A kitchen knife is one of the most valuable tools you can use when preparing food. Pretty much every dish you make will begin with using a chef’s knife. By treating the knife well, you can keep it in great condition, which you will appreciate as you invest more in a quality Japanese chef knife. With proper care, a good quality kitchen knife can last a lifetime. Here we identify some of the most common knife care mistakes so that you can avoid them.
Washing the Knife Haphazardly
Many kitchen knives are made of stainless steel. This means you don’t need to fret over the possibility that they’ll rust. Even if made from stainless steel, knives should be kept dry, but with many varieties of steel, prolonged exposure to water becomes a concern. As outlined in our guide to Japanese kitchen knives, Japanese knives have better edge retention because they’re made of high-carbon steel, but they can rust. You should clean your knives with soap and warm water and then immediately dry them to prevent rusting. Never throw them in the sink or dishwasher with other tools, as you can injure yourself and your knives will get banged up and damaged this way.
Storing the Knife with Other Utensils
Never store your kitchen knives with other utensils in a drawer where they’re not held securely. Not only is this dangerous, but they can move around and come in contact with other utensils when you store and remove them as well as when you pull the drawer open or push it closed. This can dull and even damage your edges. We recommend using wooden knife covers called sayas that will offer excellent edge protection while preventing any residual moisture from being trapped against the blade. Other options for safe storage include wooden knife racks, knife blocks and magnetic racks .
Cutting on Hard Surfaces
Even though materials like marble, steel, stone and glass probably won’t sustain damage if you cut an ingredient on top of them, this doesn’t mean that they’re safe for your knife. Your knife will dull faster from the edge repeatedly coming in contact with a hard surface. Your edge will last longer and perform better if you use cutting boards made of end grain wood, rubber or softer plastics. Surfaces with some give won’t damage the knife. Food grade cutting boards from composite materials are easy to sanitize.
Now that you can avoid the most common chef knife care mistakes, you can safely buy and use a higher-quality knife. Find handcrafted, Japanese-made gyutou chef knives and santoku chef knives at the Chubo Knives website..