The knife might be the most important tool in the cooking process. A knife might be intimidating or scary for some, especially to average cooks, but a knife can do wonders in your cooking. Purchasing a high-quality knife is one of the best investments in your kitchen. When you cut your food evenly, the food tastes better and looks better on the plate. Nonetheless, there are some things you need to know about knife maintenance such as handwashing your knives and sharpening them regularly.
How do you maintain kitchen knives?
Knives should be washed and dried before putting it back to the storage. According to Bloodroot. It is best to store your knives in a magnetic strip to make it easier to find the knife oyu need and protects the blade from damage. Hanging the knives on a magnetic strip keeps your knives sharper and longer-lasting.
Do not leave the knives-may it be carbon or stainless- in the sink. The type of maintenance you need to do with your knife depends on its type. Leaving your knives in the sink will be prone to scratches. The tip can bend or break and can be dangerous for people.
Avoid cutting on a surface that is harder than your knife. It will damage the blade and can even make it dull. Use any hardwood board instead of a plastic chopping board since the cuts in the surface can be infested with bacteria.
Do not put your knives in the drawer with other utensils unless your knife has a knife sheath to protect the blade from damage. The blade can get scratched and dented every time you open the drawer as it bumps into other utensils.
What angle should kitchen knives be sharpened?
Choosing an angle to sharpen your knives it harder than it seems. The sharpening angle of your knife depends on what you would use your knife for.
When sharpening your knives, hold your knife to the sharpener in a 20 degrees angle for kitchen cutlery and filet knives. This angle is the most commonly used angle. If you need an extremely sharp but delicate edge, your knife should be sharpened at 17° Angle. This angle is usually used for razor blades and scalpels. For hunting and outdoor knives, the recommended angle is 25° since they need a durable and sharp edge.
Japanese knives are usually sharpened in a 17° while the Western-style kitchen knives are sharpened at a 20°. For cleavers, the recommended angle is 30° to make it highly durable. However, the sharpness of the knife diminishes as the durability of the edge increases.
Keep in mind that your sharpening angle should be half the angle of the cutting edge of your knife. For example, if your knife has a 30° cutting edge, your sharpening angle should be 15°. Sharpening knives also depend on the toughness and hardness of the knife.
In a nutshell, the purpose of the knife determines the angle that the blade is sharpened. If you use you knife to cut soft ingredients, sharpen it at 15° per side. If you’re working on ingredients with harder texture, 20° each side will do.
How often do knives need to be sharpened?
You don’t have to sharpen your knives every day. There are a few factors that you should consider on how often your knives should be sharpened: how frequently you use your knives, how sharp your knives need to be, the quality of the blade material, and how well you treat your knives.
Some chefs use a honing rod every time they use their knives to keep the knife’s sharpness. The honing rod won’t revive the sharpness of the knife so you need to use a whetstone. Some chefs use a whetstone every four to six months while some use a whetstone daily. For everyday use, your knife can be honed once a week. You don’t have to sharpen your knives regularly if you don’t have to slice the tiniest pieces. Japanese knives are usually made with higher-grade steels which means that they hold their edge exceptionally well. And lastly, how you treat your knife affects the condition of your knife in the long-run. Cutting on hard surfaces like ceramics and glass boards will blunt your knife. This will cause you to sharpen your knife more often.
Sharpening a knife only takes a few minutes. Keep in mind that there’s such thing called over sharpening. Sharpen you knife every week if you commonly use it. However, if you seldom use it, sharpening it once a month will do the trick.
What’s the best knife sharpener?
A sharpener is different from a honer. A honer realigns the knife edge and remove the uneven edges. It maintains the knife’s sharpness but it cannot make a blunt knife back to being razor-sharp. Thus, you need to use something abrasive to sharpen your knives like a whetstone. Sharpening, on the other hand, is basically filing down an edge of a dull knife. In simpler terms, it shaves away mental against your sharpener until you get a sharp edge.
The best knife sharpener depends on your preference. Let’s discuss the different types of knife sharpeners. First, a sharpening steel is not a sharpener but a honer. A fairly sharp knife is usually sharpened using a sharpening steel. Sharpening steels is not easy to use as it requires great practice. You have to run your knife along the steel at a precise, steady angle to produce a sharp knife.
Another knife sharpener that is commonly used is a sharpening stone. Most chefs use a sharpening stone to sharpen their knives because of its durability and reliability. Moreover, a sharpening stone can make a knife flawlessly sharp with a perfect execution. However, using this kind of knife sharpener isn’t the fastest. It is not necessary to use a sharpening stone for everyday use but rather, use it when your knife is significantly dull. A sharpening stone can be used once a week or once a month.
There are also different types of sharpening stone-whetstones, oil stones, and diamond stones. Whetstones produce an extremely sharp blade when executed correctly. However, they are less durable than the other types. It breaks easily if not handled with care. Before using a whetstone, it must be soaked in water first. Oil stones can be quite a little messy as it need to be greased before use. Diamond stones are the most durable and can be used dry but are extremely expensive for regular maintenance in a regular kitchen.
A whetstone is usually recommended for beginners There are electric knife sharpeners in the market but the experts do not recommend these sharpeners as it affects the heath of your blade in the long-run. Electric knife sharpeners may get the job done faster but it may chip your blade as electric knife sharpeners use motorized abrasives. Furthermore, using an electric knife sharpener provides less control on your end than using a stone. An electric knife sharpener is good for chep knives but if you have invested on a high-quality, expensive knife, stay away from using these tools.
What is the most dangerous knife in the kitchen?
Each knife has its own purpose. Each knife requires its own technique. Your safety depends on your technique and the sharpness of your knife. Therefore, the most dangerous knife in the kitchen is a dull knife. A dull ordinary kitchen knife can be more dangerous than a sharp cleaver. No matter what knife it is, no matter big or small, if the knife is dull, then it is the most dangerous knife in the kitchen.
Which knife is safer? Dull or sharp?
Contrary to your belief, It is safer to use sharp knives. Dull knives are more difficult to use as you have to apply more downward force which could ruin the blade of worse, you’ll get a cut. No one wants a cut. A blunt knife is also frustrating since it takes a longer time to cut food and it might slip in your hands. Yikes! Using a blunt knife leads to sawing the food instead of cutting through it. The sawing gesture will create uneven cuts in your food. The sharpening edge of a dull knife is uneven and wavy that’s why it is important to sharpen your knives. When you need more force to cut through food, you’ll most likely lose your grip while using a knife.
Though a dull knife is more likely to slip from your hand than cut your flesh as you hold it, a good reflex will save you from cutting yourself. Bad luck if you have poor reflexes. A sharp knife require less pressure when cutting; thus, reducing the risk of injury. A sharp knife gives you more control over the blade than a dull knife. A sharp knife may be more dangerous when applied directly on the skin but, of course, you are smart enough to avoid that, right?
Furthermore, a dull knife leads to more mistakes. According to an article, “A sharper knife uses edge geometry to make a cut while a dull knife uses force. If you’re worried of getting cuts from sharp knives (there really are times when we accidentally cut ourselves), wounds from sharp knives heal faster. Though the cuts from sharp knives are deeper, the cuts are thin which makes it quicker for the skin and tissues to repair.
With the proper technique and a sharp knife, nothing could go wrong in the kitchen. Your knife cutting technique is an important part of your cooking method. Practice safety.
Why is sharp knife important?
You don’t have to be in a culinary school to know why a sharp knife is important. One way to determine the sharpness of your knife is through a tomato test. If you struggle in cutting the tomato cleanly, then it’s time to grab your knife sharpener. Sharpening may not be as easy as what we see on videos but with practice and patience, you’ll master the art of sharpening in no time.
A sharp knife is more efficient in terms of creating precise, even cuts. Precise and even cutting helps cooking the food more evenly and at the same rate no matter what cooking method you are applying to the food. Furthermore, An evenly cut tenderloin or diced carrots and potatoes looks better and tastes better. It is best to use a sharp knife especially if you’re an average cook.
Do dishwashers ruin knives?
Chipping occur when people pass knives through a high-powered dishwasher. Always wash knives with your hands with mild soap. Certain chemicals from the dishwasher may harm the composition of your knife. Detergents can cause discoloration and dull the knives. Industrial type dishwashers usually put everything in high heat which could affect the handle structure or any glue used on Japanese knives. Your knife can’t withstand the high temperature and moisture in the dishwasher in the long-run, especially if your knife is a carbon steel. Additionally, the dishwasher has water jets that can cause the knife to bump into other utensils that may damage the blade. Ceramic knives are in greater risk when you toss it in the dishwasher because their blades are so brittle that it can snap the blade in two.
What is the most versatile kitchen knife?
The most versatile and the most important knife that you should have in your kitchen is a chef’s knife, or also called a cook’s knife. Though this knife is primarily used for chopping, this knife can be used for almost anything-slicing, dicing, and mincing. A chef’s knife has a wide blade between 6-10 inches long. A Japanese style chef’s knife curves downward at the tip and shorter than a French style chef’s knife which curves upward toward the tip. However, even though it is a multi-purpose knife, a chef’s knife isn’t the right knife in peeling the skin of vegetables.
Do you sharpen both sides of a knife?
It depends on the type of knife you have in your kitchen. However, some knives, like some traditional one-sided beveled Asian knives, are sharpened only on one side. For most knives, nonetheless, they should be sharpened on both sides in the same angle. In sharpening your knife, you should follow its shape. Most knives curve downward; thus, you have to maintain the shape when sharpening.
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