How To Clean a Knife Block
by HexClad Cookware
Sure, you clean your knives every time you put them to use (or at least we hope you do), but when was the last time you cleaned your knife block?
Think about it this way: even if you shower regularly, you still need to clean the house you live in.
It may seem a bit tedious, but that little bit of dirt or debris residing in your knife block could dull your knives faster or chip away at the blades. The last thing you want is to neglect your knives’ home and then find out that it took an irreparable toll on your blades.
The point is that, believe it or not, your knife block needs a good scrub from time to time so that it can keep taking the best care of your knives.
It’s not a hard job, but it is a necessary (yet easy-to-forget) task that helps keep your knives their sharpest, cleanest, and most capable of handling any techniques you intend to master in the kitchen.
We’re here to give you a step-by-step guide to cleaning your knife block, and we’ll top it off with a little breakdown of the knives you’ll want to keep in your arsenal. Home chefs might not have to feed thousands of people every day, but having the right knives at your disposal will significantly improve your dishes and keep your family happy — so invest wisely.
How Should I Clean a Knife Block?
At this point, you know that you should clean your knife block, so let’s talk how.
We’ve broken it down into four easy steps that will get your knife block shining like new again. Follow these steps to get the dust and grime out of your block so that it doesn’t transfer to your knives.
Step One: Shake Out Any Crumbs
The first step is to shake out any crumbs that might be living in the slots for your knives.
(Well, the first, first step is to remove any and all knives from the block, taking care to put them somewhere safe, but we hope you know that.)
Next, it’s time to turn the knife block upside down to get crumbs and debris out. Shaking the block or tapping the back of it can help dislodge anything in there that’s holding on for dear life — and doing it over the trash can save you a lot of mess.
Then, turn it back upright, and use a pipe cleaner or a small baby bottle brush to pull any lingering dust that may still be trapped in the slots. This is the most effective way to ensure that you’ve removed as much of the debris as possible.
Step Two: Hand-Wash the Knife Block
Use warm soapy water and a soft sponge to clean any debris or grease off of the exterior of the knife block.
Do this gently: using too much water or soap may leave residue behind. Even worse, the excess water could eat away at your knives or even create buildup that eventually turns into mold.
Step Three: Hand-Dry the Knife Block
Wipe and pat your knife block gently with a towel until it is completely dry.
Any moisture left behind, no matter how insignificant you may think it is, could become a huge problem if left to settle into the corners of your knife block. Be thorough about this part — you might have to use a new towel if the first one becomes too damp.
Step Four: Heat-Dry the Knife Block
No matter how much you wipe your knife block, there will likely be some moisture in certain areas that you won’t be able to remove with just a towel and your hand.
For these spots, use a blow dryer to clear out any residual moisture that may be lurking in the dark depths of the knife slots.
It might take you a few extra minutes to complete this step, but think of how much time and money you’re saving in the long run. That, and you can rest easy knowing that your knives aren’t being rusted over or chipped while you’re sleeping.
What Should You Keep in Your Knife Block?
Now that you are prepared to keep that gorgeous knife block clean, let’s fill it with only the best knives around. Buying from HexClad means purchasing Japanese steel knives that are made to go the distance.
They’re crafted with a gorgeous Damascus steel design, and in addition to being easy on the eyes, Damascus provides you with superior utility as well. Since the layers of steel are folded onto one another, the blade’s integrity is reinforced, helping to keep your knife stronger for longer than the competition.
An 8” Chef’s Knife
A chef’s knife is the most standard and traditional knife that any cook has; this is going to be your everyday knife. Due to its incredible versatility, it is able to perform a multitude of different tasks in the kitchen.
Think of the chef’s knife as your sous chef with significantly fewer opinions. You need someone to mince some onions, and your chef’s knife is more than up to the task.
But, oh no, you also need someone to cut salmon filets. Who could possibly handle a job like this?
Your chef’s knife, that’s who.
An 8” Serrated Bread Knife
A serrated bread knife is another one of those knives that you’ll find yourself using all the time.
We mean it, bread knives are insanely beneficial due to the blade’s unique shape. Bread knives stand alone in how they allow you to cut through bread without smashing it or ruining the crust.
The knife itself is strong, but the serrated edge is just delicate enough to masterfully slice through a loaf of bread.
A 7” Santoku Knife
The word “santoku” is Japanese for “the three virtues.” The santoku knife is utilized in three key ways: slicing, dicing, and mincing.
In Japanese kitchens, the santoku knife is standard. This knife can do much of what a chef’s knife can do, speaking to its prominence and importance when cooking.
A 5” Utility Knife
The utility knife can be used in a variety of ways, but its main purpose is to cut ingredients that are too small for a standard chef’s knife. Many ingredients require a more delicate hand, and that is where the utility knife really shines.
Since it’s such a durable instrument, it also has the ability to slice through more sizeable items. However, due to the small size of the blade, it isn’t intended for those larger jobs. Instead, it’s a knife you would employ when you need a bit of finesse to prepare veggies for your meal.
A 3.5” Paring Knife
A paring knife is one of the smaller options you should keep in the kitchen, but don’t let its small size fool you. A paring knife is a highly versatile tool. You can use it to prep garnishes, devein shrimp, and even trim fat with expert precision.
The Essential Knives for Your Kitchen
This step-by-step guide gives you all the know-how you need in order to get and keep your knife block clean for years to come. It’s not the most fun job, but this upkeep will ensure that your knives are in it for the long haul.
Meanwhile, the knives featured in this article make up the beginnings of a perfect set that can tackle just about any cutting technique. It’s not easy learning how to chiffonade, but it can be a whole lot easier when you buy the best knives on the market.