Ina Garten's Upside Down Method For Storing Good Knives

For home cooks and professional chefs alike, a good kitchen knife is an indispensable tool that is crucial to practically any recipe. And once you've invested in one high-quality knife, you might as well go in for a few more! After all, different knives are suited to different tasks: Paring knives are good for peeling produce, while bread knives effortlessly slice through crusty loaves. Once you've acquired a bit of a collection, the next logical step is to get a wooden knife block to store all your cutlery. Knife blocks are a fixture on many a kitchen counter, and while it's easy to assume there's nothing special about the storage option, celebrity chef Ina Garten has a tip for using them that'll improve the lifespan of your knives.


A video posted to her Instagram explains why Ina Garten's knives of choice are stored upside down in the knife block. Garten demonstrates how when you put knives in a block the normal way, the edge scrapes against the slot, dulling the blade. By putting a knife in upside down, the wood will only slide against the dull side, which will preserve the knife's sharpness over time.

The importance of a sharp knife

Keeping your knife blade nice and sharp is often the difference between effortless slicing and laborious cooking prep. A finely honed edge can easily cut through even the toughest fruits, vegetables, and meat, while a dull blade requires a lot of hacking and sawing — something that can damage your food and wear you out. Because of this, a sharp knife is a safe knife. All knives should be handled with care, but since you tend to extend much more force when using a dull knife, you run the risk of making the knife slip and cut into you. Sharp knives cut without resistance, minimizing the risk of injury.


When Ina Garten demonstrates this hack, she does so with a knife block that stands at a slight angle. While it's especially beneficial to put knives into this type of block upside down, the method is also useful for blocks that are vertically straight. Just be mindful of how you slide the knives in to ensure the blade isn't grating against the wood. By thinking differently about something as simple as storing your knives, you can keep them sharp and efficient for much longer.