How to care for ceramic knives
A ceramic knife is a non metallic knife. It’s made out of Zirconia (Zirconium Dioxide) by pressing dry Zirconia and then firing it through solid state sintering. These knives are known to be the sharpest knives that come with many features. As for sharpening them, since diamond is the only thing harder than the Zirconia, so these knives can only be sharpened with diamonds.
Ceramic knives are used by chefs in order to cut very thin slices of fruits and vegetables that can’t be cut in a similar way using a normal kitchen knife. Clear-cut ceramic knives come with ergonomic handles and are light weight as well as easy to handle.
However, the better these knives are the more care they require. In order to understand how to care for ceramic knives, you need to know what to use them for and what to not use them for.
What are ceramic knives good for?
Ceramic knives are good for being used on soft surfaces like slicing fruits and vegetables. Ceramic steak knives can be used to slice boneless meat as well. These are also good for peeling fruits and vegetables. However, these are certainly not made for hard surfaced objects. You cannot use ceramic knives to slice any hard surfaced fruits vegetables or meat that has bone or bone chips in it.
The reason for that is that these knives are sharpened to have a perfectly thin edge. The blade does not need to be sharpened for a very long time unlike stainless steel knives.
Due to the fact that this knife is not made of metal, any hard surface could chip off the thin edge and you’d end up having ceramic knife chips in food.
These knives are good for slicing soft food items like fruits that are not hard surfaced for example; apples, oranges, bananas, pears, etc. While going for any hard part of the fruit, it’s better to chop away from that side or use a different knife.
As for hard items like ones or frozen food or anything that takes extra effort to be sliced, you should not use ceramic knives. This also applies on hard fruits like pineapple or pumpkin etc.
Though, that doesn’t make ceramic knives any less popular as these knives are 10 times sharper than their steel counter parts and last longer if used properly. The sharpness and the chemical inertness is the main reason for their popularity. Since these are chemically inert, the blade would neither react with acidic nor alkaline foods.
This means that the fruits and vegetables sliced with ceramic knives taste fresher and their freshness lasts longer as well. Moreover, those fruits and vegetable won’t have rusty taste or smell unlike those that are cut with their steel counter parts. Like for example Kyocera ceramic knife is ideal for slicing food because of its intricate sharpness and it does not transfer any ions to the food.
Advantages of ceramic knives
ü Ceramic knives are excellent for cutting soft foods like fruits, tender vegetables, bones meats, soft fish fillets and so on.
ü Ceramic knives glide through soft fruits without struggle making them perfect for thin slices without smashing the fruits for example tomatoes.
ü Ceramic fruits cause less damage to the cell walls as they use less pressure therefore your fruits do not discolor fast.
ü These knives allow you to cut ultra thin making them perfect for designing food and making extra details and arrangement without damaging them.
ü These knives are also good for dicing onions and wouldn’t make you shed tears unlike while using the ordinary metal knife.
ü Acidic or alkaline foods would not degrade the blade as it is not made of metal. So you can easily use them foods that contain vinegar or for example citrus fruits.
ü Ceramic knives are excellent for cutting boneless meat and fish. They allow you to cut with precision and make the pieces as thin as you want them to be. These knives also remove fat from the meats.
How to care for ceramic knives
Ø There are a few things that you need to keep in mind if you want to take good care of your ceramic knives.
Ø Avoid twisting or flexing the knife
Ø Don’t use the ceramic knives to cut bones as their blades don’t respond well to twisting movements or force
Ø Don’t use the knife on frozen food as it may put stress on the blade and break or chip it
Ø Chopping motion is not good for the blade; don’t use it for anything that involves flexing like chopping or carving.
Ø Don’t use the knife to crush any food items as the blade can break. Also avoid using it with any tough food items. Not even for slicing block cheese as it needs force.
Ø Don’t use these knives for cutting plastic packets or taking off lids from cans or containers.
Ø Use appropriate soft cutting boards and avoid cutting on glass granite, marble or any hard boards or surfaces.
Ø Never use the knife to scrape food from the cutting board.
Ø Keep your knife clean. Unlike steel knives, ceramic knives are non-porous and stain proof. They are also resistant to corrosion, oils and acids so they are easy to clean. They are also resistant to mold or bacteria.
Ø Don’t wash your knife in a dishwasher as the rattling will damage the blade. Instead use warm water and soap to rinse and dry.
Ø Don’t use abrasive products for cleaning or drying
Ø Don’t throw these knives against metal flatware as the blade can break. Also don’t place heavy objects like utensils on it.
Ø Put the knives back in their protective sheet after drying it.
Ø Store you ceramic knives properly. Don’t put them on into random drawers or in places where you can accidentally reach and cut yourself. Get a good knife holder that can keep the blade safe.
How to sharpen a ceramic knife
Normally, ceramic blades do not need sharpening. You might not need re-sharpening for many years after purchasing. Most manufacturers also provide free sharpening services. It is not recommended to sharpen these knives at home but if you do then it needs special equipment and a lot of practice. You can only use either diamond sharpeners or electric sharpeners to sharpen a ceramic knife. Electric sharpeners are faster and easier to use.
Ceramic knives are one of the sharpest knives in the world. Though, this sharpness also comes with delicacy. These knives need to be treated with a lot of delicacy compared to ordinary steel knives. Those who are only beginning to get used to these lightweight knives need to be more precautious. Read the instructions properly before using your ceramic knives and take good care of them. In order to care for ceramic knives you need to be extra delicate with them.
Ceramic blades should not be bent, twisted or flexed as they cannot return to their original shapes unlike their steel counterparts. Force should not be applied while cutting with them as the blade would start chipping or might even snap. Being sharp does not mean that they are strong as well. So always refrain from cutting through the strong eatables and don’t use your blade as a crusher. Always keep your blade straight while making slicing movements and avoid putting any pressure on the blade.
It is important to pay attention while using a ceramic knife for cutting as these are very sharp and you can easily cut your fingers. The knife’s sharp edge should always be kept away from your fingers. It’s actually better to cut away from your body and be extra careful if there are any kids around.