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One of the most important tools in your kitchen is your set of knives. You use your knives daily from cutting different types of cooking ingredients to slicing food into bite size pieces. A good knife means faster, safer and easier food preparation process. Even though you have quick and easy recipe, you can’t save time if the knife you’re using is dull. Moreover, it takes out the joy of cooking if you have to give more effort cutting your meat and vegetables for just a simple dish. So, make sure to have a sharp knife ready to be used at all times. Here are 6 tips how to take care of your kitchen knives so they stay sharp, work efficiently and last a long time.

  1. WASH BY HAND

Can you imagine what will happen to the blade of your knife when washed in the dishwasher with other utensils? That’s right, it will get warped and the banging will take away the sharp edge right off your knife. The dishwasher detergent is very abrasive which will cause your knife to corrode and become dull quickly. Hand washing in mild soap and warm water will safeguard and retain the sharp edge for longer periods of time.

  • Wash carefully and individually.
  • Hold the knife with the blade pointing away from you.
  • Using a soapy washcloth, wipe the blade gently from the dull side to the sharp edge.
  • Rinse off under warm running water.
  • Never leave your knife soaking in the sink or with dry food particles sticking on it.
  1. DRY BY HAND

Leaving your knife to air dry is a bad idea. Even the best metal on earth will form rusts if you expose to air and water for a long time due to oxidation. To maintain the sharp edge and the quality of the material wipe immediately after washing.

  • Hold the knife with the blade pointing away from you.
  • Use a dry soft cloth, wipe dry thoroughly from the dull side to the sharp edge.
  1. USE THE RIGHT CUTTING BOARD

On what surface you cut your knife impacts greatly on its condition. Avoid hard surfaces that will damage the sharp edge of your knife. The best choice is a wooden cutting board because it has softer surface then glass, ceramic or granite. Choose a cutting board with the end grain facing up. It allows the blade to run parallel to the wood fibers so it’s gentle on your knife. Here are some points to remember in choosing and caring for your wooden cutting board:

  • Choose end grain in a butcher block style.
  • Wash with cold water, and wipe dry thoroughly.
  • Do not submerge in the sink to avoid absorption of water which causes cracking, warping and mold growth.
  • Season with food grade mineral oil before using, monthly or twice to three times a year.
  • Teak is a great option, it doesn’t absorb liquid easily so it takes longer to wear out
  • Bamboo board is sustainable, renewable, and doesn’t required to be oiled as often as wood boards.
  1. USE HONING ROD REGULARLY

Regular honing with the use of the ceramic rod will maintain the sharp edge of your knife. Ideally, you should hone your knife before or after using it, either way it works for you. It’s a good habit to develop to keep your knife sharp and make cooking easier and enjoyable. Additional information on the use of the honing rod is discussed on “Hone and Sharpen Your Kitchen Knife Regularly”. 

  1. USE WHETSTONE TO SHARPEN

There are different types of whetstones which vary in shapes, sizes, material compositions and grades. Grades refer to the grit size of the particles in the whetstone. Sharpening your knife is all about proper technique. Please refer to “Hone and Sharpen Your Kitchen Knife Regularly” for additional information on the proper way to sharpen your knife. You don’t need to maintain a 20° angle, you just need to maintain the same angle for an accurate edge. It can range from 15° to 20°, just choose what is comfortable for you.

  1. STORE PROPERLY

The storage place of your knife is another important factor in maintaining its sharp edge. You must have a dedicated drawer for your knives only. You can use wooden blocks or knife blocks as well. In other cases, magnetic board is used for quick and easy access.


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