Nothing is more important for a kitchen knife than having a sharp blade to slice, dice, cut and mince. Over time, improper maintenance and lack of care can lead to knives becoming dull and ineffective. For those looking for ways to extend the life of a knife and keep its blade sharp and pristine, here are a few quick tips.
Store Your Kitchen Knives Properly
Proper knife storage is one of the major keys for maintaining the sharpness of a kitchen knife. When knives are placed in loose drawers with no protection, they often rub against other knives and utensils, which damage the blade. There are a variety of effective ways to store kitchen knives, but these three options tend to be the best.
The first is a magnetic strip. Knives attached to magnetic strips mounted on the wall don't go through the wear and tear of a drawer. Another way to store knives is in a bag or knife roll, which has specific compartments for each knife. This prevents them from sliding together. The last method is to use a wooden block, but be sure to never slide the blade of the knife up and down the wood when taking it out or putting it in the block.
Use the Right Cutting Board
The cutting board is another culprit in dulling knives. Even though knives, specifically stainless steel knives, are strong, they can be dulled by cutting on extremely hard surfaces. Glass cutting boards, ceramic plates and granite counters should never be used as cutting surfaces, because they can significantly reduce knife sharpness. Instead, use wood or bamboo cutting boards. These models are made out of much softer material, which decreases the wear and tear on knives. Also, using thin, flexible cutting boards, instead of wooden ones, is the most effective and sanitary way to cut food.
Avoid Washing Knives in the Dishwasher
Similar to how tossing knives into open drawers can dull the blade, putting them into dishwashers can also inflict damage. Instead, hand wash knives carefully in the sink and place them in a plastic drying rack away from other silverware. When washing a knife in the sink, try not to drop it or bang it into other utensils. If you are going to use a dishwasher, make sure it has plastic dividers for silverware and that the knife is in a divider by itself.
Use Your Kitchen Knives Appropriately
A surprising number of people use their kitchen knives for things they aren't designed for, like opening cans, unscrewing rivets and opening packages. The simplest way to keep your knife sharp is to only use it for cutting and slicing. Remember to never hack into pieces of food and bone, but gently cut with slight pressure.
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