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Posts posted by Chad

  1. Still more questions! It's been an absurdly wet spring and early summer here in the northeast, and despite my care (washing & drying them immediately), my two new Japanese knives -- the Gekko nikiri and the Mac paring knife -- have been getting little rust spots. Sometimes they coincide with where the knife edge touches the magnetic bar; sometimes they appear elsewhere. The Mac paring knife, for example, has a touch of rust at the heel near the handle.

    What to do? Redouble my efforts at drying? Should I make a paste of Bartender's Friend and gently rub them out? Get something other than the magnetic strip for the Japanese knives?

    One of the minor problems with developing an addiction to high performance knives is having to give up a little stain resistance. Higher carbon, higher hardness Japanese knives are less stain resistant (more likely to rust with less provocation) than their German/Euro counterparts. It just comes with the territory, but the tradeoff is well worth it. With that said, let your knives air dry a little before putting them back on the magnetic bar. Even with vigorous towel drying they are still going to be a little damp. When you put a damp surface in nearly airtight contact with another surface you are going to get rust spots. I tend to get them at the tip when the non-knife nut members of the family do dishes and leave the knives tip down in the drain cup at the back corner of the dish drainer. You are correct, a paste of Barkeeper's Friend or a little Flitz metal polish will do the trick -- as will a green scrubby pad and some Comet or other abrasive cleanser. Don't sweat it, and consider it the price of marital harmony.

    One sushi-chef trick to keep in mind is to rinse a freshly washed knife in nearly boiling water. Ever notice how when you open the dishwasher your plates are dry but the flimsy plastic containers aren't? That's from heat carry-over. Heavy ceramic plates absorb heat and radiate it out again, drying the plates once the water stops running. So if you rinse your knife blades with very hot water they absorb enough heat to help drive off any residual moisture after you are finished towel drying.

    So -- rinse with very hot water, towel dry as best you can, air dry to let residual heat drive off any remaining moisture, and don't sweat it if you need to do a little touchup with a green scrubby now and again. Any degradation of the edge (remotely possible, but possible nonetheless) from rust will be removed at the next sharpening. No biggie.

    Hope this help.

    Take care,


  2. Chad I was cutting a yukon gold with my japanese knife, a Fujiwara Kanefusa 240mm Gyuto that I bought off of japanesechefsknife.com ($108.00) and it simply snapped in to two pieces on me.


    Any idea how this could happen? I had the tip of the knife on the cutting board and was pushing thru the potato by applying pressure to the handle.

    They immediately shipped a replacement by the way. I'm waiting for it to arrive but do not wish to repeat the process.

    Wow. I've never seen anything quite like that. The only cause I can imagine is stress fracturing due to improper (or non existent) tempering after heat treatment. A freshly heat treated blade is under enormous internal strain. Tempering relieves some of that while maintaining a good level of hardness. If a blade missed the tempering step it might crack exactly like yours. I wouldn't worry too much about it happening again. That's an anomaly. Good to see Koki took care of it immediately. That's one of the advantages of shopping with JapaneseChefsKnife.com.

    Take care,


  3. Chad - sorry to hear of your hassle and disappointment.

    We really must convert you to weight measures!

    However, for a domestic mixer, that you can lift and put away in a cupboard, and yet is able to handle a LARGE batch of dough, take a look at the Electrolux DLX. Start right here with the references in this thread.

    And its meat grinder attachment really does make the KA part look like a plastic toy.

    Has anyone (even by gross stupidity) managed to damage a DLX?

    Thanks, dougal. I generally do use weights when I bake, but I make this particular sandwich bread twice a week. I know it well enough (and there is enough flex in the recipe) that I don't need to weigh.

    The Electrolux DLX keeps coming up. I'm going to have to give it some serious consideration. Part of the reason I feel stuck with the Kitchenaid is that I have, and use, most of the accessories. It's kind of like being a Nikon or Canon photographer. Once you have a collection of lenses, changing bodies, even if something truly spectacular is available, becomes a lot more complicated. However, I did see the full DLX accessory kit available at a reasonable price at EverythingKitchens.com. That might be enough to tip the balance. I use the Kitchenaid meat grinder and fruit/vegetable strainer regularly, so if the DLX's are comparable I'll have to see what the budget will bear. I keep hoping to find some church or civic group getting rid of a Hobart N50 for some ridiculously low price. A man can dream, can't he?


  4. Here's the latest on the dead Kitchenaid Professional 600 front . . .

    If you own a pre-2006 Kitchenaid Professional 600, be aware that it will probably come to a grinding, screeching halt if you make a lot of bread. When it crashes you will be assaulted by one of the most painful and soul-crushing sounds you are likely to hear in a kitchen. Your beautiful mixer is dead. What is worse, Kitchenaid just doesn’t give a damn.

    My Professional 600 was a gift from my wife, who thought she was buying her bread-crazy husband the biggest, baddest mixer on the block. It is certainly marketed that way.

    The overachiever of the stand mixer family, it has a Flour Power rating of 14 cups. That means it can mix enough dough for 8 loaves of bread or 13 dozen cookies in a single bowl …. Powerfully churns through yeast bread dough and triple batches of cookie dough.

    So why did my 8-cup soft sandwich bread recipe kill it? As it turns out, the Professional 600 mixers made before August of 2006 have a plastic gear housing that is completely inadequate for the size of the motor. Put a strain on the mixing head — bread dough, for instance — and the housing flexes, throwing the whole gear train out of alignment. When that happens every gear strips, locking up the whole assembly and causing an ear splitting shriek that will be etched in your memory forever. It is a horrible sound. Kitchenaid redesigned the gear housing in 2006, replacing it with a metal housing capable of taking the load put out by the motor. They repaired the Professional 600s that died under warranty but didn’t put out a service bulletin or recall notice for the others. We were left on our own. You see, the mixer doesn’t self destruct the first time you use it, the problem is cumulative. The flex gets worse with time until one day the gearbox flexes just far enough to cause a train wreck. It happened often enough that the Kitchenaid engineers built a new gearbox. They just didn’t tell the rest of us. It took an engineer with a dead mixer to find out why the gears stripped the way they did.

    My mixer is out of warranty so I wanted to see what my options were. I did a little research and found dozens of other Professional 600 owners who experienced exaclty the symptoms and mixer death. One of them was an engineer who took his mixer apart. It was he who discovered why the gears stripped the way they did. There was a detailed analysis with photos on his website, but it is no longer available. Given that this was a known design flaw — one that Kitchenaid admitted when redesigning the gearbox — I asked them to cover the repair of my mixer. They refused, charging me $150 to replace the gears and gearbox housing. Their customer service representative claimed A) that mixing 8 cups of flour for seven minutes, rather than the recommended five, was responsible for the lockup that killed the mixer, and B) that while the gearbox did indeed crack, the gears stripped first, so the gearbox couldn’t have been the problem. I pointed out that the gearbox flexes, causing the gears to strip before the housing cracks but she didn’t want to hear it. The problem was obviously my fault, and her tone suggested that I was probably lying about only mixing 8 cups of flour. It was an infuriating conversation. In short, Kitchenaid markets the Professional 600 as a heavy duty mixer designed to knead bread dough knowing that 90% of their customers are going to be making cakes, cookies and meringues, which put no strain on the motor. It’s the 10% of us who do bake bread (or use the meat grinder) on a regular basis who are fucked because Kitchenaid won’t stand behind its products.


  5. Hi Chad - thanks so much for this guide!!!  I'm a little confused by the statement above... I understand that if you look at the cross section of the blade from the handle to the tip, it forms the triangle you discuss, with the spine forming the widest point of the triangle, and the edge forming the tip of the triangle... but if you look from the top down, with the handle towards you and the spine on top, the blades are tapered so that it forms another triangle (two long sides - that is the length of the blade, and the short side that is the thickness of the blade at the bolster).  So, while the point of the western knives may be technically in the middle of the width of the blade, the blade thins as you go from bolster to tip, so the point isn't really that thick - it's much thinner than the thickness of the blade at the same latitude at the bolster.  Unless of course, we're talking about a stamped blade, in which case it is of uniform thickness.... but most quality western knives are not stamped blades, but forged ones that taper from bolster to tip...

    A question I have with the Edge Pro is that the sharpening mechanism is fixed at one point so the sweep is circular - but a knife edge isn't circular - it's usually flat (or close to it) running from the bolster to about the middle of the blade, and then sweeps up to the tip...  so I don't understand how you can maintain a consistent angle with a circular radius sharpening A) a straight edge or B) a circular edge with a different radius than that of the Edge Pro without constantly moving the knife back and forth and constantly adjusting the blade stop to the width required....

    Help and thanks!!!!

    Hey, Kenneth. You are correct. There is a taper from bolster to tip. The distal taper, as it is called, does keep the tip from being inordinately thick. Even with the distal taper, though, the tip is still thicker than the edge, at least on most German, French & American made knives. The other part of the problem, as you rightly note, is accommodating the arc of the blade as it sweeps toward the tip. You'll have to check with Ben Dale, inventor of the Edge Pro, for the detailed explanation, but because the blade is not fixed to the blade table -- i.e. you do, in fact, move it across the table -- you are sharpening with a series of arcs rather than one big one.

    That's the problem with systems like the Lansky or Gatco. They're fine for short-bladed knives, but once you get over three inches or so the arc of the stone can't match the edge without repositioning the jig. With the Edge Pro you are playing connect the dots with a series of arcs. And because you don't (or shouldn't) swing the stone past the edges of the blade table, they are short arcs at that. You also rotate the knife on the table as you move from heel to tip, presenting a (mostly) straight section of edge to the stone. It's a compromise, but it's the best compromise I've found so far (aside from freehand sharpening, that is).

    Hope this helps. If not, and if you still have questions, email or call Ben Dale at Edge Pro Inc. and report back here. Ben always takes time to answer questions. I'll be eager to hear what he has to say.

    Take care,


  6. And, yep, you've discovered one of the dirty secrets of knife sharpening. The tip of the knife is thicker than the main cutting edge. If you imagine a top view of your knife blade, the spine forms the widest part of a triangle. The sides taper down to the edge. And if the cutting edge were flat (as it is on some santokus, nakiris, and usubas) it would be of uniform thickness. However, the sweep of the belly on a western-style knife means that the tip, usually at the centerpoint of the blade width, is going to be ground from a thicker section of steel. To keep the aesthetics of the bevel nice and even, the grinder changes the angle slightly. So, yes, it is a little more obtuse. The way I work around that when I use an Edge Pro is to set the blade stop with the very tip of the knife positioned right on the corner of the blade table with just a little of the edge showing. That means the heel of the knife and the lower portion of the cutting edge stick out a little farther than they should, but the bevel width stays more even as it follows the sweep up to the tip.


    Do you note this technique in your book?



    I didn't, unfortunately.


  7. Finally I settled for Spyderco fine grit ceramic stone recommended and bought from a dealer in Western Australia he runs a knife and Japanese sword collector's club. I explain my background as my father and I were fine clockmakers and watchmarkers so naturally we used many sharpening stones soft and hard high and low grit to shapen and polish watch mechanism and tools.

    When I was a kid I use to look at my dad through the process of sharpening his razor blade and then shaving with it with his eyes closed and he would never bleed from any cut.

    Anyway I just use a small collection of knives mainly German Wustoff and use utily or 2 thin blade knives to cut difficult things like tomatoes, parsley stalks, onions, celery or plums.

    thin blade knives are easy to maintain and when slicing stop slices rolling off the chopping board.

    Coming back to this dealer he told me that Japanese water stones these days are not what they used to be as the Japanese quarries have been exhausted the stones nowadays are made of reconstituted material.

    He continued saying the there is a separate chapter to sharpen swords but that does not apply to kitchen stuff. 

    Anyway as I have children and young people visiting besides my wife dos not care which knives she uses anyway and I am afraid for their safety so I choose not to over the sharpen but keep an edge just enough to last me say 20 degrees and kept deep in the chopping block.

    But I do keep Dad's (my own) Argentinian facon in pretty good shape encased and that is sharp only used to eat meat.

    Finally, I would be interested to know how to sharpen and keep a serrated knife and a expensive potato peeler in good nick?

    Interesting story about polishing watch mechanisms. Thank you for sharing it.

    Many, if not most, Japanese water stones today are synthetic or are natural stone powder in some form of binder. True quarried natural stones are hard to find. However, that is not really a problem. The synthetic stones, while they feel different than the natural stones, are more consistent and more accurately graded. I like them a lot.

    There are four ways to keep a serrated knife sharp. Serrated knives are sharpened only one one side. The back side is usually flat. Grinding the serrations often leaves a burr that keeps the knife from cutting as well as it can. Simply laying the back of the knife nearly flat on a fine stone and removing that burr will often improve the cutting ability of the knife. Similarly, when the edge dulls it can often be refreshed with the same method, sharpening at a very low angle on the back side of the knife. Over a long period of time this will eventually remove the serrations.

    You can pretend the serrations don't exist and sharpen as normal on your stones or sharpening system. This will remove the serrations over a shorter period of time than the previous method, but it does work.

    You can sharpen the serrations individually with a fine tapered diamond rod, a V-shaped ceramic file or simply a dowel (or even a screwdriver or pencil) wrapped with fine grit wet/dry sandpaper.

    Finally, you can use a V-system (like the Spyderco Sharpmaker) or crock stick setup, going very slowly so the rods glide in and out of the serrations. The triangular rods of the Sharpmaker are particularly effective for this.

    Hope this helps.


  8. Going for the double-bevel on the Japanese knives made me finally see the light -- literally, as it gleamed off that beautiful edge. Call me vain, but I'm now thinking that I want to get a finer stone for finishing. I have only the basic two water stones that were delivered with the old Apex EdgePro: 180 medium and 220 fine. The EdgePro website is now sending out "220 Grit Medium Fine & 320 Grit Extra Fine" stones with the Apex kit. From what you wrote in the course and book, that 320 is equivalent to a 1200x Japanese water stone. That should do the trick, yes?

    Yup, it'll definitely be an improvement. Ben Dale (owner/inventor of Edge Pro) is a proponent of coarser, more toothy edges for kitchen knives, but I find a more polished edge cuts better and lasts longer in the kitchen. When I use my Edge Pro I take my knives up through the 800 grit stone and sometimes use the polish tapes as well. That puts the level of finish about on par with my hand sharpening, which usually goes to 6,000 to 8,000 grit depending on which water stones I'm using. That's probably overkill, but what the hell. I like it.

    If you are going to purchase an additional stone anyway, throw in the 800, too. Once you've established your edge with the coarser stones, using the finishing stones is a matter of a few strokes (less than 10 or so) to really take the edge to a pretty remarkable level.

    Take care,


  9. Kudos to Chad for the instructions he has kindly provided.

    I'm facing a dilemma here. I recently bought from Korin a Togiharu Santouku and a 2-sided stone for maintenance. It was a beautiful knife, but it did not perform as well as I hoped for. At first I though it was simply a matter of the edge, and using the instructions here, I brought it down to a gleaming 15 degrees that is literally scary sharp. A cherry tomato dropped from 6 inches above it would impale itself on the edge.

    However, on return to the cutting board, the knife still did not perform well in the sense that when slicing hard vegetables ie potatoes, halving onions sort of jobs, there is alot of resistance in the blade. Since there is no doubt in the sharpness of the edge, I can only speculate what's causing my problems.

    Hey, thanks! Sounds like you're dealing with the problems associated with high moisture foods. The moisture causes adhesion and drag. There are a couple of solutions. Cutting faster, as counterintuitive as it sounds, will keep foods from sticking quite so much. So will wetting the blade a bit. A little moisture causes sticking. A little more helps the food release more easily.

    Give those two things a try and let us know how it turns out.


  10. If you're handy with tools, parts are widely available, along with diagrams of the innards. You could probably replace any broken gears, put on a new metal transmission cover, and pack it up with fresh grease for well under $100.

    Let me know if you need the info ... I have it around here somewhere.

    That would be great. I'd appreciate the info. I'm not particularly handy with tools but I like the idea of making the repair myself if the parts are available.



  11. My Kitchenaid Professional 600 died a screaching death yesterday. Doing a little digging I discovered that until 2006 the Professional 600 models, touted as heavy duty mixers designed specifically for the needs of bread bakers, had a flimsy plastic gear case. The same gear case as in the smaller, less powerful mixers. When the mixer heats up the gear case flexes, pulling the gears out of alignment, leading to broken gear teeth, cracked gear case and cracked worm gear. Kitchenaid customer service was not helpful. My mixer is past its one-year warranty but I argued that a known design flaw -- which Kitchenaid acknowledged when it redesigned the mixer in 2006 -- should be treated as a recall item and repaired for free. She did not agree. The only option is to spend $34 to ship the mixer to them to have them "diagnose the problem" and repair it for a couple of hundred dollars. There is no diagnosis necessary. It's a known problem. From what I can find, all pre-2006 Professional 600 mixers will break if used regularly to mix bread dough. Kitchenaid counted on the fact that bread bakers are a small percentage of their customer base. Most buyers will use their mixers for cakes, cookies, meringues, etc. and only occasionally bake bread or pizza dough. I'm going to continue to push for a free repair (and upgrade to the metal gear box). I'm not hopeful.

    Anybody else had this problem? Any luck resolving it? What did you replace yours with and are you happy with it?



  12. Do you keep any type of coolant handy for dunking the blade while using the sander?

    It seems like the right tool for relieving bolsters.

    I do. I keep a lexan full of water next to the sander. It's deep enough to dunk all but the longest blades between passes.


  13. What are your thoughts on a belt sander with 1200 grit paper? Many years ago I toured a Knife manufacturer and the edge was put on by skilled workers and a fancy belt sander. I soon after started experimenting with that method and I still put my edge on with the belt sander and fine tune with stones and a steel

    There are quite a few sharpeners doing business with belt grinders. You can even get leather belts for stropping.

    I do not know why you would need to go to the stones. I would either do one or the other.

    Here is a great thread about sharpening with belt grinders:

    Jerry Hossom on sharpening

    Thanks, H2O. I was just about to reference that discussion. Sareed, if you can do it, have at it! A belt sander with fine belts is a quick way to get your knives in shape. And to answer H2O's question, you can set an edge -- especially if you are repairing a damaged knife -- very quickly with a belt sander. However, if you want a little more refinement and control, finishing on waterstones is the way to go. A couple of pro sharpeners I know do that very thing.

    Lee Valley Tools has some great sharpening belts for small sanders. I have a cheap 1x30" from Harbor Freight that I'll occasionally use to fix bad nicks or chips. I've never fully mastered the technique however, so I limit my use of the belt sander for repairs, rounding spines and heels, and power stropping with a leather belt loaded with CrO2. I've often wondered if my failure to get the hang of belt sharpening has as much to do with the cheap sander. Not only is the speed a lot higher than it should be for sharpening, but the belt jitters wildly. I might get a better platen and try it again.


  14. Hi Chad,

    I really love your book and am thrilled to have such a substantial void in my food book library and culinary knowledge filled.  Thank you!

    I am getting ready to do some sharpening and am wondering if you have any thoughts or experience with the Wicked Edge system.  It seems pretty decent but I'm worried that the lowest angle you can set to using it is 15 degrees.  Given what I read in your book, I'm worried that 15 degrees will be fine in the short term but that once I become more experienced, I'll want even finer edges and that this system will not accomodate that.

    On the plus side, the system looks remarkably easy to use (at least from viewing the demo videos).



    Hi, Ronnie. Thanks for the kind words!. I'm not familiar with that system. It looks like somebody tried to combine a NordicTrack with a sharpening jig. Personally I'd find something like that extremely limiting. As you note, 15 degrees is as low as it will go, and I frequently set bevels and back bevels lower than that. The fixed jig also limits how you sharpen near the tip, where it is sometimes necessary to make adjustments to keep the bevel uniform. The other limitation is the grit range of the stones. The finest is only 1000 grit, which isn't bad for utility edges but not as fine as I'd like for kitchen use. I frequently take my edges up to 8,000 grit, sometimes to 10,000 or 16,000 if I'm feeling sporty. Admittedly, that's up in the fanatic range, but I like having the option.

    Hope this helps.

    Take care,


  15. I have a question now that I'm getting more into the various practices and such.  When steeling, I had always heard that you were supposed to pull backwards from the blade, but your instructions very clearly say to run it blade side down the steel.  Is there a reason to do either way?

    You can do it either way. I have better luck with the edge going into the steel. I find that it is easier to find and hold the correct angle that way.

    Good luck!


  16. Hey, thanks for the great info and taking the time to answer people's questions!

    A combination of me doing a lot of research on sharpening and my wife wanting sharper kitchen knives lead to her and my in-laws getting me an Edge Pro Apex system for Christmas!

    As a wedding gift, we got a block set of Wusthof Classic knives ( http://www.wusthof.com/en/database2-classic.asp?a=8419&s=cl ).  Doing the magic marker trick on the Santoku Oriental cook´s knife, it appeared to me that the angle  was around 12-13 degrees per side.  That seemed a lot more acute than I expected.  The other knives appeared to be around 15 degrees.  I kept the angles what they were as I sharpened them.

    I don't believe the knives came with a double bevel, and the Edge Pro instructions and video that came with it do not mention doing a double bevel, but touching up with the 320 and/or ceramic steel often, and putting on a back-bevel only after it takes a long time to touch-up the edges.

    Another thing I've noticed on the knives: I set the angle for the "body" of the knife, but as I get towards the tip, it seems to be cutting more on the back and of the bevel and not the edge, as if it's more of an obtuse angle.  If I continue until I get a burr at the tip, it seems the cut bevel is longer at the tip than the rest of the knife.  Am I doing something wrong with my Edge Pro?

    So I guess my questions are,

    1. What is your opinion of the knives?

    2. What do you think of the angles on them?

    3. Should I double bevel? Or just keep them "touched up"?

    4. Does the tip of the knife have a different angle? Or am I sharpening the tip wrong?

    Thanks again for providing so much info and support to us sharpening n00bs!

    Robbie G

    Congratulations on the new Edge Pro! My tastes have moved away from the heavy German style, but the Wusthof Classics are very good knives. They'll serve you well, especially now that you can keep them in top condition. I'm surprised that you are finding the edge angles that acute. Wusthof, Henckels, et al, usually come with 20-25° per side edges. If yours are ground finer than that, great! They'll cut much better.

    After your knives have been sharpened multiple times the edge will start to thicken. It is at the same angle but you are moving into the thicker portion of the knife. Double beveling (which in the book I called a compound bevel to avoid confusion with western-style double bevels and Japanese chisel-style single bevels) is a way to thin the shoulders of the edge for better performance while maintaining a robust cutting edge. You don't have to do it at all, or, as the Edge Pro materials suggest, you can hold off until touchups become a problem. Either way is fine. I find factory edges way too thick for my tastes so I thin them as soon as I get a new knife. But that's just me.

    And, yep, you've discovered one of the dirty secrets of knife sharpening. The tip of the knife is thicker than the main cutting edge. If you imagine a top view of your knife blade, the spine forms the widest part of a triangle. The sides taper down to the edge. And if the cutting edge were flat (as it is on some santokus, nakiris, and usubas) it would be of uniform thickness. However, the sweep of the belly on a western-style knife means that the tip, usually at the centerpoint of the blade width, is going to be ground from a thicker section of steel. To keep the aesthetics of the bevel nice and even, the grinder changes the angle slightly. So, yes, it is a little more obtuse. The way I work around that when I use an Edge Pro is to set the blade stop with the very tip of the knife positioned right on the corner of the blade table with just a little of the edge showing. That means the heel of the knife and the lower portion of the cutting edge stick out a little farther than they should, but the bevel width stays more even as it follows the sweep up to the tip. Give it a try and see what you think.

    Take care,


  17. OK, Chad, now that I've read through the book... in the sharpening section, you have a short discussion of pull-through type sharpeners.  I have two of those made by Wusthof, for my Wusthof knives; one for the chef's knife and one for the santoku.

    They both seem to help quite a bit.  I'd be interested to hear what you think of them.  You wrote that most of them were not a good idea, but I wonder which ones might not be included in "most".

    I'm still trying to decide between the Edge Pro and the Spyderco 204.  The Edge Pro certainly appears to be much easier to handle, especially for someone like me, who won't be using it often.  But of course the Spyderco is about half the price of the Edge Pro.  Any ideas about issues I could use to help with a decision?  Actually, if the prices were the same, the Edge Pro would win, hands down.  But $200 is a lot of money.  On the other hand, I'd always know my knives were sharpened well.  It appears to be a nearly fool-proof system.


    Hi, Jenny. Sorry I missed this earlier. I'm not intimately familiar with the Wusthof pull-through sharpeners. As someone else suggested they are probably carbide wheels or bits. Depending on how fine they are, they might not be too bad but you can do much better.

    As much as I love the Edge Pro Apex, if you aren't going to use it often, the Spyderco Sharpmaker is probably a better bet. You can do minor reprofiling with a little effort, and basic sharpening and touchups are easy enough that you'll do them more often. The Sharpmaker also requires a lot less storage space and setup time, which, again, means you'll use it more often.

    Hope things are going well.

    Take care,


  18. do I have to read through all these pages to ask if anyone has made the BREAKFAST SAUSAGE WITH FRESH GINGER AND SAGE ?

    and if so

    any tweeking needed ? or just follow the instructions

    it sounds nice and I have everything for it!

    could I add a spoon of NM red chile to it? I feel sage and chile are made for each other!!!

    please advise

    I made it earlier this week. I did deviate from the recipe, however. I added about a tablespoon of crushed red pepper flake, which is really nice. I had an eight pound bone-in pork shoulder and scaled up the salt, pepper and sage accordingly (55-60%). I did not scale up the ginger and garlic, which turned out to be a good decision. I taste tested a bit of sausage at the original proportions, and while I like both ginger and garlic they're a bit overwhelming in this recipe, at least for breakfast. If you plan on serving this sausage at any other meal the amount of garlic and sage would probably be fine. In the proportions I ended up with, the ginger and garlic play more background roles, the ginger adding a nice bit of brightness without taking over.


  19. Thanks for the kind words Robert. I appreciate it. The next book isn't going to be knife related, at least if they buy off on the proposal I'm sending. I might get back to knives at a later date. There are, however, other resources for sporting and tactical knives.

    On a joyful note, the Chicago Tribune has listed "An Edge in the Kitchen" as one of it's Best of 2008 food books. That really made my day.

    Of course, this complete lack of judgment may explain the Tribune's current financial woes :rolleyes:


  20. I understand the appeal of vinegar, but the only evidence I've seen supporting it is a single study showing that it reduced e. coli on cutting boards. And the study was conducted by the Nakano Vinegar Co. Ltd .... so take it for what it's worth!

    I didn't consider the Norwalk-type viruses when writing the chapter, just the most common food borne illnesses. Thanks for pointing that out. I'm on vacation and have limited Internet access. I'll address the bleach point when I get back. In the meantime, here's one of the studies showing the effectiveness of vinegar as a sanitizing agent: Microbiology of Cleaning & Sanitizing a Cutting Board.

    There is another study, done to improve food safety in developing countries, that shows a sequential combination of vinegar and peroxide will sanitize cutting boards, fruits and vegetables even better than vinegar alone, killing just about any bug out there. I'll track it down in my notes.


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