Knives will most likely be one of your biggest investments in kitchen equipment. Proper care of your knives is important to keep them in good condition and to make them efficient to use. A dull knife is a dangerous knife. Because it is dull you will tend to apply too much pressure when cutting products. This can cause the knife to slip which may result in cutting yourself.
Knives should be sharpened regulary to keep the edge at maximum performance. Sharpening can be done with a tri-stone, a diamond stone or a manual sharpener such as the Minosharp.
The angle of the edge for most knives is 20° – 22°. Some Japanese knives have a thinner edge with a lesser angle. Professional knife sharpening shops will know the proper angle for sharpening your knife. When selecting the shop or person to sharpen your knives be sure to get references from others that have used the service. When using the knife it should be honed frequently with a honing steel to keep the edge in good alignment. These steels are often mistakenly called sharpening steels when in fact they do not sharpen the knife. Some steels, such as a diamond steel will sharpen the knive as it is being honed.
Knives should not be put in a dishwasher. Instead they should always be hand-washed and dried well. Store them in a knife block with horizontal slots so the knife edge is not resting on the wood. If the knife block has vertical slots, I store the knife with the edge up. Some knife storage units are designed for drawers instead of countertop.
Join us for a class at CasaLana Gourmet Retreats to learn more about caring for your knives.