Santoku Skillz!

One of the most crucial kitchen tools when you want to prepare wholesome meals is a great knife.  Some of my favorite and best kitchen related wedding gifts were unexpecteds (aka stuff I didn't register for), and my awesome 5" Santoku knife tops the list!

This is IMPORTANT!!  The number one key component of a great knife is: the steel must be continuous.  If you have a knife with a piece of flimsy steel somehow attached to a base (usually plastic) then the chances are you can't apply solid amounts of pressure, nor do you get the best control.

Notice how my knife flows from blade to handle- the steel is indented in the handle so that the silicon (for grip... an all steel knife, in my opinion, would sleep too easily when hands are wet from handling veggies, what with the rinsing and natural excretions from the food being cut) makes for a smooth flow overall.

The second must have for your knife is a safe way to store it- in my dream kitchen someday I'd have a metallic strip on the inside of a cupboard door to attach my knives to, but for now I settle for having a protective sheath, as seen below.  This allows me to keep my knife in a drawer with all sorts of other utensils able to bump up against it.  Oh, and I never wash my knife in the dishwasher- I wash it with antibacterial soup and hot water by hand and then dry it off and put it back in its sheath right away.  I don't want to risk the blade getting chipped as a result of clanging against other utensils.

Having a great knife isn't enough- you need to sharpen it!  I bought this sharpener from... snap... either Amazon (we LOVE Amazon in our household!) or in a Bed, Bath, and Beyond store after doing research to make sure that it was of solid quality.  The trick is to hold the knife at a 45 degree angle to the sharpener and to make smooth motions from base to tip, being sure to keep the 45 degree angle the entire time.  Once you get to the tip, slightly rotate your wrist to the left, repeating the motion- always from base to tip- on the other side of the blade.  Usually a max of 3-4 motions per side gets the knife perfectly sharp.  I sharpen my knife about once a month or so, after usually 15 or so uses, or when I notice that it's dulled a bit.

My knife is over two years old and still works as great as it did when it was brand new!  These tips definitely work.  As an aside, I follow these same guidelines for my paring knife, though I've never had to sharpen it yet because I use it so rarely!

I hope these tips are useful in your kitchen!

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