A chef’s knife is a staple in many homes both traditional and contemporary around the world. Having a properly maintained chef knife is not only convenient, it is also safe to use. Despite the fact, most of us have these tools, it is alarming how many people are actually unaware of how to maintain and care for these types of knives. In addition, it seems that people are also uninformed when it comes to holding these knives.
Below is a brief guideline that will help you understand how to clean and maintain your chef’s knife as well as brief you on the safest way to handle the tool.
Handling of/ Holding the chef’s knife
Ever heard of the pinch grip? Experts opine that this is the method of holding the chef’s knife. In some quarters, people refer to this grip as the claw. Simply use your index finger and thumb to pinch in between the heel and spine of the knife. The rest of your fingers should be on the handle, as close to the bolster of the knife as possible.
The beauty of this grip is that it gives you all of the versatility you need during cutting motions. With this grip, you can make a number of different cuts such as the low and high ones, without exerting a lot of effort. The grip also gives you more control over the cutting motion.
Some people only hold the handle while others put their index finger on the spine of the knife. These two holding methods are not as efficient as the ‘claw’. They are not stable, which can impede the cutting process, or worse, can lead you to injure yourself.
Washing the chef’s knife
It is important to remember this clear guideline when you need to clean your chef’s knife. Never place knives in the dishwasher. Why? Mainly because they can cut you or a loved one when loading and unloading the machine.
Secondly, the forceful cyclical motion of the dishwashing machine will ruin the blade, making it dull and ineffective. The heat within the machine can destroy the handle. The detergents used in the dishwasher are too harsh for knives, and might cause the blade to rust or wear out.
Now that we have established that you should only hand wash the chef knife, let us move on to the process of washing it. Wash the knife with a mild soap and some water. The soap you are using should not be abrasive as this might damage the knife.
Another important point to remember is to never leave your chef knife in the sink especially when submerged in water. This is quite dangerous for the person washing the dishes if they do not know or perhaps have forgotten that there is a knife in the sink. In addition, leaving them in the sink can also result in the scratching, bending, or breaking of the blade or its tip. The best thing to do regarding washing a knife is to wash it immediately after use. Proceed to dry it and store it in its rightful place.
It is essential that you dry your knife immediately after you wash it. This will minimize the risk of the blade being dulled as well as reduce the risk of mould and mildew contamination.
Storing the knives
You need to have a special drawer for your chef knives. Do not place your knives in a drawer that contains other non-knife utensils. These utensils can damage the blade of the knife because of all the jostling that occurs when you are opening such drawers. If you are facing a space constraint in the kitchen and cannot find a drawer specifically for the knives, then it is best to use a knife sheath in order to protect the blade.
Using the knife
When cutting using the knife, please do so on a cutting board. Countertop surfaces are too hard for you to cut on. These surfaces will ruin your blade. Always ensure you use your knife on a cutting board preferably high quality wood boards such as those found at HouseByUs.