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Equipment & Gear: Kitchen Knives
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Brother 9
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just wanted to add something, being the kind of guy who took years and years of college and graduate school logic, and who grew up in the restaurants of my father and grandfather (both chefs). I'm not an engineer by trade but I sure think like one.

PLEASE people, PLEASE do not under any circumstances scrape things off the cutting board with your knife blade. Use the back of the knife. Depending on how often you do something like this you can get another couple of months between sharpenings if you just take care of the blade.

It's the small things that pit and destroy your knife. The edge is why you have the knife, do everything you can to protect it.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1631
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

re: scraping off your board

I recommend investing a couple of dollars in a metal board scraper (or bench scraper or bash & chomp or dough cutter or dough blade). Excellent for scraping stuff up off the board and it doesn't have a sharp edge threatening to hurt you as you carry food to the pot or bowl. Also bashes garlic, cuts pastry dough and a acts as a ruler.
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Screwtape
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am very impressed with your site and look forward to trying some of your recipes. I wish I had found it prior to buying my knife set at Dillards. It is ok, but I suspect that I could have done much better. Next time I guess.
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cynicalb_repost
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have used stamped knives forever, but have started going to forged, and will never go back. If you want worry-free knives, stainless steel by any of the major brands are the way to go. But if you don't mind doing a little extra work, and want to have absolutely the best knives that you can, I have two recommendations - learn how to sharpen your knives with sharpening stones and a steel, and buy forged carbon steel knives. You can get carbon steel knives literally razor sharp with little effort, the downside being that they will stain and require more care. I would recommend Sabatier 4 Star Elephant from France. I have recently purchased some, both new and vintage, and am completely satisfied. If you keep your eyes open, and know what you are looking for, you can pick them up at estate sales or resale shops or Ebay at relatively fair prices.
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an anonymous reader
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One word: Cutco
They really are the best cutlery in the world.
Chicago Cutlery: Made in China, if you have any look and see
Henkel's: Only second best
Cutco produts are hand made in the United States. This means they may cost a little more, but you get what you pay for. They're made of surgical grade steel. They have full tang handles. The Double D edge means they'l never need sharpening.
The handles are not only ergonomic (so well designed to fit the hand that even handicapped people who can't normally use a knife can use these), but they are beautiful as well. The Cutco Homemaker set is on display in the National Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
On top of that they have the forever garuntee. Not "lifetime" or "lifetime of the owner." Forever; as long as the company still exists. Even if the knives are damaged from missuse (ie; opening paint cans) the company will replace the knife at no cost. One woman's house burned down with her homemaker set inside, and the company replaced the entire set.
I'm not just saying this to sell them. I used to, but I absolutely hated the job. But, I still love the knives and regularly use mine. I was well educated during my training and these really are the best knives in the world.
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an anonymous reader
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: Sharpening

Personally, I use a two sided ceramic sharpener (Spyderco's Double Stuff) and a steel hone. But, I find sharpening relaxing, and doing it that way takes at least a half hour.

For the best quick edge, on straight or serrated, Spyderco makes a set of oval crock sticks - Model Galley V. They are 12"long, enough to sharpen just about any knife, and easy: just pull down, one stroke on one side, one oh the other. About a dozen strokes and it's wicked sharp.
If you can find a set, well worth the purchase.

-Rich
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cynicalb_repost
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding which knives you need - I recommend NOT buying sets. You'll end up with a lot of stuff that you never use. Better to pay for quality knives, and fewer of them, than to get a set of 12-16 knives and you only use 3-4 all the time. I would recommend a 3 1/2" paring knife, a 6" utility (sometimes called sandwich) or boning knife, an 8" and 12" chef's knife, and a 12" steel. With these four you will be able to tackle virtually any chopping or slicing task. If you stick with high quality forged knives, like Wusthof Classic, Sabatier 4 Star, Lamson, Henckels 4 Star, etc. brand new you'll spend less than $200, and if you can find them used or on discount, probably around $100 - $150. As you become more proficient and want to spend more money, I would go for a 10" slicing knife, a fillet knife, the boning knife if you didn't get it earlier, and a cleaver.
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Megpie
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have 2 types of knives currently, henckels international, and Messermeister. The henckels set with a Christmas gift from my mother. The knives are absolutely wonderful, but a little small for my taste. I need at least an 8 inch chef's knife to be happy. The Messermeister is the set supplied by my school (I'm in culinary school). For graduation, I'm trying to talk my mom in to getting me a set of shun. These knives are beautiful, have a great feel, and work well.

As far as sharpening goes, I prefer to get mine done professionally. They know what they're doing, and if you sharpen too often you won't have much of a knife left after a while. Hone your knives every day you use them.
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an anonymous reader
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good advice, though nobody has mentioned Global. They are really nice solid stainless japanese knives.

http://www.chefsresource.com/globknivcomv.html
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an anonymous reader
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would recommend the knives from Japan Woodworker (www.japanwoodworker.com). I bought one of the Tosagata Santoku knives and it is one of the sharpest things I've ever used. At $27.15 for a 6" santoku, it's quite a steal. It isn't the greatest finish, but then again I like the handmade feel that it has, including the unfinished handle. I'd take it any day over my Henckels or Wusthof.

As a side note, any woodworkers out there would be wise to check out their selection of woodworking tools as well. Japanese chisels are oh so sharp.
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an anonymous reader
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For knife sharpening try this website.

http://www.ameritech.net/users/knives/Juranitch1977Feb.htm
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an anonymous reader
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent article, just what i needed. we're vegetarians, and i don't need all the functionality of the chef's knife. so the santoku is what i'm going to get, based on the recommendations at the bottom of the article! thanks again!
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R J Keefe_repost
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations on the "Bloggie"!

Regarding bread knives, I find that they're also great for sawing at some frozen items, such as the block of mirepoix that I keep in the freezer.
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an anonymous reader
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: cutco comments, nice to see they're still up to their same old brainwashing tricks. cut those pennies salesmen!
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an anonymous reader
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For beautiful, yet "inexpensive" Japanese knives that will out perform your Germans (Henckles, Wustoff, etc.) check out:

Hattori HD Series:
www.japanesechefsknife.com

Shun:
premiumknives.com

for the best of the best, read these high quality kitchen knife forums:
ubbthreads cutlery

knifeforums.com
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