How to sharpen a knife
A required skill of any chef...
- With your left hand (or your right hand if you're left-handed), hold the sharpening steel point-down, with its tip resting firmly on a dry cutting board ? as if it were a large nail you were about to hammer into the board.
- With your other hand, hold the knife crossways against the steel with the back of the blade (the part nearest the handle) touching the steel. You're going to be pulling the knife backward, toward you, so you want to start with most of the blade in front of the steel.
- Tilt the knife so that its cutting edge meets the shaft of the sharpening steel at a 22°-degree angle. Don't have a protractor handy? That's OK! Remember that 90 degrees is a right angle, and 45 degrees is half of that. So 22°- degrees is just half of that. You can pretty much eyeball it.
- Now, maintaining this 22°-degree angle, gently pull the blade toward you while simultaneously gliding it downward along the shaft of the steel. You want to cover the entire length of the blade, keeping the blade at that 22°-degree angle the whole time. Do this step 10 times.
- Switch to the other side of the blade, give it ten more strokes on the steel and you're done!