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Interesting Kitchen Knives


Mighty Favog
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Wusthof rocks. Some people don't appreciate it though. I bought both my mother and mother-in-law matching Wusthof chef's knives thinking I was doing something special. Nether one of them use it. That was 10 years ago and I don't think my mother in law even took hers out of the package, and my mom threw hers in the back of a drawer and never sharpened it once. They both use these cheesy and cheap Wal-Mart knives, don't own any type of sharpener.

 

I am still waiting to find a woman who sharpens knives.  Rarer than women in audio, it appears.  My wife can handle a sledge hammer with the best, but she wouldn't even attempt to hone, much less sharpen, a knife.  Got her one of the nice Chef's three stage slotted rotaries.  Won't get a shave out of it, but it's simple and will put a decent edge on with minimum time and hassle.  No way.

 

I use it to coarse knock down a dull or damaged edge, then switch to a diamond stone manually to actually sharpen...finished with a steel hone. 

 

Dave

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Wusthof rocks. Some people don't appreciate it though. I bought both my mother and mother-in-law matching Wusthof chef's knives thinking I was doing something special. Nether one of them use it. That was 10 years ago and I don't think my mother in law even took hers out of the package, and my mom threw hers in the back of a drawer and never sharpened it once. They both use these cheesy and cheap Wal-Mart knives, don't own any type of sharpener.

 

I am still waiting to find a woman who sharpens knives.  Rarer than women in audio, it appears.  My wife can handle a sledge hammer with the best, but she wouldn't even attempt to hone, much less sharpen, a knife.  Got her one of the nice Chef's three stage slotted rotaries.  Won't get a shave out of it, but it's simple and will put a decent edge on with minimum time and hassle.  No way.

 

I use it to coarse knock down a dull or damaged edge, then switch to a diamond stone manually to actually sharpen...finished with a steel hone. 

 

Dave

 

You need only watch Top Chef on Bravo. That show is filled with women who joyfully sharpen their knives. 

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Sharpening typical stainless steel kitchen knives are a weird deal, just doesn't work the same as sharpening a high carbon quality hunting knife.  In reality you rarely ever have to actually sharpen one with a stone or whatever.  Ought to be hitting it with the steel all the time though.

 

What's also interesting about the honing steel is that the steel itself is typically an abrasive.  It doesn't just hone the blade and straighten the thing up in the traditional sense, but it introduces tiny little tooth-like serrations that rip through material.  This is actually what you want on common kitchen knives, a jagged edge.  A razor's edge sounds cool for bragging rights but it's not really a good thing on common stainless kitchen knives.  Such an edge will dull and warp easily, you'll just be sharpening it all the time.  

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Sharpening typical stainless steel kitchen knives are a weird deal, just doesn't work the same as sharpening a high carbon quality hunting knife.  In reality you rarely ever have to actually sharpen one with a stone or whatever.  Ought to be hitting it with the steel all the time though.

 

What's also interesting about the honing steel is that the steel itself is typically an abrasive.  It doesn't just hone the blade and straighten the thing up in the traditional sense, but it introduces tiny little tooth-like serrations that rip through material.  This is actually what you want on common kitchen knives, a jagged edge.  A razor's edge sounds cool for bragging rights but it's not really a good thing on common stainless kitchen knives.  Such an edge will dull and warp easily, you'll just be sharpening it all the time.  

 

I agree, "Bite" is an important quality in a knife. Especially when cutting tomatoes.

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I have a 20 year old, 14-inch, $10 serrated bread knife that has never been sharpened and still cuts cleanly, and better than any expensive "chef" knife, sharpened or not, that we have ever owned. It will slice razor thin tomatoes, or carve a turkey, and it even slices bread. I can't see the purpose of owning any other knife in the kitchen. 

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I have a 20 year old, 14-inch, $10 serrated bread knife that has never been sharpened and still cuts cleanly, and better than any expensive "chef" knife, sharpened or not, that we have ever owned. It will slice razor thin tomatoes, or carve a turkey, and it even slices bread. I can't see the purpose of owning any other knife in the kitchen. 

 

That's about what my mom and mother in law act like.  They don't seem to realize that their knives are turds and don't know what to do with anything nicer, it's weird. :)

Edited by MetropolisLakeOutfitters
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I have a 20 year old, 14-inch, $10 serrated bread knife that has never been sharpened and still cuts cleanly, and better than any expensive "chef" knife, sharpened or not, that we have ever owned. It will slice razor thin tomatoes, or carve a turkey, and it even slices bread. I can't see the purpose of owning any other knife in the kitchen. 

 

That's about what my mom and mother in law act like.  They don't seem to realize that their knives are turds and don't know what to do with anything nicer, it's weird. :)

 

 

So, the weird part is what? That I don't invest in a basket of knives I don't need? Or, that it is just "wrong" to slice a tomato with a serrated bread knife? 

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If all you do is slice easy to slice things then there is no problem with it in my book.  A chef's knife is often used for much heavier duty work and as such is the primary multi-purpose tool in a cook's kitchen.

 

Yes, that makes perfect sense. Most of my food is produce, and doesn't represent much of a challenge to knives. The heaviest duty would be slicing a boneless, skinless chicken breast. 

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A chef's knife let's you do all sorts of things, quickly.  For example, let's cut some garlic.  A chef's knife will let you smash the cloves to separate the skin when you turn it sideways, let you precisely and quickly slice the clove up into almost paper thin slices, let you scrape the top of your cutting board so you can gather all the slices together and dice/chop them up further, and quickly and safely at that due to the shape, then when you're done you can use it like a big scoop to transfer it from the board to the frying pan.  The result of which is that you can process fresh garlic with surprising efficiency with some practice.  

 

I'd love to see somebody attempt this on a thin and serrated bread knife and act like it's as good as a chef's knife.   :)  Can you cut random stuff though?  Yeah I'm sure you could.  

Edited by MetropolisLakeOutfitters
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Biggest advantage of the chef knife is the shape, which lets you rock back and forth and cut with the back of it, keeping the tip down.  This is safe, fast, clean, and very controllable.  I cook  A LOT of my version of jambalaya and it's perfect for that.  I can rip through an onion, bell pepper, 3 celery sticks, several carrots, half a head of garlic, chicken breast, and half a pound of sausage, in no time, safely, all with the same knife.  You cannot process food as fast as I do with a $10 serrated bread knife.  Not going to happen.  

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I'd love to see somebody attempt this on a thin and serrated bread knife and act like it's as good as a chef's knife.
 

 

Garlic? Don't use it enough to worry about taking an extra two minutes to mince it. First, my kitchen isn't a restaurant, and we are not in a rush to do anything, let alone save a few seconds on mincing garlic once a month. I have no need of impressing anyone with "chef skills" as I am not a chef, nor interested in pretending to be one. 

 

I leave the serrated knife on the cutting board at all times. Grab an apple, saw, saw, saw, perfect apple slices! Grab a tomato, saw, saw, saw, perfect tomato slices. 

 

Sounds like you cook a lot of "recipes" - stuff with a lot of ingredients. I don't I eat whole foods, raw foods, single ingredient foods for about 95% of my diet. I do make soup, and never noticed a problem using my serrated knife. But again, speed has no value for me.

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Since there’s obviously kitchen nerds in here I figured I’d show off mine.  This is before it was totally finished, I now have shelves with glass jars of sugar and flour and whatnot on the left.  Looks kinda funny without it. 

 

Anyway, that pot rack is an actual commercial one, solid stainless bar stock, they usually sell for about $800 but I got a killer deal.   Pots and pans are mostly all Lodge cast iron, or Calphalon tri-ply, basically stainless on top and bottom but there’s aluminum sandwiched in the middle for quick and even heating, as aluminum conducts heat better but can change the way things taste. 

 

That fat cutting board is a Boos block, you’ll see them on cooking shows all the time if you pay attention, its nice.  Ended up not being able to afford a Viking or Wolf setup so I settled with a “Best” hood, they’re a good bang for the buck, made by Broan.  Notice the pot filler above the stove, that’s my wife’s favorite feature.  Cabinets are Kraftmade solid maple plywood, tops are Blue Pearl GT granite from Norway, there are neon'ish blue flakes that illuminate when the sun hits it in the morning.  To the right of the stove there is now a magnetic knife rack.  

 

kitchen_zpsd0o3tszx.jpg

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Since there’s obviously kitchen nerds in here I figured I’d show off mine.  This is before it was totally finished, I now have shelves with glass jars of sugar and flour and whatnot on the left.  Looks kinda funny without it. 

 

Anyway, that pot rack is an actual commercial one, solid stainless bar stock, they usually sell for about $800 but I got a killer deal.   Pots and pans are mostly all Lodge cast iron, or Calphalon tri-ply, basically stainless on top and bottom but there’s aluminum sandwiched in the middle for quick and even heating, as aluminum conducts heat better but can change the way things taste. 

 

That fat cutting board is a Boos block, you’ll see them on cooking shows all the time if you pay attention, its nice.  Ended up not being able to afford a Viking or Wolf setup so I settled with a “Best” hood, they’re a good bang for the buck, made by Broan.  Notice the pot filler above the stove, that’s my wife’s favorite feature.  Cabinets are Kraftmade solid maple plywood, tops are Blue Pearl GT granite from Norway, there are neon'ish blue flakes that illuminate when the sun hits it in the morning.  To the right of the stove there is now a magnetic knife rack.  

 

kitchen_zpsd0o3tszx.jpg

 

Unless its eggs or really acidic Cast Iron is the only way to cook. Best way to sear a steak and you can throw them in the oven or under a broiler and never have to worry about them getting too hot.

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