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"An Edge in the Kitchen"

154 posts in this topic

Chad,

That's better content.

You wrote:

"Ideally, the blade should taper to about .02'/.5mm measured a quarter of an inch behind the cutting edge, a measurement first put forth by John Juranitch's 'Razor Edge Book of Sharpening' and, if I remember correctly, confirmed by John Verhoeven in his Experiments in Knife Sharpening 2004, an excellent read, by the way."

and I wrote:

"on the sharp edge from the handle to the tip the thickness descends 0.0394", 0.0286", 0.0208""

so on thickness my $7.50 knife seems to be on the way to "ideally" thin!

Thanks for the remark on the NSF plastic handle: To me the handle seems fine, and I don't let it constrain me to just one hand position.

Thanks for the references: Good references -- for support of points or for more information -- are one of the key features of good technical writing, or usually good writing on any subject.

Of course, unlike essentially all editors in publishing houses of popular books, I regard all fiction, especially that from Chaucer through Milton, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Dickens, and Henry James, as writing that should be left as irrelevant down to toxic on the scrap heap of history from the ascent of man! In grades 9-12, only one year of way too elementary physics and four years of brain-dead English literature: If in revenge I can ruin a day, or even an hour, for at least one English major at a publishing house, it will make my day!

Topics such as "isothermal transfer curves, carbide distribution in martensitic stainless steel or the trigonometry of sharpening" are fine and possibly helpful if the writer will just:

(1) define the terms,

(2) explain what the terms mean,

(3) say why the topics are useful for the subject,

(4) use the topics and the terms to add information the reader can use.

Readers are correct to regard undefined technical terms as unacceptable obstacles in the text, and some people use undefined technical terms apparently intentionally to intimidate readers.

Undefined terminology is not 'advanced' or 'difficult' but just silly as in speaking gibberish; the main difficulty is not the subject but just the missing definitions.

Even when all terms are defined and described well, a subject can still be difficult, just conceptually. In this case, a writer can warn the reader and put the more difficult material in a separate subsection or in an appendix.

These are just standard means of good writing on technical subjects, but of course don't learn these things in English literature classes worshiping Shakespeare!

Trigonometry should be acceptable: It's just a standard high school subject.

In a book of 70,000 words just on kitchen knives emphasizing high quality, some material on metallurgy should be not only acceptable but appropriate and even necessary.

Your point about a too thin edge on a too soft steel will result in the edge bending over is correct: My father explained that to me when I was about 9 years old, and I saw the effect when I did such sharpening on a sickle. As he also explained to me, a crude but somewhat effective correction to straighten or remove the bent edge is to draw the edge lightly over a block of soft wood as if trying to slice the wood. The effect I saw with a sickle was visible without magnification; no doubt with hard kitchen knife steel the effect could be the same but on a smaller scale and needing magnification to see.

My father didn't pay much attention to sharpening kitchen knives, but he had done plenty of sharpening of tools for cutting metal and wood.

Thanks for the metal hardness data; that's a start. I mentioned in my posts, that's some of the data I've long known was important for knives but have not seen from knife manufacturers.

So, generally a harder steel can take a sharper edge and hold it longer. But to get most of the potential, have to sharpen the edge to something quite smooth and without small groves on the sharpened faces and small teeth on the final edge. Yes, I have a low power hand held microscope that clearly shows such lines and teeth from sharpening with my hard, splined sharpening steel.

So, to do better sharpening, I will need something better than that sharpening steel. You have mentioned abrasive paper used in auto body work -- good.

Point: If have a knife with 'high performance' steel (i.e., especially hard steel that can take and hold a very sharp edge), then need to pay a lot of attention to means of sharpening. I knew that and that's why in my post

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...ndpost&p=128582

I was trying to engineer an appropriate sharpening jig. My intention was to use diamond abrasive from, maybe, the company DMT.

So, even if I do find a French chef's knife with, say, a blade 10", 12", of 14" inches long, with a lot of good technical information on the steel and a blade as thin as you mention, then there is not much sense in my buying the knife unless I can also make comparable progress on sharpening tools.

Know of any such chef's knives? If so, then I'll return to the issue of sharpening jigs.

Does your book have a table that stays what sharpening materials -- your sandpaper suggestions, sandstone, tungsten carbide, diamond, etc. -- are needed for what metal hardness values? Or does the sandpaper suggestion work well on any steel knives?

It does appear that knives that can take and hold especially sharp edges are so far mostly from Japan and not really in the shape or style of a French chef's knife that I prefer for nearly all my use in my kitchen.

So, again it looks like I'm stuck: It's still tough to get French chef's knives with thin blades of 'high performance' steel and good data on it and comparable progress on sharpening tools. So, for now it's still a $7.50 knife, a sharpening steel, and maybe a sharpening stone.

So, what's wrong with my $7.50 knife? That it is a "Yugo", has a low "level of performance", or doesn't have "wondrous" steel? No: These qualitative, pejorative remarks are meaningless. What matters is just what the knife can DO and, for that, what it IS in the sense of engineering. If the steel is too soft to take and hold a sharp edge, then that really IS meaningful. E.g., you gave, "Your knives are probably in the 48-52HRC range." GOOD! That's MEANINGFUL. That's numerical, factual, engineering data and not just qualitative adjectives.

It is really "bitterly painful" to use engineering data instead of qualitative adjectives?

If you do a second edition, then maybe get one of those $7.50 knives, discover what the steel actually is, report the amounts of iron, carbon, chromium, etc., have the hardness measured, and evaluate the ability of the knife to take and hold a sharp edge. Indeed, get such data for all the knives you discuss and THEN compare the knives in terms of this data and THEN draw qualitative, pejorative, or laudatory, conclusions. Just a suggestion from one candidate reader still interested in kitchen knives.

Carbon in steel is expensive? Hmm .... Never mind.

A used Yugo can last longer than most US marriages and, thus, longer than the 'useful life' of wedding gifts!

I'll try to quit seeming like the uncouth, uninvited interloper at this Victorian garden party and quit asking for information on such inappropriate subjects as metallurgy!


What would be the right food and wine to go with

R. Strauss's 'Ein Heldenleben'?

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Project, if you are interested, the Japanese gyuto is virtually identical in blade shape to a traditional French chef's knife. They come in 210mm, 240mm, 270mm and 300mm lengths generally. A 270mm is a little over 10" Most places that sell them (Epicurean Edge, Korin Japanese Trading, and JapaneseChefsKnife.com, for example) offer steel composition and hardness data for all of their knives. That's why I like them so much.

Sharpening is covered in detail in the book (as is the basic metallurgy of kitchen knives, by the way). My eGCI Knife Maintenance & Sharpening class is a little dated at this point, and I have learned a lot in the intervening years, but the basics still hold true.

Take care,

Chad


Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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Chad-

I notice in your presentation on slicing an onion you make your second cuts by pressing down on the onion with your palm and cutting from the tip of the onion to the root straight in, using the flat part of the knife. I recently switched to using the tip of the knife to sweep through the onion side-to-side to make this cut, having observed various television chefs doing it this way. With a sharp knife (a given, I should hope!) it seems to go a little faster. Do you have any particular reason for the technique you present, or is it pure personal preference?


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Chad,

Can you tell us what most surprised you in your research for this book?  What one thing or perhaps a number of things set you back on your heels proclaiming, "WOW I didn't know that!" or "WOW who knew this knife was that good!"

Thanks,

Anna N (who hides her electric sharpener under a dish towel!).

Hi, Anna. There are a couple of things that really made me stop and think. I was already working on the theory that much of what we are taught about kitchen knives is outdated when I started delving into metallurgy. I had an in-depth interview with ABS Mastersmith Kevin Cashen, an expert in the metallurgy of knives. That conversation led to the epiphany about forged versus machined knives. He has a detailed article, The Lowdown on Forging, for anyone interested in the science behind this, but the basic idea is that forging, even traditional hand forging, does not impart all of the wondrous attributes (refined grain structure, greater toughness, etc.) that the marketing folks at Wusthof, Henckels, et al, would have us believe. In fact, in a modern manufacturing facility there is no quality difference between a forged knife and a machined knife. It's all marketing hype.

That completely changes how people can and should decide which knives to buy when faced with yards of glittering steel down at the Towels 'n' Such. The "drop forged, full tang & bolster" sales pitch is almost completely false. Knowing that opens the field up to a wide variety of modern knives that will outperform just about anything ever made. That's why I sometimes come across as such an evangelist. People need to know this stuff!

Another, albeit more esoteric, epiphany was the realization that steel, with its crystal structure, is just like making ice cream or granita. The smaller you can keep the crystals, the better the final product.

Oh, there was also the depressing discovery that self-help books haven't changed in hundreds of years. They all prey on our fear of looking less sophisticated than our peers. Wynken de Worde's "The Boke of Kervynge" was a runaway bestseller in 1508 because carving meat at the table was such a source of anxiety.

Chad


Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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Chad-

I notice in your presentation on slicing an onion you make your second cuts by pressing down on the onion with your palm and cutting from the tip of the onion to the root straight in, using the flat part of the knife. I recently switched to using the tip of the knife to sweep through the onion side-to-side to make this cut, having observed various television chefs doing it this way. With a sharp knife (a given, I should hope!) it seems to go a little faster. Do you have any particular reason for the technique you present, or is it pure personal preference?

Chris, is this the technique you're talking about?

gallery_8529_2752_41460.jpg

The guide hand is doing the Flying Hand Trick rather than the standard Claw. It's a little less scary for some people because it gets your fingers up and out of the way. I do start near the heel of the knife and make a smooth draw stroke to create my horizontal cuts. Now that I think about it, that works best with a knife that is not only sharp, but also thin (like the Japanese knives I prefer). A thicker, more German-style knife would probably work better using the section closer to the tip. That's going to be a lot thinner than the area down near the heel and cause less wedging. Nice catch. I'll make a note of it for the paperback version.

Chad


Edited by Chad (log)

Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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So on the weekend I had a couple of people over for dinner and I made paella.  Gave me an opportunity to practice my knife skills - onions, garlic, red peppers and chorizo were dispatched using your suggested tricks.  I must confess that I boned out the chicken thighs with the kitchen scizzors however. (I know I brought a boning knife up here with me to Manitoulin, but damned if I can figure out where it has gotten to)

So the issue is still my thumb - could you explain to me again the whole technique of dragging your curled fingers towards that tucked in thumb - it's just not quite clear in my mind?

Kitchen shears are great. If it works for you, go for it. I sometimes use mine instead of a pizza cutter.

Here's the basic Claw position with the fingertips curled under and the thumb tucked safely away behind the cage of the fingers. The knife rides up and down on the flat between the first and second knuckles.

gallery_8529_2752_45260.jpg

As you cut your food you need to slide your fingers backwards to make room for the next cut. A lot of chefs simply move the whole hand back as a unit, but I find that awkward. Moving my thumb as well as my fingers means that I don't have an anchor and don't feel as in control of the product. The solution (and this isn't my invention, a lot of places teach it) is to plant your thumb a little farther back and use it as an anchor. It holds things steady, freeing your fingers from having to press down as hard. As you slice, you glide your fingertips backwards, keeping them tucked under, using your thumb to pull them back, collapsing your hand.

gallery_8529_2752_19581.jpg

When your fingers move all the way back to your thumb, you reset your thumb farther back and start again.

Does this help?

Chad


Edited by Chad (log)

Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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So on the weekend I had a couple of people over for dinner and I made paella.  Gave me an opportunity to practice my knife skills - onions, garlic, red peppers and chorizo were dispatched using your suggested tricks.  I must confess that I boned out the chicken thighs with the kitchen scizzors however. (I know I brought a boning knife up here with me to Manitoulin, but damned if I can figure out where it has gotten to)

So the issue is still my thumb - could you explain to me again the whole technique of dragging your curled fingers towards that tucked in thumb - it's just not quite clear in my mind?

Kitchen shears are great. If it works for you, go for it. I sometimes use mine instead of a pizza cutter.

Here's the basic Claw position with the fingertips curled under and the thumb tucked safely away behind the cage of the fingers. The knife rides up and down on the flat between the first and second knuckles.

gallery_8529_2752_45260.jpg

As you cut your food you need to slide your fingers backwards to make room for the next cut. A lot of chefs simply move the whole hand back as a unit, but I find that awkward. Moving my thumb as well as my fingers means that I don't have an anchor and don't feel as in control of the product. The solution (and this isn't my invention, a lot of places teach it) is to plant your thumb a little farther back and use it as an anchor. It holds things steady, freeing your fingers from having to press down as hard. As you slice, you glide your fingertips backwards, keeping them tucked under, using your thumb to pull them back, collapsing your hand.

gallery_8529_2752_19581.jpg

When your fingers move all the way back to your thumb, you reset your thumb further back and start again.

Does this help?

Chad

It does, but I think where I get into trouble is with items that are too small, then I don't know what to do with my thumb.

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It does, but I think where I get into trouble is with items that are too small, then I don't know what to do with my thumb.

Ah, gotcha. I know exactly what you mean. Unfortunately it's hard to show on camera.

gallery_8529_2752_35589.jpg

With narrow items and smaller foods (garlic, for instance), the forefinger and pinkie stack up behind the second and third fingers respectively. Not directly behind. Slightly fanned out, but definitely behind. The thumb goes in the center, behind all of them. Think about how you would make a sock puppet, squeezing your fingers together for the upper portion of the "face" with your thumb behind/underneath for the lower jaw. That's the position you want your guide hand in.

Chad


Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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Luckily there is a good photo of this very position in Marsha Lynch's excellent Basic Knife Skills eGCI class.

knifeskillsimage9.jpg

That might make things a bit clearer.

In fact, if you have no interest in knife buying or sharpening, save yourself the $23 and just follow along with the eGCI class. It's a good one.

Chad


Edited by Chad (log)

Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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Chad-

I notice in your presentation on slicing an onion you make your second cuts by pressing down on the onion with your palm and cutting from the tip of the onion to the root straight in, using the flat part of the knife. I recently switched to using the tip of the knife to sweep through the onion side-to-side to make this cut, having observed various television chefs doing it this way. With a sharp knife (a given, I should hope!) it seems to go a little faster. Do you have any particular reason for the technique you present, or is it pure personal preference?

Chris, is this the technique you're talking about?

gallery_8529_2752_41460.jpg

The guide hand is doing the Flying Hand Trick rather than the standard Claw. It's a little less scary for some people because it gets your fingers up and out of the way. I do start near the heel of the knife and make a smooth draw stroke to create my horizontal cuts. Now that I think about it, that works best with a knife that is not only sharp, but also thin (like the Japanese knives I prefer). A thicker, more German-style knife would probably work better using the section closer to the tip. That's going to be a lot thinner than the area down near the heel and cause less wedging. Nice catch. I'll make a note of it for the paperback version.

Chad

Yes, that's the cut I'm talking about: instead of going at the onion from tip to root, I go side-to-side using the tip of the knife. I lightly press down on the top of the onion with a finger or two to keep it in place and make a quick sweeping motion through the onion: it feels less awkward to me and seems to be easier to get the tip right out near the root without "overshooting." Does that make any sense? I am using a Forschner Fibrox at the moment, which seems pretty thin to me (but maybe I've never used a really thin blade!).


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Chad,

I'm enjoying this repartee immensely, and REALLY enjoyed the book. My tastes in the knife department are a bit plebeian, but that doesn't color or hamper my enjoyment of the descriptions and the lessons, or my admiration for your perseverance in research and knowledge of your subject.

And thanks for all the follow-up---it's quite interesting, as well.

rachel, who is vastly enamored of adjectives, herself, as if you couldn't tell

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Hi Chad,

First, thanks for the great book! I've learned a great deal from it. To start with, I went and bought a ceramic "steel", which does indeed do a far nicer job than the smooth(ish) steel I was using before. I notice that the ceramic is picking up some dark streaks from the knives, which I assume are tiny metal deposits. Does this eventually load the ceramic? If so, how - and how often - do you clean it?

Thanks so much,

-Anthony (er... isomer)

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Chad, I’m continuing to enjoy your book in a big way. When I first picked it up, I was on my way to a family camping trip so I brought it along for the tent and fireside reading. I believe I was frightening people with my outbursts of laughter as I read your clever words, my face and your dust jacket half lit by flickering embers!

Like any good reference book, I think this one can be enjoyed while read in any order. I haven’t seen mention, but I’d like to hear what thoughts you have on crescent-shaped ulu style knives. I have one from Northern Ontario and I use it all the time – not to scrape hides but to chop herbs and slice pizzas, and more. I’ve never sharpened it but it needs it. I imagine these are a whole category of knife that warrants discussion.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Chad,

I wanted to send you a BIG THANKS for all your work and contributions to eG.  My husband is using that sharpener you recommend (the wierd manual one from Oregon) and my knives are AMAZING now.  We have had Henkles for years now and he has previously used the electric Chef Choice sharpener.  It didn't do near as much for the blade as the manual one does.  He controls the angle of the cutting surface and has double beveled the edge on a couple for me to try out as well.  He's also softened the (?) spine of the knife for me so the grip is more comfortable.  What a difference!  I compared cutting lime halves, onions, tomatoes, carrots all between the old blade and the new and the new runs through the produce like it is nothing.  I have to work so much less to get the job done and that is a real tangible benefit.

Best wishes!

Genny

Hi, Genny. Thanks! To you and your husband both. I'm glad you're enjoying the results of his efforts. The Edge Pro Apex is a great sharpening device, and one of the easiest ways to create repeatable, high performance edges. I'm thrilled that your husband has tried rounding the spines of your knives as well. It makes a world of difference. Happy I was able to point y'all in the right direction.

Take care,

Chad


Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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Hi Chad,

First, thanks for the great book! I've learned a great deal from it. To start with, I went and bought a ceramic "steel", which does indeed do a far nicer job than the smooth(ish) steel I was using before. I notice that the ceramic is picking up some dark streaks from the knives, which I assume are tiny metal deposits. Does this eventually load the ceramic? If so, how - and how often -  do you clean it?

Thanks so much,

  -Anthony (er... isomer)

Great! As you've discovered, a fine ceramic honing rod does a much better job than most grooved steels. The dark streaks are indeed bits of weakened metal that have come off the edge of your knife. The easiest way to clean them off is with Barkeepers Friend, Comet, Soft Scrub or some other abrasive cleanser and a green ScotchBrite pad. It'll take about a minute, and your honing rod will be like new. I clean mine when A) there isn't much unloaded area left, or B) I'm using an abrasive cleanser for something else and already have some on a cloth or ScotchBrite pad. This is definitely a "when you get to it" sort of job. The rod will work even if it is fairly loaded up.

Take care,

Chad


Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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As long as we're on the subject of steels and honing rods . . . I have a plain steel rod, which I got on your (Chad's) recommendation in the original eGCI topic. Unfortunately, the steel fell apart after a couple of weeks, and I didn't follow up on the warranty, which is beside the point, since I have an unrelated question.

I never felt like I had any "feedback" from the steel. There was no rasping sound or tactile response. The blade just glided along the steel, so I never felt like anything was happening. Was I missing something? How can I check the effectiveness of a smooth steel?


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Quick question on Santoku's.

Was, well still am looking forward to getting one. Basically narrowed it down to three selections, 1. misono ux-10 2. kikuichi gold series and 3. glestain

What I have heard personally, from work, friends, knife store that the ux-10 is quite "hard" to sharpen for people not use to using/sharpening with a 70/30 blade. While the misono 440 is "easier" to handle in terms of sharpening I don't think I should 'downgrade' my choice per se the knife just for this reason.

Also, I have felt both the misono and kikuichi (in store), both feels pretty nice. However, the Glestain I have yet to see Anyone carry them (santoku's atleast) and do not want to order a knife online that I have never felt before. Anyone have any experience with the Glestain santoku, or even all three?

The Glestain santoku's online are ~$100 usd, kikuichi gold series ~$120, and Misono ux-10 ~$150. One advantage of the Glestains, they are all dimpled which creates little air-pockets if you will; have them on my current shun and seems to work.

(btw some info if matter: sharpen with a norton 2k grit, knife to use in restaurant, and currently use a chef knife but want to switch to smaller)

Jim

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As long as we're on the subject of steels and honing rods . . . I have a plain steel rod, which I got on your (Chad's) recommendation in the original eGCI topic. Unfortunately, the steel fell apart after a couple of weeks, and I didn't follow up on the warranty, which is beside the point, since I have an unrelated question.

I never felt like I had any "feedback" from the steel. There was no rasping sound or tactile response. The blade just glided along the steel, so I never felt like anything was happening. Was I missing something? How can I check the effectiveness of a smooth steel?

Oh sure, blame me :raz:

I understand exactly what you mean. That is one of the reasons I've moved more toward the fine ceramic. There is more tactile response. Lately I've been impressed with the microfine grooved steels and borosilicate (Pyrex®) rods from HandAmerican. Forum member Dave Martell (of D&R Sharpening and its sister site JapaneseKnifeSharpening.com) carries them as well as the fine ceramic rods.

A ceramic rod will remove a microscopic amount of metal where a smooth steel won't. That might make a difference in the very long term, but the ceramic rod is removing weakened metal that will fold or roll anyway. With either style of rod, the knife will "skate" if your angle of attack is too shallow and you're just riding on the shoulder of the bevel. You will feel and hear when you are working the actual edge. It is harder to feel if your angle of attack is too steep. My feeling, though, is that because you are realigning the edge & removing weakened metal, doing so at the very edge rather than the full width of the bevel won't do any harm. It would take repeated steelings at a steep angle to even introduce a micro-bevel, in my opinion.

Hope this helps.

Chad


Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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Chad, I’m continuing to enjoy your book in a big way. When I first picked it up, I was on my way to a family camping trip so I brought it along for the tent and fireside reading. I believe I was frightening people with my outbursts of laughter as I read your clever words, my face and your dust jacket half lit by flickering embers!

I'm glad you're enjoying it! Of course when you combine maniacal laughter with a remote location, sharp knives and a book on cutting things up read by the eerie glow of a flickering fire, you've got the makings of a low budget horror movie. Your family probably thought you were working yourself up to "The Halifax Ulu Massacre."

I haven’t seen mention, but I’d like to hear what thoughts you have on crescent-shaped ulu style knives. I have one from Northern Ontario and I use it all the time – not to scrape hides but to chop herbs and slice pizzas, and more. I’ve never sharpened it but it needs it. I imagine these are a whole category of knife that warrants discussion.

Peter, I don't deal with that style of knife in the book. I probably should in future editions. The ulu and the mezzaluna are specialty knives, so fell outside the scope of what I was going for. Though I do bake pizza often enough that I'm seriously considering a full size pizza knife. Those little wheel on a stick things drive me nuts. I'll have to figure out how to sharpen it, which should translate to ulu and mezzaluna style knives. I'll keep you posted.

Chad


Edited by Chad (log)

Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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Quick question on Santoku's.

Was, well still am looking forward to getting one. Basically narrowed it down to three selections, 1. misono ux-10 2. kikuichi gold series and 3. glestain

What I have heard personally, from work, friends, knife store that the ux-10 is quite "hard" to sharpen for people not use to using/sharpening with a 70/30 blade. While the misono 440 is "easier" to handle in terms of sharpening I don't think I should 'downgrade' my choice per se the knife just for this reason.

Also, I have felt both the misono and kikuichi (in store), both feels pretty nice. However, the Glestain I have yet to see Anyone carry them (santoku's atleast) and do not want to order a knife online that I have never felt before. Anyone have any experience with the Glestain santoku, or even all three?

The Glestain santoku's online are ~$100 usd, kikuichi gold series ~$120, and Misono ux-10 ~$150. One advantage of the Glestains, they are all dimpled which creates little air-pockets if you will; have them on my current shun and seems to work.

(btw some info if matter: sharpen with a norton 2k grit, knife to use in restaurant, and currently use a chef knife but want to switch to smaller)

Jim

You would be hard pressed to go wrong with any of them. I've owned both the Glestain and the Misono UX10 (gyutos, not santokus). Both sharpen up easily. I don't know much about the Kikuichi except that in general they make very fine knives. The Glestain is going to feel much like the Misono, i.e. a little handle-heavy. The deep dimples on the Glestains actually do work to keep moist foods from sticking to the blade. Their slicers (sujihikis) are particularly nice for that reason. The effect isn't going to be as noticeable on something like a santoku, where the wide blade presents plenty of surface area outside the dimples for the food to adhere.

From the factory the Misono has something like a 70/30 asymmetrical bevel. The Glestain has an unusual convex front and nearly flat back bevel. I'm reasonably certain the Kikuichi will be asymmetrical as well. Many western-style, Japanese-made knives are. It's really no big deal. If you sharpen by hand, the bevel is going to adapt to your sharpening technique anyway. I wouldn't worry about it.

Buy the one that fits your hands and budget best. You've got a great pool of candidates. There is no "best" here. Report back and let us know what you end up with.

Take care,

Chad


Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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Thanks a lot Chad.

Right now Korin (in manhattan, ny) has a summer sale, all knives 15% off. Quite a nice deal to jump on if anyone needs a new knife. Japanese styled only, though this store is very good, bot in service, knowledge and selection.

Also up in Dutchess, New York Warren cutlery I believe having a similar knife sale if anyone lives up there.

Jim

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Not to be a complete shill :rolleyes: but I'm doing the CBS Early Show tomorrow morning. The plan is to show Harry Smith (and maybe Maggie Rodiguez) basic knife skills -- the Pinch & Claw, dicing an onion, and maybe roll cutting a pepper if time permits. I think it's a little ambitious for three minutes, but what the hell. It should be a lot of fun. Look for me toward the end of the show, 8:30 - 8:40 or so. Things are a little loose because the Emmy nominations are tomorrow, so they have to same room for live interviews with the nominees.

Tomorrow afternoon I'll be in Philadelphia taping an episode of WHYY's A Chef's Table with Jim Coleman. I've also taped a segment with Lynne Rossetto Kasper for The Splendid Table. She's just as warm and personable on the phone as she is on the air. My bit will run some time toward the end of the month. I'll post actual air dates for both radio shows when I know them.

Depending on how much room my knife kit takes in my overnight bag, I might be able to drag my laptop along. If so, I'll try to post about the experience. If not, I'll post Friday morning and we can wrap up the Q&A with what it's like to do a national TV spot. Wish me luck!

Chad


Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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I've made a note to set the DVR. This will be fun to watch. Fingers crossed that you don't get bumped!

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I've made a note to set the DVR.  This will be fun to watch.  Fingers crossed that you don't get bumped!

Alas, as faithful viewers no doubt noticed I did get bumped. The Emmy nominations were that morning. Just as I was about to start my segment we got word to hold off. They had Neil Patrick Harris on the phone to talk about his nomination. I was bumped for Doogie Houser. That smarts.

We taped the segment just a little later. We were out on the plaza, and the producer wanted to make sure the crowd was still there for the spot. Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez were a lot of fun. Maggie in particular seemed genuinely interested in what we were doing and stuck around later to ask more questions. I demonstrated the Onion Quarter Trick and roll cutting a pepper, which is always a great visual.

The segment will probably run some time next week. I'll post the times and dates for the various appearances.

Thanks again to everyone for participating in this Q&A. You've been great.

Take care,

Chad


Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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