An essential part of any well-stocked chef’s kitchen? Good knives -- and nothing slows down the preparation of a meal like a dull blade. Not only can it take much longer to cut fruits, vegetables and meat, but it can also be very dangerous to cut with a knife that isn’t sharp enough, or even poor quality. Once you’ve made the investment in a set of good knives (you can find some of ours here and here), we suggest doing the following so that they do their job in the kitchen when you need them to.
Use a wooden cutting board. - While plastic is an okay option, wooden boards are going to keep your knives sharper for longer. Avoid cutting on glass or granite, as this will dull the knives incredibly quickly. An end-grain board will be the kindest to your knives, but also the most expensive. Otherwise, keep an eye out for cutting boards made of medium-hardness woods, or ones that a knife will most likely leave a line in after cutting. Though your board may show some wear and tear, your knife will be less likely to.
Wash your knives by hand. - Instead of tossing your knives in the dishwasher after use, make a point to wash them by hand. Dishwashing detergent can be abrasive and the actual dishwasher cycle tends to knock silverware around. These two things combined are likely to dull your knives very quickly, whereas washing them by hand shouldn’t take more than about 20 seconds and will keep them nice and sharp for next time.
Store them in a knife holder. - The reasoning behind this one is similar to the one above. Basically, you don’t want your knives to be hitting each other, or even other silverware. A knife holder or knife block, whether it’s inside a drawer or on the countertop, is going to be the best method. Make sure to store each knife separate from one another and with the blade upside down. This will avoid unnecessary dulling when you pull the knives in and out of the holder.
Avoid dragging your knife along the cutting board. - Have you ever tried to gather your food into one area after chopping it up by dragging the knife at different angles to push the food? In the future, we advise not scraping the blade across the wood as this can dull a blade faster than you can say quinoa. If you want to use your knife to move pieces of food into one area, simply flip the knife upside down and use the bottom since it’s okay for the top of the knife to be more dull.
Sharpen knives when they get dull. - The number one best way to keep your knives in good shape is to sharpen them regularly. You’ll want to sharpen them once a month or so if you’re using them daily and you can do so with a knife sharpening steel at home (just make sure you watch a YouTube tutorial or two before going for it). Again, sharp knives will not only make cooking at home much more efficient and enjoyable, but also safe.
Jordan Drankoski is the one woman star of the foodie blog Dancing for Donuts. She's a regular guest writer on ToBox serving up inspiration and recipes for the mind and soul. She loves spending time in the kitchen creating new recipes, hiking, trying new restaurants and visiting new places.