Last edited by photobum; 24th September 2008 at 01:51 PM.
Last edited by photobum; 26th September 2008 at 01:11 AM.
I am no chef but I do most of the cooking at home. There are only 3 knives I use.....a chopper to chop of most things, a small knive (like a blade) is for small items and a medium length for slicing meat, fruits and so on.
To me good kitchen knife is handy to have if we can afford it. I have a couple of knives importers gave me a set of 5 or 7 of brands like Wustof and Henkels (gave them a discount on my photography fees). It's nice to have super sharp edge knives but sometimes i just find them too sharp. Not that i do not like it but I find my lousy Chinese chopper knife to be the best.
Yes it's heavy but I guess it's just me to like to hold a big knife.
I think besides knives, we need good cutting board too for different purpose. Meat, vege, fruits, bread and so on have various different cutting boards for hygience purpose.
Anyway, I think the Japanese knives are one of the best..........especially those custom made. I met a Japanese chef from Osaka who came to Ritz Carlton Singapore for a promo and he bought his personal knives with him. His set of 12 different knives costed him SGD12,000....... but each one of them has it's own usage. Sashimi knives are the most expensive.....
Photobum, thanks so much for sharing your passion AND knowledge with us!
I used to use a fine Arkansas stone and a very fine mineral oil that really reminded me of kerosene to hone my blades. But I was never really good at maintaining a proper horning angle.
hey i want to join this thread or group.
i also love to cook and place alot of value on my knifes.
i am looking to invest in some good ones
recently, i bought this book and its by my bed side... still reading through it
its really an excellent book and i highly recommend it
very detailed explanations on what knifes to buy, what to look out for and techniques on using them.
Mastering Knife Skills: The Essential Guide to the Most Important Tools in Your Kitchen (with DVD) [Hardcover]
By: Norman Weinstein (Author)
# Hardcover: 224 pages
# Publisher: Stewart, Tabori & Chang; Har/DVD edition (May 1, 2008)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 1584796677
# ISBN-13: 978-1584796671
By the way, you may find yourself exerting more force when cutting meat with a small knife, and I am quite sure your cuts are inconsistent. Furthermore, you may injury yourself by doing so.
- A serving board for fruits and breads
- An end grain cutting board for vegetables
- An end grain butcher block for meats.
Not just cutting boards, both fruit and meat knives have to be separated too.
Last edited by photobum; 25th September 2008 at 02:15 PM.
I do understand your intention of using mineral oil during sharpening as this reduces heat induced with friction. Keep in mind that using oil when sharpening also reduces the steel shaving properties of your Arkansas stone by at least 40% to 60% (depending on the amount of oil you add). This means that it will take you longer time to sharpen your knives. Here is the 'equation':
Longer time = more effort.
More effort = more force exerted on the blade surface.
Longer time + more force = more heat over a prolong period of time.
More heat = a weaker blade (lower HRC index)
A weaker blade = shorter service span per sharpening.
Shorter service span = you will have to sharpen your knives often.
In short, your knives will not last as long. Therefore, it is better to use clean plain water.
Furthermore, sharpening knives with oil may cause you to lose your grip on the handle and slip. This will lead to serious injury.
Just as I told Sore-Eyez about getting the wrong angle, don't worry too much. I had that same fear as yours before. After I learn how to do it, it is actually quite easy.
Last edited by photobum; 25th September 2008 at 08:45 AM.
Similar to photography, a book, a video, a workshop and a forum is only a venue where you will find general information and guidance. The user, meaning yourself, is the one who determine which knives works best for them.
My advise to you is before you invest your hard-earn money on a high-quality knife, try it in your hand first. Ask yourself do you like its weight and balance. Appreciate the fine craftmanship of the knife. Then cut some papers. I suggest using both newspapers and 80g A4 photocopy paper. Feel the smoothness (a good knife must not pull or drag as you cut or rip the paper). If you have the opportunity to slice some vegetables, I suggest bring along a carrot or radish. A good knife will give virtually effortless, clean and consistent cuts, and ends with a soft "tok" sound on a wooden cutting board. If the sound is a loud "tak" instead, you are exerting too much force. This is an instant signal which shows that you may not like the knife after prolong use.
Last edited by photobum; 25th September 2008 at 10:59 AM.
I've got a Global chefs knife. that's about it.
I'm intending to get a fillet knife though. makes it a lot easier to slice/fillet fish, and to de-bone certain meats.
would probably get a Global one again. I just like the weight and feel of Globals as compared to Wursthofs (even though they make bloody awesome knifes!)
but yes. keep your knifes sharpened. a blunt knife is actually more dangerous than a sharpened knife, believe it or not (yes I speak from experience of almost severing my fingers).
happy cooking folks.
Be very careful when you attempt to sharpen Global knives. There are miniature air bubbles embedded inside the steel blade (part of their forging process to use air) which requires special attention. These air bubbles will leave behind tiny pits on your blade. This is based on my own experience sharpening several Global knives which belong to a friend.
Yes, I agree with you. That's why my personal motto as a kitchen samurai is 'A sharp knife is a safe knife'.
Last edited by photobum; 25th September 2008 at 09:31 AM.
For those of you who have not reach the status of a kitchen samurai yet but will like to know more about a knife, I hereby introduce the anatomy of a knife. Please pardon my poor sketching skill.
Let's start from left to right:
- The point is used to make fine cut and to pierce foods. This is usually the thinnest part of the blade.
- The tip is used for cutting soft vegetables (such as tomatoes and squash), small ingredients, through tendons and ligaments (meats), and for fine slicing.
- The spine is the 'backbone' of the blade. A larger knife will have a wider spine. It may be grasped by our fingers for enhanced stability.
- The cutting edge is located between heel and tip. This is most hardworking area. Mainly for chopping and slicing.
- The heel is the heaviest part of a knife. It is also the thickest. When used with strength, it can cleave through hard, tough food (such as hard melons).
- The bolster is the joint between the blade and handle, and its purpose is to protect our hand also.
- Right below the bolster is the finger guard. Some knives do not have a finger guard (especially Japanese varieties). The finger guard on some knives can be a hindrance during sharpening.
- The tang is not always seen, but it is the end part of the blade that extends into the handle (see Tang Types below).
- The rivets, like screws, hold the tang to the handle. They should be tight and flat with no crevices for bacterial growth.
- The handle may be made from a variety of materials. It is important that the handle feels comfortable in our hands during prolong cutting.
Tang Types - value or budget knives usually have a "rat tail" tang (with the exception of certain high-quality Japanese knives), which is about 1mm wide and runs roughly 30mm into the handle. This type of tang can be either visible or unseen. A full tang is found in the best knives. It runs the entire length of the handle and width of the blade, providing excellent balance, stability and durability.
Not all "Rat tail" tangs are fastened with rivets (as shown above). Many are sealed into a plastic handle, hiding the tang.
Last edited by photobum; 2nd January 2009 at 07:09 AM.