General wear and tear will certainly dull your kitchen knives over time and with some blades, that can happen more quickly than with others. Your knives will require the occasional truing or sharpening - you cannot totally avoid that, but your actions can help reduce how often the edge needs a touch-up or serious maintenance.
While there are many ways you can protect your kitchen cutlery, there's a few things you should avoid if you want to keep your knives in good condition.
And given that some knives can be quite costly, being proactive can go a long way to protecting and keeping your knives ready for use.
Things That Will Dull Kitchen Knives: Keep Them Sharp and Ready for Kitchen Duty
1. Avoid cutting on glass: When selecting cutting boards, keep in mind that glass - though it looks very nice, is hard on knives. A better choice is a wooden cutting board for slicing, dicing and general food preparation. There's also a good variety of plastic chopping boards for general use. Though any surface can dull knives with use, your choice of cutting board can make a difference.
2. Not every kitchen knife is a utility blade. So avoid slicing into cardboard or clamshell packages with your Chef's or paring knives or slicing through paper with the boning knife, because these materials do dull the blades. A box cutter is the appropriate tool for opening packages and there's now quite a variety of openers for tough plastics. Include a utility knife for general household use, in your assortment of kitchen cutlery. A utility knife has an all-purpose serrated edge and reasonably strong blade making it ideal for various uses.
3. Avoid steel on steel. When storage is at a premium, it's quick to throw knives into a drawer, but besides the obvious safety hazard, blades rubbing together can quickly dull the edges. Likewise, when carving a turkey or roast, avoid hitting the carving fork with the knife blade.
4. Prying should be kept to a minimum: When slicing meat on a cutting board, some like to bend and drag the knife blade against the board as they complete the slice. That action can help to dull your knife. Slice the meat but keep contact with the board to a minimum.
5. Improper storage can dull (knife) blades. Storing knives properly can reduce the risk of injury, but it can also protect your cutlery from chipping or dulling knife edges. A wooden knife block is ideal for storing your sharp knives and if you go one step further by reversing the sharp blade in the block insert, that will keep it from rubbing unnecessarily against the wood.
It can be very frustrating when you find your knives too dull to carve the roast or slice a tomato, especially when you're hosting a dinner. A little preventative care can reduce the amount of times you have to sharpen or touch-up the knife edge, minimizing down time and keeping your kitchen knives ready for action.
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