Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:07 am
Quick question. I've decided to pick up my first all carbon knife for the fun of it. There are some high end knives I'm interested in down the road but I wanted to make sure I'm happy with all carbon before dropping my retirement account on a knife
. My plan is to use this knife exclusively for a month or so as a home cook and see how it goes. I've read posts on the forum about how to force a patina. Easiest way seems to be clean the blade fully with acetone, wash and dry fully. Apply mustard with application method of ones choice, wash and dry after 15-20.min. Repeat as desired. If I'm off on this please let me know. My question is really if there is any benefit to a natural vs forced patina? I've also read abouth the Fujiwara being stinky at first. Any way to get past this phase quickly? Finally, any real issue with a carbon blade being in a home rotation of gyutos? Might get used 1 or 2 times per week
Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:21 am
Natural patinas formed by slicing hot protein like beef and poultry are favored by some because of their bluish-purple color and non-uniform appearance. As far as protection of the steel from reactivity is concerned, there really is no difference between a natural and a forced patina.
The steel (SK-4) used in the Fujiwara is relatively high in sulfur, and will stink the entire life of the knife. A patina will reduce this to some degree, but it will always be there. A better choice is the Misono Swedish series of knives. You will still get a metallic odor at times, but it won't stink.
As long as you care for a carbon blade properly, there is no reason it should not find a home in your rotation.
Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:23 am
I have the carbon Fuji with a forced mustard patina, used bubble wrap just like the vids Mark did. It is stinky when doing the patina, yes. I had discolored onions before but after a lot of use I have no issues at all. I bought mine used also with a beautiful Matt Stephens dyed blue maple handle. I just sharpened her a few minutes ago up to a 4k grit, gets very sharp and it is a joy to use, a great first carbon steel knife , it is pretty reactive so just use, wipe down and wash after use and dry thoroughly, I usually oil it up as well with mineral oil.
Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:10 pm
A forced or natural patina establishes a relatively stable layer/barrier between the core of the knife and the food. Thus, after you have either one, the reactivity will settle down, and you won't have to be as careful about immediately wiping the blade. But you will likely need to take care of it more than, or at least sooner than, a stainless knife.
For some people, aesthetics are the primary concern. Others like the idea of a more organic natural patina. A natural patina may have some spots that do not have patina (this can also happen with a forced patina, but to a lesser degree), so you might have to exercise more care if that shiny part of the blade is in contact with food.
There's absolutely no reason why a carbon couldn't be a part of your rotation. Stainless steel is a relatively new development in the history of knives. Milliions of people have successfully maintained their carbon knives just fine.
Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:24 am
Some people use a solution of vinegar and water. Just put the kife in a vase or deep glass and fill until the blade is covered, let sit for a few minutes. Wipe.
Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:44 am
I've had good luck getting nice patterns with the mustard approach, and I've also used straight vinegar before. I tend to let it sit for only about 8-12 minutes per side, because I usually just want to force a light patina to reduce reactivity and let it develop naturally the rest of the way. If you mess up, you can always polish it off and try again.
Forcing a patina should indeed help reduce any smell from the blade. If the appearance doesn't bother you it can make your life a little easier.
Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:08 am
Thanks everybody. Got the knife yesterday and made my first attempt at patina with mustard. It came out great. I'm looking forward to watching it evolve. On a side note, I was amazed at how nice this knife felt on the stones. Took it through a full sharpening and this thing gets screaming sharp. For the money it's a steel. I can see some more full carbons in my future.
Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:16 am
Question, I know rust on your edge is obviously not wanted, does a patina on the edge do anything to degrade the performance? Seems like the answer would be no but wanted to make sure. When I forced a patina a good amount developed on the edge
Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:15 am
You might want to touch up the edge on a higher grit stone or a strop to freshen it up just a bit, but I'd see how it cuts first. If you like how it cuts, leave it alone until you need maintenance on the edge.
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