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Hostel Kitchen Tips – Tip #3 – Sharp Knives

Tip #3

How to sharpen a knife without a sharpener.

Because you can’t cut through octopus with a butter knife.

Fear not! There’s a real easy fix to this one, and you’ll be the kitchen hero for the rest of your stay.

The answer?

A coffee mug.


Turn that mug around, what to you see? an unglazed ring or porcelain! What are some of the best knife sharpeners made out of, you got it!! Porcelain!

The trick to this one is mostly getting the angle right, although it isn’t rocket science either.

This kid can do it, so can you:

20 degrees, that’s the magic number.

That’s what 20 degrees looks like. Image cred: etc.usf.edu

Keep at it like that for a while, one side and then the other.  At first give it a good amount of pressure, once you see you’re getting somewhere you’ll want to ease off the pressure gradually and keep switching sides, to get rid of the burr.

Alternatively, you can use a glass plate for that last part.

This article does a good job of explaining it in greater detail for the more curious travelers.

Also, if for some reason there’s just nothing porcelain, find a car.

Crack the window open. That unpolished edge, yup, that’ll do too. ;)

Thank me later. Really. It’s nothing.

Do you have sharp knife horror stories? Or tips I’ve forgotten?

If you missed any, check them out right here:


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