August 05, 2021 4 min read

6 KNIFE MISTAKES TO AVOID

Whether you’re a professional chef or simply love to experiment on your own in the kitchen, there’s nothing like having a great set of cooking knives or a professional chef knife set. As one of today’s leading chef knife manufacturers, the team from Messermeister offers a wide range of knife sets to making cooking easier and more efficient. We understand that working with knives can bring about some safety concerns, especially while you’re keeping in a busy kitchen.

That’s why here, we’ve collected some of the common knife mistakes people make so you can avoid them and cook your meals safely, as well as keep your valuable knives in great condition!

  1. Using a Dull Knife

One of the top mistakes that people make when using knives in the kitchen is using ones that haven’t been sharpened in ages. Not only will duller knives make it nearly impossible to make precise cuts, but they can also be dangerous, slipping and sliding on the cutting board. For those using their knives more than a few times a week, sharpening them with a sharpening stone and honing steel is highly recommended.

  1. Holding the Knife Improperly

Another important aspect of using knives in the kitchen, whether you’re a professional or simply cooking at home, is holding the knife properly. Holding the knife at the base, and allowing your left hand guide it, is a good rule of thumb for beginners when they’re learning knife techniques; it helps avoid cuts and slips. However, if you’re serious about cooking and will be using cooking knives on a regular basis, taking a knife skills class is a good idea.

  1. Ignoring Your Honing Steel

This piggybacks off point one...don’t ignore your honing steel! If you’ve bought a set of knives, they likely came with a stainless-steel rod or honing steel that’s used to realign the edge of a knife blade. It should be used aftersharpening your knife with a stone to help maintain your knife edge. Don’t rely solely on your honing steel to keep your knife sharp! You can visit our knife maintenance page here to learn more about how to care for your knife blades.

  1. Skipping the Cutting Board

When dicing, slicing, and chopping, you should always be using a quality cutting board (we recommend wood as it doesn’t dull or damage knife blades like other materials). Cutting on hard surfaces like tables or countertops, or plates, will quickly dull the edge of your knife blade and can even chip your knife. When it comes to choosing the best wooden cutting board for your needs, we recommend a hardwood cutting board, with a medium-soft firmness that will keep your knives in good shape.  Wooden cutting boards are also stain-resistant, unlike other materials.

  1. Putting Your Knives in the Dishwasher

Quality knives are an investment, and they should be cared for properly, which is why you should avoid putting your knives in the dishwasher at all costs. Washing your knives in the dishwasher can ruin both the blades and handles of your knives. This is because placing your knives in the dishwasher subjects them to high heat, humidity, and abrasive detergents, all of which can easily cause irreparable damage. Not only can you damage your knives by placing them in the dishwasher, but you can also damage your dishwasher should they shift during the process.

Lastly, when washing your knives in the dishwasher you run a serious risk of cutting yourself when loading and unloading them, so it’s always best to wash them carefully by hand with warm soap and water.

  1. Using the Wrong Knife

Picking the wrong type of knife for a kitchen task is another common mistake that’s easily avoided. It’s no secret that there are different knives for different tasks, so be sure you’re using the proper blade. Whether you’re julienning carrots or slicing up a chicken, there’s a knife built for that specific task; the options are virtually endless. If you’re not sure what knife to use, ask someone else in the kitchen or do some research on your own until you’re confident you’re using the right one. For budding chefs or newbies in the kitchen, having a chef’s knife set will give you all of the essentials, like a chef’s knife, a paring knife, a bread knife, and a santoku knife.

Other great additions to a traditional chef’s knife set include a utility knife, kitchen shears, filet knives, and boning knives. There are also more specialized knives, such as scalloped knives designed with a serrated blade to cut fruits, vegetables, and other foods, as well as sashimi knives designed for sushi chefs.

Explore our how-to videos and check out our selection of cooking knives, professional chef knife sets, and more.

Founded in 1981, Messermeister has become one of today’s leading manufacturers of premier, handcrafted chef’s knives, kitchen cutlery, and other tools. Our mission is to bring innovation and creativity to kitchens around the world while fashioning some of today’s most high-quality, and reliable knife sets available.

Although many of today’s leading knife manufacturers have moved in a different direction when it comes to the forging process, Messermeister remains one of the few knife makers in the world, who still manufacture knives in the traditional manner, using a hot-drop, hammer-forged process enabling us to pay close attention to every detail to deliver a precision and quality like no other.

Messermeister knows how important it is to keep your knives sharp and ready to use, which is why we also offer The Knife For Life™ Sharpening Program, providing sharpening services for all fine-edged Messermeister knives.

To learn more about how to sharpen your knife skills, check out the Knife Skills page. To see which knives and kitchen equipment are right for you, explore more in our online store today.


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