In the Pantry: 5 Ways to Avoid Ruining Your Kitchen Knives

Whether you're a cooking novice or a master chef, a good chef's knife is the most important tool in your kitchen arsenal. This week on "In the Pantry," host Aida Mollenkamp shares five simple tips to properly care for your kitchen knives.

Store your knives properly . Shoving your knives into a drawer could damage them or, worse yet, cause you to get cut when you're trying to retrieve them. "Instead, you want to store them in a good knife block, under the countertop, or on one of those magnetic wall strips because then you have really easy access to your knife," advises Mollenkamp.

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Wash and dry your knives by hand. Never put your knives in the dishwasher. Mollenkamp recommends washing knives in hot soapy water and then drying them thoroughly by hand to help avoid any rust or any spread of germs."

Make sure you're using the correct cutting surface. "You always want to cut on an actual cutting board," says Mollenkamp. "Don't ever, ever, ever cut on glass or stone or on a ceramic plate." She recommends that you use wood or plastic cutting surfaces to extend the life of your knife's edge.

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Maintain the edge of your knives. "You want to hone your knife every single time that you use it," says Mollenkamp. Use honing steel for regular use and every three months, use sharpening steel on your knives. "I like to think of it as every time the seasons change, I use my sharpening steel," she says.

Invest in quality knives. Mollenkamp says a good quality chef's knife may cost you as little as $50 and is worth the investment. She recommends purchasing a knife that has a forged steel piece and a full tang, which means the steel portion of the blade extends through the length of the handle.

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