- Food and Cooking
Some Advantages of Ceramic Knives
I Really Like My New Ceramic Knife
Ceramic knives have been around for a while, and I've had mine for about five years. I've found them to be really easy to use, and they don't stain food as some steel knives can.
This article is about their manufacture and use, and other useful information I've found.
Ceramic knives aren't just utilitarian, you can get really pretty knives, with pictures baked into them,although these are often rather more expensive than the plain knives.
Ceramic Knives Are Great!
Why are ceramic knives great?
- They do not corrode.
- They are non-magnetic.
- They do not conduct electricity.
- They do not absorb acid or flavours.
- They are very easy to clean.
All these things make them ideal for cutting vegetables, boneless fish and boneless meat. Food cut with a ceramic knife will not discolour as quickly as food cut with stainless steel.
Different Types of Ceramic Knives
There are ceramic paring knives, for cutting and peeling vegetables, and utility knives, for more general purposes. There are special ceramic knives for bagels, and even for tomatoes!
Because these knives don't react to the acid in food, they don't turn fruit, etc., brown as do metal knives.
If your ceramic knife should ever need sharpening, you'll most likely have to take it to a specialist, as it needs to be sharpened by a diamond grinding tool or wheel. This should very rarely happen, however, as the blade is really long lasting. There are special sharpeners for ceramic knives coming on to the market now, as they become more popular.
What Are Ceramic Knives Made Of?
The most commonly used material for ceramic knives is zirconium dioxide (zirconia). The knives are made in a press, from zirconia powder, and are then fired to toughen them. Diamond dust grinding wheels are used to sharpen the blades, which are rarely ever in need of sharpening.
Ceramic knives are not magnetic, do not corrode, and do not conduct electricity. They are ideal for slicing through vegetables, and boneless chicken, fish and meat.
If dropped, they are quite brittle and likely to chip or break, so some care needs to be taken with them.
It's All In The Mohs!
What are Mohs, you might ask? Mohs is a hardness scale, and you'll find diamonds at the top of the scale, with a rate of 10. Stainless steel is rated at 5.5, and the gem topaz is at 8. One of the softest items is talc, which is rated at 1. A good quality ceramic knife is rated at about 8.1 on the Mohs scale.
As you can see, it's the hardness of the material which matters, and which gives the ceramic knife its qualities. The harder the material, the longer it can hold the sharpness of its cutting edge.
Decorated Ceramic Knives
Recently, I've been seeing some pictures online of decorated ceramic knives. I'd really love to own a set like this! Currrently, they are priced way out of my reach, being worth several hundred dollars. I'd be afraid to use them in case I damaged them!
How do they get the painting onto the knives?
Ceramic digital printing technology uses several printheads to transfer the image onto the material. It is then fused with the ceramic permanently, by baking at above 600C. The images then become practically scratchproof.
Ceramic Knives Have Many Good Qualities
Not only are ceramic knives rust proof, they are stain proof as well, plus resistant to acid. All of this makes them the ideal kitchen tool. The only drawback is they can be brittle, so care needs to be taken not to drop them.
Ceramic knives are a delight to use - I've found that mine just slides through chicken and steak, and makes chopping vegetables a breeze. It wasn't even that expensive, costing only $20. I bought the black bladed variety, which are slightly more expensive. Of course, the big brand names are a lot more expensive, but for a normal household, why pay a huge price when a small one will do?
Here are a few of the qualities of ceramic knives:
- The ceramic knife blade is long-lasting.
- Ceramic knife sharpening is required much less often
- Ceramic cutlery is stain proof, rust proof, and doesn't corrode
- They are very sharp
- They do not interact with food as they are inert
- There is no metallic taste and no odor
- Vegetables and fruits don't turn brown easily
- They are non-stick and very easy to clean
Poll About Ceramic Knives
Have you tried a ceramic knife yet?
Herbs Taste Better Chopped With Ceramic Knives!
Because ceramic knives don't absorb the smell or taste of food, they are great to chop herbs. You don't even have to rinse off the blade between herbs, because ceramic blades just do not gather the smell or taste of whatever you are chopping.
They don't corrode, and don't add any taste of their own to the food. This makes them an ideal tool for chopping herbs, although a rolling motion should be used, instead of the chopping motion used with steel knives.
Care of Your Ceramic Knife
It is best to use your ceramic knife only for cutting soft foods, such as vegetables, fruits, boneless meats and fish.
- Glass and marble cutting boards are not ideal to cut on - try wood or plastic cutting boards.
- Don't use your ceramic knife to pry open tins, jars, etc.
- Care Tips
- Give your knife a quick rinse with a mild detergent to keep it knife clean.
- A rinse in warm water without detergent is all that is necessary after cutting foods such as vegetables or fruit.
- Never, NEVER, put your ceramic knives in the dishwasher! It may be forced against other articles by the force of the water and may chip.
Make sure you keep your ceramic knives in a knife block or knife tray. Be careful when placing or removing the knife in the block, so as not to damage the tip or cutting edge.
A diamond sharpener is required to hone your knife, and some brands need to be sent back to the manufacturer for sharpening.
All good knives, not just ceramic knives, need to have care taken of them, if they are to keep their usefulness. The better the knife, the better care it needs! :-)
Black Ceramic Knife
Still Going Strong!
My ceramic knife has been in use for a couple of years now, and I'm still really happy with it.
Some of the things it is really good at are:
* Slicing boneless chicken
* Cutting steak for casseroles
* Chopping root vegetables
* Preparing cole slaw
Whatever you do with your ceramic knife, don't drop it! They are brittle and can shatter when dropped on to a hard surface. With a little care, however, they will last for years, as they don't need sharpening as much as conventional knives. Try one yourself!
The image is my black bladed ceramic knife.
One day, while I was preparing chop suey, using a small vegetable knife, I realised it wasn't the easiest way to do it, and I hadn't even started on the cabbage! It suddenly dawned on me that I had a perfectly good, and very efficient ceramic knife in the drawer. After getting the knife out, the chopping went so much more easily.
For any of those chopping jobs in the kitchen, I'd recommend a ceramic knife anytime. So much easier to use, and they stay sharp for much longer. I wouldn't be without mine.