How to Properly Use & Care for your Kitchen Knives
September 18, 2014
We all use kitchen knives but we don’t all use them properly. The proper use of and care for a kitchen knife are important components to a knife’s longevity. When used and maintained properly, a kitchen knife is a safe, effective tool. It’s when we get careless with maintenance and handling that we run into problems.
- Always keep your kitchen knives sharp. Obvious advice from a knife sharpener company, we know, however, it’s our #1 tip for a reason: a dull knife is a dangerous knife. It makes you work harder. It makes you press down on what you’re cutting or slicing with far more force than you should ever use. This leads to accidents and cuts. Keep your kitchen knives sharp and your fingers safe!
- Use the appropriate knife for the job. A basic guideline is to use your chef’s knife for any food item larger than a tomato and your paring knife for anything smaller than one.
- Never place knives at the edge of counter tops or tables.
- Never leave knives in soapy water in the sink. This is a bad habit that easily leads to accidents.
- Placing a damp cloth under the cutting board will prevent the board from slipping.
- Using glass or granite cutting boards can damage blades. Instead use wood, bamboo, or plastic cutting boards.
- When cutting or slicing food, hold the item firmly with your non-cutting hand. Make sure your fingers are curled inward so they aren’t in a dangerous position when the blade comes down.
- Store knives properly. Some practical ways to store knives include: knife kits, racks, or on magnetized holders. Keep storage areas as clean as knives.
- Don’t put knives in the dishwasher. The force of the water pushes knives against shelves and against other utensils, which can dull knife-edges. Also, the mixture of hot water and the chemicals in the dishwasher soap can leave stains on your cutlery.
- If you cut yourself while using a knife, immediately run the cut under cold water. Once the bleeding stops, bandage the wound. If the cut is too deep and continues to bleed, apply pressure. If the bleeding still doesn’t stop, seek medical attention.
For more information on how to properly care for your knives, please see our blog post Maintaining your Knives.
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