How to Care for Knives

Caring for and Maintaining Knives

Whether you're a novice cook or a serious professional, it's important to have a good set of knives. A basic knife set should include the following: carving knife, chef's knife, paring knife, serrated knife and mid-size utility knife. A knife holder and sharpening steel should also be included.

Here are some tips to help keep knives in good condition and preserve their sharpness:

  • Store knives in a slotted wooden block or on a magnetic strip. Knives stored loose in a kitchen gadget drawer are subject to abuse and may become dull or nicked.
  • Use cutting boards made of wood or plastic. Avoid cutting on ceramic, glass, marble or metal surfaces as these can dull a knife's sharp edge.
  • Avoid cutting through bones and frozen foods.
  • Don't use a knife to scrape chopped food off a cutting board. It's best to use a cutting board scraper made especially for this purpose.
  • Wash knives by hand, not in the dishwasher.