This One Move Is Ruining Your Kitchen Knives

A proper kitchen knife is one of the most crucial tools in a cook's arsenal — for professionals and home cooks alike. Whether your knife is a specialty $400 sushi knife made for restaurant kitchens or a hand-me-down that's old and dented, proper knife skills and maintenance are of the utmost importance. Practicing things like honing and sharpening are great proactive ways to get as much life as possible out of your knife. A dull knife is a dangerous knife, so making sure to take care of your blade will make cooking easier and keep you safe (via University of Rochester Medical Center).

Knowing what not to do, like putting your knives in the dishwasher or storing them unprotected in a drawer, are equally important (per All About Kitchen Knives). While some things may seem obvious, like not using your kitchen knife to clean the garbage disposal, as Cooking Light mentions, other more commonplace actions may actually be ruining your knives without you even knowing it.

Scraping your knife along the cutting board can damage the blade

When cutting, say, an onion on your cutting board, it makes logical sense to pick the board up and scrape the onion into the pan using the knife. But unfortunately, this one super common faux pa could seriously damage your knife. As Chef Danielle Prewett tells Brit+Co, "You get into this mindless habit of using the knife to scrape up your food and always in one direction. By doing this, you're constantly messing with the alignment of your knife, and it's a really bad habit. When you do that same motion over and over in one direction, you're really dulling out your knife. So I tell people to flip the knife over and use the back end to scoop everything."

This sentiment, and the useful hack of flipping your knife over and using the dull side, is echoed by J. Kenji López-Alt on Serious Eats, who says that "the edge of a knife blade is quite strong when pressed straight up and down, but can bend easily when pushed from side to side. Scraping up food with the knife perpendicular to the board will throw the edge of the blade out of alignment, dulling it." So if you want to avoid ruining your kitchen knives, make sure never to scrape the blade across the cutting board.