Sharpen Your Knife Care Skills (see what we did there?)
So you have a brand spankin’ new knife, or maybe, a whole set! Or maybe you have ratty old knives that need some serious revival. No matter where you are on your knife journey, it’s imperative that you know how to properly Store, Clean, and Sharpen your knives.
Let’s Talk Knife Storage
Do you store your knives like this? Just stop! They’re dying a slow, claustrophobic death in that drawer, clanging around together with every open and close. Not only does this dull your knife blades terribly, but every time you reach in there you may come back with one less finger . . . until you’ve dulled the blades down so much that it's more of an obnoxious poke. Either outcome is unnecessary and should be avoided at all costs. We see you, turning your nose up at this image, all proud of yourself that you nestle your knives into a cozy knife block between uses. Well, that’s better than the willy nilly drawer method, but it’s not great. Knife blocks can dull your blades over time and can also house some pretty nasty bacteria down in those slits. Seriously, have you ever cleaned in there? How would you? So what, then? Our favorite method for storing your precious knives is a magnetic strip. Yup, that easy! Each knife has a place on the strip, not touching it’s friends. This open air arrangement makes it pretty tough for any bacteria to linger. Bonus - they look pretty cool hanging on your wall. You’re so next level culinary - you cook so much, you just must have them at the ready!
Let’s Talk Knife Cleaning
If you’ve ever placed a nice knife in the dishwasher, we can no longer be friends. Ok fine, we’ll let it slide, but we have zero tolerance for repeat offenses after reading this blog post. There are two reasons that knives and dishwashers shall never meet. First, we’re back to the clanging around. It dulls the blades at a rapid rate - gotta keep ‘em separated (shout out to punk tweens of the 90s). More hurtful than that, is the dishwasher detergent. That stuff is so abrasive, you might as well take a nail file to your knife blades! Think of that burnt on casserole situation, and how the detergent gets that dish squeaky clean. There’s some serious scrubbing that happens in there. Don’t put your knives through such aggressive sanitation. The best way to get ‘em clean is simply hot water and dish soap - it’s that easy guys!
Let’s Talk Knife Sharpening
Even if you are taking the proper storing and cleaning precautions with your knives, they will still dull over time. You have a couple of options when it comes to keeping them sharp. Our favorite option is using a whetstone. No, it’s not actually wet! That’s a waterstone - different animal, less practiced. Though adding a bit of water or oil to your whetstone before sharpening can make the process a bit easier, it is not necessary. If you’re unfamiliar, a whetstone is a brick-shaped stone, typically fine grain on one side and super-fine grain on the other (but there are different varieties of grits out there, so pick your favorite). You drag your knife blade over the stone, starting on the fine grain side, running the blade across the stone at a 20° angle several times on each side. Then, you flip the stone over and repeat on the super-fine side. It’s good practice to run your knife blade across your honing steel a few times after sharpening on the whetstone. The honing steel is that rod-like tool that came with your knife set. Many people assume this actually sharpens a knife blade - it does not. It simply realigns the now super thin blade of the sharpened knife that can get wonky post-whetstone sharpening, resulting in a seemingly dull blade. Sound too complicated? It’s ok, go get ya a professional. Professional knife sharpeners are masters at their craft, they’ll get your knives tuned up and sharp enough to slice a cotton ball in mid air (slight exaggeration - don’t try that!). Actually, it’s not a bad idea for you home sharpeners to get a professional involved sometimes. Maybe once or twice a year let them do the sharpening to keep your knives in tip top shape.
So there you have it - no excuses not to give your knives the royal treatment, now that you know how. And, if you’re still jonesin’ for some hot knife knowledge, join Chef Joel and our buddies at Global Cutlery on Tuesday April 13th @ 4pm PST / 7pm EST for their free virtual cooking and cutlery event. They’re building their own Cut Roll Sushi and sippin’ on Homemade Grapefruit Saketinis. Oh, and Global Cutlery is going to give away 50 Santoku knives to 50 lucky participants, chosen at random. Check out the deets and sign up over on withHomemade.com!