The chef’s knife is one of the essential tools in the kitchen for both professional chefs and amateur cooks alike. Many chefs will even say that their chef’s knife is the only tool that they need in the kitchen! A chef’s knife requires specific storage and care to keep it handy and sharp. Have you ever wondered what the best way to store your knife is? We did the research, so you don’t have to!
Your chef knife should always be stored in a dry location to limit the amount the moisture that the blade comes into contact with. There are a few locations that work well:
- Magnetic wall strips
- Kitchen Drawer
- Knife Block
Knowing how to store and care for your knife will keep it in top shape for prepping large meals from holidays to small family gatherings. Keep reading as we discuss the above tips further and answer any question you may have!
What’s the Best Way to Store a Chef’s Knife For a Long Term?
Let's take a close look at our options. The following solutions can help keep your chef knife dry and well-maintained, and yet easily accessible. Just keep in mind to always wash and dry the knife before storage (we'll address that later in this article).
Magnetic Wall Strips
Wall strips are one of the best ways to store a chef’s knife as they do not require the blade to come in contact with the cutting edge much, which will keep the knife sharp and reduce the risk of damage. They are both safe, convenient, and come in a variety of colors and sizes to perfectly complement any kitchen décor!
Wall strips can be mounted on many kitchen objects, such as at the end of a cupboard, above counters, and the side of a refrigerator. Due to the way they are mounted, knives are easily visible, which makes picking out the right knife both more comfortable and faster.
When it comes to chef’s knives, most chefs agree to never store the knife in a loose drawer with other utensils. The chef’s knife will scrape against other kitchen knives, forks, and spoons, which could damage the blade and cause it to dull faster. Storing knives this way can also be risky as the knife will be unsheathed and could cut your hand or fingers.
If you must store your knives in a drawer, be sure to dry them thoroughly after washing, and place in an appropriately sized knife sheath.
Wooden knife blocks are the most popular way to store knives of any kind. Chefs love that knife blocks are a convenient way to organize their tools, and home cooks love the aesthetic that they bring to the kitchen. Additionally, knife blocks are kept on the counter, usually next to where most of the cutting is done; this offers quick access to the tools and eliminates the time it takes digging through drawers searching for the right knife.
Wait, Are Knife Blocks Bad For Chef’s Knives?
There are some things to consider if using a knife block to store your chef’s knife. The knife slots allow for dust and other debris to enter, which can make cleaning difficult. The block itself cannot be put under hot water or in a dishwasher as the water would cause the wood to crack and expand.
Knife blocks can also be a double-edged sword, and continue taking the knife out and putting it back in will cause the blade to be dull over time. When taking out a knife from a block, make sure to grab it from the spine while gently pressing it against the wood; this will ensure that the blade dulls as little as possible while removing it.
Another thing to consider is that knife blocks can be rather expensive, and some of the slots are pre-sized and will not fit every brand of knife correctly or, in some cases, at all. The shape and design of the block will also cause it to take up precious space on your countertop.
So are knife blocks bad for chef’s knives? No, they are not. It just comes down to your preference.
Should You Ever Put a Chef’s Knife in the Sink?
Now that we’ve talked about where you can store your chef’s knife let’s talk about one place where you should never put the knife: the kitchen sink. Most sinks are stainless steel, and when stainless steel gets wet and soapy, it can become slippery. You might be wondering, why would this be an issue for a knife? The answer is simple: the stainless steel scraping on the blade will cause it to dull faster. As the soapy knife always slips away and hits the steel of the sink, it will dull faster as the two come in contact. Keeping your chef’s knife out of the sink will preserve it longer.
A more crucial reason for keeping knives out of sinks is safety. The soap and water that builds up at the bottom of the sink will make it difficult to see anything inside. If there is a sharp knife at the bottom of the sink that is obscured by soap and water, the blade can easily slice a finger or leave a gash in someone’s hand who might not know that knife is in the sink. While this may seem unlikely, it is more common than you might think!
How Do You Sanitize a Chef’s Knives?
There are a few ways to sanitize your chef’s knife properly. Some people will boil their knives in water for a few minutes to kill off any bacteria. Others will use an alcohol-based solution, or even hand sanitizer, and wipe-down their knives with that. However, one thing that you should never do is use bleach on your knife as it could damage it.
How Do You Properly Wash a Chef’s Knife?
First and foremost, never put a chef’s knife in the dishwasher! This will quickly ruin the edge and dull the blade. When it comes to cleaning and washing your knife, doing it by hand works best. It is best to wash your knife as soon as possible after you’re done using it; this will ensure that food does not stick or harden to the blade and make it harder to clean.
When cleaning your knife, run it under warm water; this will not only help to clean it, but also disinfect it as well. A sponge or damp cloth and dish soap should also be used to ensure thorough cleaning and wipe away any food particles that may have stuck to the knife. Remember, safety first! Always clean your knife with the blade facing away from you to avoid injury!
Store your chef knife the right way
Knife storage may not seem like it is that important, but it is an essential component in making sure your chef’s knife lasts. Where you keep your knife and how you clean it all comes together to ensure that your blade stays sharp. It is incredible to think that something as simple as storing your knives in a kitchen cabinet can influence how your next meal goes, but it does play a crucial role.