1. And... we're back. You'll notice that all of your images are back as well, as are our beloved emoticons, including the infamous :foo: We have also worked with our server folks and developers to fix the issues that were slowing down the site.

    There is still work to be done - the images in existing sigs are not yet linked, for example, and we are working on a way to get the images to load faster - which will improve the performance of the site, especially on the pages with a ton of images, and we will continue to work diligently on that and keep you updated.

    Cheers,

    Fok on behalf of the entire Styleforum team
    Dismiss Notice

Kitchen Knives

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Manton, Sep 15, 2007.

  1. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    41,568
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    In Hiding
    One of the things I like about Shun is how quickly and easily they hone. Two or three passes over the steel, and they are out-of-the-box sharp.
     
  2. TCN

    TCN Senior member

    Messages:
    1,505
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    I have a friend who is somewhat of a celebrity chef in NYC (had two Michelin stars until he closed the door of his restaurant), and while he is very into all of the high-end Japanese knives (published a book on Japanese food as well), his restaurant used the rubber handled Wusthoffs (least fatiguing handles), and he recommended that my wife and I (moderate foodies) stick to our Wusthoff Classics until we find ourselves really elevating our game. Now if we just wanted to buy something fun, that was a different story . . .
     
  3. Dmax

    Dmax Senior member

    Messages:
    1,302
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    People's Republic of the Five Boroughs
    The Shun knives are very good. They are not the very best knives money can buy but their higher end lines ("Classic", "Kaji/Elite" and "Pro") use high quality steel, offer good ergonomics and are finished to a high standard. The lower line (Shun Kershaw) uses much softer and inexpensive AUS-6A steel and I would not recommend it unless you are GQGeek and drop you knives [​IMG]

    The Classic line uses quality VG-10 steel. The Alton Brown line and the Ken Onion line are similar to the Classic line but use different handles which some people find more convenient to use. I own a Shun Classic petty/parer (4-inches) and I am happy with it.

    The Kaji (William Sonoma) and Elite (Sur La Table, other retailers) lines uses more exotic and expensive SG-2 steel which makes for a harder knife (RC64-66). It offers marginal improvements in sharpness, edge retention and fancier finish over the Classic series.

    There are also the Pro and the Pro 2 series which have the traditional Japanese knives profiles and are not well suited for preparing western cuisine.

    As has been said before in this forum, most cooks should start with only two knives: a parer (3 to 5 inches) and a chef's knife or Santoku (6-12 inches).
     
  4. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

    Messages:
    17,933
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2002
    Location:
    Canuckistan
    The Shun knives are very good. They are not the very best knives money can buy but their higher end lines ("Classic", "Kaji/Elite" and "Pro") use high quality steel, offer good ergonomics and are finished to a high standard. The lower line (Shun Kershaw) uses much softer and inexpensive AUS-6A steel and I would not recommend it unless you are GQGeek and drop you knives [​IMG]

    The Classic line uses quality VG-10 steel. The Alton Brown line and the Ken Onion line are similar to the Classic line but use different handles which some people find more convenient to use. I own a Shun Classic petty/parer (4-inches) and I am happy with it.

    The Kaji (William Sonoma) and Elite (Sur La Table, other retailers) lines uses more exotic and expensive SG-2 steel which makes for a harder knife (RC64-66). It offers marginal improvements in sharpness, edge retention and fancier finish over the Classic series.

    There are also the Pro and the Pro 2 series which have the traditional Japanese knives profiles and are not well suited for preparing western cuisine.

    As has been said before in this forum, most cooks should start with only two knives: a parer (3 to 5 inches) and a chef's knife or Santoku (6-12 inches).


    I don't drop them. My problem was that I would cook elaborate meals and I just didn't have enough counter space to work. I'd be shuffling things around because there wasn't enough space and they would get knocked off the counter. That hasn't happened since I added a 60" work table to my kitchen.

    Aside from the two knives (utility and paring) with a bit broken off the tip, I have a millimeter deep chip in the blade of my utility knife. I have no idea how it got there. The only thing I can think of is corrosion, but even that is hard for me to figure. It's not like I leave them soaking in water. [​IMG]

    What I really want are the kershaw steak knives. I sometimes eat steak with my paring knife and it's such a pleasure to eat with because it cuts through the steak like hot butter.
     
  5. skalogre

    skalogre Senior member

    Messages:
    6,324
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    While Global are good knives, I'm very bored with mine. I'll definitely be considering Shun to take the soon to be open slots in my kitchen.

    I tried out Global's chef's knife and did not like the fact it was so light nor was I happy with the balance. I got a nice hefty Wusthof Classic instead, not regretted it for a second.
     
  6. sygyzy

    sygyzy Senior member

    Messages:
    1,552
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    You mean semi-serious about knife collecting, right?


    There is absolutely no reason to think that somebody could prepare better, or as you say more serious, food with your knives than with Shun or Wusthof. Maybe if you are cutting sushi, but that is the only time.


    This is the timeless argument, right? "My Timex can tell time just as well as your Rolex." Why is there a market for Rolex's? Why do people pay $200 for raw Japanese denim with a $20 pair of Lee's work just as well as pants. It's surprising that, on this board of all places, you use that argument.
     
  7. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    41,568
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    In Hiding
    I've tried a number of knife brands and so far, Shun have been the best by far. I haven't tried them all, so I can't say it's the best simply.

    The Cook's Illustrated people rave about Forschner (the lower priced line) and recommend it over more expensive knives in virtually all categories. I've tried them (at that price, why not?) and didn't even find them as good as Henckels. Which is surprising, since I have found the Cook's Illustrated equipment recommendations to be nearly 100% reliable.

    Still, even if I had found the blades just as good (and I did not), there is something to be said for how a knife feels in the hand, and other intangibles, and I probably would still prefer something else.
     
  8. pscolari

    pscolari Senior member

    Messages:
    1,033
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Location:
    Cobble Hill
    I've tried a number of knife brands and so far, Shun have been the best by far. I haven't tried them all, so I can't say it's the best simply.

    The Cook's Illustrated people rave about Forschner (the lower priced line) and recommend it over more expensive knives in virtually all categories. I've tried them (at that price, why not?) and didn't even find them as good as Henckels. Which is surprising, since I have found the Cook's Illustrated equipment recommendations to be nearly 100% reliable.

    Still, even if I had found the blades just as good (and I did not), there is something to be said for how a knife feels in the hand, and other intangibles, and I probably would still prefer something else.



    America's Test Kitchen just rated the Forschner Victorinox 3 in. parer the best in class. Not bad at $5 each. This was the episode where they cooked carbonnade.
     
  9. Gradstudent78

    Gradstudent78 Senior member

    Messages:
    2,309
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    America's Test Kitchen just rated the Forschner Victorinox 3 in. parer the best in class. Not bad at $5 each. This was the episode where they cooked carbonnade.

    I use the Forshner knives and have enjoyed them. However I've never put money into a more expensive set.
     
  10. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

    Messages:
    21,825
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Amazon.com also has knives below retail. The best prices for other general kitchen equipment that you'll ever find will be at your local restaurant supply stores.

    Just be sure you know what you're getting. Sometimes with Amazon -- and this is particularly true with kitchen knives -- it can be tough to tell which level of product you're getting from a company that sells multiple lines.

    For people in LA, Surfa's restaurant supply in Culver City has a good selection of knives and a knowledgeable, helpful staff.
     
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

    Messages:
    29,119
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    Texas
    I use the Forshner knives and have enjoyed them. However I've never put money into a more expensive set.

    I've used the 8" chef's knife and it takes as keen as edge as my Wusthofs. I like the Wusthof's heft a bit better, but for lots of chopping, that kind of heft can be a drawback at the end of a heavy day of cooking.

    I didn't care for the Shun handle but the blades were astonishingly sharp - they were sharpened to a more acute angle than the Henckels I was comparing them with. Then again I'm not sure anything compares to high-end Japanese steel. If I ground my other knives to Shun's angle, their edges would crumble pretty quickly.

    Funny thing, it's that way with japanese chisels and razors, too. You put an edge to the blade and they go and go.
     
  12. Dmax

    Dmax Senior member

    Messages:
    1,302
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    People's Republic of the Five Boroughs
  13. Tyto

    Tyto Senior member

    Messages:
    386
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Location:
    SoCal
    I've used the 8" chef's knife and it takes as keen as edge as my Wusthofs. I like the Wusthof's heft a bit better, but for lots of chopping, that kind of heft can be a drawback at the end of a heavy day of cooking.

    I've never had to cut and cut all day, but aside from that, my experience with my Wusthoff GP chef and my Forschner chef is exactly as Thomas says. The Forschner represents the best bang for the buck I've seen in kitchenware, with the possible exception of my 12-inch cast-iron skillet ($6 at Ross).
     
  14. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    14,384
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Location:
    The wild and the pure.
    I've never had to cut and cut all day, but aside from that, my experience with my Wusthoff GP chef and my Forschner chef is exactly as Thomas says. The Forschner represents the best bang for the buck I've seen in kitchenware, with the possible exception of my 12-inch cast-iron skillet ($6 at Ross).
    Back when I did have to cut and cut all day I used a Forschner that was not the bottom of the line plastic handle without tang, but one that was the classic French chef's knife shape but was high carbon stainless. It was a great knife, but I retired i when it went from 10" to 6". I don't believe that they are available anymore. Globals are great for ligtness, but IMO, nothing compares to the classic french shape. Here is what I am talking about for those who are not familiar with them since so few like them. The shape is great for slicing and dicing but not for rocking. Most French shefs would tell you that rocking is an improper way of cutting anything other than parsley, but that does not fit very well into the standard way of cooking at home where people mutilate shallots and onions into an unspeakable mush. [​IMG]
     
  15. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    41,568
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    In Hiding
    What you call "mush" some of us call "mince." Not everything is salsa, requiring neat, distinct cubes.

    6" seems much too short. 8" I can understand. 10" makes certain tasks much faster.
     
  16. DNW

    DNW Senior member

    Messages:
    10,526
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    Recession, Baby
    6" seems much too short. 8" I can understand. 10" makes certain tasks much faster.

    If I hadn't been following this thread, I might have thought that you're talking about something else entirely.
     
  17. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    14,384
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Location:
    The wild and the pure.
    What you call "mush" some of us call "mince." Not everything is salsa, requiring neat, distinct cubes.

    6" seems much too short. 8" I can understand. 10" makes certain tasks much faster.

    Well, it wasn't 6" until it had been oversharpened too many times. As far as dice, I agree with you, but do believe that onions and shallots should be sliced or diced and not mushed. One day I was at a cooking class at Draegers Market in Menlo Park put on by Hubert Keller from Fleur de Lys. He claimed that cutting by rocking was verboten in his kitchen. My chef was Spanish, so he didn't really give a shit about stuff like that.
     
  18. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

    Messages:
    17,933
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2002
    Location:
    Canuckistan
    Well, it wasn't 6" until it had been oversharpened too many times.

    As far as dice, I agree with you, but do believe that onions and shallots should be sliced or diced and not mushed. One day I was at a cooking class at Draegers Market in Menlo Park put on by Hubert Keller from Fleur de Lys. He claimed that cutting by rocking was verboten in his kitchen. My chef was Spanish, so he didn't really give a shit about stuff like that.


    I dice my shallots, after I've put them in hot water for a couple minutes. [​IMG]
     
  19. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    14,384
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Location:
    The wild and the pure.
    I dice my shallots, after I've put them in hot water for a couple minutes. [​IMG]
    Now I know how Manton feels when somebody mentions a button down shirt with French cuffs. There is a right way to do thngs and a wrong way. If you are as serious about cooking as you claim to be, you need to do things the right way while you are still learning and then you can use these cute little tricks. It is the only way to learn.
     
  20. nioh

    nioh Senior member

    Messages:
    708
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Location:
    Hong Kong.
    I dice my shallots, after I've put them in hot water for a couple minutes. [​IMG]

    Do you also use goggles?
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by