Use a Coffee Cup to Sharpen Your Knives

No sharpener or honing steel? We have another solution.

Published Dec. 22, 2022.

The most important tool in every home cook’s kitchen is a sharp knife.

It’s crucial to keep knives sharp for cutting through food with less slippage. Not to mention, safer.

When it comes to sharpening your knives, a honing steel or electric sharpener is ideal.

But let’s say neither are available. What then?

Grab a coffee cup.

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Our gadget expert Lisa McManus says it’s OK to use a mug in a pinch:

“The key is to use a mug where the bottom is unfinished (no glaze). and you can use a chef's knife or smaller knife. The unglazed ceramic surface has a bit of grit to it, so it works as a honing rod, straightening the edge of the blade.

Ideally you should drag the edge across the ceramic surface at an angle of 15-20 degrees on both sides of the blade, heel to tip, using a light pressure, and being as consistent as possible along the length of the blade and on both sides of the blade.”

This trick isn’t ideal for your really good knives. But if you're traveling to Aunt Margie's house for Thanksgiving (who never sharpens her knives), consider grabbing a coffee mug.

She’ll thank you later.

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