As you expand your home cooking, you'll want to build up your collection of hand-selected knives or purchase your first high-quality kitchen knife set. You'll quickly find that you also need a good storage solution. The way you store your knives should not only keep their pointy ends safely away from curious fingers, but it should also preserve the quality of your knives and their carefully honed blades. In a kitchen, you have three basic knife storage options: on the counter, on the wall, or in a drawer. Keep reading to learn about all the benefits and drawbacks of these knife storage solutions.
Storing Knives on the Kitchen Counter
Storing knives on the kitchen counter doesn't mean leaving them lying about; even if you don't have small children or counter-dwelling cats in your home, it's neither the safest nor the best way to preserve the quality of your blades. When you store kitchen knives, and even a knife sharpener, on the counter, you should tuck them safely away in a knife block.
Knife blocks come in a variety of shapes and types. Often, they're either completely square on the top or crafted with an easy-access sloping side for the knife storage slots. If you're curating your own set of kitchen knives, do not use the block that came with the knife set you purchased in college because it will confine you to its pre-sized slots. Instead, opt for a universal knife block with slots designed to fit a variety of knives.
To preserve your knife blades' sharp edges, choose a block made of soft wood or with cork-lined slots, and be sure to insert and remove your knives with the dull edge against the wood.
With counter space preservation in mind, a rectangular knife block with the knife slots located on the top will work best. If your counter space is already limited or if you'd prefer to see your knife blades (and not have to guess which one you're pulling), then storing them on the wall or in a drawer will work better for you.
Storing Knives in a Drawer
Knives can be stored in a drawer, too. However, it's best not to leave bare blades lying about in your drawers. With knives rattling about, the friction can dull the knife blades, and they can make it dangerous to go fishing around for your kitchen tools.
You can wrangle your kitchen knives by using a special in-drawer knife organizer. These feature a slot for each knife's blade. Choose one that's lined with cork to preserve the sharpness of your knives.
Like Made In's Santoku and Chef knives, many high-quality kitchen knives come with a protective knife sheath that's designed for drawer storage. If you don't have space for an in-drawer knife organizer, these work perfectly well to protect the blades and your fingers.
Storing Knives on the Wall
If you want to display your prized blades above your fireplace mantel like a medieval sword, then that's your prerogative, but the best knife storage option for the kitchen is a magnetic wall strip. These securely hold your knives in place, allowing you to see all of your options - including your kitchen shears, and steak knives - while you're cooking.
The trick to choosing the perfect magnetic knife holder is to find one with the right magnetic strength. Choose too weak a magnet, and your heaviest knives won't stick. Select one that's too strongly magnetic, and your knives will snap against it every time you put them away - and this pull can be so powerful that it can chip your blades.
Regardless of the strength of your magnetic knife holder, be careful how you use it. To preserve your knives' blades, be careful to always slide the knife away from the strip with the dull edge of the blade against the magnet. When you put a knife away, once again place the dull edge down first.
Take Pride in a High-Quality Set of Kitchen Knives
Curate a set of kitchen knives by shopping individually for a chef knife, Santoku knife, paring knife, utility or serrated knife, and others. If you'd rather purchase a matching set, be sure to select a high-quality brand that will perform well in the kitchen and stay sharp for ages.
No matter how you store them and how you use them, a properly grown-up set of kitchen knives will take your cooking and food prep skills a long way. Not only is it safer to use the right knives for the right jobs, but it also speeds food prep and improves the quality of your cuts, slices, minces, and chops.