5 Basic Knife Safety Tips
Knife safety is critical in any home or commercial kitchen. Here are 5 basic safety tips to keep in mind when using knives.
1. Keep your knives sharp.
- A sharp knife not only works better but is also safer to use as dull knives can slip while cutting.
- Use a knife sharpener to maintain a sharp blade, or have knives professionally sharpened. Chef’s Choice is a highly recommended brand by professionals and two of their styles that make at-home sharpening easy are:
Chef’s Choice Manual Knife Sharpener — or — Chef’s Choice ProntoPro Knife Sharpener
- Check with knife and kitchen supply stores for information on knife sharpening clinics.
2. Use proper knife holding and cutting techniques.
- See – “Knife Skills: How to Hold a Knife”
- Always use a cutting board, not the palm of your hand. To prevent the board from sliding, secure it with rubber feet, a grippy cloth or damp dishcloth placed underneath.
- Work slowly and carefully as you gain more skill and confidence.
- Curl your fingers under (away from the blade) and hold food with your fingertips, keeping them out of the way of the sharp blade.
- Slice away from your hand and body to avoid injury.
- For dicing and mincing, place the tip of the knife on the cutting board and move the handle in an up and down motion.
- For optimum safety and cooking efficiency, attend a knife skills class.
For further information on basic knife skills, see 7 Useful Knife Skills to Learn Today from Cutco.
3. Use the right knife for the job.
- Consider blade size and flexibility of the blade when choosing which knife to use.
- Only use a knife for what it is intended, not for other kitchen tasks.
For further information, see “The Right Knife for the Job” from www.webrestaurantstore.com
4. Regularly, carefully and thoroughly clean your knives.
- Prevent contamination and increase safety by being mindful, thoroughly hand wash knives, and returning them to their proper storage place.
- Do not place knives in soapy water with other items to be cleaned; hand-wash knives separately and individually by holding the handle so you can clearly see the blade.
- It is not recommended to clean knives in a dishwasher as it can damage the blades and handles.
5. Store knives properly.
- Use a knife block, rack, case or knife roll to store clean knives to protect from injury and contamination.
- Keep knives stored out of reach of children.
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