As you prepare for holiday cooking, it’s important to have all the necessary cutlery to prepare the meal for the big day. Crucial tools for any meal are properly cared-for and sharpened kitchen knives. Here are some tips for taking care of your knives.
• Hand wash your knives and dry immediately to prevent rust and mold.
• Sharpen your knives at least once a year. Keep the blades sharp and straight. You can use a sharpening stone, a honing rod or have your knives professionally sharpened.
• Use wood, bamboo or plastic cutting boards.
• Store knives in a knife block with horizontal slits or on a magnetic strip. You may also use a knife case or knife sheath.
• Use a rocking or sliding motion when cutting instead of up-and-down chopping. Repetitive contact with the cutting board can dull the knife edge.
• Use the proper knife for the job. A knife that is too large or too small can cause damage to the knife or injury to you.
• Wash your knife in the dishwasher.
• Leave a knife in the sink.
• Put your knives into a sink of soapy water. You run the risk of serious cuts, as well as damaging your knife blades and handles.
• Store your knives in a drawer with other kitchen items. The knife could be damaged or dulled or someone could accidentally be injured.
• Use plates, glass or countertops as a cutting board. This can damage both the knife blade and your surface.
• Use your knife blade to scrape food from the cutting board. It will dull your blade. Instead turn the knife over and use the spine (unsharpened side) of the blade.
Honing: Straightens and realigns the blade.
Sharpening: Makes the blade of a knife sharp by grinding it against a hard surface.
How to Hone a Knife:
1. Point the honing rod down, preferably resting on a solid surface.
2. Place the sharp edge of your knife on the rod with the tip and edge pointing away from you.
3. Drag the entire length of the blade evenly across the rod, from handle to tip.
4. Repeat this until the blade is restored to a straight edge, or eight to 10 times for each side of the blade.
Sharpening a Knife:
There are various sharpening tools. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or have your knives professionally sharpened.