Good knives can be a considerable kitchen investment, so it pays to look after them.
Here are eight essential tips to keep them in tip-top condition.
1. Don't use your knife as a box cutter
It’s easy to reach for your favourite knife when a package arrives on your doorstep. But according to Carl Heimerdinger of Heimerdinger Cutlery, using it to slice through the packaging can dull the blade faster.
2. Don't drop your knife
You risk bending or breaking the tip of the knife every time you drop it.
3. Don't leave your knives to soak
It’s easy to leave your knives to soak in the sink, but according to Carl, "if you leave it long enough, although the knives are stain-resistant, they can get spots on them or rust if you leave them in there all day."
Wash and dry your knives as soon as you can.
4. Hand wash your knives at all times
Always wash your knives by hand in warm, soapy water, with the blade away from you.
"We don't recommend putting knives in the dishwasher because the detergents are very caustic and can put spots or even rust spots on the blades," Carl told The Kitchn.
"Plus, things in the dishwasher tend to bang around against each other, so fine edges get nicked up." If that’s not bad enough, "The rivets in the knife handle are often aluminium," he says. "Aluminium and detergent don't get along. I see knives where rivets are half eaten out of the handle and handles can eventually fall off."
If knives are made of carbon steel wipe them dry immediately as rust and spots can form.
5. Store your knives separately
Don’t keep your knives in a drawer with all of your other utensils. Store them safely in a wood block or on a magnetic board.
6. Keep your knives sharp
Get your knives professionally sharpened every one to two years.
"The longer it goes without maintenance or sharpening, the knife isn't going to last as long," Carl told The Kitchn. He also recommends sharpening your knife with a butcher steel every other week.
7. Use the right cutting board
Toss your glass cutting boards, and only ever use a wooden board or plastic board for slicing.
8. Use your knives properly
Take care when using your knives. “The up-and-down motion of chopping dulls the edge,” NYC executive chef Michael Psilakis told Real Simple. He recommends using a “rocking” or “sliding,” motion, ensuring that the knife stays in contact with the cutting board.
When you’re scraping food of a chopping board, always turn it over and use the spine, not the blade, to scrape.
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