If you’re a chef, then caring for your kitchen knives should be in your blood. It might sound funny, but for a chef, kitchen knives are like an extension of themselves. You can’t have one without the other. A good chef knows how to care for and maintain knives, and also the importance of keeping their kitchen knives healthy and well-maintained because if a knife is taken care of, it will take care of you.
Nobody wants to have to buy a new knife every couple of months because they keep breaking. Low-end knives that are not of high quality are usually harder to maintain and take care of because they require more care and often have to be sharpened regularly.
With a top-notch kitchen knife, the maintenance level is reduced significantly because the materials used to make the knife are of high quality. Top chefs even care for their high-end knives like they would a baby child, and so these chefs will end up saving massive amounts of money on knives.
Having to take special care of a knife can be a little bit frustrating, but in reality, it doesn’t take a tremendous amount of time to do a little thing that will help you and save you more trouble in the future. So we’ve done some research on how to care for and maintain your knives to make the process a little more clear and simpler, so let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Key Ways to Take Care of Your Knives
Sharpening and Honing
This is a key part of knowing how to care for and maintain your knives. We found in our studies that most people don’t know much about sharpening or honing; many people, however, do know a lot about what it feels like to be left frustrated after using a dull blade that doesn’t cut. Master Chefs have to use a sharp knife when cutting. Otherwise, they won’t get a job done before the sunset.
A dull knife is dangerous and makes a job more tedious and hard to finish in time. Honing should be done every time you use the knife, generally before you use the knife. It can be done with a steel rod or an electronic kit to save time. Sharpening is not required as often as honing, but if you have to sharpen a kitchen knife, you would need a sharpening stone, and you might want to get a little advice from a sharpening professional.
Try to keep in mind when sharpening or honing that you have to sharpen both edges of a double bevel knife to the same degree. Also, you don’t want one side to be different from the other, so even sharpening motions are the way to go, and if it is a single bevel knife, then sharpening the one side to whichever angle best suits you is fine.
Washing and Drying
Washing a sharp knife is the one factor that can destroy a knife the quickest. Hand washing sharp knives is the only way to care for them properly, but they should not be left to sit in the sink for long periods. Once you have used them, they will be dirty and cleaned very soon after using them. If you leave them to sit in the sink, they will start to erode in all the chemicals and acids in the food.
It may take more time to hand wash sharp knives or chef knives, but it is the best way to maintain them to give them a longer life span. If you decide to throw a knife into the dishwasher, the knife might damage the dishwasher and might begin to erode the blade. Some knives are dishwasher safe, but this is still a contested point in the market because we don’t know whether they are or not.
A dishwasher also doesn’t dry the knives quickly enough to be more prone to rust. When you have washed the knives correctly by hand, then you should also dry them by hand. Drying by hand ensures that the knife will not sit while covered in washing liquid, which will end up rusting the blade.
The way you store a sharp knife will either protect the knife or damage the knife even further. It’s wise to store a knife in a block or on a magnetic strip. Wooden blocks are very protective for knives and will not damage the blades or dull them.
Magnetic strips are a great way to store the knives, but you should be careful when placing the knife on the magnetic strip; don’t place it against the strip because this might damage it. It might also be a good idea to check that the magnetic strip is strong because if it loses its magnetic strength, then the blade might fall off and land on the floor ending in a knife in pieces.
Both ways are effective, and both are convenient and safe to store a knife. One of the things that you should avoid is throwing a knife into a drawer full of lots of other cutlery because the other cutlery will bang against the edge of the knife when opened and closed.
It might blow over your head when you’re busy in the kitchen where cutting the foods is essential. It would help if you took a moment before cutting to ensure that you have the correct cutting board and the correct knife. If you cut with the wrong type of cutting board, it may damage the blade; for instance, if you have a glass cutting board, this will hurt a plain edge knife.
A wood-based cutting board like bamboo is perfect for slicing and dicing vegetables, and a plastic board is excellent for much the same. You might want to avoid cutting things on the countertop, especially if it is a marble or hard surface countertop. This can be very damaging to knives, especially those that are serrated. Even after knowing how to care for and maintain your knives, many people make this mistake.
Taking care of anything that you own is a beautiful practice, and it will serve you very well in life. If you’re anything like me, it takes quite a lot of effort and motivation to get those little tasks done, and it can sometimes be draining when all of the little tasks pile up into a massive day of chores.
It doesn’t have to be this way, though, if you know how to care for and maintain your knives. So if you get a couple of tiny little tasks done every day, then the load will not be so huge at another time. This goes for the kitchen as well; taking care of those knives and washing them right after using them instead of just chucking them in the dishwasher is one way to increase the lifespan of your knives save you problems in the future.
This process doesn’t have to be a tricky thing, so take a couple of moments before you use the knife to hone it and make it ready for use and then afterward, take a couple of moments to wash it and dry it; then you’ll have a little peace of mind. Hopefully, this information will save you some headaches in the future and will give you some food for thought as to how you should be taking care of your precious kitchen utensils.