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Old 04-16-2007, 05:57 PM   #1
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Use and care of kitchen knives

There are a lot of knowledgeable people on this website, and at this time I am turning to you again.

My large Henckel knife was frustrating me because it was so very dull. I’m having it professionally sharpened. My wife and I have a large cutting board as well as a large wooden cutting board. I mentioned that I would like a little cutting board for the times when you just want to crush a couple of garlic bulbs or cut some chives.

My wife picked up a small glass cutting board today. I’m a but (a lot, actually) concerned about using a knife on a hard glass surface. Will this dull the knife prematurely or is this “accepted practice”?

Your comments will be appreciated.

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Old 04-16-2007, 06:30 PM   #2
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Camper, you are right to be concerned. Aside from wood, those white (or other color) plastic boards are the ones youi should be using.

Glass is too hard and will kill your knife's edge.
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Old 04-16-2007, 08:56 PM   #3
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i have a calphalon santoku knife that i was all kinds of in love with, and it stayed right sharp for a good long time after i bought it...right up until the ONE time i used it on a glass cutting board (big dinner party, i was bringing in the fajitas, cut & served on that glass board). instantly dull by the end of the night.

wood is SO the way to go. just keep separate boards for raw meat and anything else, and you're set.
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Old 04-16-2007, 09:14 PM   #4
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as for sharpening...a diamond hone will keep your knife sharp with simple to use ease. scope the web for one and give it a try
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Old 04-16-2007, 10:24 PM   #5
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Another tip: For those using knife blocks with vertical slots, store your knives upside down to prevent the blade from rubbing on the block.
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Old 04-16-2007, 11:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeekinz
Another tip: For those using knife blocks with vertical slots, store your knives upside down to prevent the blade from rubbing on the block.
Bingo, Jeeks. That's what Buck and I have been doing for years. It makes sense to protect the newly-sharpened blades.
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Old 04-17-2007, 11:59 AM   #7
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Actually, bamboo is currently the best material for cutting boards. It doesn't warp or crack like wood, and it doesn't harbor germs like the synthetic boards do. I have a solid bamboo end grain cutting board that measures 12 x 15 x 1 1/2 inches thick, which is where I do most of my food preperation. I also have an oval shaped solid maple cutting board with a "drainage ditch" on one side that I use almost exclusively for carving cooked meat and poultry.

The glass cutting board your wife bought is, however, an excellent place to knead dough. I have an 18 x 24 inch tempered glass cutting board on my work table, which is where I do most of my baking chores.
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Old 05-06-2007, 07:43 AM   #8
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A few minutes learning to care for knives can serve you the rest of your life. You need a whett stone (less than 1 ukp) and a steel (about 18 ukp) Place the whett stone one a cloth on your work surface with the rough side up. Draw the knife edge from heal to tip using equal pressure along the blade lenghth at a fairly shallow angle. Do this equally on both sides until sharp and then use the other side to get a finer edge. Finish in the normal way with the steel. If your knives are very bad your butcher may be able to help for a small fee and then you can keep them this way yourself. Blunt or dull knives are very dangerous and make what should be a pleasure a real chore.
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Old 05-06-2007, 08:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markgill
A few minutes learning to care for knives can serve you the rest of your life. You need a whett stone (less than 1 ukp) and a steel (about 18 ukp) Place the whett stone one a cloth on your work surface with the rough side up. Draw the knife edge from heal to tip using equal pressure along the blade lenghth at a fairly shallow angle. Do this equally on both sides until sharp and then use the other side to get a finer edge. Finish in the normal way with the steel. If your knives are very bad your butcher may be able to help for a small fee and then you can keep them this way yourself. Blunt or dull knives are very dangerous and make what should be a pleasure a real chore.
Honing your knives with a sharpening steel to maintain the edge is one thing,

but actually sharpening them yourself is not as cut and dry as this sounds, there is skill involved...i would definitely do far more research before you decide to sharpen your own knives, especially if they are high end
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Old 05-06-2007, 09:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeekinz
Another tip: For those using knife blocks with vertical slots, store your knives upside down to prevent the blade from rubbing on the block.
Great tip! Thanks!

Has anyone seen the "new" (at least to me) cutting boards called, I think, Epicurian. They claim to not harbor bacteria and not be dulling to blades. It is not wood nor plastic nor glass. They come in all sizes and in a brownish color and black.
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