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Kitchen Tools

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by mgm9128, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. aravenel

    aravenel Senior member

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    These look great.

    I've been thinking about making some of these next up on my cookware list...
     
  2. Douglas

    Douglas Senior member

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    So, I bought an EdgePro.

    I did not buy a ceramic hone, as I have a decent steel already. Mistake?

    My rationale: I only got the 200 and 400 stones for now, as anything would be better than what I'm dealing with now, and I'm early in the learning curve. Perhaps if I find myself clamoring for more sharp, I'll get more stones, a fixer, and maybe a ceramic if they're recommended for those super polished edges.
     
  3. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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     yup.
    but i will say that i've been doing a lot more hand-sharpening lately ... just something i want to learn to do ... and i th ink maybe the key is not worrying about it so much. i used to really sweat getting the right angle ... was talking to the guy at korin and he just laughed. he does it by rotating the blade against the stone until he feels them match up. duh. yeah. it works great (not for double bevels ... and mildly problematic for chisel edges).
     
  4. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    jesus, what is with all the drama lately? the even heating of cast-iron has long been widely accepted, even if it might be wrong. hal's story was provocative, but one story is hardly the final word (unless it's, well, you know, mine).
     
  5. mordecai

    mordecai Senior member

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    I always wondered what Hal was short for.
     
  6. Fred G. Unn

    Fred G. Unn Senior member

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    +1. There were two things that really helped me get to the next level with this. First, doing the Dave Martell trick of running a Sharpie along the edge of the blade road before you start. It will wear off in a few passes on the stone, but once you've made your initial pass through the whole blade you can easily see areas you were missing or need to spend more time on. Second, I had no problem locking my wrists at the correct angle but I didn't realize I wasn't lifting the knife straight off the stone, but rather sort of rolling it whenever I lifted it up, which in turn was slightly dulling the blade.
     
  7. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    thanks! that sharpie trick was also recommended in the instructions for the edgepro. really works (and one of those things that's completely logical, but you'd never really think about it unless somebody pointed it out).
     
  8. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Except since that article, everybody who tests it finds the same thing.
     
  9. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    Yes, that is the intuitive method.
     
  10. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    That is how I was taught.

    Just a few thoughts on sharpening. First, people often go too fine with their stones and start to judge their knives on how they cut newsprint, tomato skin or arm hair. They put a screaming sharp but not particularly functional edge on their knives. Second, it is a pain in the ass to hone knives on a stone or strop all the time, so the edge you put on should be there with an eye to how it will maintain under use and with rod (or steel) touch ups.

    I'm really glad people are starting to learn to sharpen their knives. It's much better than when people were just spending a lot of money on esoteric ones. That said, it clearly has not translated to many people I know. Their knives are generally the dull.
     
  11. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    interesting. must have missed those. i haven't seen anything that replicated it. links? and just among us girls, i'll say that hal is terrific on theoretical science -- nobody better and he has revolutionized the way people think about cooking as much as anyone in my generation. but his practicum sometimes is lacking.
     
  12. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The people at FCI did a big expose with pictures and everything. Their website seems to have failed, though. The Serious Eats pictures come from them. Also, intuitively, French tops are cast iron and are effective because they aren't even. If the whole top was close to the same temp, they would be useless.

    Admittedly, I have no use for cast iron skillets. I don't cook that way. I do love my Staub and Le Creuset dutch ovens but because the heat is so steady in them, not because it is so even. Then again, I apparently don't own any of them, so who knows.
     
  13. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    I think we're moving into a phase where craftsmanship is more appreciated. I hear much more conversation about hand made japanese blades than ceramic 'modern gimmick' knives. Which used to be the first thing mentioned by the dinner party knife expert in my experiences.

    I'm sure there is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to sharpening/Honing. I think the point at which the edge moves from 'honed' to 'polished' is probably rendering it less effective. If you look at a good razor's edge, you still see a ground appearance to it.
     
  14. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    i seem to recall seeing some microscopic photos of knife edges (yes, this is what i do), that demonstrated the value of "microserrations" that are present when a knife hasn't been over-honed. that's what gives the blade "grip" when it's dragged across the surface of something.
     
  15. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    not trolling, but how do you describe the difference between "steady" heat and "even" heat? i am probably the same way -- i've got a couple cast-iron skillets but i rarely use them. on the other hand, my dutch ovens almost never leave the stove at this time of year.
     
  16. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    dreaded double post.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  17. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    This is only intuitive, but my guess is that unless you are pushing a knife straight down, which isn't very good technique anyway, the microserrations do help. Either way, the second you steel a knife it is going to take off the polish, so unless you want to run back to a stone every time you need to straighten your knife, you aren't getting much out of anything over 3000 grit or so.
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. b1os

    b1os Senior member

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    Steady heat = slow reaction to temperature changes.
    Even heat = even distribution of heat.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  19. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    So, by steady heat I mean that if I have a braise in the oven in a dutch oven, when the temperature cycles in the oven the temperature inside the dutch oven won't change much because cast iron is so slow to heat up and cool down. A copper casserole will cycle with the oven, and those cycles can be like 40 degrees or so. It is steady in that way. It is uneven in that the sides and middle are so different on a burner, even a big one. My main complaint, if I had to make one, about the skillets is that I sear meat, then turn the heat down to finish, and cast iron doesn't respond.
     
  20. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    i smell a column coming on. i think steady and even are very closely related. the heat is retained and radiated (theoretically, anyway) across an even surface, rather than a quick heat/cool you get with a good conductor such as copper. can anyone give me a good explanation of this so i don't actually ahve to do my job?
     

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