Foo shops for a Japanese knife

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by mafoofan, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    I think the issue is finding a balance between a surfance dense enough not to get easily marked up with grooves and such, dense enough not to be so pockmarked that it becomes a virus habitate, hard enough that you can do heavy work on it, but soft enough that your knife edge is not wrecked by it. Turns out that combining all these qualities is somewhat difficult.
     


  2. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I think sani-tuff is all of these. Not pretty, but who cares. And it is kind of heavy.
     


  3. Bounder

    Bounder Senior member

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    I guess I am going to have to take Matt's advice about how bad the Epicurean -- and the Boardsmith guy -- is and your advice about the Sani-tuff. I just wish it came in a few different colors as I would like to implement some version of the "green for vegetables, yellow for poultry etc." system. One big advantage that Sani Tuff has is that it is so heavy and does not slide around, not even a little. Since my forays into the kitchen are usually a cross between Samurai Prep Chef and the Three Stooges, this is important.
     


  4. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    Why not just use a hard rock maple end grain cutting board?
     


  5. Master-Classter

    Master-Classter Senior member

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    bit of a newb cook question... are Chef's knives and Santoku's interchangeable?

    I've got a 7.5 shun santoku already, would it be preferable to have something like that VG Gyuto, instead of or in addition to? or maybe add a wusthof classic chef's so one western style chef and one asian santuko. Would one of those two be redundant or useful addition?



    My planned arsenal:

    Core:
    chef knife or santoku
    paring knife
    serrated bread knife

    Eventual Extras:
    cleaver
    boning / filet
     


  6. iamacyborg

    iamacyborg Senior member

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    Santokus vs chef is just a different cutting style really. You chop more than rock the knife with a santoku. Depends what you prefer.
     


  7. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Santouku has tip shaped like gyuto and belly shaped like nikiri. Tips is for slicing and belly is flat for chopping. It's very inefficient to rock at the belly.

    I am a believer in cleaver. LOL.
     


  8. Jerome

    Jerome Senior member

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    Check also the key-word tama-hagane-(steel), e.g. ehamono, yoshimitsu or this munemasa looks also nice:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013


  9. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    coming in late, sorry. this is one of those questions that can only be answered by picking up the knife and using it. personally, I find santokus to be too light. Other, better, cooks love them. honestly, though, most of them seem to be women, who have been bugged by chefs knives that were too heavy for them to use comfortably.
     


  10. Master-Classter

    Master-Classter Senior member

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    hmmm, interesting. My original understanding/logic had been that each 'tool' is appropriate for the task, and thought that many santoku's versus chef's knives served different purposes, so figured you guys were going to say one was more useful than the other based on most requirements but the feedback seems to indicate that either knife can do the same job and it's a just a matter of personal preference.

    I'm 'compact' so have always felt more comfortable with knives around the 7.5-8 inch mark. I've got that (correction) 7 inch shun santoku, so I think I'll still pick up an 8 inch western style for a different feeling and branch out from there.

    Further question, is something like that VG Gyuto very different from a classic wusthof or even a Mac chef's knife? I can see a slightly different tip shape (gyuto more rounded off), are they all that different?


    and out of sheer curiosity, I've seen people use cleaver looking knives almost exclusively as their chef's knives, how the heck does that work?
     


  11. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    I don't know how to explain this but a gyuto will be a different shape or "profile" than a santuko or German chef's. The latter will have a lot of belly or curve, the former very little, and the gyuto will be in the middle. moreover the curve on the gyuto will itself be different, the purpose being to make the knife more agile at the tip. It's much easier to use just the tip of a long(ish) gyuto to do delicate work than it is with the others. You can kind of see this in the way the top (spine) is straight from the bolster for a long while and then sharply plunges toward the tip.

    Beyond this, any Japanese knife will be made of thinner, but harder metal than any german knife (that I know of). the blade geometry will take a 15* bevel on each side whereas for German knives 22* is more like it. You can get a Japanese knife much sharper than a German knife and it is way more agile, but it is also more delicate and prone to chipping. The german knife will be more versatile in that you can hack through heavy things or cut hard squash and the like that might hurt your gyuto. If you get a Japanese knife and you frequently have to cut heavy stuff, you will want to supplement it with a heavier, thicker bladed knife like a deba or something.
     


  12. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    that's a good explanation manton. maybe think of it this way: gyutous are chefs knives that are great for doing detailed cuts; chefs knives are great for chopping, heavy work; santoukus are lighter and (IMHO) better for vegetable work than anything else. if you have a santouku now and like it as a chefs knife replacement, that's great. but it's not really a replacement.
     


  13. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Here is another way to think about it.

    The straighter the edge of a knife like this, the less it is intended to be pushed, pulled or rocked. A lot of western cuts/techniques use such motions but traditional Japanese technique does not. They tend to simply move the knife straight up and down off the board without any "sawing" or rocking. If you like to cut like that, Santuko might work. (Although the nakiri or Usuba are more "pure" versions)

    Personally I cut that way sometimes but also other ways a lot of the time. If I were limited to doing just that it would drive me nuts. I find that a gyuto can rather easily do the "up-down" but a santuko cannot rock or draw. So, gyuto every time.
     


  14. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    I hate santokus. They are like having a short penis, and while that is a genetic reality for some, it shouldn't be purchased at Williams-Sonoma.

    Otherwise I generally agree with manton and foodguy except that I think a thin knife goes through hard ingredients better than a thick one does, and that debas would be awful on squash, since they are really only for fish. Oh, my gyuto is thicker than foodguy's wusthof, I would imagine, but knives like this are the exception, not the rule. I find that I like substantial knives, but not the traditional ones with the big finger guards that are murder on sharpening.
     


  15. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    i'm assuming the phallic subtext through the entire post was entirely intentional. and though we're buddies, you've never seen my wusthoff, Bay Boy (nor are you likely to).
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013


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