How to Sharpen a Cheese Slicer in Five Steps


Lots of people love cheese. And knowing how to sharpen a cheese slicer in just a few steps is an easy task that most people can do. It only takes some practice, patience, and a little time to learn the specific steps to do it.

How to sharpen a cheese slicer in five steps. After the cheese slicer is cleaned and washed of any leftover cheese, here are the four easy steps to follow to sharpen the cutting edge.

    1. Apply a small amount of mineral or cooking oil on the cutting blade to be sharpened.

    2. Gently rub a medium-grit sandpaper on each side of the blade. Wipe the blade clean and check that the blade is sharp enough.

    3. Gently rub a fine-grit sandpaper on each side. Wipe the blade clean.

    4. An optional step is to apply a small amount of rubbing compound on the blade to bring back its sheen.

    5. Finally, clean the whole cheese slicer with soap and water. Wipe the cheese slicer until dry.

Photo by stevepb from Pixabay

Cheese is a versatile food that serves many purposes in cooking, food preparation, and recipes.  It can be cut into cubes, slices, slabs, ground to a powdery consistency, or even shredded or even grated.  There are loads of stuff to know about cheese. One of the things most anyone should learn, at least the ones who like cheese a lot, is how to keep his cheese slicer in working condition.  It’s not difficult nor complicated to carry out the procedure to sharpen it and maintain it.  There are also other interesting related topics about cheese that we will try to cover.

How to Clean and Sharpen Your Cheese Slicer

It is a kitchen implement used on preparing foodstuff, so it is necessary to clean it regularly. When you find that the cheese slicer is giving you slices that crumble, with jagged edges, or thickness that are not at all visually consistent, then those are the signals that it is probably time to sharpen the blade or cutting edge.

When you say cheese slicer, you may be referring to either of two kinds of a slicer. One is the cheese slicer with a thin wire that makes the cutting. But it is also the term to describe the other type of cheese slicer called the cheese plane slicer. 

Both do a similar job but its shape and construction are clearly quite different. The cheese slicer with a very thin steel wire does not need stropping or sharpening. But if for some reasons the cutting steel wire gets broken, it can be replaced with a new one.  It cannot be sharpened, obviously. On the other hand, a cheese plane slicer is the one whose blades should be sharpened once they get dull.  

 

  1. Thoroughly clean the cheese slicer under running water, making sure stubborn, dried cheese and other grime are washed off.
  2. Apply a small amount of liquid soap, and spread it on the cheese slicer.
  3. Rinse it thoroughly under running water.
  4. Dry it off with a clean cloth or a microfiber cleaning pad, making sure it is thoroughly dry with no traces of residues left.
  5. Coat a small amount of mineral or cooking oil on the cutting blade’s surface.
  6. Using a small piece of medium-rough whetstone or strop, rub it gently on both sides of the cutting edge or blade.  Alternatively, a piece of medium-grit abrasive or sandpaper can be used.
  7. Check if the right sharpness is achieved by testing a cut on a block of food to be discarded later on. Repeat steps 5 and 6 if it is still not sharp enough.
  8. Next, use a finer whetstone, strop, or a fine-grit sandpaper on both sides of the blade.
  9. Finish the sharpening process by applying a small amount of rubbing compound on the blade and the rest of the gadget to bring back the sheen.
  10. Now that the slicer is sharp enough, the final step is to clean it with soap and water. Then wipe it dry using a clean kitchen towel or a microfiber cloth.

Using Hobbyist Tools for Sharpening

Unlike bigger gadgets or utensils where the blade can easily be accessed or sharpened on a whetstone, strop, or a motorized sharpener, the smaller-sized cheese gadgets have cutting holes that may be difficult to sharpen using these bigger sized sharpeners or tools. An alternative way to sharpening the blade, or cutting edge of a cheese slicer is with the use of smaller and slimmer tools.

In the scale-modeling hobby, a miniature or smaller version of sharpening tools like files are used. They are ideally small and narrow enough to be utilized for this purpose. These files will fit through the holes or opening of the cheese slicer blade.  They have different sizes, cross-sectional shapes (triangular, round, square, flat), and roughness that can be used for the steps in sharpening cheese slicer blades.

Another advantage is that you can wrap around these tools sandpapers with different kinds of grits, from the coarsest to the finest.

The Various Kitchen Tools to Cut and Slice Cheeses

First off, there are hard cheese varieties, and there are the soft cheeses. Cheeses knives, cutters, and slicers are designed to handle either hard cheeses or soft cheeses.

Hard cheese is tough, and can be so hard that it requires an equally sturdy and strong blade to cut it without being damaged.

Soft cheese can be sticky that it tends to cling to the blade when cut. To deal with that difficulty, the blade of the soft cheese knife and slicer is usually made of stainless steel which resists the stickiness of the cheese. These knives usually have holes in the blade that help lessen the stickiness, have ridges along its length to separate while being cut, and have a forked end for an easier serving of the cheese slices.  The small holes reduce the surface area of the cheese blade, thus, lesser area for the cheese to cling to.

The knife’s shape is also different in the cheese knife than with other knives for other foods.  From the handle, the blade is narrower and broadens out to the end or tip. Some cheese knives have handles that are a bit angled to do cutting easier.

The choice of implements to use in cutting and slicing cheese more easily, both hard and soft, extends to these alternatives.

 

Cheese Slicer/Plane

Also called a cheese plane based on the Ostehøvel cheese slicer invented by Thor Bjørklund, this cheese slicer is capable of cutting thin, even slices of cheese. It can also take on cutting semi-hard and hard cheese varieties.  Also great for slicing veggies like cabbage, cucumber, and zucchini, and slicing cold butter, it is a very helpful and quite versatile gadget in the kitchen. The patent for the Ostehøvel having expired many years ago, many variations of it have come out over the years, and the ‘plane’ term added to it sometimes. The plane’s use in the building and construction industry somehow reflects the same principle in its use as a cheese slicer.

Cheese Plane

For tabletop use, a cheese plane resembles a small rectangular inverted U-shaped wooden platform, on which a cheese cutter is built onto the top. It is usually longer horizontally than it is vertically; i.e., it resembles a piece of horizontal wood that is attached at both ends to a vertically placed wood piece.

A cheese block is placed on top of the cheese slicer or cutter and moved back and forth to create uniform cheese slices. A container for the sliced cheese is placed under the wooden platform. Likened to a carpenter’s plane and inspired by it, it is the recommended kind of cheese cutter/slicer for extra hard-cheese varieties like the Berner Alpkase, a type of cheese that takes a minimum of two years to be aged.

Cheese/Rolling Cheese Slicer

Imagine the capital letter “T” with the two ends of the horizontal line extending a bit upwards (holding the cheese slicer’s blade), above the vertical line (the cheese slicer handle).  That is precisely how the rolling cheese slicer looks like and described.  With a stainless-steel slicing wire and a version with a roller, it is ideal for cutting different thicknesses of cheese, from thinner to thicker.

 

Cheese Cutter

A cheese cutter can easily be understood as just an alternative way of referring to a cheese knife.  But it is genuinely a type of gadget to cut cheese entirely different from a cheese slicer or a cheese knife. Though it does have a similar cutter, a stainless steel wire, just what a cheese slicer has, it is used for cutting soft and sticky kinds of cheese. So, it does not require a large and sharp blade. 

The cheese cutter comes with a cutting board to which it is attached.  The cutter’s frame is U-shaped with a hinge on one end and secured to the cutting board and the other end with the handle. The stainless steel cutting wire is attached and adjusted at each end of the U-frame.  The cutter slides into a notch, or depression, on the board.  A block of cheese is laid on the cutting board aligned with the slot, while the cutter is on the up position. Then it is swung down into the notch on board, thereby cutting the cheese.

Girolle

Though this may not be the kind of cheese processor for just about anyone, it is a utensil to scrape and mold a kind of Swiss cheese into rosette shapes in the likeness of a type of mushrooms called “girolle.”  The girolle is an improvement from the older way of scraping it with just a knife.

Some Amazing Cheese Trivia

  • An Accident 4,000 Years Ago Led to the Creation of Cheese

It could have been just a legend, but we won’t really know. According to the legend, milk was accidentally poured into a container with the stomach of an animal in it. An enzyme from the stomach induced some chemical reaction with the milk causing it to separate into solids and liquid.  The liquid is what we now call ‘whey’ and the solid substance the ‘curd,’ which is actually the cheese itself. 

  • Why Some Cheese Names Are Capitalized

A simple explanation is that the cheese is named after a city, usually from its place of origin.  Examples of such cheeses are Asiago, Gorgonzola, Parmigiano, Camembert, Edam, and Gouda.

  • Mice Do Not Really Care About Cheese

Mice go for carbohydrates and sugar, or sweet stuff. They would eat cheese if there was nothing else to eat, but notice that if you put a piece of cheese on a mouse trap, cheese or the scent of it will not lure a mouse. Though it might nibble on cheese if it gets hungry enough. 

 

  • Larger Curds Provide Different Cheese Types

Big curds produce softer cheeses like Brie, ricotta, Camembert, and mascarpone; small ones provide hard cheeses such as Parmesan, Cheddar, Romano, and Swiss cheeses.

  • There Are Cheeses for The Lactose-Intolerant

This is good news for people who cannot enjoy cheese because of lactose intolerance.  Cheeses that are aged have less lactose content than fresh ones. So, just pick the right ones such as Brie, Camembert, Muenster, and Swiss cheese, among others. It is also about gut health. By eating a variety of healthful plant-based foods,  it encourages the growth of more beneficial bacteria in our digestive system that help transform food into nutrients that our body needs.

  • One Pound of Cheese from 10 Pounds of Milk

To get around two thousand and six hundred (2,600) gallons of milk cows yearly, the cows have to consume about ninety pounds of feed daily.

  • Cheese Caves Do Exist

Caves have a temperature and humidity that are just right for cheese to age properly. On top of that, a cave as a location to store cheese contributes a lot to the process of aging cheese and giving it distinctive flavors.

Whetstones, Strops, Sandpapers

Bigger kitchen gadgets have blades that are bigger and will not be a problem when sharpening time comes around.  There are many sharpening tools big enough to handle them.  When it comes to portable kitchen gadgets such as slicers, cutters, shredders, and other compact, handy tools you use manually, those sharpening tools mentioned may either be too big or inappropriate. 

Whetstones, strops, and sandpapers, on the other hand, are a few of the sharpeners to use on cheese slicers. They come in various shapes, and these are great sharpeners to use on tiny objects, on hard-to-reach angles, bends, and corners, as strops and sandpapers can easily be made smaller, and whetstones can be any size.

Kitchen Sharpening Machines for the Home

Kitchen knives are one of the often-used tools that get neglected.  Only when they get too dull to give smoother, cleaner cuts that we remember we should have taken more care of them and sharpen them occasionally.  So, here are the types of kitchen sharpeners that are popular currently.  One of them might be the one for you.

  • Pull-Through Sharpeners

The motorized version of the Pull-Through Sharpener activates the sharpening wheels when turned on and you just pull your dull knife through a slot to be sharpened. It has a coarse sharpening mode with the choice to use either one of three abrasive materials at a time: diamond, stone, and metal. To finish the sharpening process, three fine honing and polishing slots are available for either diamond or ceramic abrasive 

The manually-operated model looks just like the electric model sans the motor.  You position the knife into the slot and pull it through until sharpened. It delivers positive results despite the extra amount of time and energy needed to carry out the process of sharpening your knives.

  • Sharpening Stones

For serious cooks who have gone through the joy and the satisfaction of sharpening their knives the traditional way can still recapture that revered experience.  The opportunity of being in control over the process by using naturally-occurring objects makes you feel you are in complete control and provides a feeling of accomplishment.  

  • Honing Rods

Considered the most basic tool when it comes to blade sharpeners, the honing rod, or sharpening rod, can regain to a significant degree your blade’s sharpness by running them along the sharpening rod.  Specific angles at which to sharpen the knife or blade are to be followed.

Sharpening blades and knives with this method actually works, especially if the abrasives used are from tough stones such as diamond. Diamond, though, is actually a mineral, the toughest or hardest one. So, using this method, with diamond as the abrasive, sheen and polish is not only achieved but will make the once dull knife absolutely sharp, perfect to cut even the hardest of cheeses.

Just look at the image above.  Four kinds of cheeses, with different colors and shapes, with both hard, semi-hard, and soft cheeses.  It’s not only visually captivating but a gustatory delight as well. Enjoyed with grapes, it’s really yummy, don’t you think so, too? Reminds us of a sort of sybaritic lifestyle. Maybe a glass of wine is the only thing missing.  So, here’s one below.

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