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seeking the perfect chef's knife
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ERdept



Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 39
Location: LA

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My edges are literally, razor sharp, as is. but they're just for a rehandle at this time.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GuidoTKP wrote:
You should consider this knife:

http://tinyurl.com/yssvp7

Cooks Illustrated's favorite knife (when meassured for performance and price). Victorinox knives hold a great edge, are light, and are very nimble. I like a heavier knife, personally, but I have a Victorinox boning knife I wouldn't give away at gunpoint (unless, of course, the gun was loaded). Wink


work in a kitchen where I may have to cut veggies by the case,or hack up 100 lb of meat. I use a Forschner 10' chefs with Rosewood handle. Basically same steel but for rocking I favor a 10" at work. At home,doing small quantity and having a smaller space I use my little 7700 clad Kershaw 7" a lot. I have a small forged Henckel that stays home. too short and heavy and won't get near as sharp as my 430-10 Forschner. Got my first 430-10 in 1978. Great balance. Not too light but won't wear me down when I'm cutting for 4 straight hours. You can put a more acute edge on a Forscner than what comes out of the box. They do well with a double bevel technique. They are difficult to damage. I find the stamped Forschner can be made sharper than any heavy forged knife-including Forschner's own line. If you remake the edge right it's like a bigger,tougher Mac for less $.

I want a VG10 cored knife at some point. I have a 7" Kershaw 7700 Clad that uses a VG7 core and it's freaky sharp,and budget friendly,but Kershaw only did the VG7 core in the small 7". Love the handle on it and it is light and fast. VG7 can be treated to a rockwell of 60+,but VG10 is the top steel ,adds Cobalt to the alloy. Some VG10 blades are only treated to 59 or so,just a notch harder than a Forschner. That resists chips but you are paying for hardness to get the max edge

Sharpening skills make a HUGE difference. I've worked with dozens of chefs and cooks and maybe 3 were semi-good at sharpening,so,at work I let other cooks use my knives but make it a firm rule they do NOT EVER sharpen them (unsharpen is more the case). Most cooks use a steel a lot and nearly all do it wrong with a one hand back and forth that unly does the middle 2/3 and does not maintain any angle. Wrong. Learn to use BOTH hands,stroke away only,maintain a correct angle (you learn to feel it), do each stroke FULL LENGTH. Best is a SMOOTH steel...no ridges,or ceramic (especially for hard steel blades). I use the backside of another knife as a smooth steel often but that's a skill you evolve after learning to steel well. Ideally,the steel straightens up mild rollover but it also glazes. a microscopic look at a blade done on a stone will show the stone's texture and a slight sawtooth to the edge. Steeling virtually seems to "melt" that roughness into a nice low friction glaze-so it FEELS sharp.

Very hard (60+ rockwell) knives don't tend to like a conventional ridged steel. Often the steel is a softer metal-so your edge can gouge and chip. The ridges can result in some micro chips too. Ceramic is good (though breakable) Fine diamond "steels" work well but you want a light touch.

You can't beat a good stone.

Buying a 200 dollar knife and not learning sharpening skills is like buying a top of the line Nikon and not learning how to take (see) a great picture. It's a sin of unworthiness. But a $30 forschner and a pair of Norton stones,a coarse and a fine India. While these are considered OILSTONES....do NOT use oil,wet them with water only. Learn with this. THEN you move up to a $100-150 knife and maybe a fancier stone for finishing. Japanese style Waterstones are the current trend. I'm a bit old school and prefer a high grade Hard Arkansas stone.

I learned sharpening from a Popular Mechanics article back in the 70's that had microscopic photos. I then used that since and "got the feel" over the years. Chad Ward did a nice tutorial on eGullet that follows a similar principle,including double bevel and why it's a good approach.

A note on stones. I recommend stones about the length of the longest knife. Sharpening a 10" knife on a 6" stone is harder because you tend to shift angle a bit,plus it takes more strokes.
Restaurants often have the Norton triple stone system,with 3 stones ,each 3" by 11". You can get the coarse + fine stones seperate. Being big,they let you do a very nice stroke,parallell to the stone with a well controlled angle.

You CAN get a finer edge than the Norton India stone does.....but not as a novice.

I used to rest my Forschner on the counter,edge up and drop a ripe black olive on the edge from 12". It should be impaled on the edge from it's own weight about halfway sliced. That test is much harder to get than the shave your arm or cut paper or a lettuce leaf. An olive has a bit of a tough hide and will bounce an edge that is less than very very good. Sharper than that? It's possible. A Forschner has a Rockwell hardness of 57-58 and some Knives are around 62 or above. The Olive test on a super knife might result in the dropped olive being totally clean halved from a 12" drop and shaper than that is probably not anything you can sustain more than about 10 min of use.

Carbon Steel.

You can get Carbon Steel Japanese knives of rockwell 60+ at a pretty nice price and they take a great edge. However. Carbon steel is relatively corrosive. Forget cosmetics etc, a good carbon can get a patina that somewhat limits rust -cosmetically. Problem is you can get micro corrosion of the EDGE when you cut an Onion,fruit, Jalapeno,anything acidic.
That nice carbon edge degrades a lot just dicing a few onions. A QUALITY Carbon knife can be great----but have a SS knife for the acidic stuff.

As a Pro,I need a Do-it-All knife. I need a heavy duty power knife,i need a rather light-quick-agile ULTRA sharp knife,and a slicer thats a thin,acute angle blade able to thin slice a cross rib or rim + slice corn beef. A good low drag "meat slicer" will also slice bread well. We don't do Garde Manger type decor where I'm at,so paring knives are not a major thing. I carry a Forschner boner and a nice parer but don't use them much. My Kershaw 7700 is pretty compact and very sharp so it's used for "fine detail"

I do have a Lamson Chinese cleaver. As chinese cleavers go-it's great,but I favor my 10" Forschner and the cleaver gets used as a scooper when I'm using my small Kershaw 7700. One of the guys i work with loves that Lamson cleaver and he uses it more than I do.

Our house knives are Dexter Russell, mostly 10" chef with a couple of 8". They are an improvement on the Dexters that were common 'house' knives a decade ago, but for about the same price as a Forschner.......they suck. The local commercial wholesaler pushes Dexters and that's what we got. Could be worse. I worked at a few places where most "house" knives were antique cheap carbons with mangled handles and concaved blades with no edge at all and no real hope.
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msjayhawk



Joined: 26 Jan 2009
Posts: 4
Location: Diamondhead, MS

PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:35 pm    Post subject: Types of Knife Materials.... Reply with quote

http://www.cutleryscience.com/reviews/blade_materials.html#LM1
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swordfight



Joined: 02 Feb 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am just wandering if how an engineers cook? Do they really cook?
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genifery



Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How hard is it to becaome a professional chef? I really want to be a professional chef when I'm older! I have a passion for food and love to cook. I cook dinner for my family usually once a week when my mom is busy and I'm always making brownies or cakes. Do you know anyone who is a chef or owns a returaunt? I really want to know how hard it is to break into the buissness.
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samwise



Joined: 01 Apr 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best chef knife i can recommend is the R.H. Forschner by Victorinox 8-Inch Chef's Knife.

Last edited by samwise on Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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BoB/335
Guest





PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just ordered a Mac MTH-80 8" chef's knife. Sometimes I wonder if these Japanese edges are good for home use. The edge at these angles seem to be fragile (or at least I read a lot of that kind of talk)
I'm no Pro (not even close). More like a guy who has always wanted a sharp knife for carving and who is now doing more prep work. I am not a kid and felt that I should be able to handle this knife but I can't help but second guess that I might have been better off with a Wusthof that doesn't seem to be as freagile of an edge.
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roobyee



Joined: 15 Apr 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What separates an elite chef from just a good cook? Besides things like knife skills, or amount of recipes memorized? Is it more like, knowing when to add salt, etc? (I can't even make toast or pasta). Given the same recipe and ingredients, will the elite chef make a superior dish than a regular good cook?

Last edited by roobyee on Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

roobyee wrote:
What separates an elite chef from just a good cook? Besides things like knife skills, or amount of recipes memorized? Is it more like, knowing when to add salt, etc? (I can't even make toast or pasta). Given the same recipe and ingredients, will the elite chef make a superior dish than a regular good cook?


When you say a "good cook" do you mean someone like my mother who has a good to vast amount of experience cooking, regularly cooks dishes that everyone enjoys and knows what the directions in a recipe actually means?

If your answer is YES to that question, then I would say given the same kitchen equipment, they would be equal. Now if the elite chef gets to use his Garland stove and oven, and high output salamander/broiler, he is going to be at an advantage over my mother, the "good cook" and his dish will probably come out somewhat better.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1629
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

roobyee wrote:
What separates an elite chef from just a good cook? Besides things like knife skills, or amount of recipes memorized? Is it more like, knowing when to add salt, etc? (I can't even make toast or pasta). Given the same recipe and ingredients, will the elite chef make a superior dish than a regular good cook?

Why does this post keep appearing? Who cuts and pastes this and to what end?
http://www.cookingforengineers.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2456
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kix18



Joined: 22 Sep 2011
Posts: 1
Location: Philippines

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the tip mate Big smile
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AlexVadzum



Joined: 27 Nov 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can recomment to check out Victorinox 40520. It's made of stainless high-carbon steel so it saves its sharpness for a long time as well as edge retention. The price is very attractive - about 26 bucks. I use it for 4 years already - really satisfied.
Here the source for reviews below
http://the-best-kitchen-knives.com/reviews/victorinox-40520-fibrox-8-inch-chefs-knife-review/
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 335
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a couple of those Victorinox knives and hated them.

Too light, and the handle seemed to angle itself wrong; though how that's possible I don't know.
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