Maintaining Your Japanese Knife:
Tips and Tricks for Longevity
Understanding Japanese Knives
Japanese knives have a rich history deeply rooted in Japanese culture and culinary heritage. Traditional Japanese knives, or Wabōcho, are hand-forged with the utmost precision and care. They are crafted using high-carbon steel called hagane, known for its exceptional sharpness and edge retention. If you are looking for the best quality Japanese knives and experience excellent craftsmanship, Yakushi Knives would be the perfect pick.
Japanese knives are like various painter's brushes that come in different shapes and sizes, serving perfectly for all your cutlery needs. These knives have gained worldwide recognition all over the world for their superior craftsmanship and superior cutting performance.
You may find it hard to believe that these knives can improve the taste of your food, but trust us, we are not lying. Using a Japanese knife will make your cooking easier and the food tastier. Precision holds utmost importance when it comes to Japanese or any cooking. The manner in which the ingredients are cut can significantly impact the visual appeal of the food and even its taste and texture. This is where the significance of Japanese knives and knife maintenance becomes more apparent.
The importance of maintaining your Japanese knife for its longevity
Buying a high-quality Japanese knife is like making an investment. These blades are costly, considering the efforts and craftsmanship involved in designing them. And as you spent a good amount of money on your favorite Japanese knives, we are sure you don't want to opt for a random kitchen drawer for your kitchen knife storage.
Misusing your knife or handling it prematurely can lead to its early death, just like improper washing can impact how it performs. Additionally, exposing it to high temperatures while washing can affect the stainless steel blade, and the possible banging of its blade on other utensils can make it dull.
Another common thing that most people do is use a knife to scrape off the food. No matter what material chopping board you use, if you are consistently dragging the cutting edge of your knife on it, you are asking for trouble for your knife. Remember, it is a one-way ticket to a dull blade. That is why it is essential to take proper care, store it right and consider your knife's maintenance to ensure it lasts longer and performs well upon your expectations.
Tips And Tricks For Longevity
Keep Your Knife Clean After Each Use
Most Japanese kitchen knives are made of stainless steel or other corrosion-resistant materials. However, neglecting kitchen knife maintenance can still affect the edges and sides of your knives. This is especially true for carbon steel knives. Despite being a stronger material, the steel in them is diluted by carbon, making them more vulnerable to corrosion.
All you need to do for their maintenance is clean them with mild soap and hot water. If you are not planning to wash it right away, make sure you don't keep it soaked for a long time, as it can cause bacteria to build up.
Also, knives are likely to corrode after cutting certain acidic foods like lemons, tomatoes, onions, etc., so the best practice is to wash them after every use as soon as possible.
Use the Right Cutting Board
Never use your knife to cut on a marble countertop, steep tray, ceramic baking tray, or similar materials. These services are not designed for cutting.
Instead, use professional wooden cutting boards as they are softer than the abovementioned materials. Plastic or synthetic cutting boards are some other safe options. They are usually thinner, safer to use, easier to clean, and soft enough to keep your knife's blades sharp.
Maintain the Edges of Your Knife
It is crucial to consider Japanese knife maintenance, take care of your knife's edges, and keep it sharp at all times. And when it comes to maintaining sharp blades, there are two common methods: honing steel or a knife sharpener.
A honing steel is a thin metal rod used to realign the dull edge of a blade at the proper angle, smoothing out minor imperfections and restoring a straight, sharp cutting edge. It is a valuable tool often included in Japanese knife sets and highly recommended for maintaining the sharpness of your blades.
A knife sharpener removes small amounts of material from the blade's edge, resulting in a sharper edge. While faster and easier for beginners, it can reduce a knife's lifespan due to regular edge shaving.
If it suits you, there's another classic option for sharpening your knife - using a whetstone. By sliding the blade across the stone at the correct angle, the whetstone removes material from the blade, restoring its sharpness. This method allows precise control over the sharpening process and is favored by many professional chefs and knife enthusiasts.
Use Your Knife for the Intended Purpose
Use your kitchen knives only for cooking. Using it for things and tasks that are not kitchen-related will only make your knife dull. It is better to avoid cutting loose threads or opening packages with your knife if you want it to last longer. Also, don't try to open jars or cans with them; with this, your knives are more likely to bend, chip, break, and become dull.
To maximize the longevity of your Yakushi knives and keep them safe, it is important to reserve the specialized blades for particular tasks – boning knives for boning, serrated knives for cutting soft foods like tomatoes, bread, etc. without crushing them, filet knives for fileting, and cleavers for cleaving. Using knives outside of their main purpose will only increase the risk of damage to the blades and cause potential injuries.
It's time to focus on your kitchen knife maintenance for an excellent performance from your favorite knife. Taking care of your knife not only preserves its cutting edge but also enhances your overall culinary experience and safety in the kitchen. By recognizing the significance of proper knife storage and maintenance, you can ensure your Japanese knife's longevity and optimal performance.
And for the ultimate experience in Japanese knife craftsmanship, explore Yakushi’s professional chef knives. Their commitment to traditional techniques, exceptional quality, and innovative designs ensures you'll have a knife that meets your culinary needs and becomes a cherished kitchen companion.
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