December 1st, 2014 at 10:00 am

Kitchen knife care

Save your holiday meals before they even start with these handy tips.

With all the cost and time that go into the perfect holiday meal, from selecting the turkey or ham to preparing the vegetables and setting the table, there is one small aspect of the celebration that usually goes overlooked until it is far too late.

That small aspect? The sharpness and cutting quality of your knives! Too many people have discovered to their great chagrin that their cutlery simply won’t cut it. Butchered carvings and clumsy chopping will destroy the atmosphere of a holiday gathering, but you will be armed and ready by following these handy tips:

  1. First things first: Make sure you have the right knife for the job you need. Slicing a turkey, chopping onions, and cutting bread require different-sized knives and edges. Carving knives are usually medium-sized, with broad, sharp edges to make cutting through dense muscles smooth and easy. Bread knives are long and thin, with a specially serrated blade that allows you to cut the bread without too much pressure that crushes and ruins it. Vegetable knives can appear similar to carving knives, but they often feature a rounded blade to facilitate smooth chopping.
  2. Make sure you sharpen your blades before you cut. Dull knives will mash and smash whatever you’re cutting into unrecognizable mush, and part of the joy of holiday meals is appreciating the beauty of the presentation. Don’t ruin the supremely sliced holiday ham or turkey by mangling it with a dull knife.
  3. Once you are done with your knife, be sure to clean and put it away immediately. Wet, dirty knives are a breeding ground for bacteria, and food particles can cause the sharpness on the blade to degrade.

Once you have the right knife nice and sharp, be sure to use the proper cutting technique. Carving a large bird such as a turkey or goose can be a daunting proposition, but if you know how, it’s a piece of cake. Or a piece of bird, rather. Basically all you need to do is slice under where the breast meets the bone, and then start top down in small slices through the skin across the cut you just made. Then you will have perfect, artfully sliced centerpieces for your holiday plates every time.

If you follow these simple knife tips, you will help guarantee a happy holiday season!


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