Knives - Tips and Tricks

Apr 19, 2017

Sharpening SteelKnives should not be cleaned in the dishwasher unless the instructions indicate that they are dishwasher safe. The heat of a dishwasher affects the strength and elasticity of the metal blades, and the repeated exposure to hot water is not good for either carbon steel or wooden handles. Knives should be carefully washed by hand in soapy water, rinsed well and dried immediately.

Knives should be stored in a box with individual knife slots ore hung on a knife rack where they will not be dulled by rubbing against each other. The safest racks are slotted and should be securely attached to a wall or drawer, out of the reach of young children. If a magnetic rack is used, the magnets must be strong enough to hold the knives in place. A greasy knife will not adhere properly to a magnetic rack. If a knife holder is not available, knives should be stored in the protective jackets in which they were purchased.

Knives are designed for particular functions. For meat, a chef’s knife is used for chopping, cubing, mincing and dicing; a narrow thin-bladed knife for boning; and a cleaver for cutting through bone and for tenderizing. A knife with an eight to nine inch curved blade is used to carve roasts. The carving knife if usually part of a set which includes a matching fork and a steel for sharpening the knife. The slicer is used with the carver’s help, which holds the meat steady during cutting.  

A sharpening steel is used to keep a sharp edge on a quality knife over time if used regularly. The steel aligns the microscopic “teeth” of a knife edge which are bent during use, making the knife dull. Sharpening steels are mare of substances harder than the knife blades. They range from eight to fourteen inches, lengths of ten and twelve inches are the most popular. A steel should have a protective guard by the handle.


Lessons on Meat

Video Podcasts and Webinars

  • Grass or grain? Is there a definitively sustainable beef production system?


    The webinar examined the science relating to grass-fed and grain-fed beef in terms of sustainable... read more »

  • 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Update


    Kris Sollid, Registered Dietitian with the International Food Information Council and Sarah Romo... read more »

  • Meat in the Diet


    read more »

Social Media