7 mistakes you're making with your knife

They're one of the most important tools for food prep, and yet most of us aren't treating our knives with the care they deserve.

You'll find a set of knives in every kitchen, but did you know that how you care for them can drastically impact how effective they are?

Pyrex ambassador, Georgia Barnes, shares her tips for knife care so you can make the most out of your utensils and get the best cut every time.

You’re holding the knife incorrectly

Holding the knife incorrectly will not only put you at risk of injury, but it can also make the job at hand much harder than it needs to be.

"Ensure you have a flat, even work surface," advises Georgia. "Always hold the knife by the handle with a straight wrist and - this sounds like common sense - but always keep your fingers away from the blade, including your free hand."

Georgia says that attempting fruit ninja at home is risky and is not going to improve your chopping skills!

You’re using the wrong part of the knife to cut

Kitchen knives should do the hard work for you, so if you’re struggling to prep food with them, you could be making a crucial error.

"Different knives are made for different jobs," says Georgia. "Make sure you’re using the right one for the right job and that you’re using the blade for what it’s been designed for. Big knives aren’t always better!"

They aren't being stored correctly

I don't know about you, but I throw most of my knives into the drawer with all the other. Apparently, this is a big 'no-no'.

"Knives need to be looked after and definitely aren’t meant to be thrown into the abyss that is ‘that utensil drawer’ that we all have," says Georgia.

"Keep them separate and protected by using a knife block, magnetic wall strip, blade protectors or in a separate drawer. Or like me, you can also use a knife wrap," she offers.

They’re too blunt to use

This is a really common error the majority of cooks make. "People buy knives, but don’t realise you need to sharpen them to keep them up to speed," says Georgia.

"If your knife is squashing the tomato instead of slicing it - it’s in desperate need of a sharpen. Purchase an easy to use sharpening tool or steel to use at home regularly, or you can even take them to get sharpened professionally," she says.

You’re washing them incorrectly

Did you know the way you wash your knives can also have an impact on their effectiveness?

"Absolutely no knives in the dishwasher, and no knives in the sink! Wash and dry your knives are each use. They’ll thank you for it," says Georgia

You’re using the wrong cutting board

According to Georgia, If your work station isn’t set up correctly, it doesn’t matter how good the knife is.

"Choose a board that’s going to give you the right amount of space for whatever it is you’re preparing," she says. "Pop a damp cloth or tea towel under your cutting board to stop the chopping board from sliding around on the bench, and always remember safe hygiene practices when preparing your food. Use a different board for vegetables, raw meat and cooked meat."

You’re using them for ad-hoc jobs

"Good quality kitchen knives are designed for food, and food only," says Georgia. "Using them to trim the hedges, take the top off a bottle or hack through something you know isn’t edible will only damage the blade and cost you more in the long run," she warns. 

So, make sure your knives stay where they should, and educate the whole family about when to use them. And if all else fails - buy a pair on good scissors to deter the temptation!

Stream or watch new episodes of Masterchef: The Professionals from 18th March, 7.25pm on Lifestyle.

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