On every kitchen counter, a knife block is one of the most noticeable items. Knife blocks exist in a wide range of styles, some of which contain an incredible amount of knives, ranging from carving knives to kitchen shears. Knife blocks frequently come in sets with matching knives.
Uses of Knife Block
They serve basically three purposes as knife storage devices:
- They keep your knives in order.
- They make your kitchen smaller.
- To lower the chance of injury, they keep the knives in a secure area.
They merely assist in maintaining order and prevent individuals from being injured. A knife block assists a chef in maintaining their “mise en place,” which is French for “set in place.” When everything is where it should be, a chef’s life is much simpler.
Types of Knife Blocks
Knife blocks come in many shapes and sizes, and what a person chooses largely depends on their kitchen setup.
Wood Knife Block
The most common and basic is the one you’ve undoubtedly seen the most: an upright wood block with slots for various blades. Because it doesn’t use a drawer or another valuable area, storing the knives upright in their proper place takes up counter space but helps save drawer space.
Drawer Knife Block
These can be placed within a drawer to conserve counter space while still having separate locations for each knife. This can be your best option if you have more drawer space than counter space.
Self-Sharpening Knife Block
Many knife manufacturers sell self-sharpening kitchen knife sets that have knife sharpeners built into the knife block. Although it is a good idea, the outcomes of these sharpening slots are inconsistent. A “sharpening” block can help a knife keep its edge, but they don’t actually sharpen the blade and could waste metal. They won’t ever fully take the place of traditional knife sharpening techniques.
Magnetic Knife Block
A magnetic knife block that is mounted on the wall is another sort of knife block. These arrangements have the extra benefit of being orderly while saving counter and drawer space. Since you definitely don’t want fallen knives in your kitchen, it is advisable to drill these into the wall rather than use double-sided tape to secure them. A magnetic knife holder is practical, identifies which knife is which, and is hygienic.
Types of Knives Kept in a Knife Block
No matter the kind of knife, cutting is always what it does. In actuality, a home cook only requires a limited set of utensils to complete the majority of tasks. For the majority of home chefs, a 3- or 5-piece cutlery set is more than adequate. For any home kitchen, it is best to have a chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife. Almost every task should be manageable with these three knives.
The Chef’s Knife
The most fundamental item that any home cook requires in their kitchen is a good chef’s knife. This is the knife you would choose if you could only own one.
Between 6 and 12 inches long, a chef’s knife often has a long blade with an upward curve at the end, much like the Zenware knives. This versatile chef’s knife has a broad blade and may be used to cut, dice, and slice meats, seafood, fruits, and vegetables at home.
There are two varieties of chef’s knives in Western culinary tradition: French and German. The sole distinction is that the German version has a longer curvature to the blade, whilst the French version has a straighter blade to the end. Which blade works better is completely a matter of preference; neither blade is better than the other. Most home cooks wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
The Paring Knife
A paring knife is essentially a chef’s knife that is smaller; it is a useful all-purpose tool that is required in any kitchen. They come in a variety of sizes, but are typically between a few and several inches long, with a grip that is more compact and a blade that is more slender than a chef’s knife.
Peeling and chopping fruits and vegetables is made simple with a paring knife. Its diminutive size prevents it from rocking on a cutting board like a chef’s knife, thus dicing or mincing requires a lot of extra work. The finest tool to use, however, is a paring knife if your objective is, for example, to peel and cut potatoes for boiling or roasting.
The Serrated Knife
A serrated knife, which is frequently mistaken for or called a bread knife, is ideal for cutting foods with a hard outside and a soft interior. This is due to the knife’s saw-like behavior, which allows it to smoothly glide through the interior while ripping through the exterior.
The fact that the serrated knife is ideal for slicing a crusty loaf of bread is a classic illustration and the reason it is frequently referred to as a bread knife. A serrated knife rips the crust without hurting or squashing the loaf, whereas a chef’s knife with a flat blade runs the danger of doing so because of the effort required to cut through the crust.
As opposed to a chef’s knife, tomatoes, sausages, and citrus fruits are other foods that a serrated knife is more suited for cutting. One more time, using a chef’s knife, especially one that isn’t as sharp as it should be, runs the danger of squashing any of them or, at best, producing uneven slices.
Should knives be stored in knife blocks?
The National Sanitation Foundation studied the dirtiest spaces in typical households in 2013. The knife block was among the can openers, components of the refrigerator (particularly the meat compartment), and other obviously problematic regions. It turns out that mold thrives in gloomy areas that retain moisture and are difficult to clean.
Knife blocks are actually among the least preferred methods of storing for a variety of reasons:
Knife blocks may become contaminated if the knives are not cleaned thoroughly or if the block is not frequently cleaned.
As a result of the constant scraping that occurs each time a knife is taken out of or reinserted into a knife block, knives get more and more dull over time.
Counter space in the kitchen is wasted by knife blocks.
You may need to look more than once to locate the precise knife you need if you don’t have your knife set memorized because knife blocks conceal your knife blades.
A magnetic knife holder or an in-drawer knife holder are usually better options.
How to Clean a Knife Block
To begin, take out the blades, and place the block over a trash can upside-down. Shake to get rid of all the stray crumbs. To remove any debris that initially doesn’t come out, use a little vacuum attachment. To get the crumbs looser, you can also use a pipe cleaner.
Next, use hot, soapy water to wash the knife block’s exterior. To access the slots, use a small brush, such as a bottle brush for babies. Rinse it, then place it upside-down to completely dry.
Your knife holder will be the cleanest one on the block if you wash your knives well after each use and clear out your knife block frequently (once a month if you use your knives virtually every day).
As long as you wash the block and the blades well, utilizing a knife block is safe. A decent knife holder protects knives from harm and keeps you and your loved ones safe.