There is a lot of misperception surrounding the different types of steel and knives. Whilst most kitchen knives are made from 18/10 stainless steel, there are a few specialist knives that feature carbon steel blades instead.
So, what is Carbon Steel?
Let’s get a little bit technical! Steel is considered ‘carbon steel’ when the minimum content of copper does not exceed 0.40%, or the maximum content specified for any of the following elements does not exceed the percentages to follow; manganese 1.65, silicon 0.60 and copper 0.60 %. Got it? Don’t worry there won’t be a test at the end.
Anyway, we wanted to tell you about Carbon steel and how to look after it, because with proper use and care this material will last a lifetime. Here are some of our best tips and tricks to help you care for your carbon steel knife:
- Use: Soon after you begin to use your carbon steel knives, grey stains will appear on the blades. This is a perfectly natural occurrence with carbon steel and will become a characteristic of your knife, as most stains will remain on the blade. It will not affect the quality of the knife, so don’t panic!
- Cleaning: Hand wash only in warm soapy water and immediately wipe dry thoroughly. Never put these knives in the dishwasher as they will rust. Rust spots on your knife are caused occasionally because it is not stainless steel, but they can simply be scrubbed off with a brush and a little warm water, leaving your blade undamaged.
- Storage: Apply a coat of mineral oil when storing for long periods and ensure that your knife is stored and a safe and dry environment. When you first buy Carbon Steel Knives, they are usually stored in a plastic wrap and the blade will be coated in an odd looking sticky substance which is there to protect it - so don’t be alarmed when you open the box. Simply follow the second point on cleaning your knife before you get started.
This may sound like a lot of faff for a knife, but trust us; it will be worth it! Carbon Steel has exceptional cutting power, and will maintain a fine edge on the blade which is only achievable with this type of material. If you follow these tips and tricks, you could even be passing down your good old Sabatier knife to your grandchildren, who can continue to use it for many years to come!