You have heard about ceramic knives or seen them in the store and wondered what makes them different from metal knives. They have certainly become very popular in recent times, so it’s worth taking a closer look to see if a ceramic knife is right for you.
What Are Ceramic Knives?
Ceramic knives are a specially designed knife with a blade made of ceramic. But not the type of ceramic that your dinner service or coffee mug is made from. Ceramic knife blades are made from zirconium oxide, or zirconia, which is a super hard substance significantly harder than stainless steel or carbon steel, and second only to diamonds on the hardness scale.
How Do They Differ from Metal Knives?
The main difference between your usual metal knife and a ceramic knife is the blade. The exceptionally hard blade of a ceramic knife will not lose its edge. With normal kitchen use, a ceramic knife will not need to be sharpened and will stay razor sharp.
What Are the Benefits
There are a number of benefits to using a ceramic knife:
- As the zirconium oxide used in the ceramic knife blades is very dense, the knives are easy to clean. You only need a quick rinse in warm water to clean the blade between cutting different food items.
- The blade’s density also means it has fewer pores, and therefore, will not absorb odors. You need not worry about transferring odors, like garlic or onion, from one food item to another.
- Ceramic knives are more hygienic than metal ones. There are fewer pores on a ceramic blade, and the pores that are there are tiny, so fewer bacteria can hide and then contaminate food.
- As they are made of ceramic and not steel, your ceramic knife will not rust so the blade will always look like new.
- A ceramic knife is lighter than a steel knife. The lightweight makes a ceramic knife much easier to use, and easier on the hands, arms, and shoulders.
- The blade of a ceramic knife is 100% stainless. The zirconium oxide is resistant to acidic or caustic substances and will not pit or warp.
- The super sharp blade allows you to cut wafer-thin slices of fruits, vegetable, and meats. I’m talking thin enough to see through!
Are There Health Benefits?
Nutritional studies have shown that chopping fruits and vegetables with a ceramic knife not only retains the nutritional value of your fresh produce but even increases it! This is due to the chemical composition of the zirconium oxide blade, which does not react when it comes into contact with the different levels of acids and other compounds contained in fresh fruits and vegetables. Using a metallic knife or even tearing vegetables like spinach or lettuce by hand actually increases the rate of oxidization and nutrient loss.
The telltale browning that occurs when fruits and vegetables are sliced or chopped is actually a warning sign that the food is oxidizing, and polyphenols are breaking down. Polyphenols have been shown to be important in reducing the risk of urinary tract infections, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.
The enzymatic browning you see is a signal that the nutritional value is leaking out of your food as it oxidizes. If you can slow down this process by using a ceramic knife, your food will retain nutrients and even increase the level of antioxidants. As you know, antioxidants help to protect your body against harmful free radicals as well as bodily inflammation. Vegetables that have been shown to increase their levels of antioxidants include zucchini, cabbage, iceberg lettuce, celery, carrot, parsnips, radishes, and sweet and white potatoes.
Ceramic knives also have these important health benefits:
- A ceramic knife is chemically inert, so there is no chemical reaction with foods. This means the knife will not brown foods or transfer a metallic taste or smell.
- The lighter weight of a ceramic knife makes them a more suitable choice for people with arthritis or rheumatism in the hands, wrists, or arms.
- Because ceramic knives do not retain germs or food particles and are so easy to clean, there is little to no risk of cross-contamination between foods. Great news for people with food allergies or sensitivities!
Are There Any Disadvantages?
There are some things you should bear in mind when considering purchasing a ceramic knife.
- While the zirconium oxide blade is incredibly sharp, it is also brittle. This means it is easy to chip or break the blade. Ceramic knives work well for fruits and vegetables and boneless meats. They should not be used to bone meat or to slice frozen items or cheese.
- Ceramic knives should only be used with wooden, plastic, silicon, or bamboo cutting boards. You should not use your ceramic knife on a glass cutting board or plate because of their brittleness.
- Ceramic knives should be washed by hand, not in the dishwasher as they may chip or break if they’re hit by other items.
- Your ceramic knife should be stored separately and not in a drawer.
How to Take the Best Care of Your Ceramic Knife?
You need to take a few simple precautions to keep your ceramic knife in great shape.
- Handwash, rinse, and wipe your knife clean after use.
- Only use a soft cutting board.
- Avoid using them on foods with bones, pits, or heavy rinds.
- Use your knife for slicing, do not use it to pry, carve or bone foods. As the blade is super hard, it will not twist or flex.
- Store the knife carefully in a knife block, sheath or individual tray.
- If your knife does get chipped, you can take it to a specialist knife sharpener to restore the edge.
I wouldn’t trade my ceramic knives for anything! As you know from reading my blog, I cook a lot! Dealing with heavy, dull knives wastes my time and energy, things I need to reserve for my family. Besides that, it’s important that I offer my family only the freshest, most nutritious foods. That means I use only ceramic knives so that our food stays fresher longer and holds onto its nutritional value longer! What more could you ask for in a knife? Check them out online HERE
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