Knives are crucial for cooking – they help you chiffonade your basil, dice your onions, and fillet your fish. But knives are also expensive, sharp, and a little daunting.
Chances are good, however, that you have at least one knife you love in your kitchen – but are you treating it right?
Whether it’s that 8-inch chef knife you bought yourself when you got your first kitchen, the beautiful meat-cleaver you couldn’t resist adding to your registry, or the itty-bitty pairing knife that’s as cute as it is useful, following these little tips will ensure it’ll last.
1. Never wash them in the dishwasher. You’ve heard this before—it’s basically the golden rule of knife care, for a number of reasons. They can get warped, the high-temperatures can damage the metal, and having knives in the dishwasher is dangerous.
Wash your knives by hand with the blade pointing away from you and the sponge wrapped around the spine (aka the not sharp edge).
2. Never leave knives in the sink. Yes, this is a mixed message, especially since you shouldn’t be putting your knives in the dishwasher. But the sink is not only a dangerous spot (hard-to-see-through water doesn’t mix well with a sharp object), leaving your knife there can lead to rust.
3. Never put them away wet. It’s the same concept: Wet knives can lead to rust, so save yourself time and money by drying your knives before storing them. (Also, putting a wet knife into a knife block can lead to mold and other disgusting bacteria…which is grosser than it is harmful to your blade.)
4. Never store them unprotected. Knives are delicate, they should never end up in a drawer unprotected. Other knives (or forks and spoons) can nick your them and render them forever blemished. Instead, use a knife blocks or a magnet strip to keep your knives safe and sound. Just remember to clean your knife block.
5. Never use glass cutting boards. We’re not even sure why people make them in the first place: Chopping on any surface that’s harder than your knife will hurt the blade. Always opt for wood cutting boards to ensure you are treating your knife with adequate respect.
(Be sure to use a cutting board this is the right size for your knife too! You can measure your cutting board by laying the knife you want to use across it at a diagonal. If the cutting board is 2-inches longer than you knife, you have the right size cutting board to use with that knife.)