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Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:29 pm
First to answer the basic questions:
1. I am left handed
2. I'm looking for a Gyuto
3. Longest knife I've worked with is 8 inches, but I'm happy to move beyond to 240mm
4. I have no preference between carbon or stainless
5. I have no preference of handles
6. My max budget for a chef knife would be 200 USD, but I'd really like to stick near 100-150 USD.
7. I've done extremely basic knife sharpening so for the discussion, let's pretend I don't know.
To give some flesh to my question- I've been cooking since a very young age in Japan and our family mostly used Globals around the kitchen. I was mostly assigned to vegetable cutting so I grew up using a Sankoku, and when I moved to the U.S. I snagged our tiny Global utility knife which I'm currently working to death on the cutting board here.
No, I'm no professional cook, but almost never eat out so I think it's high time that I invest in a proper chef knife. That being said, I want to learn how to sharpen and care for a carbon knife. To put it simply, I love cooking and am about to take the first couple steps to invest in proper knives. I also don't care for flashy knives and like the lightness of Globals in comparison to western knives. One final note is that my hands are on the small side.
Most of the food I prepare around the house is Japanese cuisine mixed with some so hearty food like stews, curries, and the occasional roast. So right now, I'm preparing lots of vegetables & boneless pork and chicken cuts.
I might as well take the time to ask now for recommendations on a paring knife, cleaver and boning knife since I'm expanding my recipes to whole chickens and larger meat cuts. Any advice or links to more reading would be greatly appreciated (have read Chad Ward's Edge in the Kitchen, but I feel like it's a bit outdated / more geared towards western casual home cooks) and feel free to critique my choice to upgrade or buy specialized knives (do I really need a cleaver? Should I just stick to globals? etc.)
Thank you in advance
Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:52 pm
Pertaining to what you've described--
Gyuto- Richmond Artifex 240 Gyuto. It's made of the best stainless around for knives and is simple. All function. The grind will allow lefty use and the knife takes a STUPID edge. It's easy to sharpen, simple and is very reasonably priced at under $100.
Cleaver- For what you're saying, try a CCK 1303. It's inexpensive, and performs like mad. No frozen foods or hard stuff like rutabagas or butternut squash. It will fly through normal veggies. It's cheap enough to try. maybe you like it, maybe you don't. Its probably worth it to spend $45 to figure it out.
Boning knife- I'd shoot for a honesuki, but that might get tricky with the leftie status. Our gracious host, Mark, makes a boning knife in the Richmond Artifex line that has a 50/50 grind. That would be suitable for leftie use. I havent used this knife, but I assume it is totally capable, and I hear it has a little flex in the blade, which is good. It's made of the same AEB-L steel as the Gyuto I mentioned. Cant say enough good things about this steel.
Hopefully that's somewhat helpful...
And no. You shouldn't stick to Globals. You can get a better quality knife for the same money or, in some cases, less.
Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:07 am
I would recommend that you include at least a basic sharpening kit with your first knife and spend some time learning how to use it . . . with very little effort you can vastly improve the edge of your knife and keep it that way. Trying to stay within your budget, I have listed several knives and sharpening solutions for you below. You can see that you can get both a Gyuto and sharpening stuff for under $200.
If you consider the sharpening items and decide to increase your budget, then there are many other knives that could be considered as well. I would expect that any of the recommendations will be an improvement from the Global you are using today.
The Tojiro DP is regularly recommended but it is out of stock http://www.chefknivestogo.com/todpwa24.html
My first knife is the Fujiwara Carbon and I use it to experiment (patinas and other stuff). After rounding the spine and some sharpening it turned into a great knife http://www.chefknivestogo.com/fujiwara2.html
At only $80 it is difficult to beat Clayton's recommendation http://www.chefknivestogo.com/fufkm24wa.html
If you want a little more rustic, Japaneese style there is the Yamashin. I have never handled one but someone on this forum should be able to tell you about it. For me, the handle looks to be a little sub-par (from the pictures) http://www.chefknivestogo.com/yawh1gy24.html
5 Piece Set http://www.chefknivestogo.com/3pcstoneset.html
Universal Holder and Lapping Plate http://www.chefknivestogo.com/xxcdiplandun.html
If you regularly keep your edge sharp and don't need a range of stones, just buy one stone and the
lapping plate http://www.chefknivestogo.com/140grdistflp.html
And the green Brick http://www.chefknivestogo.com/naao2kgrbr.html
Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:14 am
Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:48 am
The Artifex Honesuki is not 50/50; it is the normal grind for a honesuki. The Richmond Damascus Honesuki is 50/50 IIRC, but is much more expensive! However, there is a Artifex Boning knife (western style) that is 50/50 ground that will work well!
CCK1303 is a larger Chinese style thin cleaver for veggies, but not for taking apart chickens and stuff. It's very thin behind the edge. There are some nice Nakiri's out there, too, that are the Japanese version of a cleaver for veggies. They are shorter heightwise and around 165mm mostly blade length. I have several Nakiri's that I use for veggies constantly. The Richmond AS laser and Tanaka Sekiso are my 2 favorites! The Tanaka Blue #2 KU is also a great Nakiri as well.
The Fujiwara Wa Artifex is good, but the western handled 240mm Artifex has a bit nicer steel, but is thicker behind the edge. AEB-L isn't too bad to thin out with the right stones and stuff. I thinned my 240mm Artifex KS profile out and converted it to a stick tang and made a simple Wa handle for it, really performs well now!
Since you mention carbon gyuto, check out the Richmond Laser AS and the Tanaka Sekiso 240mm gyuto's. These are hands down my favorite 2 gyuto's! They both cut awesomely and work well on both meats and veggies. Very thin behind the edge but with some convexing to the sides, so they don't wedge in food as much.
Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:47 am
I'd just like to take the time (since you guys have already) to thank you for your input. I'll be checking into all the recommendations esp. the sharpening stones. Please keep the recommendations and advice coming, and just to clarify- my budget still hangs around 100-150 for Gyutos maxing at 200. In my head, the other knives such as cleavers have their own budget.
Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:45 am
You asked about a gyuto while alluding to preferring a carbon Wa... http://www.chefknivestogo.com/yawh1gy24.html
You alluded to interests in sharpening... http://www.chefknivestogo.com/imtwosi1kst.html
You talked about the future. I don't see any need for a cleaver, and I'd much rather see you with a double-bevel Hankotsu than a Honesuki. Honesukis are too limiting. At least with a Gokujo, you can bone a turkey, bone a strip loin, french a lamb rack, and filet a grouper all pretty equally easily. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/todpbokn15.html
Here's a parer... http://www.chefknivestogo.com/dopakn80.html
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