Email Link SMS X Search Clock Right Arrow Caret down Caret up Caret left Caret right Thumbs up Speech Audio on Replay Plus Minus

How To Take Care Of Your Knives Like A Real Chef

It's time to sharpen your knife skills.

Kitchen knives can be intimidating...

Pixar

From picking the right one, to figuring out how to sharpen it, it's easy to shove them into a drawer and call it a day.

But with these simple steps you can learn how to keep them in prime condition so you can work faster and safer.

youtube.com

So, chop chop! It's time to sharpen (or hone?) your skills!

Advertisement

Advertisement

1. Before you invest in a knife, always take it for a test drive.

Instagram: @j.l.g.w

A single knife can cost anywhere from ten to several hundred dollars, so it's important to test them before you buy. Most cooking supply stores have potatoes handy and encourage customers to try chopping before purchasing.

Some people prefer lightweight knives (such as this one by Shun), while others prefer a heavier knife (like this one by Wüsthof). Picking out a knife is like shopping for a pair of jeans, so make sure to try a variety of styles until you find one that feels right.

2. Figure out which ones you actually need.

Getty Images

For most home cooks, these four knives are all you really need:

1. Chef's/French Knife: This is your go-to knife for 90% of chopping jobs and can be used for anything from cutting steak to cutting lettuce.

2. Pairing Knife: These tiny knives are used for jobs that are small and intricate like slicing strawberries and deveining shrimp.

3. Serrated/Bread Knife: Besides slicing bread and cake, these knives are great for cutting into thick-skinned produce (like melons, pineapples, and tomatoes).

4. Boning Knife: These knives are flexible enough to easily cut meat, poultry, and fish off the bone.

Advertisement

Advertisement

3. And don't forget to buy something to safely store them in.

Buzzfeed

If you're going to invest in quality knives, don't forget to buy one of these storing options:

1. Knife Sleeves/Guards: If you plan on storing your knives in a drawer, knife guards are a must. They prevent blades from banging into each other and keep you safe. Get them here.

2. Knife Blocks: If you want to keep your knives on the counter, this is the option for you. When picking out a block, make sure the slots are deep enough for your knives to fully slide into. Check out this one that holds 19 knives.

3. Knife Rolls: If you plan to travel with your knives (think picnics, cooking at friends, etc.), invest in a quality knife roll. This is what professional chefs use to carry their knives from place to place.

4. Start washing them properly to prevent rust and water spots.

Buzzfeed

When washing your knives, never put them in the dishwasher (they can get banged up and rusted). Instead, gently wash them with soap and water and dry them with a dishtowel. Taking the time to fully dry them will prevent rust and water spots from forming.

Advertisement

Advertisement

5. Get yourself a honing steel and learn how to use it.

Buzzfeed

Honing steels are an essential element in knife maintenance. They are different than sharpening tools because they realign the blade whereas sharpening tools actually grind them.

A general rule of thumb is to hone your knife every other time you use it. Most knives come with a steel such as this, so make sure you are using it. But how do you use it?

Buzzfeed

Place the blade at a 20° angle and stroke it on your steel from heel to tip (away from you). Do this several times on each side with even pressure. Although this will never sharpen your knife, it is an important preventative maintenance step.

Advertisement

Advertisement

6. Do the tomato test to determine if it's time to sharpen.

Buzzfeed

With very little pressure, use your knife to cut through the skin of a tomato. If the knife has a hard time getting through the skin, it's time to sharpen. You can also hold a piece of paper and attempt to glide your knife through it. If it struggles to cut the paper, it's time to sharpen.

7. And if they are dull, learn how to sharpen them yourself.

Tools such as this one allow home cooks to easily sharpen their knives. Run your blade (keeping it straight up and down) through the coarse side and finish it on the fine side to get a smooth, sharp edge. Five strokes on each side should be plenty to sharpen a typical blade.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Buzzfeed

Or, use a whetstone to sharpen your knife. These come in a variety of "grits" (the higher the grit, the finer the stone) and must be soaked in water before using. To use them, give your knife a few strokes on the coarse side at a 20° angle, then do the same on the fine side.

8. But learn when it's time to get a professional involved.

Instagram: @edgesnashville

Many cooking supply stores offer professional sharpening services at a reasonable price. This is helpful if you have older knives that need some serious attention or for knives that haven't been sharpened in a very long time.

9. Once you're comfortable with the basics, take it to the next level with a few additions.

Instagram: @knifebag

Once you get the basics down, invest in some additional pieces to complete your collection:

1. Cleavers : These knives are great for breaking down bones, large cuts of meat, and tough-skinned vegetables like squash or pumpkins.

2. Carving Knives: A long blade makes these knives perfect for slicing meat with a single stroke.

4. Quality Kitchen Shears : Beyond cutting parchment and twine, shears come in handy for cutting items like herbs and bacon with ease.

So, there you have it! No need to be scared by knives. And remember, sharp knives make cooking easier (and safer) so give them the attention they deserve.

Pixar

Advertisement

Advertisement

TRENDING RECIPES

Advertisement

Advertisement

LATEST TASTY GUIDES

27 (Really Good) Recipes To Make In December
28 Comfort Food Recipes With No Meat Or Dairy
Every Thanksgiving Recipe You Could Need Or Want (All In One Place)

Advertisement

Advertisement

How To Eat Vegan For A Week And Love It
20 Instant Pot Thanksgiving Recipes If You Just Want To Eat ASAP
24 Delicious Ways To Eat Quinoa For Breakfast

Advertisement

Advertisement

20 Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes To Round Out Your Table
17 Brilliant Cooking Hacks Using Dental Floss
20 Easy Thanksgiving Sides & Snacks That Still Taste Impressive

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Share on Pinterest Share on Pinterest Pinterest Pinterest Share on Facebook Share on Facebook Share on Email Share on Email More More