A set of good quality knives are an essential kitchen must-have for anyone that cooks on a regular basis. Regardless of whether you own just one heavy cleaver or a complete knife block set, it’s important that you maintain them so that they are always in good working order. The good news is, caring for your knives is pretty straightforward and we’ve put together a few simple steps to help you.
Proper maintenance prolongs a knife’s life span by keeping it as sharp as possible at all times which means you can cut, chop and slice more efficiently, saving you precious time when prepping food and making it easier for you to perform cutting tasks.
Ironically, a blunt knife can be more dangerous than a sharp one, as the extra force required to cut with a blunt knife can lead to it slipping and cutting your hand or finger.
If you look after your knives you will have them for decades which turns the initial outlay for a good set into an excellent investment. Read on for more information on how to best care for your knives.
To help you keep your knives in tip top shape, we’ve come up with five important tips on how to care for them:
1. Hone and Sharpen Regularly
On a regular basis give your knife a quick hone with a honing steel before use. This keeps the blade sharp and keeps it from ‘rolling’ towards either side of the edge. Have your knives professionally sharpened at least once a year to repair small nicks and other imperfections. If you are not confident honing your knives with steel or sharpening with a stone, invest in a good quality pull through stage sharpener.
Watch the video below to learn more about honing and sharpening your knives.
2. Clean and Dry Knives Properly
Carefully hand wash your knives with soap and hot water. Dry knives immediately after with a clean, dry cloth. Do not leave them to air dry as this can make them more prone to rusting and blotching. Never wash your knives in a dishwasher.
3. Use the Right Cutting Board
Choose wood or plastic boards instead of glass, stone or acrylic. Wood and plastic are softer on your knives and will not damage them. Contrary to popular belief, wood boards are hygienic as they contain natural antibacterial properties.
4. Store Knives Correctly
The best place for storing knives is in a quality knife block or on a magnetic strip. This is the safest storage option for both you and your knives. Avoid storing knives in a drawer with other utensils or cutlery, unless they have sheaths as they will get nicked, plus you run the risk of cutting yourself if you reach into a drawer and have to shuffle through the contents to find your knives.
5. Cutting Technique
With your larger knives try to cut with the point first before rocking down to the handle. This will avoid constant banging down of the knife and will maximise the sharpness of the blade. Watch the video below for some basic techniques on how to slice, dice and chop.
For more information about caring for your knives check these out: