To prolong the life of your kitchen cutlery, it is important to keep your tools clean and stored in the proper manner. A cutlery block is a piece of kitchen equipment designed to protect and secure cutlery, specifically knives and other cutting instruments. Traditionally, cutlery blocks are made of wood and feature different sized slots for knives, shears and sharpening instruments. Many cutlery retailers include a cutlery block with the purchase of a set of knives, but cutlery blocks are also sold separately at kitchen supply stores.
Maintaining a set of cutlery is about more than sharpening your tools before use. A good set of cutlery is expensive and proper storage will extend the life of your purchase and maintain the beauty of your knives. Keeping a set of knives uncovered in a drawer is dangerous and the constant knocking around can scratch and dull the blades. With a cutlery block, knives are protected, easy to access and kept clean and sharp.
Not all cutlery blocks are alike, but they share a basic design. They are generally made from a wood block that has been carved with slots of varying sizes to house knives and different types of cutlery. The blocks may be freestanding or they can be manufactured as a built-in cutlery block housed in a kitchen island or counter. Cutlery blocks can typically hold everything from chef’s knives to filet knives, carving knives, steak knives, paring knives, cleavers, a meat fork, kitchen shears and a ceramic sharpening tool.
Using a cutlery block is simple; each piece of cutlery should have its own dedicated slot and multiple knives should never be stored in the same slot. Cutlery blocks should be stored in an area with consistent temperatures. If a cutlery block becomes too hot or too cold, then the wood can warp or break apart. This means cutlery blocks should never be stored on top of a refrigerator or above the stove.
One of the advantages of using a cutlery block is that it is a safe option for the storage of sharp knives that could potentially cause injury. Cutlery blocks placed high on counters keep sharp knives away from children and pets. Storing knives in a block also protects home cooks from injury by eliminating the need to grasp a blade from a drawer. To maximize safety, it is important to keep cutlery blocks far back on the counter and out of reach of children. Make sure all knives fit properly into a cutlery block before purchase; if any part of the blade is not encased in the slot, it may lead to injury.