Honing Knives and Knife Maintenance Secrets
7 Secrets to Maintaining Sharp Knives
A sharp knife can make all the difference when cooking. A dull knife even puts you at a greater risk of cutting yourself and makes cooking a chore. Why?
A dull knife is a dangerous knife because you have to apply more pressure when cutting, which increases the risk of the knife slipping or moving and cutting you instead.
Knife sharpening can definitely be learned by anyone. In order to avoid working with dull knives, follow these 7 secrets to maintaining sharp knives:
1. Start with great knives.
Bad knives won’t stay sharp even with the most conscientious of knife care, and they’ll respond poorly to prolonged use and sharpening techniques. Research brands before buying, and be sure to choose an acclaimed, high-quality brand like Chicago Cutlery®.
2. Store knives properly.
Knives need to be stored in a designated knife block, a protective blade cover, or other designated knife storage space in order to stay sharp. When placed in a drawer, knives will sustain damage from other silverware and each other.
3. Wash knives properly.
Similarly, knives can lose their edge when placed in a dishwasher as they come into contact with other cutlery, dishes and the dishwasher’s racks. Wash knives by hand, being sure to observe sanitary cleaning techniques along the way. Never soak knives in a sink of dishwater.
4. Use the right cutting board.
Glass, marble and ceramic are hard materials that can cause slow, steady damage to your knives. The best choice is a wooden cutting board, followed by a plastic one. In addition, you’ll want to have separate cutting boards for raw meats and for fresh produce and dough or pastry.
5. Use knives properly.
They’ll wear down more quickly if you use them for anything other than their intended purpose. Use other tools to pry open jars or perform other kitchen tasks. Knives should only be used for cutting food. Also, be sure to use the right knife for each food—small foods should be chopped with a paring knife, while larger foods should be chopped with a chef’s knife. Use the flat side of the knife, not the blade, to scrape foods from the cutting board into a bowl or pot.
6. Hone your knives regularly.
Use a honing rod made of steel, ceramic or diamond-coated steel. Honing rods are flat, oval or round in cross section and up to 1 foot long. Ideally, you will need to hone your knife after each time you use it, especially when you use it to cook big meals. Honing is simple: With the honing rod and blade facing away from you, run the entire blade across the honing rod eight to 10 times; repeat on both sides.
7. Sharpen your knives when necessary.
Sharpen twice a year if you cook regularly. If your knife can’t easily cut through a sheet of paper, then it’s time to sharpen the knife. You can either sharpen your knives at home using a sharpening stone, or take them to be professionally sharpened.
When it comes to knives, the most important thing, of course, is to be as safe as possible. So, be cautious and follow the 7 steps above to get the most benefit from your kitchen knives.
How often do you hone or sharpen your knives?