Chefs or professional cooks usually have their tools of trade majorly as knives. For them to be enjoyable during use, their sharpness is usually very important in preservation of true flavors of fresh ingredients. It is also important for safety purposes as the risk of body injury is greatly reduced. Most do this when they are still sharp, most probably after their daily shift. This will require less effort compared with when it is completely blunt. To sharpen a knife one usually has two options; to either sharpen it yourself or give it to someone else to do it for you. But now you would want to know what knife sharpener do chefs use if you are planning on doing it yourself.
Tools used by chefs for sharpening
- Japanese wet stones; this gives the knife a superior edge, thus enhancing its sharpness and its use usually requires lots of practice in order to be perfect. They are also known as water or whet stones.
The grades of stone used are;
- Arato – a rough stone used for repairs and creation of a new bevel on badly worn knives.
- Nakato- a medium stone used for very minor repairs and creating an even bur which is the first step of sharpening
- Shageto- a superfine stone used for creating a highly polished edge and removing the coarse scratches left by the medium stone. This gives the feeling of smooth and sharp as opposed to just sharp.
- Electric knife sharpeners; these mainly use electricity and have many advantages. They save time of the professionals and also reduce the costs of buying the new ones. They are also quick and ensure regular sharpening thus always having a sharp cutting edge always. These sharpeners use diamond coated disks in the first two sharpening stages and a patented and polishing disk for stage three. They are of different models and they work differently according to the chef’s choice and preferences. They also require regular manual cleaning when they become dirty or gazed. There is also a manually activated diamond pad that can be used if necessary.
- Honing steel: these are steel metals that are usually bought together with the knives and are used for straightening the curved edges of blunt knives. They also maintain the sharpness of the cutting edge, thus providing a sharp and required smooth edge.
- Using professional sharpeners; Most chefs always use tools such as professional knife sharpeners. The art of knife sharpening is always learnt through apprenticeship .The skills are perfected through continuous practice and years of experience in the trade.
It is no surprise that we always enjoy food prepared by master chefs without knowing the tools of trade used. Their tools are usually knives and they are always sharp so as to ensure that we get the best from them. Next time you see a chef, always appreciate the sharp knife behind him.