Perhaps you have just purchased or been given a nice chef’s butcher knife or other good quality knife. It’s a pleasure to use a new knife but often times it seems that over time a good knife becomes mediocre. The most likely reason is that the cutlery is not being properly cared for. Even if you own an electric or a manual knife sharpener it is important to not onlyhave it but to use it on a regular basis. Proper knife care and handling can extend the useful life of your cutlery; it’s a good idea to review the basics before you invest in any more cutlery.
Knives should be stored in a dry location – moisture and humidity can cause corrosion and rust. When a knife blade is corroded or rusty it will not offer a clean cut plus the corrosion offers a place for bacteria to lodge and breed. Knives should never be submerged in water for any length of time nor should they be placed in a dishwasher, regardless of how they may be labeled, as the heat of the water and dry cycle will compromise the integrity of the actual knife construction. Most professionals clean their cutlery by wiping it with a damp towel and then toweling it dry before storage.
Proper knife storage is another important element of cutlery care and handling. Knives should be stored in such a way as the blades never touch – one knife can nick another which can damage the blade or the edge as well as create a location for germs and bacteria to lodge. A knife block is one practical storage solution; other options include a magnetic knife rack, a knife roll or individual knife protectors.