A knife block is one of the most common things on any kitchen counter.
Kitchen blocks organize your knives saving on cabinet space. An appropriate kitchen block should be inclusive of all the knives you require.
It provides an ideal arrangement on the counter for the home chef who can access the knives fast and easy in their course of work.
Knife blocks can come with or without knives.
You can choose to buy the knives separate from the block. This may be disadvantageous when the knives fail to fit in the knife block slots.
Buying the block with the knives is also inconvenient when it does not provide for a knife you require.
As a home chef, you require just specific types of knives to do the job. Most knife blocks provide for the commonly used knives that include;
- Paring knife
- Utility knife
- Chef knife
- Carving knife
- Bread knife
It is the most common type of knife used in the kitchen.
Its straight edge and slightly rounded belly are useful for dicing, chopping, and mincing on the cutting board.
It is an all-purpose type of knife that is good for preparing food items. You can also use it to prepare vegetables and fruits.
It is the second and most popular knife in the kitchen after the chef’s knife.
This type of knife comes in different sizes and is similar to a longer version of a paring knife. It has a blade 4-5 inches long and used for cutting and trimming.
It serves almost all cooking functions in the kitchen.
This is also among the most popular kitchen knives.
It has straight edges and is useful to peel and eliminate unwanted parts from fruits and vegetables.
Furthermore, they cut fruits and vegetables into smaller pieces, hence making them useful in making decorative food toppings.
This knife is useful in cutting meat, such as a whole chicken, turkey, or a bone-in ham.
The tip of the blade is also effective in cutting around bones.
It has a rough, saw-like edge that cuts through the bread without applying excess force that could smash it.
You can also use it to cut other fragile baked products.
A Knife Block Serves Three Major Functions:
- They spare cabinet/drawer spaces in your kitchen.
- They ensure your knives are orderly and organized.
- They keep the blades in a manner to reduce the risk of accidents.
Type of Knife Blocks
Knife blocks come in numerous sizes and shapes, and your choice depends on your kitchen arrangement.
The most basic and common type is the upright wooden block. It consists of several slots for each knife.
It spares your drawer space though substitutes it for your counter space.
Another type is the drawer knife block. You can place them in the drawers but still have the empty slots for the various knives.
This takes up your drawer space but spares your counter space. It is suitable for those with bigger drawer spaces than the counter.
The third option is a wall-mounted magnetic knife block. This saves on both counter and drawer spaces.
For home safety, drill them into the wall instead of joining with double-sided tapes to avoid knives dropping.
A number of knife companies provide a self-sharpening knife set inside the slots of the knife block. It is a wise idea to maintain the edges but still wear the metal out in the long run. It cannot act as a substitute for knife sharpening methods.
How to Clean Your Knife Block
A knife block shelters all the kitchen knives such as the chef’s knife, paring knife, steak knife, and others required for the preparation of meals. Most times, it also holds the knife sharpener.
As it is normal for the knives to get dirty, so does the knife block! It can be a breeding ground for the growth of bacteria.
To maintain the knives and have them ready for use, you need to clean the knife block at least once a month, if you use it regularly.
Many perceive cleaning the deep inside slots of the knife block as an almost impossible task. It is not! Cleaning your knife block is not as hard as you may think.
This article will take you through a step by step process of cleaning your knife block and materials you can use.
There are things that are useful in the cleaning process. You can select any of the items to use, depending on what is accessible at your home.
- Blow dryer
- Paper towels
- White vinegar
- Chenille pipe cleaners
Remove the Crumbs
You can do this using different method, as explained below.
To begin with, remove all the knives and flip around the knife block to shake out crumbs that may have gathered inside.
Additionally, you can tap the underside with a little hammer to loosen the dirt.
A pipe cleaner may likewise help remove whatever has adhered to the base. A pipe cleaner can access the deep slots of the base as well as the corners.
You need to twirl it around the slots to trap the dirt. Take note that you ought to keep cleaning the equipment often, to avoid adding dirt instead of removing it.
Using your blow dryer, you should turn it to its cool setting and blow over each empty slot. This blows away every piece of loose dirt.
Moreover, you can opt for a vacuum. Join the vacuum to the hose to get to the base of the knife block to suction the crumbs out.
This step is significant because when the knife block gets wet, it will become difficult to expel the crumbs.
Wash the Knife Block
Using your hands, make sure you wash the knife block in warm, soapy water.
Scrub the outside first then get to the inside where bacteria can develop. Scrub the spaces with a little brush like an infant bottle brush, and thoroughly eliminate any sticky or greasy stain.
Rinse the soap off the block. You should rinse starting with the exterior with warm water then follow with the interior.
To test if all the soap is gone, you can rub the block with your fingers.
Disinfect the Block
Soak the paper towel with a bit of white vinegar. Wrap the paper towel on one of the longest and thinnest knife.
Move it to and fro around all the empty slots and to the deep parts of the base. Since white vinegar is a disinfectant, this will help clean any microbes that may have developed on the knife block.
You may prefer to use a chenille pipe cleaner for the previous step. Dip the pipe cleaner into a container of white vinegar.
Remove the excess vinegar from the chenille pipe by pressing with your fingers and continue with the procedure.
You can opt for a mild bleaching agent for sanitization. The solution should be in the ratio of 1 tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water.
Pure bleach is too strong and can damage the block hence the need to dilute. Let the block take in the solution for a minute then rinse it off too.
Hydrogen peroxide can subsequently be an alternative disinfectant.
Dry the Block
Dry the knife block on a clean surface while flipped around.
Do not return the knives to the knife block before it is dry off water to avoid bacteria’s growth, which is why we are cleaning the block in the first place.
Bacteria in knife blocks can create a protective layer that makes it resistant to traditional cleaning methods.
If you are in a hurry, you can use a fan or a hairdryer to accelerate the procedure. It is safer to store knife blocks on in a cabinet or breathable knife bag to avoid dampness.
You can now return the knives and the knife sharpener. Since it is not a weekly chore, you can note the day you clean on the calendar for easier tracking.