I like to take extra care of my kitchen knives because I know they’ll last so much longer that way. My friends don’t quite understand why (ok, I admit I’m near obsessive about caring for knives) but I think that’s important because I cook and work with knives every day!
I’ll hone my knives religiously and store them in good knife holders and bags.
I’m proud to say this- all my kitchen knives still work wonderfully though it’s been many years since I bought them. Your set of knives can also last long if you take good care of them. Many of the good knife/knife sets come with lifetime warranty which guarantees its superior quality but don’t take this claim for granted. You should still keep the knife in tip-top condition at all times by practicing some simple care tips.
Check out also what I have to share about How to Choose the Best Kitchen Knife and 5 Types of Kitchen Knives and Their Uses.
How to Care for Your Kitchen Knives?
Tip 1: Keep Knives Clean At All Times
For hygiene and safety reasons, always wash, dry, and store the knife after every use. Try not to leave it lying around (especially in the sink), thinking that you’ll do the cleaning later. First, leaving a knife lying around is dangerous. Secondly, you risk staining the knife because certain food acids can corrode the knife when left unwashed.
How should you wash your knives? Simply wet a clean cloth and apply some liquid detergent. Place the blade flatly on the cloth and wipe both sides with the cloth. Then, place it under running water (preferably hot water). This is a much safer method compared to washing it in a sink because suds may prevent you from seeing the blade clearly (and you can cut yourself).
Remember that “stainless steel” is exactly what the name implies- STAIN-LESS steel. It’s not stain proof. Therefore, your knife may rust slightly after some time (yes, even expensive ones). Don’t fret! It’s easy to get rid of the rust and make it feel brand new. All you got to do is buy and chop an onion using the rusty part. As the rust loosens, continuous chopping removes the rust completely. I usually need a whole onion to do the job.
Tip 2: Don’t Use It to Cut Non-Food Items
Many people don’t realize but you shouldn’t use kitchen knives to cut non-food items (i.e. plastic wrapper, labels, aluminum foils). Also, don’t use the knife as a chisel, hammer, or screwdriver. The rule of thumb is to not use the knife for any other task besides what it’s meant for; which is cutting food! You risk of blunting the edges and breaking the blade/handle. Not to mention it’s also dangerous because mishandling can cause grievous hurt.
Tip 3: Hone/Sharpen Knives Regularly
Sometimes, a knife set comes with a steel (the metal rod that is clearly not a knife) and you should use it to hone your knife every once awhile to keep it in tip-top condition. If you wait until it’s blunt, you’ll take a longer time and effort to make it sharp again. A sharp knife also helps to preserve the taste of food and much safer to use because you don’t have to strain your wrist and apply extra pressure in the cutting process.
As you hone the knife, remember that the knife should be moving (not the steel) and only the edges should touch the steel. If honing doesn’t give you good results, then you should consider sharpening your knife on a whetstone. Consider getting a Japanese whetstone because it gives superior results.
I personally own both steel and Japanese whetstone. Before honing/sharpening your knife, you should read up more on how to use a whetstone and steel correctly.
Tip 4: Don’t Put Your Knife in a Dishwasher
Last but not least, don’t EVER put your knife in a dishwasher! It doesn’t take much time to wash your knife by hand so why risk damaging a wonderful knife by putting it in a dishwasher? A dishwasher can damage your knife in two ways: (1) it may break the knife and (2) it blunts the knife because the edges are hit against other silverware/china. Also, knives with wooden handles cannot be soaked in water because wood expands easily.
Using these tips, I keep my knives in great condition. Even my husband appreciates the way I care for my knives. And yes, my friends continue to remind me that I’m near obsessed about caring for knives but it doesn’t matter because I have great knives that work wonderfully! You can always share these tips on how to care for kitchen knives with your relatives and friends.