WÜSTHOF Cares is a knife care education series aimed at helping home cooking enthusiasts understand how to properly care for and maintain their knives. Following our advice, in this three part series, will ensure premium performance and maximum enjoyment of your WÜSTHOF knives. Any questions? Email us! firstname.lastname@example.org
Knives are mankind's oldest tool, and today, the most used tool in the kitchen. Unfortunately, it’s a tool that many may know but understand the least. Something we've noticed at WÜSTHOF recently is an increase in emails and Facebook posts about how to properly care for knives. We've put together a three part series covering basic cleaning, storage and edge care.
PART ONE: CLEANING
One of the greatest misnomers in our industry is the term: stainless steel. Did you know it doesn’t mean that the steel cannot stain? It's a term that actually is meant as two words: STAINS. LESS. Our most expensive stainless appliances and cookware need basic cleaning care to look their best and stay in tip-top shape, and knives are no exception.
DID YOU KNOW?
TODAY'S PREMIUM KNIVES ARE DESIGNED TO BE DISHWASHER SAFE ONLY DUE TO MARKET DEMANDS.
Dishwashers are actually not kind to knives. You run the risk of potential edge damage when the knives knock or brush up against other items during the cleaning cycle. Minerals, heat and caustic food residue can all play a part in leaving markings on the face of stainless knives. Therefore, we highly encourage you to wash your investment by hand with a soft nylon brush, a little mild detergent and warm water.
Knives, if cared for properly, will last you a lifetime and cleaning is part of that care. Drying by hand after washing will avoid water spots and potential mineral deposits from marring the finish of your knives.
IF YOU DO END UP WITH SOME MARKS ON YOUR KNIVES, CLEAN THEM WITH A GENTLE CLEANER SUCH AS BAR KEEPERS FRIEND.
After reading Part One: Cleaning, all of your knives should now be shiny and properly cleaned. Now, where do they rest to await their next adventure of cutting and dicing? Of all the prep tools in your kitchen, knives are the only ones with dedicated storage units and there are sound reasons for that. WÜSTHOF knives certainly are sharp, so make sure to protect not only the longevity of performance but also, our fingers.
PART TWO: STORAGE
There are four ways to safely store your knives:
Blocks come in a variety of materials, colours and finishes depending on how much you want to spend and what your design preferences are. Before buying your block, make sure of two very important things. First, your knives should fit in to the width of the slot, right to the bolster (where the blade ends). Exposed edges are not safe. And secondly,ensure that the tips of your knives are safely tucked inside your block and that no tips are sticking through the bottom.
Drawer Knife Tray
These trays fit nicely into any standard kitchen drawer and come in varying widths, depending on how many blades you own or plan to own. Same as your knife block, make sure your blade lengths and depths fit accordingly.
A more modern twist, this naked look leaves your blades exposed as the face of the knife secures to the magnetized bar which is safely attached to your backsplash. Magnet bars come in varying lengths, materials and finishes to suit your style. Use your imagination on where to mount your bar if you prefer to have blades protected or out of site. Just make sure it fits and that you can safely secure both the bar and the weight of the knives.
A simple blade guard is a sufficient storage option for your knives when used and then carefully placed into a drawer. Fit is as important with a blade guard as with all other storage options. Make sure it is snug and won't slip off.
To view the full gallery of WÜSTHOF's extensive line of storage options: click here.
It is often thought that good and expensive knives do not require care. You now know that surely isn't so. As we come full circle in the WÜSTHOF Cares series, we’ve taught you how to properly clean your knives, shown you the best storage options and finally, we educate you on how to keep that edge nice as fresh as the day you bought it.
No knife stays sharp forever. At some point, they all need a little TLC. However, WÜSTHOF knives are unique in many ways, especially when it comes to the edge. In our quest to continually advance our product for performance, comfort and aesthetics, we spent over 4 years researching a new factory edge application. The finished product has improved our level of sharpness by over 20% and increased our edge retention by double.
We call this new edge PEtec - Precision Edge Technology - which is perhaps one of the greatest advancements in our industry since the introduction of stainless steel. So, what does any of this have to do with edge care? Well, everything!
Knives get dull. This is a fact. It isn't so much because of the food that we cut, but what we cut on. With every slice, chop and dice, our knives cut into the boards below the food. It is the cutting board that pushes back against the cutting edge, displacing the "teeth" and dulling the knife.
“Under magnification, knives have tiny “teeth”. It’s these teeth that allow a sharp knife to glide through food.”
There are two ways to put that factory edge back on your knives:
Honing a knife is something we have all seen butchers and professional chefs do. It is where the knife is passed along a smooth long rod, alternating sides of the knife with every stroke. This process is designed to push the existing "teeth" of the knife back into alignment and ideally done after every use. This is our preferred method of edge care and where PEtec really shines.
For tips on how to use a honing steel, click here.
Over time, even while using the honing steel regularly, your knife will still need to be sharpened. Use a sharpening device as per the instructions, then put it away and go back to your steel. This cycle will keep your knives in peak cutting shape and as reliable as the first day you bought them.
“Waiting until your knives get dull to sharpen them can actually shorten the lifespan of a knife quite dramatically as every pass of a sharpening device removes steel from the blade.”
Knives need to be sharpened when they get dull. This is the act of removing steel from the cutting edge to create a new edge. There are many devices for this. The most common and easy-to-use are pull-through sharpeners. A diamond and ceramic sharpening rod is for intermediate level expertise and the most challenging to use tool, a sharpening stone. All of these devices use varying levels of abrasives to remove steel and create a new edge.
For more info on how to use these devices, click here.
... and there you have it! Take care of your knives and they'll take good care of you for many years to come.