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Kitchen Knives - Page 16

post #226 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by HitMan009 View Post
I find santokus to be a feminine knife. The chef knife/gyutos have a nice curve to blade so slicing is easier and can support a rocking motion.

A santoku has a flatter curve so think it's better for a push cut and slicing. Since it's shorter, it can be more managable for most people.

Whatever my viewpoints are, a santoku is traditionally an all-purpose knife so who is one to argue it's merits. It was the japanese version of a chef's knife

that's my take on it exactly. but that last begs the question of what the most common types of cutting are in the cuisine. In my experience, Japanese food is much more about fewer cuts more precisely made, while most Western cuisines make more use of chopping, etc. In any case, it's really important to pick up a knife and at least go through the motions of the chores you will most frequently use it for.
post #227 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post
that's my take on it exactly. but that last begs the question of what the most common types of cutting are in the cuisine. In my experience, Japanese food is much more about fewer cuts more precisely made, while most Western cuisines make more use of chopping, etc. In any case, it's really important to pick up a knife and at least go through the motions of the chores you will most frequently use it for.


Exactly, japanese food is not cutting intensive as with other cuisines. When there is cutting, it tends to be precise and exacting such as in the case with sushi. Or in the case with kobe beef, super thing slices. That is why japanese knives tend to be more delicate. Since the santoku is a lighter, shorter life, it's really meant for relatively quick and relatively precise knife work. A chef's knife is meant for dicing, slicing, mincing, cutting, etc. I can't imagine doing all those things with a santoku and be as quick as when I am using a chef's knife.

A chinese chef's cleaver is I think is ideal for rapid knife work alas with less precision although some masters use it with extreme dexterity. One would think that a heavy knife would increase fatigue but that's not the case at all. Basically the weight of the knife did much of the work and it made transferring cut food onto a bowl/container very quick. For the longest time, I did everything with it this one knife and a paring knife for coring an apple and peeling skin off of vegetables.
post #228 of 430
I`m not sure, but I don`t think Japanese chefs even use Santoku. Santoku/Bunka-bocho is more like a knife the housewives use as the all purpose knife.

For dicing, slicing vegetables (which there is a lot of in Japanese cuisine too), I think the chefs use Usuba (thin knife) or maybe nakiri (vegetable knife).

I may be wrong though.
post #229 of 430
Just so y'all know . . .
I bought the Shun 8" Chef w/stainless handle ($60.00), and was/am very impressed by the sharpness and ergos.

Here is the caveat:
Do not use Shun for splitting lobsters. At about the same time I got the knife, my sister sent me 6 live lobsters. I figure "cool, let's put this thing to work". . .
I do two baked stuffed, two cold boiled, and two for incidentals (lobster roll/ meat to add to lobster consomme) . . . . I bake, whack-up and flambe the shells for stock (basically the whole reason for lobsters).

Anyways, after I'm done, and I am cleaning my tools, I find there are serious (like three 1/32 chips) in the edge. . . . knife is still good, but nicked/chipped some.

Just a heads-up, is all - for splitting lobsters, use a sturdy german knife. Shun's a little delicate.
post #230 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buddy View Post
Just so y'all know . . .
I bought the Shun 8" Chef w/stainless handle ($60.00), and was/am very impressed by the sharpness and ergos.

Here is the caveat:
Do not use Shun for splitting lobsters. At about the same time I got the knife, my sister sent me 6 live lobsters. I figure "cool, let's put this thing to work". . .
I do two baked stuffed, two cold boiled, and two for incidentals (lobster roll/ meat to add to lobster consomme) . . . . I bake, whack-up and flambe the shells for stock (basically the whole reason for lobsters).

Anyways, after I'm done, and I am cleaning my tools, I find there are serious (like three 1/32 chips) in the edge. . . . knife is still good, but nicked/chipped some.

Just a heads-up, is all - for splitting lobsters, use a sturdy german knife. Shun's a little delicate.

I don`t think general purpose Japanese knives are made for cutting lobster shells or things like bone. For that, you need a "Deba" (which is much more thick) or something like a Chinese cleaver. Even with the Deba the blade will chip every once in a while, so it may not be good to get an expensive one, but buy one at a more reasonable price and repair/replace if necessary.
post #231 of 430
There are some really incredible debas I've seen lately. I just don't see much point in shelling out the cash to get a really nice one when I've got a chef's knive, utility, paring, and chinese cleaver already. But looking at a deba makes me
post #232 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon View Post
I don`t think general purpose Japanese knives are made for cutting lobster shells or things like bone. For that, you need a "Deba" (which is much more thick) or something like a Chinese cleaver. Even with the Deba the blade will chip every once in a while, so it may not be good to get an expensive one, but buy one at a more reasonable price and repair/replace if necessary.

How many knives does a typical Japanese chef need? (don't include pastry stuff).

I can accomplish most things with a paring knife and a chef's knife. A butcher knife or cleaver is handy when I break down big pieces of animal (which I enjoy). Admittedly, I often use my paring knife to debone things, it just depends on what I have in my hand.

I'd be interested to hear from one of the resident pros as to what knives are considered essential in a Western kitchen, and if you know, what knives are considered essential for a Japanese chef.
post #233 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milhouse View Post
How many knives does a typical Japanese chef need? (don't include pastry stuff).

I can accomplish most things with a paring knife and a chef's knife. A butcher knife or cleaver is handy when I break down big pieces of animal (which I enjoy). Admittedly, I often use my paring knife to debone things, it just depends on what I have in my hand.

I'd be interested to hear from one of the resident pros as to what knives are considered essential in a Western kitchen, and if you know, what knives are considered essential for a Japanese chef.

*Diclaimer: I`m not a pro and don`t even cook The following information is what I hear from my wife who only cooks at home, Japanese chefs, and knife merchants.

I think for Japanese cuisine you basically need:

Yanagi - (the long, single-sided, blade knife for cutting sashimi)
Nakiri or Usuba - used for cutting vegetables (there are several variations...single/double sided blades, different shapes, etc. based on preference and regional style)
Deba - used for chopping off fish heads or anything with bone (you probably need 2: one for preparing small fish, and one for larger fish/meats)
Gyuto - used for cutting meat (I think some just use Santoku/Bunka bocho, as these are double sided blades)

That`s about it. There are a bunch of special purpose knives, but you don`t need them.
post #234 of 430
Alright I think a Chef's Knife suits my needs more. So at about $100... what's a better more readily available one? I can make a trip to San Francisco if I must but again I'd like to keep it at the more common department stores.
post #235 of 430
global 8" chefs or shun 8" classic chefs imo
post #236 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by lemmywinks View Post
Alright I think a Chef's Knife suits my needs more. So at about $100... what's a better more readily available one? I can make a trip to San Francisco if I must but again I'd like to keep it at the more common department stores.

wusthoff. they're great. they last forever. mine is more than 30 years old and looks like new. if you don't mind a bit of upkeep, check out lee valley tools (it's a catalog with an online site). sabatier is a name that gets batted around a lot, but don't believe either the best or the worst stuff you hear about them. it's actually a collection of companies and lee valley has what i think are the best of the modern marques -- the elephant label.

for real knife freaks, there also a guy who sells on ebay who has amazing old carbon steel. he has a store under ralph1396.
post #237 of 430
just looked had a look at the handle of my favorite cooking knife that's been in the family for 30 or 40 years. its an elephant sabatier. i hit it with a sharpening stone every week or so for a minute. razor sharp. any professional thoughts on this knife?
post #238 of 430
you got a good'un. is it carbon or stainless? (carbon turns black if not scrubbed).
post #239 of 430
I am looking to get my father a new chef's knife for christmas. he has a 20 year old set of Henkles Classic Knives. So I am torn between a Henkles Twin-Pro S 8" Chef's Knife, or one of the Shun knives.

http://www.amazon.com/Henckels-8-Inc...0981880&sr=1-2

Any advice?
post #240 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by atct86 View Post
I am looking to get my father a new chef's knife for christmas. he has a 20 year old set of Henkles Classic Knives. So I am torn between a Henkles Twin-Pro S 8" Chef's Knife, or one of the Shun knives.

http://www.amazon.com/Henckels-8-Inc...0981880&sr=1-2

Any advice?

my first piece of advice is to find out whether he really wants to replace them or not. knives aren't like clothes or cars ... they don't wear out or lose style. i've got a 30-year-old wusthoff chefs knife and i wouldn't dream of replacing it. if they've been damaged over time, or something like that, that's another matter.
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