Hot!The Importance of Good Knives!

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Foodbme
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2014/03/17 18:42:00 (permalink)

The Importance of Good Knives!

As many of the good professionally trained Chefs who contribute to Roadfood and those who are self trained but have learned, there's nothing as important as Good Knives to help you get the job done.
When I started to get interested in becoming a good cook, I soon learned the importance of having the right knives to make cooking more enjoyable & fun.
As mentioned in this article from Serious Eats, http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/03/the-food-lab-these-are-my-knives.html  if you do a lot of cooking, you and your knives become bonded and they become an extension of your cooking style.
For example, I won't let my wife touch my knives because she doesn't understand "The Relationship" I'm having with my knives.
Besides she thinks any knife can be used to open cans and bottle caps!!!!!" />" />" />" /> 
I made this post for 2 reasons:
  1. To help those who are just getting serious about cooking, and
  2. Ask those professional Chefs and those who are aspiring to good cooks to share their stories and recommendations with us about their knives. 
Let's hear your stories about your "Relationship" you're having with your knives
#1

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    WarToad
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/19 15:04:21 (permalink)
    I have a handmade Santoku from Japan.  I paid about $180 for it, worth every dime.  Nice balance, fits my hand like a glove, razor edge, beautiful knife. 
     
    Now imagine me coming into the kitchen to see my wife using it to cut salami on a steel cookie tray.    If I had a tazer, I would have used it.
    #2
    Sundancer7
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/19 16:13:58 (permalink)
    I have a very good knife set and it came with a device that knocks the edges off the blade but does not sharpen.  What devices do most folks use to sharpen but does not eat the blade like those sold on TV.  My daughter bought me a set of J. A. Henckels and I do not want to butcher them.
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._A._Henckels
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #3
    RKB
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/19 18:09:37 (permalink)
    Sundancer7

    I have a very good knife set and it came with a device that knocks the edges off the blade but does not sharpen.  What devices do most folks use to sharpen but does not eat the blade like those sold on TV.  My daughter bought me a set of J. A. Henckels and I do not want to butcher them.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._A._Henckels
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN

    In 1978 when the AF transferred me from FL to CA, I was shopping the base exchange and found a 9 - piece set of Zwilling J.A. Henckels marked at $39.50. Even then that set was $500 on the local economy, someone had to have slipped a decimal point. They have given 36+ years of satisfaction. I prefer the Edge-Pro Apex sharpening system
    http://www.edgeproinc.com/ It is easier to use than it looks and will put a 'scary-sharp' edge on a blade if desired. I don't keep my kitchen knives that sharp, it isn't necessary, but I could shave with them if I wanted, and that is plenty sharp. Dull knives are dangerous.
    #4
    edwmax
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/19 20:42:41 (permalink)
    I bought a 5 knife set of Old Hickory kitchen knives (Ontario Knife Co.) in1984.   Very good high carbon steel blades that will hold an edge.   I think the price was abt $20.     I sharpen the slicing knife about once a month on a tri-stone of Arkansas stones.   Similar to this one    I only need 3 or 4 laps on the stone. The stones were bought in 1971 for $15 (alot at the time).  I use the 10" chef the for most cutting and the blade barely looks used now.
     
    A couple of years ago on a temporary location I bought 2 Stainless Steel Chef knives 8" & 10" with thick stiff blades from a Kroger store (less than $10 for the pair). I don't know the brand name. These turned out to be excellent knives and every bit equal to the my Old Hickory knives.    ... A Week ago I sliced up a frozen hog jowl.  One stroke all the way through the 1/8 - 3/16 thick slice with the 10" SS knife.
     
    Also. in 1991 I came across an 18" machete made by Ontario Knife Co.  I bought it.   The blade was easy to sharpen (razor) and would hold and edge.  Last year I whacked a limb about 3" diameter and the tip of the blade snapped off like a rifle shot.   I called the Company and told them how old the knife was (22-23 yo) and what happened.  NO problem, they sent me a new replacement ... no charge ...  
    My knifes cost more than the run of the mill knifes, but they didn't cost a fortune.
    post edited by edwmax - 2014/03/21 11:04:15
    #5
    Turtle66
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/20 19:10:21 (permalink)
    I have an array of Wusthof & Henckel knives that i have collected over the years, I don't mind my wife using them as she is well schooled being in the business her self. We do have a set of Chicago Cutlery knives that we let friends and family use when ever they happen to be over and ask for a knife to use. I keep all of our knives razor sharp do to the fact that i have access to one of our neighbors belt sharpener.    
    #6
    mar52
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/20 21:00:03 (permalink)
    I sent 2 J.A. Henckels knives back to them today.  Paring knives which are missing their points.  I have no idea how this happened.  Could someone in the house have been using them to open jars?
     
    I don't know if they'll replace them and I don't really suspect they will.  I wrote to them, letting them know that I'm not sure how it happened and they told me to send them in.
     
    So I did.
     
    The set on my counter is Cutco.  I also have a Viking Chef's knife that I won.  it's never been used. 
     
    In my knife block also sits a J.
    A. Henckels Santuku and a Ginzu knife. 
     
    That cheap Ginzu knife is great for tomatoes and pineapple. 
    #7
    Glenn1234
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/20 22:24:21 (permalink)
     
    I have some of the Henckels, which are nice, but you'd have to pry my Kershaw Shun knives from my cold dead hands!   Love those Japanese Shuns! 
     
     
    Glenn
     
     
     
     
     
     
    post edited by Glenn1234 - 2014/03/20 22:27:02
    #8
    Foodbme
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/21 01:55:54 (permalink)
    I've come to the conclusion that the Hi Quality Japanese knives are the best but who can afford them???
    I get my knives sharpened at this place and they carry many Japanese Knives.
    http://www.phoenixknifehouse.com/ 
     
    post edited by Foodbme - 2014/03/21 02:10:26
    #9
    EdSails
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/21 02:02:40 (permalink)
    A perfect example of the culinary use of good Japanese knives....

    #10
    Foodbme
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/21 02:12:16 (permalink)
    EdSails

    A perfect example of the culinary use of good Japanese knives....


    Now those skits were funny, right there!
    #11
    RKB
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/21 10:32:19 (permalink)
    Glenn1234

     
    I have some of the Henckels, which are nice, but you'd have to pry my Kershaw Shun knives from my cold dead hands!   Love those Japanese Shuns! 


    Glenn







    The Shun knives are fantastic, no doubt about it, but I can't justify spending that kind of money when I already have really good knives. If I were to start over, it would most definitely be Shun.
    #12
    Glenn1234
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/21 11:28:32 (permalink)
    RKB

    Glenn1234


    I have some of the Henckels, which are nice, but you'd have to pry my Kershaw Shun knives from my cold dead hands!   Love those Japanese Shuns! 


    Glenn







    The Shun knives are fantastic, no doubt about it, but I can't justify spending that kind of money when I already have really good knives. If I were to start over, it would most definitely be Shun.


    Yes, the Shuns are a bit pricey, but well worth it.  I don't have a whole set.... Just a couple of the ones I use more frequently.  I get a lot of mileage out of my granton-scalloped 8" chef's knife.  I'll probably add a couple more Shun knives if/when they are on sale. 
     
     
    Glenn
     
     
     
     
     
     
    #13
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/21 12:45:14 (permalink)
    Sundancer7

    What devices do most folks use to sharpen but does not eat the blade like those sold on TV.
    I'm still using the relatively inexpensive Chicago Cutlery (manufactured nowhere near the city) set we received over 24 years ago, and when a blade needs sharpening I use my bench grinder.
    A friend of mine makes knives as a revenue hobby but even with the "buddy discount" they're out of my price range.  He does terrific work, though.
    post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2014/03/21 12:46:51
    #14
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/21 12:58:35 (permalink)
    Sundancer7

    I have a very good knife set and it came with a device that knocks the edges off the blade but does not sharpen.  What devices do most folks use to sharpen but does not eat the blade like those sold on TV.  My daughter bought me a set of J. A. Henckels and I do not want to butcher them.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._A._Henckels
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN


    I use one of these mostly:
    http://lansky.com/index.php/precision-sharpening-kits/
    And I also use simple Arkansas stones. But I've been sharpening knives for many years.
    You can't go wrong, though, with the simple AccuSharp:
    http://www.accusharp.com/
    #15
    Foodbme
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/21 17:02:53 (permalink)
    Michael Hoffman
    Sundancer7
    I have a very good knife set and it came with a device that knocks the edges off the blade but does not sharpen.  What devices do most folks use to sharpen but does not eat the blade like those sold on TV.  My daughter bought me a set of J. A. Henckels and I do not want to butcher them.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._A._Henckels
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN

    I use one of these mostly:
    http://lansky.com/index.php/precision-sharpening-kits/
    And I also use simple Arkansas stones. But I've been sharpening knives for many years.
    You can't go wrong, though, with the simple AccuSharp:
    http://www.accusharp.com/

    MH,
    I looked at the Accusharp thing.
    Question - How do you hold the knives at a 90 degree angle so they don't move and it's easier to sharpen them?
    I don't have a vice to put them in.
     
    #16
    Foodbme
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/21 17:03:17 (permalink)
    Michael Hoffman
    Sundancer7
    I have a very good knife set and it came with a device that knocks the edges off the blade but does not sharpen.  What devices do most folks use to sharpen but does not eat the blade like those sold on TV.  My daughter bought me a set of J. A. Henckels and I do not want to butcher them.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._A._Henckels
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN

    I use one of these mostly:
    http://lansky.com/index.php/precision-sharpening-kits/
    And I also use simple Arkansas stones. But I've been sharpening knives for many years.
    You can't go wrong, though, with the simple AccuSharp:
    http://www.accusharp.com/

    MH,
    I looked at the Accusharp thing.
    Question - How do you hold the knives at a 90 degree angle so they don't move and it's easier to sharpen them?
    I don't have a vice to put them in.

     
    #17
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/21 18:17:59 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    Michael Hoffman
    Sundancer7
    I have a very good knife set and it came with a device that knocks the edges off the blade but does not sharpen.  What devices do most folks use to sharpen but does not eat the blade like those sold on TV.  My daughter bought me a set of J. A. Henckels and I do not want to butcher them.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._A._Henckels
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN

    I use one of these mostly:
    http://lansky.com/index.php/precision-sharpening-kits/
    And I also use simple Arkansas stones. But I've been sharpening knives for many years.
    You can't go wrong, though, with the simple AccuSharp:
    http://www.accusharp.com/

    MH,
    I looked at the Accusharp thing.
    Question - How do you hold the knives at a 90 degree angle so they don't move and it's easier to sharpen them?
    I don't have a vice to put them in.


    You just hold the knife with the spine against the table or counter and the edge straight up.
    #18
    lleechef
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/21 19:00:08 (permalink)
    All of my knives are Wüsthof.  I like the balance in my hand.  I just found out that my 14" chef's knife now costs nearly $700.  YIKES! 
    #19
    Foodbme
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/22 01:55:28 (permalink)
    lleechef
    All of my knives are Wüsthof.  I like the balance in my hand.  I just found out that my 14" chef's knife now costs nearly $700.  YIKES! 

    Be sure to put them in the Will!
    #20
    Glenn1234
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/22 09:42:17 (permalink)
    lleechef

    All of my knives are Wüsthof.  I like the balance in my hand.  I just found out that my 14" chef's knife now costs nearly $700.  YIKES! 

     
    $700 !!!!  Yikes is right!  Ouch!   
     
     
    Glenn 
     
     
    #21
    lleechef
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/22 11:29:22 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    lleechef
    All of my knives are Wüsthof.  I like the balance in my hand.  I just found out that my 14" chef's knife now costs nearly $700.  YIKES! 

    Be sure to put them in the Will!

    What will?  I'm taking them with me!
    #22
    pnwchef
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/22 12:36:13 (permalink)
    In today's world most Chefs aren't using knives like they did back in the day. The small Restaurant Chef may be using them. If a Chef is chopping any thing he's wasting his/her time. This is way you hire front line cooks, it's called prep work. I used my knife in the beginning of the day while showing my crew how I wanted something chopped, sliced or cut. After I show them once, it's all their's. I never made any money using a knife, I made it using my head.............
    #23
    lleechef
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/22 12:55:14 (permalink)
    I never did any prep work.  I had a prep cook for that.  The line cooks were busy cooking and stocking their stations.  However, I would never let any of them touch the meat or the fish.  I did all that cutting myself.  I saved every morsel of trim (not the fat of course) and turned it into a lunch special or a soup.  I didn't throw anything away.  That's how I made my money.
    #24
    Foodbme
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/22 13:16:13 (permalink)
    lleechef
    Foodbme
    lleechef
    All of my knives are Wüsthof.  I like the balance in my hand.  I just found out that my 14" chef's knife now costs nearly $700.  YIKES! 

    Be sure to put them in the Will!

    What will?  I'm taking them with me!

    ATTA GIRL!!
    I have a gas grill I've had since 1973!!
    I've feed family and friends from that beauty for over 40 years so now I just tell it how I want the meat to come out and it automatically takes care of it.
    And yes, I've cleaned it a few times and replaced some parts but it still keeps on tickin'!
    That puppy is going with me as well!
    post edited by Foodbme - 2014/03/22 13:18:39
    #25
    bartl
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/23 14:47:13 (permalink)
    EdSails

    A perfect example of the culinary use of good Japanese knives....


    I THINK that's Buck Henry in the picture; if it is, then there's an interesting addendum: John Belushi actually hit Buck Henry in the  head with his sword. For the rest of the show all the actors wore bandages on their foreheads to hide the fact that there was a real injury.
     
    Bart
    #26
    mar52
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/23 14:56:52 (permalink)
    Foodbme...  Ducane, Charmglow or Arkla?
     
    Grills, burners and rarely a valve are usually the only parts to go bad on a gas grill.
     
    #27
    mar52
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/23 14:57:24 (permalink)
    I forgot, We had a Falcon for about 40 years before replacing it with something bigger.
    #28
    Foodbme
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/23 18:17:26 (permalink)
    mar52
    Foodbme...  Ducane, Charmglow or Arkla?
    Grills, burners and rarely a valve are usually the only parts to go bad on a gas grill.

    Girl, you know your Grills!
    It is a Kenmore built by Arkla
    Cast Aluminum Housing with an "Oven" on the back, grill up front. You can cook a 18-20 # Turkey on a rotisserie in the oven.
    Replaced the Burners and the lower racks that hold the ceramic briquettes several times, replaced a valve once.
    Not a bad buy for $50.00!

    #29
    mar52
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    Re:The Importance of Good Knives! 2014/03/23 18:55:19 (permalink)
    One of the best ever made.  They got bigger, cheaper, flashier but they don't all cook as well as the old timey Arklas.
    #30
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