Smart Care Advice for Ceramic Knives

by CLayton

Learn about how to care for your ceramic knives, and why special care is necessary to maintain the blade's sharp edge.

Whether you already own a ceramic knife or you're thinking about buying a set in the near future, proper care is the key to protect such an investment. All knives, whether they're made from steel or ceramic, include a set of instructions to maintain a sharp edge and prevent damage, although the care of a ceramic knife is slightly different than for a steel counterpart.

Here are the care instructions you should follow for your ceramic knives, as well as why this is necessary.

How Ceramic Knives Should Be Used

  • A ceramic knife should be used only for cutting or slicing soft foods, such as fresh vegetables, fruits or boneless meats. Never use the blade to cut frozen food, cheese or anything with bones.
  • Always use a softer cutting board than the blade of your knife, such as plastic, bamboo or wood. Note: this is the same instruction you'll see with steel knives, as a glass or marble cutting board can chip or damage your ceramic blades.
  • Do not use the knife to pry or slice open a plastic package, or use it in anything that requires twisting or flexing the blade.
  • Do not use the side of the blade for smashing or pressing anything, such as garlic.
  • Do not drop the blade on a hard surface.

How to Clean a Ceramic Knife

Keep your ceramic knives clean and rinse after each use. Unlike steel, ceramic knives do not transfer food aroma or flavor as long as you give them a quick rinse between foods. Hand wash your ceramic knives in warm water with a gentle dish washing liquid, and never wash them in the dishwasher, just like high-quality steel knives. Store them in a sheath, a tray, the original packaging or a knife block, not with other types of knives. The good news is ceramic is non-porous so you'll find these blades very easy to rinse and keep clean.

Why the Special Care Instructions?

Ceramic KnivesCeramic knives will chip or get a small nick on the cutting edge if they are dropped or mishandled. Ceramic knives are made with the second-hardest material, after diamonds, but this does not mean they are indestructible. Don't be frightened into thinking ceramic is fragile, as you will encounter many of the same care instructions with traditional steel blades.

Think of a ceramic knife as another tool in your arsenal, designed for precision and controlled cutting such as thinly slicing a tomato or sashimi. While the blades are easier to chip than stainless steel, the edge also lasts up to ten times longer. In fact, you'll find many manufacturers offer free sharpening service if you ever need it, as these knives take a long time to lose their edge.

If you're concerned about strength and breaks, you can also find black ceramic blades, which are produced through additional hot isostatic pressing that enhances the blade's strength. 

View this zebrawood ceramic knife set here.

 

Updated: 07/15/2013, CLayton
 
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Rose on 11/25/2013

They look like they might be sharper than standard stainless steel knives

Thamisgith on 07/18/2013

Never tried ceramic knives. Sounds like a good idea though.

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