How to Take Care Of Your Knife So It Will Last Forever


There are several tools in the kitchen that tend to be somewhat "needy" when it comes to the general upkeep and cleanliness. Some kitchen tools just need more love and attention. But for knives, you may find yourself wondering, "How do I take care of a high-end chef knife? What do I need to DO?" In fact, it's almost the complete opposite. The question you should be asking is, what should I NOT DO to ensure my knife stays in pristine condition? Many people think of knives as just a tool for the kitchen. Then there are people in certain industries that have to use knives constantly (Chef, Butcher, cook etc.). The knife becomes an extension of their body and they must treat it as such. These guys already know what they are doing of course but they treat their knives with the utmost respect. This is the kind of mindset you have to have in order to properly care for your chef knife.

Sharpening

Do not use electric sharpeners, grind wheels, sand paper, or hand sharpener. All these ideas are bad and will ruin your chef knife. The best way to sharpen a chef knife at home would be on a whetstone or a sharpening steel. If you do not know how to use a whetstone or a sharpening steel then don’t try it on your new chef knife. If you want to learn how to use a whetstone or sharpening steel then practice on knives of lesser value until you are confident you will not harm your chef knife during the process. So basically, DON'T sharpen your knife if you don’t know how to. Take your knife to a professional and they will sharpen it for you. The service is very cheap and they use a higher standard of sharpness when it comes to your blades.

Cleaning

Do not wash your chef knife in a Dishwasher. Do not let it soak in water or even lay in the kitchen sink. All of these methods are very harmful to your chef knife and can leave permanent stress and damage. When done using your chef knife, hand wash with warm soapy water, rinse fully and dry immediately with a hand towel. Make sure the knife is completely dry, do not let it set out to drip dry or air dry. This is the only safe way to clean a chef knife. Plus, its less work and energy for you and your dishwasher.

Love and Care

When using your chef knife, most things should be obvious or common sense of what to not do. The best way to describe the situation you have gotten yourself into is a Romantic Relationship but with your knife. Do not beat up your knife. Have awareness and keep your wits about you when handling your knife, otherwise accidents can happen and you could drop your knife or slam it against another surface. You can end up with dull edges, broken tips, broken blades, dents, scratches and other permanent defects to your chef knife. Do not leave your chef knife laying around for anyone else to use or tamper with it. Unless you let others use your knife whom you trust, do not let anyone touch or use your knife. Again, accidents can happen and for someone who doesn’t understand the do's and don'ts of handling a chef knife, anything can happen. Traditionally these situations will only end in tears, so it is best to keep track of your knife and keep it close. Do not try to cut bone with a chef knife. Chef knives are not meant to cut through bone. I'm not saying that a chef knife will not cut through bone but, cutting through bone puts a ton of stress on the blade and dulls and damages the edges. If you are wanting to cut through bone, get yourself a boning cleaver with a metal hammer (Most grandmas have one in their kitchen, they are fun!).

To really commit to this new relationship of yours with your chef knife, you will need to buy some things that are good for him/her just like you would in any relationship. A sheath, knife roll or hard carrying case to ensure the knife is protected and safe from harmful damage when stored properly. A nice wooden butcher block or wooden cutting board to ensure you don’t damage the edges of the blades when cutting on any other surface. A whetstone or sharpening steel to help keep the edges sharp. Now be nice to your knife. Take it out and use it as often as you like. Just Remember to treat it with respect. Always keep the knife clean, sharp and when you are not using chef knife, make sure it is stored safely and properly in a cool and dry space.