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Quality tools are not cheap and a chef’s knife is no exception. How you treat and take care of your knife is the single most important factor that will determine how long your knife will last. If you’re meticulous about your knife care routine then you can appreciably extend the life of even the cheapest of knives and if you’re not careful then even a custom made Japanese chef’s knife won’t last beyond a few short weeks.
Today we will discuss the mistakes that most of us make while taking care of our knives – at times without even realizing it. Moreover, we’ll share with you how to avoid these.
Steel, ceramic or stone chopping boards: If you are looking to cut your knife’s life in half within a few days then chopping on any one of these boards is the easiest way to achieve that. Using your knives on these boards is nothing short of abuse.
It can curve and blunt your blade. Ideally, you should be using either a wooden board or a plastic chopping board. But if you need it for a professional kitchen then you must use a plastic board because it’s tricky to ensure 100% hygiene for wooden boards.
Not using the correct knife for the task: Well, if you’re going to pry open an oyster with a chef’s knife then the result isn’t going to be very pretty. Not only will it damage the knife but it makes your job a lot more difficult and most likely it will affect the texture of the food as well.
Leaving your knife in water: This is true for any knife; not just an expensive chef’s knife. Leaving your knife soaked in water makes it very easy for rust to creep up your blades. Also, make sure to slot your knife securely in a knife box rather than storing it with cutlery items because the constant clattering and rubbing will severely damage the edges. To clean your knives all you need is a mixture of soap and hot, clean water and a cloth to wipe it clean.
Excessive sharpening: There can indeed be too much of a good thing. Yes, you do need to sharpen your knives to make sure they do their intended job. But excessive sharpening is actually counterproductive in that you could end up with the thicker part of the blade, which will blunt a lot sooner. If you’re not a professional chef then you most likely don’t need to sharpen that often. Depending on your use, every 2-4 weeks is fine.
Not cleaning immediately after use: After cutting or chopping you wipe your knife clean – the sooner the better. Because, if your knife dries with food particles on, then it’ll need vigorous rubbing to be cleaned. One it’s not very safe to handle a sharp blade in such a way, plus the acidity of the food leaves your knife open to rust.
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Here’s to sharp knives and great food!