Every professional chef knows that the knife is an essential tool in their kit and should be well taken care of. The average person just trying to fix a meal may not know this and are likely to make mistakes that lower the knife’s lifespan. For this reason, it is essential to be aware of what or not to do to ensure that your blades serve you for longer. Below are some of the most common mistakes people make when using knives and how to avoid them. If you follow these tips, you are guaranteed a sharp and easy-to-use knife for years.
1. Use the wrong surfaces for cutting
Choosing the right knife for the job is the first step to ensuring that your knife lasts. The other most important one is to have the right chopping board. One of the biggest mistakes people make and one you should try and avoid is to cut food on hard surfaces. Such surfaces usually damage the blades, and the knife will lose its edge over time. Ensuring that your knife lasts longer makes it a habit to cut your foods on plastic or wooden boards. These boards usually absorb a portion of the impact, giving you a longer lifespan for your knife.
2. Wrong handling of the knives
You may not know this, but how you handle a knife could be lowering its lifespan. When you hold it wrong, it becomes unstable, and you engage in lots of uncontrolled blade movements. You also heighten the possibility of injuring yourself while cutting. For proper handling, while cutting, ensure that you use the correct knife. If you are looking to make fine cuts, go for Japanese knives. For the thicker cuts, German knives handle better and can serve you for longer.
3. Using the wrong part of the blade for cutting
There is a lot more to knives than the blade and the handle. A typical chef’s knife has a heel, a tip, a point, and an edge. Understanding how to use each of them can significantly reduce damage to the blade. For context, when using Japanese knives, make sure that the tip is explicitly used for piercing and scoring the food. Also, make sure that the knife’s heel is only used when cutting the hard ingredients such as carrots. Lastly, ensure that the spine is only used when scrapping things like tomatoes and vanilla beans.
4. Avoid using dull blade knives
Dull blades are risky. Besides the fact they wear out faster, they also expose you to a higher risk of injury through slippage. That’s because you are forced to be more forceful when cutting. To avoid these problems, just make sure that your blades are sharp at all times. The best part is that sharpening kitchen knives is not hard, and you can do it manually or use an automatic sharpener.
5. Inappropriate storage
One of the biggest mistakes people make when handling knives is to throw them together with the other cutlery. That’s because when they bang against the other items, the blade starts to lose its sharpness over time. To avoid this problem, try and have a separate space for storing your knives. Such a space does not have to be something complex. You can keep them in a separate drawer, use a knife block, or even go for a magnetic strip made explicitly for the knives. The key thing is that the knives should not be mixed with any other metallic items.