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Re: Spaghetti Squash Splitter

Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:54 pm

We're hooked on delicata squash. We just slice them in half, cook them in the oven and drop some butter and salt on them and they're fabo.

Re: Spaghetti Squash Splitter

Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:57 pm

I rarely roast whole. Rather, I split them, apply fat, season, and roast cut side down on a sheet pan. Once cooked & cooled, then you have a workable product. Obviously, it's ready to eat warm, as is, but cooling & shredding then allows you options to make cold tossed salads with it or to have the "noodle" to then prepare as a stand alone item via what ever method you choose. For example, Spaghetti Squash Grenoblaise works well whereas you would saute the "noodles" finishing or topping with a fresh tomato/lemon/caper a`la minute sauce. You could toss the "noodles" in a broken vinaigrette with diced crunchy blanched vegetables as a cold salad idea. Blah, blah, blah... have fun.. it's food.

Re: Spaghetti Squash Splitter

Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:49 pm

SteveG wrote:As long as we're on the subject, Melampus how would you prepare Spaghetti Squash?

At home, we leave them whole, poke a few holes in 'em w/a fork and microwave until tender. At that point, any good knife will easily halve the cooked squash and away we go with a fork to extract the flesh.

I dont mean to sidestep the question again but I used to roast cases and cases of squash daily at a restaurant and I always did them whole, just dumped 'em in a sink to wash 'em and stabbed them right out of the sink on to sheet trays with a beater boning knife to speed up the roasting process and the entire process.

Re: Spaghetti Squash Splitter

Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:17 pm

I can see spending a lot on on single use knife would be a bit silly, but I would hope a knife I bought for this would find itself useful for other tasks. I'm a big fan of buying good tools instead of cheap ones, and I lack a very thin slicer and a kitchen version of a splitting froe. I was wondering which way to go. I was thinking about roasting it whole. I don't do that, but I don't have a good reason. Do I need to lance them? Of course, finding away around this problem means I don't have to buy a new tool. I don't like that at all.

Re: Spaghetti Squash Splitter

Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:23 am

MIKE <> If the question is now, "can I roast spaghetti squash whole?"

The answer is undeniably, yes. Lancing the squash allows the air that would be trapped inside it to escape as it expands at high temperatures. Without poking a few holes in the skin, you run the risk of an explosion. Same applies with let's say char-grilling a whole eggplant. No holes in skin, skin go boom... ;) , and hot vegetable matter exploding at your face is not fun.

{Side note: Bear in mind, cooking a larger mass takes longer to cook. Splitting your squash as you have been will cook more quickly, and it also allows for the squashes flavors to develop more completely. As the natural sugars are being released amid the cooking process, the salts, spices, herbs, etc. are infusing into the flesh. By no means necessary, but it produces a more complex flavor profile. Case in point, utilizing the same seasoning in the second cooking stage would flavor the flesh, but not nearly in the same way.}

Now, let's get back to a knife. Splitting a spaghetti squash was an interesting excuse to buy a knife, and considering your last post... it's quite clear you just wanna buy a knife. ;)

Great... now let's begin! If you care to, tell us some things about you like what knives you have, what kind of foods you cook, what style of cutting you employ, etc., and we can get some pertinent recommendations rolling here...

Re: Spaghetti Squash Splitter

Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:05 am

Melapus, you are a wise man. I probably don't know enough to guide you. I like to cook, and try most anything, but I'm just a hack. 95% of what I do is with a german chef, and most of that is chopping onions, celery and carrots. I prepped in an Italian restaurant through school, but I don't know what I'm doing. I came to knives via luthiery where I originally learned to make things really sharp and learned to buy good tools the first time. Knives seemed like a natural extension, plus I grew up watching my father's never ending attempt to get the knives sharp enough. I found Edge Pro, bought one. Like everyone, I was amazed and he sent me to CKTG to find really sharp knives.

What I like about the knives I have - Mostly I have a basic german set from years back in the working kitchen, supplemented with a few here and there - old carbon Dexters, a Nakiri, a cheapo Japanese chef that doesn't feel right so doesn't get used. And really, they're fine. They sharpen up fine. They're fairly durable. The other edges are rounded so they're comfortable in my hand. They take abuse. But when I pick up a Aogami Super, or a VG-10 that's just been sharpened it makes me smile at how effortlessly and smoothly they go through stuff. So, I guess what I like about the knives I have that makes them stand out is the way I can get them so unbelievably sharp.

And back from knife nerding to cooking. Can you approximate how much longer for roasting squash whole? Twice as long? More?


Re: Spaghetti Squash Splitter

Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:29 am

Okay, this is knife recommendations, not food, I'm locking the thread if another recipe comes up. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: (kidding kidding)

I love getting acorn and carnival squash (people where I live tend not to buy then so they're really cheap) and split them. Like Melampus said, a little fat and salt, roast until they caramelize... MmmMMMM! And if you're feeling really decadent, break out the brown sugar and cinnamon. ;) They are pretty hard and a slightly stronger knife feels a little more confident going through them, although I have split them before with my AEB-L laser before without much fuss as well. It's all about how hard you are on your blades.

Re: Spaghetti Squash Splitter

Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:19 am

BigMike wrote:...95% of what I do is with a german chef, and most of that is chopping onions, celery and carrots.

Sounds like you would enjoy having a nice 240mm Gyuto. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kiswwadagy24.html

Re: Spaghetti Squash Splitter

Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:39 pm

MIKE <> I can't disagree with Jeff's recommendation as that is one awesome AEB-L Gyuto, but YOU DO know enough to guide me... you just didn't share any of said knowldege.

You mentioned somewhere amid the thread about not having a slicer (side note: I would have never recommended a slicer to split a raw spaghetti squash), but I still have little idea of what knives you do own. Yes, you, "Mostly...have a basic german set from years back in the working kitchen, supplemented with a few here and there - old carbon Dexters, a Nakiri, a cheapo Japanese chef," and you confuse me further with, "But when I pick up a Aogami Super, or a VG-10."

So what hard steel knives do you own, and may I assume your Germans are the standard: Chef's, paring, petty, slicer, bread?

What I'm trying to do here is find your gaps. Yes, a Gyuto IS the manual food processor, and it is the one knife you need if you can only have one - that is, as an American cooking in America which encompasses numerous cuisines, but I really have no idea what you have so let's run with it.

If you just want a Blue Super Steel Gyuto with a Yo-handle, the Hiromoto <--link is your go-to. If you want a BADASS Wa-handle, you'll be hard pressed to beat the Kanehiro <--link. These profiles will be a nice transition from the Germans you're used to. If the Kanehiro is too expensive, the fully reactive Moritaka <--link is another wa-option. Another option if #1) you can wait, #2) you want a total change from the German profiles you grew up on, & #3) you can deal with a large knife - this Damascus Gyuto by Takumi Ikeda <--link is one amazingly impressive option. And lastly, if you want an AS Laser, the Kohetsu <--link is the new kid on the block rocking everybody's socks off. The profile rocks well, for you being used to a German profile, and although I'm not particularly fond of the very high tip, I think you'd love it.

Re: Spaghetti Squash Splitter

Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:12 pm

Thanks for your patience. I'm not being intentionally difficult. The specific knives I have:
Henckels Chef, paring, "utility," and bread.
Sabatier: bread and boning
Kyocera (forgot about those): 2 ceramic knives - chipped and battered one small chef and one Sanutko style
Woodworkers' kit Damascus VG-10, chef-like -- 10.5" - don't like it, not sure why.
Dojo Hayashi Nakiri - Wife's, but she lets me use it if I'm careful
Dexters - long ugly carbon knives. Numbers are gone, but they look like what the internet calls "butcher knives". I used to think they got pretty sharp. Now I'm not so sure.
Global - Santoku - pretty sharp before my eyes were opened, but the handle is too small and slippery.
I sure have it in my head that I bought another CKTG knife, but I can't think what it is. Maybe it was for a gift?
And since I've gotten serious about making things sharp, my foodie friends and their friends have come out of the woodwork to get some help which is where I got my hands temporarily on some of the fancier stuff. It is amazing what a difference it makes.

I was non-specific, because I didn't think any of the knives I had were worth mentioning. It wasn't as if I put together a collection with any thought. Impulse buys and random hoping for sharper. But now that I realize that, it makes me think the squash splitter was an excuse and I really ought to be thinking about how to replace my knives from the ground up more thoughtfully.

So if mostly I use a chef knife, the gyuto (how do you pronounce that?) seems like the place to start and that matches up with most of the suggestions too. So I guess that's where I'll look.

And since you said "BADASS Wa," I can't really hold my head up and stick with a western handle, can I?

Thanks for all the ideas. I'll let you know which way I go and how it works out.

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