Chefs, whether experienced or not, know that quality knives are essential to the success of a kitchen. Of all kitchen knives, carbon steel knives are a must, especially if you take your culinary research seriously.
While professional carbon steel knives can be very expensive, you can also find excellent carbon steel knives and create real works of art for connoisseurs.
However, professionals and beginners need to learn that these knives need to be properly maintained and manufactured. So today we’re going to discuss and tell you how to maintain your carbon steel knives and give you some tips on how to maintain them!
Why are carbon steel knives so expensive for cooks?
Before we go into the area of dosage, no need and maintenance tips, we need to clarify something. Carbon steel scissors are the choice of professional chefs because they stay sharp for a long time when properly maintained, unlike knives with a stainless steel surface.
In addition, the latest models of Japanese tradition and technology are characterized by excellent balance, grip, endurance and aesthetics. Today’s carbon steel knives are among the best (under $50) you can get if you’re new to the culinary arts.
Carbon Steel Chef’s Knife Service Tips, Tricks and Ideas
Compared to stainless steel knives, carbon steel knives require a little more maintenance than your everyday knives. One of the first problems kitchen novices face is the issue of patina.
1. Understanding patina, rust and good knife maintenance
It doesn’t matter how well you take care of your carbon steel knife, it will eventually turn grey and blue. This is what we call Patina – where we lose the shine and get a dark, dull shadow.
You didn’t do anything wrong, and the knife is fine. This is done with all carbon steel knives because it is the nature of carbon steel that it takes on a patina, and you don’t have to worry about that.
The patina is also good because it protects the knife from corrosion. That’s why professional chefs who can handle carbon steel knives skate on kitchen knives. (Here’s a brief instruction on how to do it right).
Rustis a serious problem, but can be avoided.
Although a healthy patina can protect the leaf from rust, you should also be aware that there are several ways to prevent the leaf from being attacked:
- Keep the knife as clean and dry as possible – you should wash and dry the knife while cooking (more on this below);
- Lubricate the blade occasionally with oil.
To further protect the carbon steel blade against rust, you can also remove rust stains as soon as they appear. You can use steel wool to wipe off small, newly formed rusty stains.
Some knife manufacturers recommend the use of wet and dry sandpaper for heavy rusting, but be careful to avoid damaging the blade.
2. Clean carbon steel kitchen knives
It may seem like a real routine at first glance, but cleaning carbon steel knives will help you prevent rust and keep the knife in place for years. To clean the knife properly, proceed as follows:
- Choose a damp cloth or sponge, fold it into a square and place it on the kitchen table or worktop.
- Get used to rubbing both sides of the blade with a damp cloth every time you cut something (you can also dry the blade with a paper towel).
Onions, tomatoes and most fruits are the greatest enemies of the carbon content, because they are what we call sour food.
If you cut different types of meat, you should wipe the knife regularly to ensure hygiene at all times.
You’ll have to clean the knife, especially after you’ve used it. Here’s what you need to know:
- Use hot soapy water to wash the knife.
- Use a soft cloth to carefully remove all residues and stains from the sheet.
- Rinse with plenty of hot water.
- Dry the knife with a soft, dry cloth or towel after washing.
- Apply a layer of oil for storage.
- Never leave a carbon steel knife in a sink full of dishes, water or food waste!
- Never wash carbon steel knives in the dishwasher!
Oil is an important part of the training for the maintenance of carbon steel blades. This protects the blades against corrosion and rust. Some experts recommend the use of cooking oil.
Although sunflower oil, olive oil or canola oil can play a role in this preservation process, we all know that vegetable oil generally leaves a sticky residue.
This unsightly layer can not only reduce the usefulness of the knife, but also act as a flypaper for dust, powder, germs and all kinds of kitchen waste.
If you take your chef’s knives seriously, mineral oil may be the best solution. Here’s what you need to do:
- Carefully dry the blade on both sides with a cloth.
- Apply mineral oil to the sheet and spread it gently with a cloth until it begins to shine.
You can lubricate the leaf as often as you like, especially after a long day of intensive use. If you do not use the knife daily or intensively, weekly lubrication of the blade with oil is sufficient as a good measure.
4. Sharpening and grinding knives
By sharpening you can enjoy a perfectly balanced knife. If you have a sharpening wire, you should use it daily to keep your knife focused and fully functional.
When sharpening, small parts of the blade are sharpened to obtain a fresh, sharp blade. If you use the carbon knife daily, you should use the steel sharpener every week and the grinding wheel every month.
- If you do not use the knife on a daily basis, you should significantly reduce the sharpening frequency to three or four times a year.
Professional chefs recommend sharpening the to knife every day when you start working.
It is just as important to store knives well as it is to clean them. The rule is this: NEVER accidentally put a knife with a carbon blade in the same box as another dish. This can scratch or even dent the steel blade, while the tip can bend or even break.
- If you have no alternative to storing carbon steel knives in a knife drawer, use at least one knife holder to protect the blade and maintain knife integrity.
- PLEASE NOTE! Never put a knife in a wet bowl.
- Moreover, you can put a few drops of mineral oil in the scabbard, put the knife in the scabbard and the next time you use it enjoy this well-preserved and waterproof knife.
If you want to store your carbon steel blades in perfect conditions, these are your new best friends:
- Magnetic tape for knife.
- Wooden knife block.
How to provide carbon steel blades: Notes to the consolidated financial statements
The following suggestions generally apply to all cook’s knives, but remember, especially if you use carbon steel knives:
- Never use the knife for purposes other than its main function.
- Always my knife when you don’t need it anymore. Juices and food particles are difficult to remove when they are dry (and eaten by the leaves).
- Do not let the carbon steel knives dry in the dish rack. Instead, they should always be dried by hand and stored immediately afterwards (as mentioned above).
- Always cut on boards and , not on a table or tray. The best cutting boards for carbon knives are made of soft wood and plastic.
If you follow these tips and tricks for the maintenance of carbon steel knives, you should enjoy your professional knife for years to come. Now that you know how to handle carbon steel knives, shall we cook?
If you would also like to share your tips and tricks for optimal maintenance of your carbon steel blades, you are welcome to visit the Comments section below!
Daniel has a passion for knives. He even prepares them in his spare time. Daniel is a valued member of our team, and he is here to share his knowledge of all kinds of kitchen knives. What is the difference between the knives of a German and a Japanese cook? He’s good for work. What do you need to know to know which knife to use to cut the fruit? He can answer that question in a second.
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