Sharp knives are necessary in any kitchen. Dull knives don’t get the job done as efficiently as sharp ones, but they can also be dangerous. When you use a dull knife, you need to apply more pressure for the blade to cut through whatever you are trying to slice. As a result, the blade can slip, you can easily lose control of your knife, and injure yourself, or even someone standing next to you.
It’s best to stop using a knife when it gets dull. It’s possible to sharpen your precious kitchen tools yourself, or to get them sharpened by a professional knife sharpening company. But how can you take good care of them to make sure they will stay sharp for as long as possible?
Follow these tips on how to keep your kitchen knives sharp:
1. Use the right type of cutting board
The right cutting board is important to keep your kitchen knives sharp. Some types of cutting boards are better than others. You might think that glass and marble boards and stainless steel or granite countertops are ideal cutting surfaces because they are very easy to clean.
However, they are too hard for kitchen knives, and will dull their blades much faster.
It’s best to use cutting boards made from wood, bamboo, or plastic. Bamboo boards might be the best option because they are made from a durable material that will resist stains and bacteria growth.
2. Don’t put your knives in the dishwasher
It’s simply not a good idea to put your kitchen knives in the dishwasher. Of course, they will get clean quickly. But the hot water and the detergent will dull their blades, and this is what you want to avoid.
It’s best to wash your knives by hand, and to dry them thoroughly before storing them. Make sure you never let them sit in soapy water in your sink. This could be dangerous if you try to grab something else from your sink, but it could also result in rust spots on your blades.
3. Store your knives properly
Not storing your knives properly is another thing that can dull their blades quickly. Throwing them in a drawer with many other utensils and kitchen tools is not a good idea.
Keeping them in a wooden knife block will ensure that their blades will stay sharp much longer. Displaying them on a magnetic board is also a good idea, but you can simply keep them neatly arranged in a drawer dedicated to your knife collection.
Keep in mind that you should avoid storing your knives in a place where they will bang against other utensils.
4. Never slice frozen food with a knife
You should never try to slice frozen food with a chef’s knife. Frozen food is hard to cut through, and it could dull, or even chip the blade of your best knife.
A heavy-duty knife with a serrated edge or an electric knife, however, could be used to cut frozen food.
If you have to use frozen food to prepare a recipe, it’s best to wait until it thaws a bit before cutting it, or to thaw it in the microwave or in a bowl of water.
5. Don’t use a chef’s knife to slice bread
A chef’s knife should never be used to slice bread, especially not if it’s a loaf of bread with a thick, crunchy crust. The knife would slip over that hard crust, which could be dangerous, but the crust could also end up damaging and dulling the blade.
A knife with a serrated edge or an electric knife would be a much better fit than a chef’s knife to slice bread.
6. Be careful not to drop your knives
You have to be careful whenever you are handling or using your kitchen knives. You don’t want to cut yourself or someone else, and you also don’t want to drop a knife on the floor.
When you drop a knife, you risk breaking its point. It could also get damaged by planting itself in the floor, and a knife with a bent tip is not as effective as one with a straight tip.
Of course, dropping a knife could also be dangerous for you if you don’t move your feet out of the way fast enough.
7. Don’t sharpen your knives on your own if you don’t know how
Kitchen knives can be sharpened by different sharpening tools, including whetstones and honing rods. If you don’t feel confident enough to use a sharpening tool on your knives, however, you should let a professional handle this task.
If you don’t sharpen a knife properly, or if you grind too much off the edge of the blade, you could damage it, or be left with a knife of an inconsistent quality, which isn’t ideal for cutting.
Plus, if you don’t know how to properly sharpen a knife, you could injure yourself in the process, especially if you have many blades to sharpen at a time.