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Kitchen Knife Basics: Maintenance For A Long Life

Brett Bernstein

Kitchen Knife Basics: Maintenance For A Long LifeOwning a set of kitchen knives, regardless of their type, requires certain use and maintenance in order to keep them sharp and working correctly. Whether you invested in quality kitchen knives or own a set of discount knives, you will want to keep them sharp and handling well.The first rule of use for your kitchen knife is to be sure that your blade lands on a soft surface, such as wood or plastic, instead of a hard surface like ceramic or metal.Striking your kitchen cutlery against hard surfaces will rapidly dull the blade and hinder the performance of your kitchen knife, even if you are using high quality ceramic or stainless steel cutlery.It's sometimes tempting to use the kitchen knife to pry something, use it as a screwdriver or chisel and many other actions for which the kitchen cutlery is not intended. Even using the handle of your knife as a hammer is not recommended, unless it is specifically built for that task. The pins, springs and handle can loosen or break, rendering your kitchen knife useless.You should keep your kitchen cutlery away from sand and gritty materials. Be especially aware when you are using your knives outside, for instance if you are camping, fishing or just barbequing outdoors. Be aware of your kitchen knife and if it gets wet, you should immediately dry it. When you are washing your kitchen cutlery, do so in mild, soapy water and then dry it completely with a towel, instead of allowing it to drip dry. You should always wash your kitchen cutlery by hand and dry it immediately after.Wood tends to swell, so it you have wooden handled knives, it is best not to immerse them in water for any period of time. You can rub mineral oil on wooden knife handles to help them keep their luster. You can also increase the lifetime of your wooden handled kitchen knives by rubbing lemon oil or furniture polish into the wood handle occasionally.Stainless steel cutlery should not rust in the humidity and it can withstand acids that it is exposed to in daily use. However, stainless steel does not mean 100 percent rust proof.The coarser the stainless steel surface is, the more likely it is to corrode. To ensure your stainless steel cutlery is corrosion resistant, you want to purchase knives with finely ground or polished surfaces.Another option for kitchen cutlery is ceramic knives which are durable and long lasting.However, ceramic knives should also not be put in the dishwasher. They are very easy to clean; a wipe and a rinse is all that is needed to keep them in great condition for years to come.When storing your knives, it is best to choose a knife block to protect the blades. Never put your knife into the wooden knife block wet-- wood absorbs water and you could introduce mold and mildew into your knife block which could effectually ruin your kitchen knives. If you are going to keep them in a drawer, be sure that they are not tossed around too much. Jostling against other knives or instruments could cause your knife blades to chip or dull unnecessarily. It is fine to keep them in a drawer, but they should be sleeved or in compartments to avoid colliding with other utensils or inadvertently cutting you as you search in the drawer for the knife you need. Forged cutlery or stainless steel cutlery should be properly stored to ensure it lasts a long time.Taking care of your kitchen knives is quite easy if you follow the steps outlined above:- Keep knives out of the dishwasher- Wash kitchen knives right after use and dry them immediately after washing- Store them in a wooden knife block, in sleeves or in a compartmentalized drawerTaking good care of your knives and using them properly will ensure that you will have great kitchen knives for years to come.Ben Anton, 2007


9 Knife Care Tips We Learned from a Master Bladesmith by Leslie Stephens of food52.com

Robert Volodarsky

9 Knife Care Tips We Learned from a Master Bladesmith by Leslie Stephens of food52.com

Confession: I've never sharpened my knives. Not my two-year-old IKEA chef's knife, not my who-knows-how-old paring knife. None of 'em. But last week, I found myself on the New York City subway with a purse-full of my dullest kitchen knives and the promise that these glorified pestles they could still be saved. Photo by James Ransom When Bob Kramer, a legendary knife guru and one of fewer than 200 people in the world to be certified as a Master Bladesmith, arrived at our office that same day for a sharpening tutorial, he came with a bag of tricks. In our team kitchen, he laid out...


13 Best DIY Budget Kitchen Projects - by Jacquelyn McGilvray

Robert Volodarsky

13 Best DIY Budget Kitchen Projects -  by Jacquelyn McGilvray

http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/rooms-and-spaces/kitchen/13-best-diy-budget-kitchen-projects-pictures Some great ideas here!


Knife Skills: The 4 Knife Cuts Every Cook Should Know - by J. KENJI LÓPEZ-ALT of seriouseats.com

Robert Volodarsky

Knife Skills: The 4 Knife Cuts Every Cook Should Know - by J. KENJI LÓPEZ-ALT of seriouseats.com

The first step to great food is great knife skills. Check out more Knife Skills this way! [Photographs and video: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt] Learning how to cut properly can make the difference between seeing kitchen work as a chore and a joy. It can mean the difference between unevenly cooked dishes and poor flavor development, and excellence. There's a good reason why the very first class any culinary student takes and the very first job any starting cook has in the kitchen is knife work. Cooking without mastering these basic strokes is like trying to run without knowing how to tie...


13 Different Types of Knives That Can Improve Your Cooking - by Jessie Oleson Moore of craftsy.com

Robert Volodarsky

13 Different Types of Knives That Can Improve Your Cooking - by Jessie Oleson Moore of craftsy.com

How many different types of knives do you own? Chances are, you've got quite a few knives in your kitchen drawer or in a block on the counter. But do you know the difference between a chef's knife and a paring knife, plus the proper way to use each one? HERE'S A SIMPLE GUIDE TO SOME OF THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF KNIVES FOR COOKING AND THEIR PURPOSES. Illustrations via CakeSpy   LEARN TO SLICE & DICE PRODUCE LIKE A PRO — ABSOLUTELY FREE! Become faster and more accurate with your knife work with these FREE HD video lessons. Join now and...

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