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Ask the Chef! Have you ever wondered how to cook a steak like a pro? Ever wondered why restaurant food can be expensive? Why DOES everything taste better with bacon? Do you really need a dozen different knives to be a good cook? Have you ever wanted to ask a professional Chef a question? Well, now is your chance to ask a professional Chef any question you want.


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  #1  
Old 12-23-2013, 11:18 PM
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Default Knives...

Two questions about kitchen knives -

1. What's the absolute best, bang-4-bucks, "consumer" kitchen knife set on the market? We can spend app. $300.00 or so with a little wiggle room, but not much more.

2. What's the absolute best electric knife sharpener on the market? I've been recommended Chef's Choice Professional Series.... Worth it?

I've never had luck with the stones or handle type. Poor longevity.

Thanks.
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:18 AM
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The JA Henckel knives are a decent 'consumer' set, I had the 7pc International set for many years as a bachelor and the set cost me about $275 at the time. I liked them because with the synthetic handle they could go into the dishwasher (top rack, spaced away from anything else, etc.). I've since upgraded to a Shun Kaji set I've pieced together over the last 3 years.

If you're just looking for a 3pc set then I would highly recommend the Global Classic or the Wustohf Classic/Classic Ikon sets.

Quick question about sharpening your knives? How often do you need to do it? With the International set I only needed to sharpened them once every 2 years, I was religious with honing them before every use and I only use soft wood or synthetic cutting boards because marble, bamboo, or hard wood cutting boards will dull the cutting edge a lot quicker.

I use the Chef's Choice M15 for sharpening the Kaji blades, whatever sharpening device you buy, make sure it's designed to sharpen the angle of your blades. Most Asian blades are a 15/16 degree blade and most European/NA knives are 12.5 degrees.
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Old 12-24-2013, 01:13 AM
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I fish with 4 other guys and Im the designated fish cleaner. My knifes of choice are Dexter & Russell. I use these on the boat and another set at home. As for my sharpener I prefer the manual kind recommended my my bait and tackle shop. the sharpener works so well i bought a few extra for home.
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Old 12-24-2013, 01:24 AM
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Below is the knives we've had for about a year.

http://www.amazon.com/ChicagoCutlery...kitchen+knives

They're good, but not very good.
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Old 12-24-2013, 01:29 AM
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Below are the two sets of knives we're considering.

http://www.amazon.com/Wusthof-Gourme...kitchen+knives

http://www.amazon.com/Wusthof-Classi...kitchen+knives

There's a local place that's shutting shop by 1/31 and I can get a crazy deal on these knives.

Not sure of the brand name as I've never owned them.
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Last edited by DarthRam; 12-24-2013 at 01:41 AM.
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Old 12-24-2013, 01:39 AM
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CdnoilRAM has some good points. All valid. Here is my take:

The line between consumer and professional knives are almost non-existent. Pretty much any high carbon steel blade is very good now a days. Technology has caught up with consumer demand.

I personally use Wusthof. It was the first knife I bought when I became a Chef. I own two sets (One Classic and one Classic Ikon) and a few orphans from the Grand Prix and Grand Prix II lines. I love the Classic Ikon. They are sleek and feel great. I also own a Wushof electric knife sharpener. It is preset with the correct angle Wushtof recommends for their knives. I lucked out and picked it up for $150 off eBay. I also got my 8 piece Classic Ikon set off eBay for $250 brand new.

Bob Kramer is a famous knife maker. His Chef knives are over $700 each and you need to go on a two year waiting list for them. There are also some Japanese Sushi knives that can cost you $5000 each.

For the casual cook I would recommend getting one really good Chef knife, one serrated knife, and one pairing knife. You don't need to spend $700 on a set of 12 knives. Most everything can be done with these knives. If you trim a lot of meat then add a filet knife. The Wusthof Classic Chef knife is pretty bullet proof. It can be honed to a razor sharp blade and has a lifetime warranty against defects.

Here is how I maintain my knives. The electric sharpener is a last resort. It takes off too much material to be used on a regular basis. In between to maintain an edge I use a butchers steel. These are a little softer (And wear out quicker) then a normal steel but keep a better edge. For the love of everything Holy DO NOT use one of those hand held "sharpeners" with the v-shaped stones on your high end knives. They remove too much metal and distort the curve of a Chef knife. Those things ruin knives.

All knife manufacturer's have a cheaper line of stamped knives. Stay away from them. You want your knife to be high carbon forged steel.


Tips:

A good Chef knife will last a lifetime if you take care of it.

Use the back of the knife to scrape across the cutting board when gathering food in a pile. This will save the blade from dulling faster.

Always hand wash knives. Most top end ones are not dishwasher safe because of the materials the handles are made of.
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Old 12-24-2013, 01:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grubrunner View Post
Below are the two sets of knives we're considering.

http://www.amazon.com/Wusthof-Gourme...kitchen+knives

http://www.amazon.com/Wusthof-Classi...kitchen+knives

There's a local place that's shutting shop by 1/31 and I can get a crazy deal on these knives.

Not sure of the brand name as I've never owned them.
The Gourmet brand is their lower end stamped line. I would go with the Classic. They will last forever.

Can you get me a good deal on the steak knives?
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Last edited by DarthRam; 12-24-2013 at 01:54 AM.
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Old 12-24-2013, 01:43 AM
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Putting aside the knifes handle material/make, how much truth is there to the rumor that placing [quality] knifes into the dishwasher will create microscopic chips in the knife's blade....

True or false?
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Old 12-24-2013, 02:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Grubrunner View Post
Putting aside the knifes handle material/make, how much truth is there to the rumor that placing [quality] knifes into the dishwasher will create microscopic chips in the knife's blade....

True or false?
I think in the early days that was 100% true but that was with the high end knives in INDUSTRIAL dishwashers. I am sure some knives ended up pitted due to the high heat/dish chemical interaction. I think they are just still gun shy. I know my Classic Ikon set says NEVER put them in a dishwasher.
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Old 12-24-2013, 02:21 AM
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Okay, thanks.

Appreciate it.
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