2012-11-21 / Local & State

What Every Holiday Cook Needs to Know

There’s one simple step every home chef needs to take this season to save time, money, stay safe and make the task of cooking holiday meals more enjoyable. Sharpen those knives!

With roasts and turkeys to carve, and all the chopping, slicing and dicing of holiday entertaining, now isn’t the time to let knives go dull and make time in the kitchen more trying.

“No matter how highquality your knives are, they must be sharpened periodically to maintain and restore their edges,” says Sam Weiner, president of Chef`sChoice, a cutlery and knife sharpener manufacturer. “Before you start carving the turkey or ham, you need to be sure you’re using sharp knives that will do the job properly.”

Ever heard the old adage “work smarter, not harder?” The task of carving your turkeys, ham and roasts should not require brute force. With a properly sharpened edge, you can eliminate the frustrations you may have learned to live with as your knives have dulled over time.

Save money

Gearing up your kitchen is advisable before the mad rush of holiday cooking begins. If you’re thinking of giving yourself an early present of a new set of knives, think again. You can save money over the long run with a high- quality sharpener that can help you maintain the knives you already own.

Don’t fret. Knife sharpening doesn’t have to be a formidable task. Select a sharpener with these features for best results: 100 percent diamond abrasives because they will sharpen any metal alloy; precision angle guides to insure easy, uniform sharpening and angle control; and multi-stages because the strongest knife edges are archshaped and provide more metal support to the cutting edge. For example, the Chef’sChoice Edge Select 120 is fast, precise and of professional quality, but easy and safe to use at home. It works with any type of knife, including serrated and is designed to precisely hold your blade securely against the angle guidelines, eliminating guesswork on your part.

Stay safe

According to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, emergency room visits due to kitchen injuries are commonplace on holidays. Don’t put a damper on your celebration with an avoidable cut. Dull edges can force you to apply excessive pressure on the knife while you’re cutting, increasing the chance of knife slippage causing serious injury. When holiday carving or prepping food, make sure you use sharp knives.

Have fun

Cooking for friends and family should be a pleasure, but can be stressful during the holidays for even the most talented chefs. Make sure to use well-maintained equipment to make your life easier. This will speed up tasks and make it more enjoyable.

Demonstration videos and other information on maintaining sharp knives can be found at www.ChefsChoice.com.

Serious cooks know that sharp knives are a crucial element of a well-run kitchen, when it comes to making tasks easier and safer.

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