Hardware & Software: Storing and Caring for Your Knives
Professional chefs treat their knives as precious things. And so should we. Despite being made of steel and wood, knives can be fragile. But take good care of them and they'll serve you well for many years.
- Wash and dry them after every use.
- If you need to soak a knife to help remove something from the blade, only soak the blade, not the handle.
- Never put your knives in a dishwasher.
- Keep them sharp and honed. A dull knife is a dangerous knife so either learn how to sharpen your own knives or take them to a professional every year or so. Frequent sharpening isn't necessarily a good thing and can shorten the life of your knives. But if you use a honing steel every three or so uses, the edge will last much longer without sharpening.
- Store your knives carefully both to protect the blades as well as your fingers.
- A knife block is handy and some are sold that let you fit knives of all sizes and lengths into flexible slots. But blocks also take up precious counter space and the pre-cut block holes don't offer any flexibility. Newer styles of knife blocks include ones that are more narrow than square, making them less bulky.
- Magnetic bars can be mounted to save counter space but remember that the blades are exposed so be careful where you put it.
- If you keep your knives in a drawer, invest in some plastic edge guards or knife safes that will protect both the blades and your fingers.