By Bobby Griggs

Hammer Stahl Cutlery & Cookware

While everyone has a variety of knives in their kitchens, knowing how to use them properly can actually help your end result. And if you’re a beginner with only a little bit of knowledge about how to use the knives in your collection, there are a few things you should know to make the most of your cooking experience.

Get Comfortable: If you aren’t comfortable holding your knife, you aren’t going to be comfortable using it. Feel the knife before you purchase it. Make sure it fits comfortably in your grip. Imagine spending money on a good quality knife and never being able to use it? Test it using the handle grip (when all your fingers are tucked behind the bolster) or the blade grip (Your thumb and forefinger should rest in front of the bolster directly on the blade).

Do Your Research: How you slice, dice and chop – and what knife you use to do it – could make a difference in the way your meal comes out. Do a little research to make sure your technique is on target whether you are back-slicing herbs, chopping onions or even slicing your steak.

Maintain Your Knives: Pay attention to the way you care for your knives. By ensuring you have followed the proper directions, for example, not putting your knives in the dishwasher or letting them soak in the sink, the knives will stay sharper longer and will also give you many years of use.

Keep It Sharp: Make sure your knife is sharp and honed. It should be able to cut through ingredients cleanly and easily without needing to use a lot of force. Whether you sharpen it yourself or take it to be sharpened professionally, make sure it is in tip-top shape often.

Take A Class: Still not sure if you’re cutting like a pro? Take a class at your local gourmet cooking school. While some retailers supply the knives, others allow you to bring your own so you can re-create the cooking experience at home.

Hammer Stahl will be at Table 408 in the Tasting Tent and have a special product display set up in Salon D on the Loews Atlanta Hotel conference floor. They will team up with Cook’s Warehouse for a special knife skills demo during the Sunday Brunch from Noon – 2:00pm.