HOW TO LOOK AFTER KITCHEN KNIVES
Posted on December 05 2023
We believe that people nowadays want to own fewer, but better things. Things which endure, and last. Things which can be mended and repaired. Things which will last at least one lifetime (and hopefully more).
A key element of this ideal is ensuring that our belongings are looked after properly. Even the highest quality, best made pieces can break if not cared for. Which is why we’ve put together this handy guide on how to look after your kitchen knives. The good news is that is couldn’t be simpler.
HOW TO CLEAN A KITCHEN KNIFE
As much as possible, try to clean your knife immediately after use. Many ingredients are acidic in nature or contain chemicals which can expedite the oxidisation of steel. So it’s important to remove this as soon as possible.
To do so simply use a soft dishcloth, some warm water and your normal dish soap. Do not under any circumstances place your knives in the dishwasher - even those which claim to be dishwasher safe.
There are several reasons for this; but most importantly the heat and chemicals in the dishwasher can be very harmful to the wooden handles of knives. High water pressure can also cause them to knock against other utensils, leading to blunting or chipping.
Instead, just give your knives a good scrub, and dry immediately with a tea towel to prevent any rust occurring. For high carbon steel blades which have a tendency to rust easily, you can apply a small amount of olive oil to the blade using some kitchen paper. This will effectively seal the blade and prevent moisture from reaching the steel.
HOW TO STORE KITCHEN KNIVES
Whatever you do, don’t store expensive knives in a drawer uncovered. Just as with the dishwasher, the presence of other utensils can lead to blade scratching, chipping or blunting. Instead, be sure to sheath the blade in a card, canvas or leather scabbard to protect it.
A wooden knife block is a good alternative to drawer storage, or better yet a wall-mounted knife rack, to really show off those blades. These will safely store knives of all sizes and allow for quick, easy and safe access to your knives when cooking.
HOW TO STOP YOUR KNIFE GOING BLUNT
The most important thing for maintaining knife sharpness is the chopping board you use. Glass, slate or even bamboo boards can all be detrimental for blade edges. As materials go, they’re just too hard and you’ll find your knife goes blunt very quickly.
As an alternative, we recommend using a solid wood board made of something like oak or walnut. These softer materials allow edges to be held longer.
It’s also crucial to use the correct knife for the correct kitchen task. For example, using a non-serated blade to slice thick crusted bread can be detrimental for sharpness.
HOW TO SHARPEN YOUR KNIFE
Regardless of how well you care for your knife, even the sharpest blades will ultimately dull after heavy use. To overcome this we recommend using a Japanese whetstone to sharpen it (see our guide here). Or if you’d prefer, you can always send your Katto knives back to us for a free sharpening.
The good news, however, is that if you regularly hone your knife you should only have to sharpen your knife about once a year.