What Is a Santoku Knife Used For?

Santoku knifeAleksei Kudriatsev via

Japanese knives are a mystery to most Western home cooks. Their names speak about tradition, but in a foreign and strange way. The same way when someone tells you about a long-standing tradition in their family that has nothing to do with how you do things at home.

Yet that doesn’t need to be the case. Japanese knives, along with German, French, and American counterparts, are some of the best knives in the world. 
It’s true that some Japanese knives are deeply traditional and make little sense to a Western person like you and me. Others—like the santoku knife—can be a surprisingly practical culinary tool for your day-to-day cooking.

How to Clean Your Knife After Cutting Raw Chicken

Raw chickenokanmetin via

Kitchen hygiene is one of the essential skills every home cook should learn. Knowing how to keep your cookware, cutware, and eatware clean is necessary to keep your family and occasional guests at home safe from foodborne illness.

When it comes to poultry, kitchen hygiene becomes even more critical. Raw poultry is often contaminated with Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Clostridium perfringens bacteria. Each of these bacteria can infect humans and cause a variety of health issues.

When and How to Clean Your Knives (Food Safety)

Chef's knife

We don’t talk enough about kitchen hygiene, the things you do in your day-to-day cooking and the way you clean your kitchen and kitchenware, so that you can protect yourself and your household from food-borne illness. 

Every home cook needs to know how to keep their kitchen clean and their food safe from cross contamination. Which is why, every now and then, I set some time aside from posting recipes and writing how-to’s—and focus on an aspect of kitchen hygiene instead.

It’s that time again, folks. In this post, I’m going to tell you all about when and how to clean your knives to prevent cross contamination.

How to Clean Your Knife After Cutting Raw Meat

Chef's knife

A friend once got so sick after eating out at a local restaurant, she had to be hospitalized. The doctor told her it was salmonella—a type of bacteria that’s commonly found in food like poultry, eggs, and others. Turned out the kitchen staff hadn’t followed basic hygiene practices and had cut raw meat with the same knife and on the same board as they sliced her salad.

Then, cross-contamination happened. Cross-contamination is when bacteria and other microorganisms get accidentally transferred from one food to another. And it’s not just specific to restaurants; your home kitchen and home cooked meals are just as vulnerable. This is why kitchen hygiene is important for every home cook.

We use cooking knives to cut raw meat, slice and dice fruits and vegetables, and chop spices. I don’t know about you, but my chef’s knife is my most used cooking tool in the kitchen. This is why it’s so critical to sanitize your knife after every use to avoid cross-contamination.

In this post, we’re going to look at what kitchen hygiene rules you should follow to keep your knife clean and safe after cutting raw meat.