Knives are an essential kitchen tool we use daily to chop onions, dice tomatoes, filet fish, slice radishes, and more. Professional chef knives are very sharp, sturdy, and durable. Using the classic chef’s knife is a necessity whether you are a novice, a home cook, or a master chef.
Nowadays, you don’t have to look far to find professional kitchen cutlery for your home. However, note that these items come sharp out of the box, which means using them requires some know-how. Also, they need proper care and maintenance to stay in tip-top shape.
This article compiles a list of 13 things to avoid while using a professional chef’s knife.
13 Mistakes to Avoid While Using a Professional Chef’s Knife
1. Use Protective Covers
If you don’t cover a chef’s knife, you might cut yourself when rummaging through your drawer, looking for something. So, ensure to cover the knives before putting them in a drawer.
Besides the risk of an injury, your knife may get scratches from the other kitchen utensils in the drawer as they come into contact with each other. Handle professional knives with care and store them properly when not in use.
2. Avoid Glass Cutting Boards
Glass cutting boards are not designed for kitchen use. Hence, using them as a base to dice some veggies will surely damage the surface. Use wooden boards instead, which won’t risk your knife’s sharpness.
The size of the board should be slightly greater than the length of your professional chef’s knife. Lay your knife diagonally across the board. You can safely resume working if the board is around 2 inches longer than the knife.
3. Avoid Dishwashers
Never wash your professional chef’s knives in a dishwasher. The blades may get damaged, bent out of shape, or twisted, and the high temperature may also affect them.
Therefore, always wash them by hand with mild dish soap. Naturally, remain attentive so as not to cut yourself with the blade.
4. Don’t Use Dull Knives
Never use dull knives as they are dangerous for your fingers. When the blade gets dull, you must put in extra effort to cut through the food.
However, this is unsafe as you may lose control and cut your palm instead. To avoid this, make a habit of checking your knife’s sharpness.
5. Don’t Leave Your Knife in the Sink
Some people leave their dishes in the sink, soaked in water, until it’s time to wash them. Yet, you shouldn’t do the same with professional-grade knives.
Prolonged exposure to water can cause them to rust. Also, with so many dishes lying in the sink, you might cut yourself when reaching in.
6. Don’t Use Your Knife to Scrape Food
Scraping food with a knife seems harmless, and many people do it. Sometimes you might use it to scoop up food scraps before throwing them into the trash.
However, this activity dulls the blade of your knife, so you should shed this habit soon. Use a bench knife or the handle of a knife for scraping instead.
7. Don’t Keep Your Knife With Residual Food
We leave our knives on the kitchen counter after chopping food, which means there’s some of it left on the blade of the knife.
If we do this often, it might result in corrosion. Therefore, wash your professional chef’s knives immediately after use to avoid such damages.
8. Don’t Store Freshly Washed Knives
If you are not leaving your knife in the sink, you may put them in your drawer immediately after washing them.
Yet, this is also a common mistake that leads to rust forming on the blades. Instead, it’s better to dry the blades before placing them with the other utensils.
9. Don’t Place a Wet Knife on a Kitchen Block
Sometimes we place wet knives on the kitchen counter or knife block. While this won’t cause them to rust, it is still dangerous since it can lead to mold and other bacteria. So, leave it on a stand to dry in the air or dry it with a soft cloth.
10. Avoid Chopping in an up and Down Motion
When chopping vegetables, we usually adopt an up and down motion. Don’t use this with your professional chef’s knives.
Use a gentle swaying motion to chop your vegetables gently without causing damage to the blade. This is a learned skill, though.
11. Don’t Leave Your Knives on the Edge of Your Kitchen Counter
It is a mistake we make unconsciously, even though we know the risks. A knife near your kitchen counter’s edge can cause a bad accident.
Kids can come running into the kitchen and bump near the blade, causing it to fall. Therefore, avoid creating such risks at all costs.
12. Don’t Try to Catch a Falling Knife
If a knife falls off the kitchen counter, let it drop to the ground. You might reach out to catch it due to instinct, but try and stall your hand in those moments.
So, take a step back and let it fall to the ground while observing where it is falling so it won’t hurt your feet.
13. Don’t Use Your Knife Immediately After Sharpening
It’s good to sharpen your knife as often as you can. However, tiny pieces of the metal can cling to the blade’s surface afterward. To make things worse, these can get into the dish you’re preparing.
The metal pieces are microscopic and not visible to the naked eye. Therefore, wash the blade with water or use a soft cloth to wipe it before using it.
Professional chef knives are a great addition to your kitchen tools. They are super sharp, sturdy, and durable types of cutlery. As such, they excel at slicing, dicing, and chopping food.
However, learning how to avoid mistakes while using a professional chef knife is essential for your safety. For example, if you fail to re-sharpen the knife, tend to leave it in a drawer while still wet, or soak it in water for long, that’ll damage its surface.
Next, using it might prompt you to apply more force and accidentally cut yourself. Therefore, consider our points and try to change your habits if need be.