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Kitchen knives

 
 
Reply Thu 24 Jan, 2013 09:03 pm
I have been slllloooowwwwllllly upgrading my kitchen equipment but one area I haven't ventured is knives.

I have a mish mash of so-so knives. I sharpen them (on a stone) infrequently but they're still only so-so.

I don't have a fortune to spend but I'd like to get some decent knives.

I live fairly close to a good restaurant kitchen supply store where I shop regularly. The prices are decent and I think I could get some decent knives at a fair price there. But I don't know what to buy.

Unfortunately, I'm not in the market for "investment" knives but I'd like some "good enough" knives.

What are your indispensable kitchen knives?

Who made them?

How do you care for them?

How many knives do you have?

What sort and for what? (I have a few French knives, a fillet knife, a bread knife, a serrated meat knife -- am I missing something.)

Talk to me about your kitchen knives.

Thanks!
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Thu 24 Jan, 2013 09:07 pm
@boomerang,
Not much of a comment, but I do perfer the 'cooks' knife over the 'chef's" knife. I like the cutting edge significantly below the handle for slicing, and the chefs' knives I've seen have your fingers dragging in the food.

I've seen Japanese designs that were closer to a cleaver, but with a knife edge instead of made for chopping. I think I would like that better.

Knives don't have to come in sets, either.
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2013 02:37 am
@boomerang,
If you're not a professional chef/cook, you just need three different knives in the kitchen:

http://i49.tinypic.com/2h2ds0y.jpg

Since Mrs Walter is from Solingen and worked in the knife industry, I've got a few more Wink
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2013 04:16 am
@Walter Hinteler,
I like the selection, especially the one in the middle.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2013 04:24 am
@boomerang,
Go to Costco or Sams Club (or Wallies) and get yourself the least expensive decent set of ceramic knives you can come up with. The ceramic knives are sharper and stay sharp, same kind of ceramics now being used for tank armor.
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2013 04:26 am
@boomerang,
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Professional-Kitchen-Ceramic-Knives-Chefs-Cutlery-Knife-7-6-5-4-3-Peeler-/281037237905?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&var=&hash=item416f1fee91
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2013 05:35 am
@gungasnake,
.... but ceramic knives can break. (You get them cheaper than good steel knives, though.)
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  5  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2013 07:00 am
Henckel's knives, made in Germany, are rather expensive, but if you follow Walter's advice, you don't really need that many (i'd add a serrated bread knife to his three). I've known quite a few chefs, and they all rated Henckel as the best brand of knife.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2013 07:10 am
@roger,
I didn't know there was a difference! Are you saying that one is sharper towards the tip and the other is sharper towards the handle?

I was looking at the knives at the restaurant supply and they had some of those cleaver style knives, and some mezzalunas, and some handle-less knives that looked like really wide blades with a gripper on the top. I didn't know where to start!

I've only bought steak knives by the set so I've not investigated what is included in the packaged sets. The prices usually look good on sets though.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2013 07:17 am
@Walter Hinteler,
No fillet knife!? I love mine.

I just went looking at Solingen knives online. I'm jealous! They have some interesting shaped blades. What they call a fillet knife is different from what I'm used to seeing -- one with a long, thin, flexible blade.

I did a double take on the "office knife". Is that the one the chef threatens their staff with?
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2013 07:20 am
@gungasnake,
I've heard good things about ceramic knives maybe I will give them a look. Sharp is good! Do you know if you can sharpen them yourself or have them sharpened professionally? Or is that not even necessary with ceramic?
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2013 07:30 am
@Setanta,
Yeah... Henckel.... (sigh).

I've drooled over those a few times in my life when I've used them.

I noticed some recently at a non investment price and I was tempted. I meant to research whether they had a "home" line in addition to their "professional" line and what kind of difference to expect.

I'm kind of thinking I just need to bite the bullet and pony up on one really good knife to start with.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2013 07:34 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Henckel's knives, made in Germany, are rather expensive, but if you follow Walter's advice, you don't really need that many (i'd add a serrated bread knife to his three). I've known quite a few chefs, and they all rated Henckel as the best brand of knife.

I own an almost complete set of Henkel knives. They're quite nice. Nicely balanced and I haven't had them sharpened since I inherited them almost 4 years ago.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2013 07:39 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

I did a double take on the "office knife". Is that the one the chef threatens their staff with?

I always thought the cleaver was what chefs threaten their staff with or at least that's the knife they use on TV series when they depict angry chefs.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2013 08:43 am
@boomerang,
I think these knives are beautiful -
bought a couple of them once as a present for a friend, at the Blacksmith shop in Ferndale in northern california. Wish I sprung for one for myself.

http://www.ferndaleblacksmith.com/MichaelHemmerKnivesNew.htm
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2013 08:59 am
@ossobuco,
OOOOoooooo!

That one called "the slicer" looks wonderful!
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2013 09:23 am
If I was going to buy one good knife to start upgrading, I'd go with a Henckels Santoku.

Most of my good knives are from Solingen as we had friends from there - even the paring knives are amazing.

Bread knife, Santoku, paring knife - I could do almost anything in a kitchen with those three.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2013 09:25 am
@boomerang,
I've never needed to sharpen one so far (and I've never seen one break).

The one other thing I'd look at would be hardened-steel knives:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Japanese-Sakai-Yusuke-Swedish-Stainless-Wa-Gyuto-Knife-240mm-Extra-Harden-Ebony-/380552978471?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item589ab9a027

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Japanese-Sakai-Yusuke-Swedish-Stainless-Wa-Gyuto-Knife-240mm-Extra-Harden-/230910683736?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35c3596a58

Some hardening processes are more serious than others. Really hard steel like the receivers for Swiss K31 rifles is all but impossible to drill through, you need carbide drill bits...
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2013 10:43 am
@boomerang,
You don't have to buy a set. You only need a few, buy those few and you'll be set for life.
patiodog
 
  3  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2013 11:43 am
@Setanta,
I put 50 bucks into an 8" Henckel Santoku a few years ago, I keep it sharp, and I use it for almost everything I do in the kitchen. Light, perfectly balanced, can do fine vegetable work, break down a big bird, and everything in between. Love it.

The gf (a reformed cook and chef) bemoans my lack of a fillet knife when we do fish and inexplicably bought me a cleaver (probably to murder me with), but she looooves that knife.
 

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