How to Take Better Care of Your Kitchen Knives
Both professional and amateur chefs agree that a set of high-quality knives is essential for having a productive and enjoyable time in the kitchen. Without at least one good knife, cutting ingredients takes a lot longer. There are few things as frustrating as having to cut meat with a dull or flimsy knife. Moreover, low-quality knives can also be hard to hold and handle, causing repetitive strain injuries in time.
If you've found the ideal knives for your cooking needs, read on to discover a few maintenance tips so you can keep them in perfect condition.
Honing And Sharpening
As knives lose their sharpness, they gradually become harder to use. Thus, a knife sharpener is just as essential as the knives themselves. If you want to take better care of your kitchen knives, regular honing and sharpening with a proper tool are critical. You can either take the knives to a specialty store for care services or purchase a whetstone. Having an easy-to-use sharpening stone in your kitchen is a lot more convenient. A key tip to remember is to hone or sharpen a knife with an equal number of passes on each side.
When it comes to cleaning kitchen knives, putting them in the dishwater seems like the obvious choice. However, knives are among those kitchen utensils that you should never put in the dishwater. Steel blades can suffer damage in the dishwater, so the only safe way to clean your knives is to hand wash them. Hand washing is gentle, so there's no risk of chipping the blade. Use a soft sponge and a few drops of mild dish soap for washing and a soft cloth for drying. Importantly, always wash the knives after each use. The acid and chemicals from the food can destroy even quality steel knives if they're left unwashed for too long. Thus, to avoid rust and dark spots, always wash and dry the knives as soon as you finish cooking. This step is also crucial because utensils that are not washed properly after use can cause food contamination.
When considering knife care and maintenance, storage is also an important aspect. By storing your knives with other kitchen utensils, you risk finding the blades chipped. The knives will clash every time you look inside the utensil drawer for a specific item. Having to search for a knife in a drawer can also be inconvenient when you're cooking. Ideally, you should set up a sturdy vertical wood or bamboo block for storing your knives. This kind of setup is perfect for protecting your knives from dust, so they're always ready for use. A magnetic strip is also a good idea because it prevents knives from clashing with each other.
If you want to take better care of your knives, don't forget to use a cutting board. Cutting something on a ceramic plate or a metal countertop may cause damage to the blade. Contact with other metals can wear down thin steel blades. And the sharper the knife, the more vulnerable it is. As long as you use a cutting board, hand wash and dry your knives after use, and sharpen them regularly, you can expect your favorite knives to last a long time.