How A Coffee Mug Can Double As A Knife Sharpener

It's no secret that cooking can be a dangerous task – from fires, burns, and bad cuts, any number of accidents could happen in the kitchen. There are lots of ways to prevent and avoid these common incidents, though. Among those safety measures is having a set of sharpened knives.

One of the most common safety and food preparation tips in professional and home kitchens alike is to ensure your knives are sharp. A sharp knife may be more of a risk if it does come in contact with your skin, but a dull knife is much more likely to slip than a sharp one, notes Cozzini Bros. Sharp knives also don't need as much pressure to cut clean through food. So they need to be sharpened regularly.

There are many reasons your knives may be dull, whether they collided with hard surfaces while being run through the dishwasher, knocked against other knives because they were left unsheathed in a drawer, were used improperly, or went through general wear and tear (via North Arm Knives). A proper knife sharpener is ideal, but if you find yourself with dull knives and no sharpening tool, don't panic – a mug may be the solution to your problem.

Use the unglazed bottom ring

So how is a coffee mug like a knife sharpener, you may be asking yourself? After all, there are lots of different knife sharpeners a person might be imagining, including handheld, electric, sharpening rods, and the pull-through one found on most knife blocks. But the kind you might compare a mug to is a whetstone sharpener. A benefit of whetstones is that they don't remove excessive amounts of metal from the knife, according to Cook's Edge, and are gentler on your blade. Whetstones work by slowly grinding the knife against either a diamond-plated stone or ceramic surface, one side grinding away the metal on a coarser grit, the other side refining and sharpening it with a fine grit (via Fine Dining Lovers).

The unglazed ring found on the bottom of most ceramic mugs has a very similar sharpening effect to that of a whetstone, which can also be made of ceramic. YouTuber Howdini says to line up the knife along the unglazed base at an angle (just like you would with a whetstone) – in this case, 25 degrees, ideally. Then, gently pull your knife back towards you, sliding it off the ceramic ring. Do this repeatedly on both sides until your knife is sharp enough to safely use, making sure to wash the mug afterward. This isn't a permanent sharpening method, but it is a quick solution to the problem of dull knives.