If you ask any chef, culinary enthusiast, or housewife the question of which tool is most important in the kitchen, each of them will tell you it is a knife. Prices for high-quality knives can be high, and such a knife will be a long-term investment if you maintain it properly. Regular care, proper storage and use are, as with any tool, crucial to the long sharpness of your knife. Although they are stainless steel blades, it is very important to clean them immediately after use. Never leave your knives dirty and wet in the sink because all knives are stainless to some extent. A night spent in the kitchen sink can have dire consequences. The blades should not be washed in the washing machine as hot water, aggressive detergents and blows to other dishes will damage each knife.
An important fact, washing in a dishwasher will make your knife lose its sharpness and colour. While using your knives, it would not be a bad idea to wipe them occasionally with a dry cloth. If your blades are made of carbon steel, wash and clean them immediately after use, do not leave them to dry as water retained on the edges speeds up the rust formation process and leaves stains. After use, rinse with lukewarm water, use a sponge with a very little detergent. Wipe your knife and let it dry completely. If you have a knife that has a very low or no chromium steel blade, you can sometimes grease it with an acid-free oil, for example, sunflower oil. Sometimes it is difficult to clean a particular type of blemish from the knife, so in that case, try with little lemon juice to remove it. People often put knives in a dishwasher to wash, and afterwards, stains remain that can be easily removed with lemon juice. Lemon juice is also great for cleaning the metal part around the sink.
While you are cutting the meat or vegetables, the knife should touch the board all the time with the tip, this way when you avoids hitting the blade on the board, which protrudes the blades. It is recommended to keep the knives separate from other kitchen tools. We do not store kitchen knives in the drawer together with other kitchen utensils as this can cause the blades to be damaged, and we can also cut ourselves when we look for something in that drawer. Places that are suitable for holding knives can be:
A wooden magnetic stand that can be mounted on any surface and in this way the blades will be a decoration in the kitchen, in addition to its primary purpose.
A wooden holster that is very practical even when you are travelling, and you know that your knives will be needed while you are cooking individual dishes, and at the same time you can keep this holster in a drawer in your kitchen so that you will not be harmed.
A knife bag is a practical accessory, especially if you are a chef.
Do not let pickles such as lemons, mustard, tomatoes, strawberries, or any other type of food that has a high acid level, because it will stay on the blade for a long time. If you do that it will cause slightly damage the blade, leaving stains on the handle. However, although such stains appear sometimes, it is necessary to polish the edge and wash it with the procedure described. Avoid cutting bones with ordinary knives. Instead, use a sawmill. Also, avoid breaking, scoring, hitting frozen food. Never use a knife as a substitute for a screwdriver because this will cause the tip of the blade to be very easily damaged. When you have quality knives in your kitchen, then pay attention to what kind of cutting boards you will use. The best option is wooden boards, preferably bamboo or high-quality polyethene cutting boards. Avoid marble, ceramic, granite and glass boards, if possible.
It is also imperative to sanitize your knives very often. If you do not adhere to the basic rules and do not clean your knives correctly and after each use, you can transfer bacteria and viruses from one food to another. It may sound like an exaggeration, but a dirty knife can cause different dangers. When you do not clean your knife, cross-contamination occurs between each use, which does not mean that viruses and bacteria are present for sure. This way, you can unknowingly and unintentionally expose someone to a food allergen, which can be deadly in the worst case.
After buying the knife, and before you use it, between each use, as well as after you have finished using it, wash and dry according to the rules.
Knife sharpening is an essential item in the maintenance. When it comes to the blade itself, you should be very careful and responsible with how you used it, maintained it and sharpened it. If you look at the knife blade under the microscope, you will find that many tiny teeth along with it are placed in a perfect line. Over time, these gears move from the axis, and we call it a blunt knife. The best sharpening results are achieved with a sharpening stone that should be in at least two granulations. The first one is coarser and is used for rough removal of old blade material and the second for fine grinding or polishing of the blade.
If you are wondering how to know if you have cleaned your knife correctly, the answer is simple. If the food swabs are not on the handle or blade, there are no stains, after washing, did you leave it to dry properly? Then there is no reason to worry. Your knife will look like you bought it right now, or if it’s ancient, close to it.
If you want high quality with a long life of use, the most popular is the Japanese knives. This is a case where the price is determined by quality itself.