You’ve been thinking about purchasing a new high-quality kitchen knife for a while, but there are decisions to be made.
Should you opt for classic steel? Or should you try the new popular knife around – the ceramic knife?
While most of us are familiar with using steel knives for kitchen preparation, there’s a good reason why ceramic knives are hitting the culinary limelight.
They’re of course produced with ceramic, but not the standard ceramic you’re used to, such as the material used to craft a coffee cup.
No, the most common ceramic for knives is zirconium, also known as zirconia. It’s an extremely durable and tough material and gives ceramic knives their reputation for being the best knives on the block – or rather, in the block!
Curious as to why ceramic knives are trending in the kitchen? Read on to learn why.
1. Super Sharp
Ceramic knives may sometimes look and feel like fancy plastic cutlery, but did you know that they have a hardness rating close to diamonds? Zirconia is listed at 8.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness and diamonds top the list at 10. Usual steel, on the other hand, falls at only 4.5 showing just how different steel and ceramic knives are when it comes to strength.
Ceramic knives are usually created by dry-pressing zirconia powder and firing them. The resulting blade is then honed by grinding the edges with a diamond-dust-coated grinding wheel.
This strength results in a super sharp and efficient blade that’s perfect for thinly slicing meat, vegetables, fruit, and even bread. Try cutting through cold butter with a ceramic knife – you’ll find that the razor-sharp edges slice through it as though it were hot butter.
It’s quite extraordinary to experience!
Ceramic is a lot lighter than steel and you can really notice the difference when you hold one of each in each hand. The average ceramic knife is actually about half the mass of a steel blade.
The lightweight material makes chopping less tiresome and a whole lot easier as ceramic knives are easy to handle. So, if you want to chop your vegetables with efficiency, investing in a ceramic knife set is the way to go.
However, although they are easy to handle, it’s still best to avoid chopping for too long. As ceramic knives are so light, when chopping for extended periods of time eventually your hand and arm will end up doing most of the work which could cause some pain. So, remember to take some breaks – even in the kitchen!
Not only are ceramic knives efficient, but they’re also pretty snazzy and stylish too. Available in a rainbow of colors and hues, these knives look fabulous in a modern kitchen.
4. Rust Resistant
Due to the resistance to strong acidic and caustic substances, another benefit of using ceramic knives is the fact that they won’t rust or corrode like metal knives sometimes do.
Have you ever smelt a strange, unfamiliar odor from an old steel knife? As steel knives are porous, they can stain and transfer unwelcome scents from food, especially if used often.
Ceramic knives, on the other hand, are impermeable meaning they aren’t porous. So, the blades won’t stain nor will they absorb odors from any food you slice. This is a huge benefit, especially if you use your ceramic knife regularly.
Nobody wants to sniff lingering odor from old food when chopping up dinner, after all!
As well as being sharp, ceramic knives as also extremely durable, so they will last longer.
In fact, several brands, such as Kyocera have started producing a black, specially designed blade which has additionally undergone a hot isostatic pressing step in the manufacturing process. This means the durability of the knife is even better.
Plus, ceramic knives retain their cutting edge much longer than steel knives, so rarely need to be sharpened. This leads us to the next section.
7. Less Maintenance
As ceramic knives are so sharp, you do need to handle them gently as they can chip easily and may break if dropped onto a hard surface like the floor.
However, if you’re careful with your new knives, then they require a lot less maintenance in the long term.
Why? Because while traditional metal blades need to be honed and re-sharped regularly to retain their sharp blades, ceramic knives have proven to stay sharp for up to 10 times longer.
You may be wondering how to sharpen a ceramic knife.
Well, the good news is that due to the hardness of the ceramic blade, it’s very difficult to sharpen your knife at home. This means that many ceramic knives have a service guarantee that they can be returned to the manufacturer for professional sharpening when necessary.
These sessions would be very sporadic, as your ceramic knife will rarely be so blunt to need servicing.
However bear this in mind when making purchasing a ceramic knife as it’ll make sharpening your ceramic knife a whole lot easier in the long run – and you want to keep that blade for as long as you can!
8. Easy to Clean
Simply rinse off your ceramic knife set after chopping up smelly foods like garlic, onions, or spicy peppers and voila, your knife is all clean with no smells transferred!
As ceramic isn’t porous, it also means germs and bacteria aren’t retained by the material – making the washing up an easy feat.
Is a Ceramic Knife Right for You?
If you’re seeking an all-purpose tool, the ceramic knife is probably not the answer. This is because although they specialize in slicing and dicing meat, fruit, and vegetables, there are other foods that are too harsh for such a knife and can cause chipping or breakages. These include frozen food, fruit with pits or seeds, and bones.
However, if you’re looking to supplement your knife roll in the kitchen with a super sharp, strong, and durable high-quality tool that specializes in slicing soft foods with complete ease, then purchasing a ceramic knife is highly worth the investment.
Keen to learn more and expand your collection of ceramics in the kitchen? Discover the benefits of using ceramic cookware here.