Friday, October 8, 2010

Kitchen Knife Care Tips

The following helpful tips and reminders can prolong the life of your kitchen cutlery and will ensure the final food product is at its best in texture and flavor:

Proper Use

Weather you're indoors using your chef knives and kitchen knife set or outdoors using your camping knives or fillet knife, you need to make sure that the blade lands on a relatively soft surface such as wood or plastic rather than on a hard surface such as metal or ceramic. Constant striking on a hard surface will dull the blade rapidly and dramatically hinder your knife's performance even if you're using hard ceramic knives.

Although it may be tempting at times, refrain from using your cooking knives for prying, as a screwdriver, as a chisel, or for anything kitchen cutlery was not intended. It is also not recommended to use the back or side of your kitchen cutlery as hammering instruments unless it is specifically designed to handle that task. Doing so may cause the pins, springs, or handle to loosen or even break.

Sand and grit should be kept away from the knife, so be attentive when outdoors using your camping knives or fillet knife. And, if your knife gets wet you should dry it right away. It's recommended to wash the blade with a mild soapy water solution then dry it completely.

Knives should be washed by hand and thoroughly dried immediately because wood tends to swell, so it is not a good idea to immerse wood handled knives in water for a prolonged period of time. Rub mineral oil on wood handles periodically to maintain their luster. Lemon oil or any good furniture polish is good for feeding wood handled knives and will help maintain the life of your fine kitchen cutlery and cooking knives for years to come.

Stainless Steel

The term "stainless steel" signifies that the knife will not rust in a humid atmosphere and that it will resist the various acids in daily use. It does not mean, however, that the steel is absolutely rustproof. The coarser the surface finish, the more likely it is to corrode. In other words, the more finely ground or polished the surface of the blade, the more resistant to corrosion it is.

The expertise of a knife manufacturer shows itself in his ability to select the appropriate steel for the intended purpose. A quality kitchen blade is generally achieved by the corresponding chemical composition and appropriate heat treatment. Top name brands like Kyocera, Zwilling J.A. Henckels and Chicago Cutlery all have this authority thanks to their long tradition in cutlery manufacturing and, as with Zwilling J.A. Henckels, also as a manufacturer of steel.

Although most blades today are predominantly made of a hard grade stainless steel, surface rust or stains will inevitably form. This can usually be cleaned with a mild scouring powder, or mildly abrasive pad.

Advantages of Ceramic Knives:

  • Ultra-Sharp Long Life Blade
    Holds its edge much longer than steel. Lasts many months or years without sharpening.
  • Stain and Rust Proof
    Impervious to the food acids which discolor steel products.
  • No Metallic Taste or Smell
    Maintains the fresh taste of food. Won't brown fruits and vegetables.
  • Easy to Clean
    Non-stick ceramic surface makes for easy clean-up.
  • Easy to Use
    Lightweight and perfect balance make it a pleasure to use.

Ceramic knives should not be put in the dishwasher, as the strong jets may cause them to chip other objects or to become chipped themselves. A quick wipe and rinse is all that should be needed to keep your ceramic knives in great condition. For storage purposes, your ceramic knives will do just fine in a knife block, drawer or however you store your other kitchen cutlery and cooking knives.


Regular maintenance of your kitchen knives insures a lifetime of cooking pleasure. The key to keeping your knives sharp and long-lasting is to keep the edge of the blade aligned. With regular use, any knife's edge will lose its sharpness. Under magnification, you would see that the cutting edge takes on a wavy S-shape. It is important frequently to re-align the edge of the blade with a honing steel and oil, to keep the edge of the blade straight, or eventually these S-shaped curves will bend back over themselves and permanently damage the knife.

Sharpening your cooking knives on a periodic basis will not only extend the life of the blade, it is also a safety rule! Please see my knife sharpening tips for more information. Please note, although your ceramic knives should not require sharpening but once every few years, they do require handling with care.

I hope you've enjoyed this article and make use of these helpful kitchen knife tips and reminders for your safety, pleasurable cooking and great tasting food!

All Comments are Welcome and Appreciated.


1 comment:

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