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How to take care of your knives

Keep your knives sharp and safe with tips from Aric Geesaman, Owner & Operator of Ash Blaeds.Here’s what we learned today about knife use, care and safety:

1. Choose the correct knife for the job. A good chef knife will do 90% of what you need a kitchen knife to do, with a paring knife covering most of the rest. Still, don’t pick a knife that is too large or too small for the job. And know the limitations of your knife. Your grandma’s 6″ butcher knife may have gone through hundreds of chickens in it’s day, but it’s not the right knife for a butternut squash, for example. And a cheap, blister pack knife isn’t going to hold its edge for as long as a handmade knife when taking on tough tasks.

2. Make sure your knife is SHARP! Aric shows what that looks like by cutting a piece of paper, allowing you to better control the knife, making certain it moves only in the direction you want it to. Dull knives take extra effort and move erratically through a lot of food items, increasing your risk of injury.

3. How to HONE a knife. Once you can no longer keep your knife feeling sharp through honing, it’s time for sharpening. You can either learn this skill, or bring it to a professional like Aric.

4. How to hold a knife and typical produce – pinch grip

5. Use the right cutting board. End grain hard wood if possible, but some exotics are just as hard, and can also be used. Distant second are those waxy boards used in restaurants. Never glass, stainless steel, granite or composite counter tops. The manufacturer may say you can cut on your granite counters, but trust me, they WILL ruin your edge.

6. Hand wash, dry and put a drop of oil in your blades before storing them, ideally on a magnetic strip, or in some kind of knife rack or block that keeps the blades from dinging against each other. So, you’ll have the safest, most enjoyable cutting experience in the kitchen. The more you enjoy preparing food, the more you’ll do it. A knife is a tool, meant to do a very specific job, which is to separate food items. Keep it sharp, and let it do the work.

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