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 Post subject: Ingredients for knife testing
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 2727
I sent this in a PM to a couple forum Mods and I thought this might start an interesting conversation.

I just wanted to give you guys a quick discovery I made on products for knife testing. While testing the Teruyasu Nashiji 240 and Takayuki Ginsan 240 Gyutos in the last batch of knives, I used the usual onions, Yukon gold and sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and some shorter ingredients like scallions for rocking.

I decided to try some lotus root from our local International market. Lotus root is typically cut cross wise into thin to fairly thin slices to reveal the interesting pattern of the interior.


This turned out to be a really good test for wedging when making slices w/o breaking the Lotus root. I did not peel them before slicing. The root is hard and quite starchy and showed distinct differences between different styles of Gyutos as far as the ease of cutting clean slices.

I tested the Teruyasu, Takayuki, Goko 240 Hammered Damascus, Kono HD2 Funy/Gyuto 240, and Tojiro DP 210. TAZ also sent over a Richmond AS Laser 240 and Tanaka Sekiso 240 w/his custom handles last week. I tested those over the weekend as well.

On the lotus root, the Kono HD was the clear winner, followed by the Goko as a close second. The AS Laser did quite well on this ingredient. The Tanaka, Teruyasu, and Takayuki displayed some wedging when cutting clean slices, which demonstrated the nature of their thicker spines and convexed geometry. The Teruyasu was the best of these three knives. It's not that I couldn't get decent slices with all of them, but the lotus root really delineated clear differences between these blade geometries.

I thought it was an interesting exercise that resulted in my gaining some additional insight into knife performance. Just thought it might be worth sharing with the forum group.

Do you have a favorite ingredient/product that really helps analyze one or more performance characteristics of knives?

 Post subject: Re: Ingredients for knife testing
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:44 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:10 pm
Posts: 230
Jicama is a favorite of mine. Large ones to be specific. For mainly the same reasons as the lotus root. Also, I find dicing serranos to be rather illuminating as to the condition of an edge (sharpness and retention ability), as they're tough skinned peppers with lots of seeds.

 Post subject: Re: Ingredients for knife testing
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:25 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:24 pm
Posts: 312
Yes lotus root is a very common ingredient for soups here in Asia. You might want to try the knife on eggplant or turnip. Those are good for testing steering, especially the turnip.

 Post subject: Re: Ingredients for knife testing
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:34 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:57 pm
Posts: 179
Pork skin. Slices very easily on a fresh edge, noticeably more difficult on a slightly dull one.

 Post subject: Re: Ingredients for knife testing
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:18 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:07 am
Posts: 371
Brunoise carrot, peel/carve melon, and mince parsley. Other wise all of my normal test have been covered above.

Never tried lotus root... something new to try :)

 Post subject: Re: Ingredients for knife testing
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:23 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:56 pm
Posts: 339
Serrano peppers for sure. Big carrots for wedging and onions because they are cheap.

 Post subject: Re: Ingredients for knife testing
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:43 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:15 am
Posts: 1528
Location: Raleigh, NC
The first recipe I learned in culinary school was a caramelized onion potato soup. Made that one quite a few times. I like eggplant to check for even sharpening, as well.

At work I like to test a knife on mushrooms. No particular reason, they're just very satisfying to cut. And I was playing with a flat of heirloom tomatoes today as well; you'd be safe assuming I determined which knife cuts very soft tomatoes thinnest.

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