Trust Me, It's Time To Stop Using a Knife Block
Anyone who's serious about efficiency in the kitchen needs a knife magnet, stat.
Test Kitchen Pick: Food Network Kitchen staffers share the kitchen tools they can't live without — both at work and at home — plus, their tips and tricks for using them like a pro.
The one kitchen tool I can’t live without is the one most home cooks are too scared to touch. Sure, it holds knives and shears of all shapes and sizes seemingly magically, but a heavy duty knife magnet isn’t as scary as you think. After all, most restaurants and serious chefs have one. My knife magnet is the key to keeping my kitchen clean and efficient, and at this point I would never turn back to the days of knife blocks or storing knives in drawers.
As a New Yorker I’ve come to learn that counter space is scarce. I can’t afford to take up the coveted counter space in my kitchen with a clunky knife block, so a knife magnet that hangs on the wall has revolutionized my home-kitchen efficiency. I work full-time and have two kids at home, so I’m all about speed and efficiency and I prefer to have my knives right in front of me where I can see them. Knives in a block all look the same from the outside, and it’s annoying and time consuming to pull knives in and out, one by one, until you find the right one. All knives don’t fit in the block, either (like my beloved cleaver.) Lastly, knife blocks can harbor bacteria, and who would want that?
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t hanging knives on your wall dangerous? Do the knives really stay put? You’re right to be cautious, because knives aren’t toys. Every time you handle a knife you must be careful and aware, and you must be cautious with knives no matter where you store them. My knife magnet is strong and reliable and holds everything I need, from a heavy duty cleaver to a petite paring knife. In fact, it’s much more dangerous to store knives in a drawer, because they often get buried under other tools and can poke an unsuspecting guest digging in said drawer. I place all my knives on the knife magnet facing the same way, and for extra safety I keep it high enough on the wall that it can’t be grabbed at or brushed past too easily.
My knife magnet hangs above the prep area where I usually put my cutting board. I love it because it doesn’t require any special cleaning and never rusts or stains my knives. If you’re someone with limited space looking to become a bit more efficient in the kitchen, give it a try. I assure you, you won’t go back to the days of a clunky knife block!
Alexis Pisciotta works as a recipe developer for Food Network Magazine when she isn’t momming so hard with her two daughters in Queens, NY. She has lived past lives as sous-chef at beloved New York City Italian restaurants Lupa and il Buco, opened the city’s first Salumeria/Resteraunt as Chef De Cuisine with a crazy Tuscan cowboy, and was a Culinary Instructor at the International Culinary Center. She once got in trouble with her daughter’s nursery school for sending in a metal bento box knife for her to cut her food with. (She knew how!)
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