Mike Staib

Commercial Kitchens And Water-Bound Hygiene

No comments


The primary concerns regarding kitchen hygiene are usually visible to the naked eye, such as spillages, spoiled food, dirty surfaces and so on. However, undetected background conditions may be adding up to create real problems, with USA Today highlighting the role that the creeping risk of mold can create in the kitchen. Keeping a watchful eye on the symptoms of kitchen health risks will help to keep your entire venture in good stead.
Understanding damp
Kitchens are unlikely to be a cold and clammy area given the amount of heat given off by cooking. With this heat comes humidity. According to the UK’s Institute of Specialist Surveyors and Engineers, home cooking creates 3,000 g of water every day – scale that up to everyday, non-stop cooking in a restaurant, and you can see how the wet will add up. As this humidity builds up, mold may begin to develop in the walls and a detailed inspection will show if this has become a problem. Improper ventilation can lead to this situation, and will require removal by professionals. The alternative can mean serious consequences for customers and staff.
Hidden bacteria
Most restaurants will need to have a strict hygiene regimen that involves the wiping down and cleansing of surfaces on an at least daily basis. This doesn’t account for maintenance outside of the direct kitchen process, notably where water systems are concerned. A 2007 study found that the notorious bacteria causing Legionnaire’s disease had been found in the fountain system of a restaurant, and opened up the possibility of any water-system with commercial catering areas carrying the disease. This informs restaurant owners to ensure that hygiene controls are applied across the entire supply network in-house, not just where it can be seen.
Clearing house
In addition to looking for the hidden background risks of hygiene breaches, pay attention to front-of-house hygiene. Don’t be tempted to re-use glasses that could have had unclean fingers on them, even if clean. Don’t re-use water from customers, a practice that has been common in drought-hit areas like South Africa and California. In today’s corona virus-wary society, this has never been more important – both in terms of hygiene and business reputation.

Kitchen hygiene starts with what’s obvious, but goes much deeper. There are creeping effects that can harm the health of your business and stunt your business ambitions. Keep your kitchen healthy by taking an all-in approach to its hygiene.

Article Written by Karoline Gore

COVID-19 info for businesses

Recommended strategies for employers to use now (Found on CDC.gov)2019-nCoV-virus-illustration.jpg

  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home:
    • Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
    • Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
    • Talk with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.
    • Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
    • Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.
  • Separate sick employees:
    • CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).
  • Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees:
    • Place posters that encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance to your workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.
    • Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
    • Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol, or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
    • Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
    • Visit the coughing and sneezing etiquette and clean hands webpage for more information.
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning:
    • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
    • No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.
    • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.
  • Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps:
    • Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel. Specific travel information for travelers going to and returning from China, and information for aircrew, can be found at on the CDC website.
    • Advise employees to check themselves for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before starting travel and notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
    • Ensure employees who become sick while traveling or on temporary assignment understand that they should notify their supervisor and should promptly call a healthcare provider for advice if needed.
    • If outside the United States, sick employees should follow your company’s policy for obtaining medical care or contact a healthcare provider or overseas medical assistance company to assist them with finding an appropriate healthcare provider in that country. A U.S. consular officer can help locate healthcare services. However, U.S. embassies, consulates, and military facilities do not have the legal authority, capability, and resources to evacuate or give medicines, vaccines, or medical care to private U.S. citizens overseas.
  • Additional Measures in Response to Currently Occurring Sporadic Importations of the COVID-19:
    • Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
    • If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.

People at Risk for Serious Illness

What can you do to help prevent the spread

From CDC.gov

  • Have supplies on hand
    • Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications to have on hand in case there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community and you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time.
    • If you cannot get extra medications, consider using mail-order for medications.
    • Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
    • Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for a period of time.
  • Take everyday precautions
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • Take everyday preventive actions
      • Clean your hands often
      • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.
      • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
      • To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
      • Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places.
      • Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
      • Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones)
      • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.
      • Avoid all non-essential travel including plane trips, and especially avoid embarking on cruise ships.
  • If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people to further reduce your risk of being exposed to this new virus.
    • Stay home as much as possible.
      • Consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family, social, or commercial networks
  • Have a plan for if you get sick:
    • Consult with your health care provider for more information about monitoring your health for symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
    • Stay in touch with others by phone or email. You may need to ask for help from friends, family, neighbors, community health workers, etc. if you become sick.
    • Determine who can provide you with care if your caregiver gets sick

Watch for symptoms and emergency warning signs

  • Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.
  • If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs*:
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

For more information go to CDC site: Corona Virus Disease 2019


Mike StaibCommercial Kitchens And Water-Bound Hygiene
read more

Ergonomics & Effects of Sitting Too Long

No comments

Keep in better shape and health with movement during your day. If you sit for long periods, you should definitely take breaks and stand up at a workstation. This info graphic provides some good in-site and tips to healthier working and living habits.  We hope you find this short post helpful.

[Infographic]: 10 Ways How Sitting Too Long Kills You Slowly (Science-Based Facts)

Ergonomics in the kitchen is also important when it comes to meal prep.  Do you have an ergonomic knife?  Do you know how much more efficient and easy it is to use an ergonomically designed knife?  At Ergo Chef it’s how we got started.  One knife design that made prep. much easier and less strain on the hand wrist and forearm.

Our Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sale is the biggest of the year. Visit our site for Huge Cutlery and Kitchenware savings Through Cyber Monday.



Mike StaibErgonomics & Effects of Sitting Too Long
read more

Sharpening Stones – How to Clean

1 comment

Sharpening stone

Article written by Annabelle from Seriously Smoked

How to Clean a Sharpening Stone

Is your sharpening stone always getting clogged and not working optimally? Then chances are you are not cleaning it regularly or not cleaning it with the right methods.

For instance, you need honing oil to get rid of any metal fillings on the stone. If your stone is already aging, you can bring it back to optimal functioning by using WD-40 and steel wool to get rid of dirt and oil. It is important you flatten your stone not less than every 10 sharpening sessions, which in turn will help keep it even and get rid of embedded, stubborn metal fillings.

Here are the rest of the top tips to clean your sharpening stone;

#1: Tips for Getting Rid of Dirt and Grime

This section will detail tips on how to clean a sharpening stone by removing dirt and grime.

  • Use WD-40 to Coat Your Stone: The specially formulated oil spray known as WD-40 is great for cleaning sharpening stone, as well as serve different purposes. Spray
    Cleaning Stone with WD-40

    Cleaning sharpening stone

    the oil on the surface of the stone and ensure you coat the entire surface with the oil. It is best to use this oily spray in an area that is superbly ventilated.

  • Gently Scour the Surface: Next, use a piece of fine steel wool to scour the surface in a gentle manner. This process will take out any grime on your sharpening tool. But, if you have to break up stubborn debris or caked oil, you should use steel wool or any form of abrasive tool.

So, apply steel wool (the 0000 grade type) onto the surface of the stone. Don’t stop rubbing until debris and oil starts to come off.  This technique will work best for older stones that have been lying dormant for a while.

  • Use a Damp Cloth to Wipe: A paper cloth will also work well in wiping the stone’s surface. When you’re done scouring your stone, take off the leftover WD-40, oil, and dirt. Use the damp cloth or paper towel to wipe down your stone in a thorough manner. Do this all over if you are not satisfied with the first effort.

#2: Tips to Flush Out Mineral Fillings

In this section, you will learn super-helpful ways to flush out mineral fillings from your stone. These tips include the following;

  • Use Honing Oil: A quarter amount of this oil will do. This oil is mineral-grade oil used commonly in machine shops, and the essence is to lift metal flecks away from stone.

Use a soft tooth brush or your finger when applying this oil on your stone, adopting gentle, circular motions as you rub. Don’t stop the motion until you can observe metal flecks emerging from your sharpening stone’s pores.

Also, you should apply honing oil on your stone once you notice metal flecks, so that your stone can remain effective.

  • Use a Damp Cloth to Wipe: Use a paper towel or damp cloth to wipe the metal flecks away. When you wet the paper towel or clean cloth, ensure you wring the water out before using it to wipe the surface of your stone gently. Make sure you wipe off even the slightest metal fillings that settled on the surface.
  • Rinse Thoroughly: Put the stone under running water to rinse it. This way, you can get rid of any leftover debris or metal fillings on the stone. Rinse for about a minute or two to be sure it is thoroughly clean. Use a paper towel or clean dry cloth to finish cleaning. Caution: Use only water (no soap or other form of liquid) for this process.

 #3: Tips for Flattening the Stone


Flattening Stone Plate

The tips to be covered under this section include;

  • Use a Flattening Plate: Rub your stone over the flattening plate, so that you can get rid of metal fillings. The flattening plate works to even out the stone’s surface and some stones will come with this plate.

So, start by using oil or water to damp your stone completely. Then, drag the plate back and forth in a gentle manner, over the stone’s surface. Keep on with this motion until the surface comes out smooth with no form of metal fillings.

For synthetic sharpening stone, you will need honing oil to wet the surface instead of water. This is because this type of stone is coarser and grittier compared to the natural stones.

  • Apply Sanding Method: Sandpaper can also work if there’s no flattening plate. So, adhere a wet-dry sand paper (100-grit) onto a flat surface such as a thick, small piece of glass. Use water or oil to damp your sharpening stone and start rubbing the stone over the sandpaper. Keep up the process until the surface is smooth and metal filings are not visible.

These basic but proven tips for cleaning a sharpening stone are super-effective.

For those quick moments when you have to line the burrs or get a edge on your knife for prepping your meal and you forgot to sharpen your dull knife, Ergo Chef offers diamond rods and a few quick pull through sharpeners that can get a edge on your knife in no time.

If your knives are past the point of you being able to sharpen them you can send them in for a professional re-grinding of the edge at Ergo Chef. Click here for details.

Mike StaibSharpening Stones – How to Clean
read more

Knife bags / Roll for storage & transportation

No comments

Ergo Chef The Cue 14

Are you working full-time in a kitchen and need a handy way to store and transport your knives? Maybe you just want to have a portable kit in case of a family BBQ. Regardless of the reason, then a knife roll is a great choice. This handy storage tool safely and securely keeps your knives in one place until you need to use them. Most chefs swear by them.


Type of Knife Bags

When it comes to your knives, there’s more than one type of bar or roll available. Each option has its own pros and cons. Although you can look through these choices available, it’s often a good idea to read through a review to decide what works well and poorly about a knife roll.

  1. Leather Knife Bagsthe-stinger-professional-chefs-leather-knife-roll-bag-boldric-brown

When it comes to a knife bag that is both durable and stylish, leather bags are a great choice. Keep in mind that they are going to run you a pretty penny. However, they’re often a great choice if you enjoy something with some style. It’s also important to know that leather is incredibly durable and will last you for years.



2. Canvas Knife Bags

Canvas is also a durable material that makes a good choice for a knife bag / roll. They are also fairly long-lasting and tend to be a great choice for a full knife set. If you want a knife roll that can hold all of your knives, then canvas is a good choice. It securely protects your knives and also travels well. If you choose a waxed bag, then any liquids that spill on the bag won’t stain. The only downside to canvas is that it’s a heavier material so with your knives, it won’t be a light option.


  1. Nylon & Synthetic Knife Bags

    Screen Shot 2018-06-11 at 11.40.57 AM

    Chef Gear Knife Bag – 9 Pocket Blue

    When you want versatility in a knife roll, then these synthetic fabrics are often a good choice. Due to their lightweight construction, it’s usually a good choice for carrying and won’t weigh you down. Also, the bags can contain a variety of pockets, zippers, and straps to make it easy to store other kitchen tools and carry around like a backpack or over your shoulder. They often have zippered pockets for you to carry pens, timers, and more.

  1. Other Criteria to Consider

When you know the general material that you want in a bag, you’ll still have to decide on a few other areas. For example, the capacity is a factor. If you want to store a complete knife set, you’ll have to purchase a large or medium-sized bag. Some chefs want to carry a particular knife such as a cleaver or a longer knife so they may need specialty compartments.

The general appearance of the knife roll also matters. This is subjective, of course, but you should choose a knife roll that has an appearance you like. It’s usually a good idea to avoid anything too flashy as you may have a change in taste over time. Simple and classic are often good principles to follow but ultimately, choose the bag that you like.

Finally, you’ll want to consider the cost. You can spend as much as you want on a knife bag. It’s usually a good idea to purchase a bag that will last you well but won’t cost more than the contents of the bag. Expect to pay more for leather bags in most cases.

How to Use a Knife Bag / Roll

When you purchase a knife bag, it’s important to be organized and use the roll correctly. This will keep the knives safe during storage and moving. Use this guide to make sure that your roll is organized.

  1. Consider Edge Guards

Although the knife roll will protect your knives, it’s still a good idea to use edge guards on all your knives. This is a good tip for general safety and will also protect the knives & bag from damage. Plain plastic or felt-lined guards are good options.

  1. Lay out the Roll and Review the Knife Spots

    black 5 pocket with knives only

    5 Pocket Knife Bag – Check fit & position

When you lay out the roll, you can get an overview of what knife spots are available. Each slot will be a different length and size. Most rolls are designed to fit a knife set. If you have specialty knives, you may have to decide which knives are essential or purchase a larger roll to fit all of them.

  1. Store the Knives

Put each knife into its designated knife slot with the edge guard in place. Although the slots do not have to provide an exact fit, make sure that you avoid any slots that are too large as this can cause the knives to become dislodged. Also, do not force a knife into a spot that’s too small to avoid damaging the roll. Also, do not put any more than one knife in a single slot.

  1. Roll the Knife Bag Securely

    black 5 pocket w black logo guards

    5 Pocket Chef Gear knife bag with edge guards on knives

Most bags will have a flap that lays over the knives. If your bag has this flap, use it to cover the knives and then roll the bag up. Roll the bag firmly and avoid having it either too tight or too loose. It may take a few tries to get this right so spend a few tries as needed. Fasten the bag securely with straps or ties. These are usually attached to the bag and can be used to close the bag securely.

Once the bag is completely closed, you can use it to transport your knives securely.


Now that you know how to choose and use a knife roll, it’s time to consider getting your own. If you find that you need a secure way to transport your knives, then a knife roll is a great option. It may be surprising to find out that these bags can be stylish and practical. Make sure that you use them appropriately to avoid any risk to your knives or yourself. Use this guide as needed when you’re considering getting a knife bag.



Mike StaibKnife bags / Roll for storage & transportation
read more

Ways to Deal With A Cash Crunch In Your Restaurant

No comments
 Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash


study by Perry Group International revealed that most restaurants go out of business during their first year of operation, and 70 percent of those that make it past the first year close down in the next 3 to 5 years. Experiencing a cash crunch is one of the main reasons why restaurants struggle to stay afloat. Running a restaurant is not all about preparing food that taste great, there are a lot of expenses that need to be covered for the business to stay afloat. If your restaurant is experiencing a cash crunch, it’s crucial to take steps that will increase cash flow and make the business profitable.



Screen Shot 2018-03-01 at 8.17.04 PM

Decrease Restaurant Overhead

If you find that your restaurant is not making enough money to cover expenses, it’s a good time to eliminate waste of resources in payroll, inventory, utilities and other areas. Revise your menu and remove or reduce slower moving dishes and low margin items. Decreasing your menu will allow you to limit the amount of inventory that you need to order. You can also cross utilize menu items in order to use ingredients in more than one dish and therefore reduce wastage. For example, if your menu includes a burger (ingredients which include lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon) it should also include items that require the same ingredients. When it comes to payroll, if you experience a small number of customers in certain seasons or certain days of the week, like Monday evenings or Wednesday mornings, reduce the number of staff working during those times in order to save money on wages.



Photo: Chef Adrian Cruz putting final touches on his creation!

10341744_866279300053318_7862400480523022681_nSeek Financial help

If you run out of cash to run your restaurant, an outright sale or closure isn’t always necessary. Before you think of closing down and declaring bankruptcy, you need to look for other ways of injecting cash into the business, and if that isn’t an option, consult a bankruptcy lawyer in order to analyze your options and know if you qualify. Seeking financial help in the form of a short-term business loan can help keep your restaurant afloat until you become profitable. Your bank is a good place to start. Most bankers want to see your business do well and make profit. So talk to your banker to find out if there are any short term solutions to your cash crunch problem. Also, if you know you’re going to have a hard time making mortgage or loan payments, talk to your bank and ask for an extension or the restructuring of your payment plan. If bank financing isn’t an option, you can turn to online lending companies that provide entrepreneurs with small business loans, often in the form of cash advances. However, you might sink your restaurant deeper into debt if you take out loans with high interest rates, so exercise caution when applying for any loan.

Managing a restaurant into profit may require a lot of hard work and may take time, and so if you experience cash flow problems, don’t panic. Get a full picture of your current situation and formulate a plan, and you will get your business back on track in no time.

Ergo Chef is excited to share some PR coming from the editors of AOL in a write up on our new knives we designed with and for Guy Fieri. The new Premium Knuckle Sandwich knives are available on our site here:  Guy Fieri’s Premium AUS8 Japanese Steel knives
The AOL & Yahoo Article can be found here: AOL Knife Article
Yahoo shared the article here: Yeahoo – Guy Fieri Luxury Knife Set
You can guy direct from Ergo Chef with a 60 day Money Back Guarantee and Lifetime Limited Warranty – Get Guy’s New Luxury Knives
Mike StaibWays to Deal With A Cash Crunch In Your Restaurant
read more

Tips for knife sharpening and maintenance


TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR CHEF KNIVES SHARP – Knife sharpening and maintenance

Keeping your knives sharp is one of the most important rules in a kitchen. It not only makes food preparation faster and cleaner but far safer than using a dull knife. Using a dull knife requires more pressure therefore it can cause quite a mess if it slips.

A sharp knife is less likely to slip and cause a bloody mess. In the event that you actually cut yourself by accident, it will be less painful and heal faster than if you were using a dull knife.  Knife skills are important for preventing injury, so if you’re not sure how to hold a knife you can see how here.

How to keep your chef knives sharp

1.      Sharpen your knives when needed

  • Honing Rod   3013-img-1-L

Most knife sets come with a tool to sharpen (Hone) the knives once they start burring (Dulling). A honing rod is one such tool. It looks like a short round sword and doesn’t remove a lot of metal from the blade but lines up burs on the knife edge so it cuts better.

You can determine if your knife is a bit dull by choosing a round fruit or vegetable with a slick surface, for example, a green apple. Try cutting the surface using little pressure. If the knife slips off the surface or you have to use a sawing motion, then your knife is too dull. When using the honing rod, you should hold the knife in your dominant hand with the rod in the other hand.

Hold a knife at 18-20 degrees or so to the rod and move its whole length across the top of the rod. Repeat this at the bottom of the rod with the other side of the blade. Do this about 6 or 8 times before using your knife. Remember to go slow at first. You can go faster once you get the hang of it. Be sure to use your honing rod at least once a week to help hone and sharpen your knives.

  • Diamond Sharpening Rod   ErgoChef 0130 FIN V1

This tool is quick and efficient at keeping your knives edges sharp in between more timely sharpening methods.  The oval diamond sharpener is used like the honing rod at an 18-20 degree angle, sweeping the knife on a diagonal very lightly.  This removes only a few microns of steel, sharpening your edge with just 3-4 passes per side.  If you find this tool doesn’t bring your edge back then it’s time for a whetstone or bringing them into a professional sharpener.


  • Whetstone.

You may not be new to this magical tool. A sharp knife will require the best sharpening stone. The stone has both a rough and fine side. Start on the rough side and create a burr. If you have a one-sided edge, you can just grind one side. For a symmetrical grind, it is better to grind both sides.

Once you’re done, turn the stone to the finer side to smooth out the burrs. Once smooth, keep alternating the sites with every stroke. Your knife should now be sharp.

  • Cup or Mug

This comes in handy when you don’t have a honing rod or any other sharpening tool. By maintaining your knife at 18-20 degrees to the grit of a ceramic mug, you can sharpen your knife by sliding the blade across the grit.

2. Use the right cutting board.  MSL_7_VCleaver_3_XL

The type of surface on which you cut your food also has a large impact on your knife’s blade life. You should definitely go for a wooden cutting board to ensure your knife holds its edge for a long time. Being soft, wood is generally gentler on the blade than other cutting board surfaces.  Bamboo is also a great choice for cutting board and it’s eco friendly.

This is especially true with cutting boards which have the end grain facing up in a butcher block-style. This design allows the blade to slide in between the wood fibers but for most parts it’s durable.

Plastic boards are also a bit easy on the knife edge and can be easily sanitized.

Don’t Use: Glass or marble cutting boards are too hard for knives and will quickly dull the edge. This also includes ceramic plates. These three surfaces will dull any knife and you should avoid using them.

3. Clean your knives properly.

Tossing chef knives into the dishwasher doesn’t do them any favors. It may be an easy way to wash them but the constant bumping with other silverware and kitchen utensils, along with harsh detergents may leave dents in the knife edge dulling it over time. Not to mention the harsh detergents can start to pit the rivets in the handle and discolor the plastic handles on a knife.

So how should you wash your knives? The best way is to clean them by hand. Use warm water, dish soap and a sponge to wash them and avoid soaking them in order to prevent damaging the handle material and also causing staining or rust spots on the blades. Dry after washing and store in a safe place.  Washing a knife after use is a good habit to start and only takes about 1 minute from start to finish.  This will help preserve the beauty and life of your knives.

4. Storing your knives.

You should have a dedicated storage place for your chef knives. It’s advisable not to store them in a drawer since this will be a bit dangerous. But if you store yours in a drawer be sure you use edge guards on the blades to prevent knife and finger damage.  You can use wooden blocks or knife blocks to have them all in one place. If you need to access them fast, you could always go for a magnetic strip. These are not really safe for homes with kids but are fine for kitchens in restaurants.

5. Use your knife the right way.

A lot of people, even chefs, use knives to scoop up food from the cutting board. This only speeds up the dulling process. Avoid using your knife to cut non-food items such as cardboard and packages, as this also can dull the blade.

That said, taking care of your chef knives should now be easier. With sharper knives, you can enjoy cooking and get a lot done in the kitchen, both safer and faster. By following the steps above, your knives can stay sharp and last even longer.

Please stay up to date with all we offer and our blog by liking us on Facebook  Instagram and signing up for new Chop Talk blog post updates.

If you missed our special 20% OFF in July sale good for a single item purchase, we activated 100 more special coupon codes: Choptalk20  valid through Aug. 8th Don’t miss out on this special. Shop now!

Mike StaibTips for knife sharpening and maintenance
read more

Ergonomic Kitchen Design & Work Space

No comments


Every Working Kitchen Needs Ergonomic Design and Ample Work Space

As many as 36% of carpal tunnel cases require long-term, ongoing care, according to a CDC study. Among the most common occupations that lead to this kind of overuse condition are Chefs and cafeteria workers. Even for the home chef, repetitive motions and other stressors can lead to problems down the road. An ergonomic kitchen design & work space, however, can do a lot to help. With the right tools, and possibly a kitchen re-design, you can use ergonomics to reduce the risk of overuse injuries as well as other kitchen dangers.

Create Space To Move

One major contributor to strain is not having enough space to move. If you’re trying to cook in a space that’s too small, or with obstacles in your way, you’ll be at greater risk, thanks to a reduced range of motion in this non ergonomic work space. If you find yourself using restrained motions while chopping or whisking, it’s time to think about rearranging the kitchen to be more ergonomic and user friendly. You should aim to create counter space with room to move around it, as well as open walkways between work spaces. Strain isn’t the only risk: many people get injured in kitchens by walking into appliances and other obstacles. Simply cleaning up clutter is a great way to start, but you can consider moving cabinets as well, especially overhead cabinets that might be blocking work areas. Another option would be adding an island countertop that you can move around in all directions and position where most useful during meal preparation helping to create an ergonomic kitchen design.pexels-photo-1663263

Designate Work Areas

A crowded kitchen can cause other problems too. Burns and cuts account for the vast majority of kitchen injuries, and a crowded work space makes it easier to bump into, drop, or otherwise mishandle dangerous tools and appliances. So, when redesigning your kitchen with ergonomics in mind, you want to think carefully about creating set work spaces. Be sure to have enough room to safely accomplish your kitchen task with all appliances in there optimal place for a better ergonomic kitchen design and work space. One tip is to organize your appliances and other tools by how you use them. Quick-access designs, like magnetic knife racks, can help too. You can even rewire your kitchen to group outlets where you need them, reducing the risks posed by long cords, and eliminating the need for awkward motions when using plugged-in devices.

Ergonomic Kitchen Tools And Devices

Finally, replacing your knives and other implements with ergonomic designs can cut down significantly on strain. Better-designed handles not only reduce strain, but also give you more control and ease of use. Start with the knives you use the most, and keep phasing in more ergonomic kitchen design where you can. Even without a full remodel, you can make your kitchen a lot easier and safer to use with a few well-designed replacements.


​Ergo Chef knives were designed with proper ergonomics in mind.  It all began with our Pro-Series Chef knife pictured here.

Review our past article on Knife Safety in Your Kitchen

To get your kitchen up to high quality ergonomic cutlery standards, please have a closer look at our lines at ErgoChef.com We offer a 30 day Satisfaction money back guarantee and a Lifetime Limited Warranty on our Pro-Series, G10 Crimson, Shinzui and the all new Guy Fieri Knuckle Sandwich line.

Guy Chef with Kydex on grey board webGuy Santoku & Sheath Iso web

Guy Web Page header III












New for 2019 Grill Season – No better way to get grilling than with the Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool.

A 3 in 1 Ergonomic grill knife, bottle opener and food flipper. Now available with black handle – On Sale for $24.99

Black_Grill_ToolScreen Shot 2018-05-18 at 11.18.01 AMMMPGT_black_Bottle_Open

Mike StaibErgonomic Kitchen Design & Work Space
read more

Tips on How to Remove Meat and Grill a Lobster!

No comments

Picking meat out of a lobster is an art. You want to make sure that you get as much of that delicious, sweet, succulent meat out of the shell as possible. It is also imperative to remove the flesh without getting it mixed up with little bits of the shell, which are not only sharp, but indigestible. There are several different knife techniques and scissor use at play, but with a little practice you can become an expert in no time.

TLobster daniel-norris-1105151-unsplashaking out the claw meat

To remove the claws, first you will need to twist the legs sharply at the base. You will then be able to twist the claws straight off from the legs. Using a large,  chef’s knife, like the 8″ Pro-Series, hit on the lobster claw with the heel of the knife. Make sure that you keep your fingers well away from the sharp edge of the blade. The weight of the knife should be doing the work, you don’t need to force your arm. You are aiming to crack the shell in order to remove it easily. If you have a particularly big lobster, it may take more than one hit. Take the small pincer firmly in your fingers and give it a wiggle to remove it – you can also release the meat this way. With a little finesse, you should be able to remove the meat all in one piece.

Check out this Video from How Cast showing details for removing all meat.


Photo by Daniel Norris on Unsplash

Removing lobster roe

The roe of the lobster, also known as the coral, is considered a delicacy, it is very strong in flavor. You can eat in just as it is, or combine it into a pate to spread onto toast as a canape. It can also be added to sauce for a luxurious finish. Using a boning knife, such as the Prodigy Series 6” loosen the roe carefully, by slipping it underneath. If your knife is adequately sharp, it will easily do the work, without you having to force your arm. You should aim to remove the roe all in one piece. Once the roe has been loosened, you should be able to simply pluck it out gently with your fingers.

Carving out the body meat

The meat from the main body of the lobster is extremely difficult to remove all in one piece, especially if the lobster has been grilled and is slightly overcooked. Pick up the body of the lobster, hold the flippers towards you, shell upwards. Pull back on both sides of the shell to loosen the meat. Make sure that you are standing up when you do this, so that your body isn’t hunched over. The action should come from the shoulder. You can then turn the lobster over and run your boning knife under the meat to completely separate it from the shell.

Using a knife you can remove your lobster meat from the shell in whole pieces – this isn’t possible if you are using a small lobster picker. With a little practice, you will soon have mastered these knife techniques.

It’s geGrilling lobster michelle-tsang-500725-unsplashtting warm out and the grills are lighting up.  Try cooking your lobster or shellfish on the grill this year.  You can find some great recipes on AllRecipes.com  or Delish.com

Don’t forget the lobster Kitchen Shears and grill tong essentials.

Article Credit: Karoline Gore

Mike StaibTips on How to Remove Meat and Grill a Lobster!
read more

Knife Safety In Your Kitchen

No comments
Safe way to hold knife

Proper way to pinch grip your chef knife

Keeping Kids Safe Around Kitchen Knives

Knives are rated to be among the most common kitchen hazards, with more than 3.4 million children experiencing an unintentional household injury every year. It’s important to discuss and practice proper kitchen safety with your children, especially if you’re a fan of high-quality kitchen knives. Learning how to care for and use your knives and other kitchen utensils are only parts of being a great cook. Properly and securely storing them away so that they are out of reach of small hands, is one of the most important aspects of running a safe, efficient home kitchen.

Teach Your Children About Knives

Like guns, one of the biggest safety techniques applies for knives when it comes to children. Teach them about knives and let them ask questions in order to address any curiosity early on. If you want to, you can invest in a small kid-friendly knife set to allow them to participate in cooking and cutting with you. This will get them comfortable handling a knife, while also allowing them to learn practical life and culinary skills. If you’re going to do this, you’ll want to also teach them how to properly hold a knife, where to grip the handle and how much pressure to use, as well as the right cutting techniques to avoid injury. It should go without saying that you should never let your children use knives when unattended; but with an adult present, you should feel free to let them engage in a learning process that helps them cultivate confidence and life skills.

Practice Regular Knife Safety

Engaging in the proper handling of knives in the kitchen will not only set a good example for your children to learn how to handle the utensils, but it will also ensure your whole kitchen is safe for anybody who enters it. You’ll want to start by never keeping kitchen knives in a disorganized and regular drawer where blades are exposed which can cut somebody reaching into it.

Inserting knife into edge guard

Ergo Chef Universal Edge Guard

If your knife edges are not covered in a kitchen drawer please consider using Universal Edge Guards to properly cover the sharp edge for better knife safety. It’s a good idea to also keep a cork on the sharp tip as long as children are around or store them in a knife block that is up and out of their reach. And, as counter-intuitive as it might sound, you’ll want to always keep your knives sharp by using a sharpening tool and cleaning them regularly. If using a wet stone is too challenging for you try a spring loaded pull through sharpener to get a quick sharp edge. Dull knives require a greater force to cut something which often results in slips and cuts, especially when handled by children. Any chef will tell you, a sharp knife is a safer knife! If your knives have not been professionally sharpened in a few years, it’s most likely time to bring them to a qualified knife sharpener.  If you’ve invested in an ergonomic knife set specifically designed for the small hands of children, however, they should be fine.

Creating a Safe Kitchen Environment

A well-sharpened, high-quality knife set can turn a regular kitchen into a stellar, and knife safe one. This allows you to craft up delectable treats for your whole family, that you might not otherwise be able to cook. To ensure that your kitchen stays a stellar one, with proper knife safety,  you’ll want to always put safety first. Begin by teaching your children about the various different aspects of a kitchen and the utensils you use. Allow them to learn along with you as you cook. Never allow children to use knives or other dangerous kitchen appliances without adult supervision. Act as a positive role model with the way you handle yourself. Before you know it, you might have the next child Master Chef on your hands and at the least one who knows proper knife safety.

Author: Karoline Gore

Find out about other popular kitchen products and reviews with the Cooking Detective.


How to properly Hold a Chef knife for safer use

How to quickly sharpen your knives

Proper technique for cutting carrots & vegetables

A safe kitchen is important but so is your home. A big investment that we must protect.  If you agree, check out this article on making your home safer with 6 burglar proofing tips from safety.com.


Ergo Chef is introducing some amazing new kitchen products at the International Home and Housewares Show –  March 2nd- 5th at the Chicago McCormick Place.

One of the most exciting launches is our new Chef Guy Fieri Knuckle Sandwich Knives that are crafted from Japanese AUS8 Steel and come with a quality KYDEX sheath for safe storage. We designed this bold new look with the king of Flavortown and the premium materials deliver world class performance, with a look that says game on. Get yours today!

We have also added a new  Crimson G10 7″ Santoku knife, as it’s one of the most popular sizes on the market for a kitchen knife and often viewed as safer to use by some due to a rounded tip (No Point) on the front of blade.

For the outdoor grillmaster we have created a tool to make prepping your ribs easy and safe. The Myron Mixon BBQ Rib Skinner. Easily removes unwanted membrane so you can flavor your ribs for award winning taste.

For Safe, healthier and easy cooking in your kitchen, consider an Air Fryer.  Yield fried results with little to no oil and no messy clean up. The new Ergo Chef My Air Fryer is becoming a very popular item in homes around the country. You’ll wan’t a good size basket (5 qt. Minimum) & powerful 1700 Watt heater element for best results. Find out more about this must have kitchen appliance here: Ergo Chef My Air Fryer

Mike StaibKnife Safety In Your Kitchen
read more

Choosing The Right Ergonomic Equipment

No comments


Preparing food is not supposed to be torturous, regardless of whether you are preparing fine cuisine in a 5-star restaurant or cooking a meal for your friends and family in the comfort of your own kitchen. Unfortunately, poorly designed kitchen tools often result in unnatural twisting, bending, and grasping of the hands which could result in painful tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome, the latter affecting between 4 and 10 million Americans according to the American College of Rheumatology. Thankfully an increasing number of designers have started paying attention to ergonomics which is enabling them to create striking and functional tools that do not put excessive strain on the body. 

What are the benefits of using ergonomic kitchen tools? 

People inherently oppose change unless, of course, there is an immense benefit too. The advantages of using ergonomic kitchen tools such as chef knives are plentiful, and they are not limited to professional chefs either. Ergonomic knives and other kitchen tools are designed in such a manner that they increase efficiency, allowing you to cut straighter, fillet more neatly and chop faster – all which can end up saving you both time and money. As accuracy is also increased, the likelihood of injuries decreases, resulting in fewer trips to the ER and increased peace of mind. Apart from a quality set of ergonomic knives, you should also invest in other ergonomic helpful kitchen tools such as, DUO Tongs, vegetable peelers, pepper grinders and cheese graters that will make food prep both easier and safer. Check out the 10 essential kitchen tools from non count.

What to look out for in a good knife?

There are a number of things to look out for when choosing a knife. Make sure the handle fits comfortably in your hand and that it is neither too heavy nor too light. Apart from boasting a comfortable-to-hold ergonomic handle, a good-quality knife will also have a sturdy, sharp blade free of any imperfections. You will also know that you have found a good knife if it carries a lifetime warranty against manufacturers defects. In order for your kitchen tools to continue working as they were made to do, they need to be looked after and kept clean at all times. Quality kitchen tools are in general easy to wash and while knives should be hand-washed at all times, you can easily pop your other crockery and cutlery into your dishwasher for a swift and effective clean.

A knife for every task

How often do you open the kitchen drawer, reach for the first available knife and cut/chop/hack away at whatever is needed at the time? Chances are you didn’t even know that there is a different knife for just about every kitchen task you can think of.  While a Chef or Santuko knife are versatile options suitable for chopping, slicing and dicing, you are going to need a paring knife when it comes to peeling fruit and veg and de-seeding them. A fillet knife will do exactly what the name indicates –fillet meat and fish while a boning knife will effortlessly remove the bone from cuts of meat. No knife collection is complete without a good ergonomic bread knife that will easily glide through even the freshest loaf of bread and a utility knife that will take care of all the jobs that dedicated knives can’t. 

Investing in a range of quality ergonomic knives and other kitchen tools you will not only increase your productivity in the kitchen but reduce your risk of developing an unpleasant injury as well. While there is no need to rush out and replace every single kitchen gadget you own with an ergonomic one, you might want to systematically start to incorporate more ergonomic designs in your entire home.

Author: Karoline Gore

So what knife should you choose? 

If you’re building your kitchen, we recommend starting with the Ergo Chef Pro Series Chef Knife. Crafted with our patented ergonomic handle, this knife is the true “workhorse” of the kitchen. Our ergonomic design incorporates a full radius on the blade for smooth and efficient cutting.

Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 10.40.30 AM

The Pro Series Chef Knife is a great starter knife, because it can accomplish any kitchen task. You can purchase this knife at a discounted value on our website here.

Holidays are coming up fast and it’s so important to have a great Carving knife or Set so you glide through your Turkey, Ham or roasts like a pro while the knife does all the work. Are you in need of a good Carving Set?  We have you covered with a few quality options to serve you for years to come.   2pc Pro-Series Carving Set $79.99 or Prodigy 2pc Slicer Set $44.95


Pro-Series Carving Set


Prodigy Carving Set

Interested in learning more about our ergonomic knife design?

Check out the video here!

Find us on Instagram: @ergochefknives

Follow us on Facebook: Ergo Chef Cutlery

Show us what you’re cooking!

Tag #ergochef in your Instagram posts for a chance to be reposted.


Mike StaibChoosing The Right Ergonomic Equipment
read more