Jump to content


eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Chad

  1. I have one of those "steam toy" espresso makers. I realize that makes me a coffee poseur . However, we do use ours. Infrequently, yes, but we do use it. It sees action in the winter months when we want something stronger than hot chocolate. It ain't espresso or even a real latte, but we let the thing hiss and gurgle away, steam some heavy cream and haul out the big mugs. Which we then fill almost halfway with Tia Maria . The "espresso" and cream go on top of that. Not bad at all. As for the winner of the Most Unused Food Related Gift Item award? Two words: cheese ball Chad
  2. I have one of those. I realize that makes me a coffee poseur . However, we do use ours. Infrequently, yes, but we do use it. It sees action in the winter months when we want something stronger than hot chocolate. It ain't espresso or even a real latte, but we let the thing hiss and gurgle away, steam some heavy cream and haul out the big mugs. Which we then fill almost halfway with Tia Maria . The "espresso" and cream go on top of that. Not bad at all. Chad
  3. Nope, you get a knife sharpener to make house calls because many knife sharpeners still make house calls. If he does a great job, make sure you keep him on your Christmas card list. And tip him well. High quality sharpening professionals are hard to find. The problem with getting your knives sharpened is that anyone with a couple hundred bucks to invest in a grinder can call himself a knife sharpener. Mostly they do lawn mower blades and garden tools. Finding a sharpener who really knows what he's doing with kitchen knives is a real treat. But it's kind of like trying to find someone to cut your hair. You can go through several expensive mistakes before you find the right person. Chad
  4. Ding, ding, ding. We have a winnah! Any bets on whether or not this is exactly what happens? Dean, you've gone and gotten yourself some damn fine knives. You'll have a ball with them. This knife buying blog has been a blast. Keep us up to date on what you think of each, how they feel, how the handles feel in your hands -- the works. Chad
  5. That's correct. Daniel told me that Ryusen makes the "cheaper" Hattori line. Yup, but just to be clear for those skimming along, Ryusens and Hattoris are essentialy the same knife. The "cheaper" line in this instance is compared to Hattori's own $1,200+ line of knives, not the Ryusens. Don't go dissin' my Hattoris, Willis. Chad
  6. Way to go Dean! That Ryusen looks like a nifty knife. I suspect, though, that you'll end up keeping the Shun. Once you get used to a bigger knife it's hard to go back to a shorter one. But play Zorro for a couple of days and see which one feels best in your hands. You can't go wrong with either one. When is the Brown Truck of Joy supposed to arrive? He's right. Why do you think I sent you the smooth steel and kept the ceramic rod at home? Chad
  7. I'm with you, phaelon. If I saw "hot ham" on the ingredient list I'd think spicy ham -- cappicola or something of the sort. Certainly not ham dipped in hot sauce. That's just nuts. I probably would have eaten it, though. Come to think of it, why mention "hot ham" on the menu at all? If you've got ham and some more ham which has sauce on it, why not just list them as ham and hot sauce? That's like saying that a barbeque sandwich is made of pork and "hot pork," as though the layer of pork with sauce on it is somehow a different meat. "Hot Ham, the other orange meat" . Chad
  8. Nice article, Varmint! I remember my dad taking my brother and me to a trout farm when we were kids. Both of us grew up fishing. I used to spend summers with my grandparents and uncles in NC bass fishing nearly every day. My grandfather was a stickler -- the only food we could bring was Vienna Sausages and crackers and there was NO talking in the boat. Probably more for his sanity than anything else . I got to pass a little of that along last year when we went to Pawleys Island. We had a house on the marsh with a long pier. Jack, my nine-year-old had been fishing in a pond before, but had never learned to cast and certainly had never encountered a hungry crab hanging on to the end of his pole . The hardest thing for him to get over, though, was hooking a minnow for bait. Cruel and unusual punishment, as far as he was concerned. Chad
  9. I only know Nenox knives by reputation, which is very good. I haven't used one, but the handle shape looks very nice. Has anybody else owned or played with a Nenox? Chad
  10. Varmint, I haven't used the Masahiro. I just tossed it into the mix to be confusing . Given your preferences and reactions so far, I suspect that you'll end up with a Japanese-style knife with a western handle, but that's just a guess. I got a 240mm Hattori chef's knife for Christmas that's pretty amazing. I know CRUZMISL has a set of these as well. There are some great pictures in his Knife-a-holic thread. Chad
  11. For those unfamiliar with how bizarre backstage riders can be, check out The Smoking Gun. Van Halen banning brown M&Ms is, well, peanuts . Chad
  12. Dean, any progress on the great chef's knife oddessy? Another variable to throw into the equation: Masahiro. Scroll down a little to see the 10-3/4" gyutou. Sweet. Chad
  13. You need to do the spine modification detailed in The Way of the Knife and in the eGCI Knife Maintenance & Sharpening tutorial. It's easy, painless and makes the knife considerably more comfortable to use. I rounded the spine on the knife that Dean is currently using. Maybe he'll chime in with his thoughts on how effective it is. Chad
  14. The Hattori chef's knife is pretty amazing. I like it a lot. Out-of-the-box sharpness was incredible, but I plan on taking the edge down a couple of degrees just to see what it'll take. Dean, if the handle on the Mullin is a little small for you but you like Japanese style knives, you might consider a Hattori or one of the Misono or Nenox gyotous -- they have beefy, western-style handles that might fit your mitts a little better. Chad
  15. Man, it wasn't easy. I had the knife secured in a heavy plastic blade guard and the steel was in a leather sheath. The lovely folks at the post office made me buy about 30 feet of bubble wrap -- even after I demonstrated how the knife guard works -- before putting the knife in the priority mail box. Oddly enough, they were even less sure of the steel . None of them had ever seen a smooth steel, so they assumed that it was some sort of horrific weapon. Actually, after a couple of minutes of converstation they were very helpful. It's a post office regulation that any knife has to be fully swaddled in bubble wrap so it doesn't poke out of the box and whack a carrier. That's fine with me. But when I pulled the steel from the sheath I felt like Clevon Little in Blazing Saddles -- "pardon me while I whip this out . . . " . Anyway, they were very helpful and actually interested when I explained that it was a custom chef's knife. They thought that was pretty cool, if a little excessive. Chad
  16. Oh, yeah. That kid was weird, weird, weird. If I had been Morimoto, I think I'd have gone into hiding. After, of course, bitch-slapping the publicist and producers of the show for setting that up. Creepy. Chad
  17. Fifi, there's the "Americanized" version of the Japanese TV show Iron Chef -- it's got the dubbed voices and generally rabid fans. It's also got Sakai (the heavy drinker), Chen (the weeper), Morimoto (Kurasawa's bastard son) and Kobe (the "special" Iron Chef). Then there's "American Iron Chef" or something like that -- hosted by William Shatner, as I recall, with American chefs willing to debase and humiliate themselves in a contest with all they unintentional kitsch and none of the charm of the original. Chad
  18. I don't have much hands-on experience with either model. My guess would be that the 120 would work a little better, if only because it has a stropping belt for the third stage. It'll take a little practice, so if you get a Chef's Choice try it out on a cheap knife first just to get a feel for the machine. Chad
  19. i can't believe you're saying it either, as now i have no choice but to slap you around. on a related note, i see that the 310 lists for $70, and the 110 lists for $100. what's the story? Ack, I just checked, the EdgeSelect 120 replaces the 110. The the 310 is a lesser model. My mistake. Sorry 'bout that. The 110 has three wheels, the first of which grinds a very aggressive 15 degree back bevel. The third wheel is for final polish. The 120 replaces the third wheel with a belt -- kind of like stropping. My bad. Chad
  20. Moe, Larry, the cheese! The cheese! Chad
  21. Oy, if you can't find a place to do your knives locally, spend the $70 bucks and get a Chef's Choice 110. Jeez, I can't believe I'm saying this. But the Chef's Choice is a good buy and wont fuck up your knives too badly. It does a good job. If you're feeling particularly flush, get the Chef's Choice 310 for another $20 or so. Just read the fucking directions! Buy 'em books and they chew on the covers . . . Chad
  22. Aaaaargh! Burn the heretic! Burn the heretic! Chad
  23. Ha! You should see what I go through buying sex toys. The research, the testing . . . Chad
  24. Just to add my general, disordered thoughts on knife buying to the mix: Ooh, this is just painful to say, steel-snob that I am, but don't be seduced by exotic steels. High carbon stainless (the stuff in Wusthofs, Henckels, et al) is plenty okay for kitchen work. It's relatively stainless, takes and holds a decent edge and is easy to resharpen. Global & MAC knives blend molybdenum and vanadium into their alloys, making them harder, more wear resistant and with finer grain structures (i.e. "sharper"). Some makers use 440C, which is a couple of steps above the standard high carbon stainless. It is usually hardened to 56-58Rc as opposed to the 53-55Rc of standard commercial knives. George Tichbourne uses 440C in his line of knives, as does the very cool set of kitchen knives from Benchmade. The Mullin knife in my article is ATS-34, which is not as stain resistant as most kitchen knives, but is much harder and takes a better edge. Above ATS-34 is BG-42 (used by chef Thomas Haslinger) and CPM S30V, a steel specifically designed for custom cutlery. All of this is very cool but completely irrelevant if the knife's ergonomics don't work for you. Steel snobbery aside, the handle is the most important consideration in buying a new knife, in my opinion. If you hate the handle, you'll never use even the most exotic steel to its full potential. After handle comfort comes weight and balance. I like blade-heavy knives, meaning they are balanced a little forward of the blade/handle joint so they feel like they're tipping down when you hold them. That's just me. Other people like a more neutral balance. I find that a blade heavy knife gives me more leverage when whacking away at a joint but balances nicely when held in a pinch grip with my forefinger and thumb just forward of the blade handle juncture. I also hate bolsters. Folks who like neutrally balanced knives tend to favor bolsters because the bolster adds weight to the handle of the knife and counterbalances the blade. Not my style at all. And bolsters make sharpening a bitch, leaving a dished out area at the heel of the blade after repeated sharpenings. I tend to prefer squared or oval handles to the "ergonomic" curves and bends of the Wusthof Culinar series or Henckels 5-Star series. Those knives feel like they were designed for space aliens with three fingers. But again, that's just me. I don't subscribe to the religion of the full tang. The tang is the strip of metal extending from the blade and running under the handle or handle slabs. In a full tang knife you can see the strip -- which should be about the full width of the spine -- pinned between two handle slabs. A stick tang or rattail tang is a slimmer, well, stick of metal, usually with a full-coverage handle molded or fitted over it. The theory is that a full tang knife will be significantly stronger, which may very well be true. However, in years of seriously abusing knives I've never broken one because of a stick tang. Certainly not in kitchen use. In a survival knife, sure, I want a thick full tang. In my kitchen knives I don't think it makes a damn bit of difference. I like wide blades. I tend to scoop with my knives after dicing a tomato or onion. A wide blade (at least 2") makes that much easier. However, there is such a thing as too wide. I sold my Tichbourne K6 because it was just too damn big. At 10" long and 3" wide it was more like a cleaver than a chef's knife. Then again there are some wonderful chefs who rave about George Tichbourne's knives. All this is by way of noting some of the considerations that go into finding that knife that fits your hand better than any other. These are my likes and dislikes. I'm not insisting that they be anybody else's . But handle ergonomics, balance, blade weight, overall weight and blade width are important considerations. Above all the over-intellectualizing, however, is just plain feel. If a knife feels good in your hands and will take a decent edge, buy it. Chad
  25. Well, we're getting outside my area of expertise. I don't know a whole lot about the steel manufacturing process. However, it is my understanding that a lot of steel (most?) is hot-rolled to thickness rather than being pounded flat with an air hammer or drop forge. Probably does about the same thing, but I'm not sure it's "forged." Here's an excerpt from the Crucible Particle Metallurgy site. CPM uses a different process. They spray the molten metal through an atomizer to create a super fine powder which is then vacuum melted & pressed to create an incredibly intricate and fine carbide matrix. Good stuff. The bars are then rolled or forged like conventional steels. So I guess you're right. Even bar stock steel is "forged" at some point. Just don't let the American Bladesmith Society hear you say it . Chad
  • Create New...