, could I? This beauty is manufactured in Seki City, Japan—one of the knifemaking capitals of the world. Don’t let it’s gorgeousness deceive you—it’s killer sharp. Underneath 48 layers of Damascus-patterned steel lies a super-hard, super-steel core. (Just make sure you treat it right.) On sale for a song—currently, my favorite deal in the kitchen knife kingdom. For more on knives, check out Best Chef Knives—Six Recommendations and How to Buy a Great Chef Knife.

MAC Black Ceramic Honing Rod

BUY NOW @ Amazon: $54
And finally, what good are sharp kitchen knives, if you don’t keep them sharp? Honing is the secret to sharpitude. It will make your knife edges last and last (assuming they’re made of high-quality steel). I have not personally used this honing rod, but I have absolutely confidence in its quality because it’s made by MAC, one of my favorite Japanese knife manufacturers. Other than always cutting on wood or soft plastic, honing your knife is the best way to keep it sharp between sharpenings. Curious to learn more? Click on over to What’s a Honing Steel?
MAC ceramic honing rod

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Other Resources

An Edge in the Kitchen
by Chad Ward

Mastering Knife Skills
by Norman Weinstein