PDA

View Full Version : Bad case of stinky knife



Lucretia
02-15-2012, 03:08 PM
Got a new knife--1084/15n20 damascus--and was going to let the patina develop naturally, but it STINKS. Thought I had some bad chicken last night, and it turns out it was the steel. So this morning it's getting treated with hot water, vinnegar, and mustard (with baking soda applied between) to force a patina and it still smells bad enough to knock a buzzard off a sh*t wagon. Please tell me it will get better! Or are there better things to neutralize the smell?

kalaeb
02-15-2012, 03:12 PM
Yes, it will get better. Have no fear. Once a patina sets in you should have few issues.

Justin0505
02-15-2012, 04:08 PM
Sounds like someone got a carbon Damascus blade! Where are the pictures?!

Yes, the smell will get better and eventually go away. It's odd though, I have a blade with similar composition and it never really smelled that bad.

One of the things that I usually try to do with new and reactive blades is set my cutting board by the sink so that I can frequently splash it with hot water and pull dry with a towel. Basically every time the knife leaves my hand it gets a quick rinse & wipe. This cuts way down on the smell and also seems to get the patina started faster. It's a bit tedious until you get used to it, but after 1 or 2 sessions blades are usually much less reactive and don't require the same fuss.

AFKitchenknivesguy
02-15-2012, 04:46 PM
Other than a metallic smell, I can't say this has ever happened to me.

stevenStefano
02-15-2012, 05:22 PM
Dr Naka recommends rinsing new knives with very very hot water to lessen their reactiveness and some forum members have said it works so maybe that's worth a try

dschonbrun
02-15-2012, 05:47 PM
I would suggest putting the blade in boiling water for a solid minute.

tk59
02-15-2012, 05:56 PM
That's puzzling. I've used a fair number of carbon steel knives (even those that I've freshly ground as well as those made of cheap, dirty steel) and I have never noticed a significant stink from the reaction of carbon steel with meat as you describe. I would suggest also, wiping your blade more often and as everyone else said already, the stink should eventually go away completely.

zitangy
02-15-2012, 06:16 PM
apart from metallic smell, what could be the cause ot the smell? Sulphur in the steel?

tk59
02-15-2012, 06:29 PM
Yup. That's usually it.

kalaeb
02-15-2012, 06:30 PM
1084 can have trace amounts of sulfer in it.

Justin0505
02-15-2012, 06:37 PM
What exactly does the "stink" smell like? Is it just a metallic / rusty smell or does it smell sour/kinda funky like something spoiled? Based on your comment about the chicken, it sounds like the latter.

The only time that I've smelled something like that was on a yellow steel blade. I know that yellow steel is less pure than others and, in particular, contains more Sulphur. So my guess is that's where the smell is coming from.

Someone (like one of the resident MS's or metalurgists) can speak to this better, but it's my understanding the purity and content of even the same type(lable) of steel can vary quite a bit from batch to batch. Which might explain why your experience with this knife is different than others' with the same steels.

tk59
02-15-2012, 06:40 PM
1084 can have trace amounts of sulfer in it.That's why the Hitachi and Swedish steels are so sought after for kitchen knives. Other sources of carbon steels generally stink a lot more.
@Justin: I hadn't thought of that but maybe it is a stinkier batch...

zitangy
02-15-2012, 06:52 PM
the edge will be abrade more or when sharpening and thus the metal will always be exposed ( cant be patinaed) ., thus a small amout of this "unpurified" steel will be exposed and hopefully, the smell will not be noticeable. There are people that will be more sensitive...

Isn't the imputiries supposed to be removed during the knife making process?

rgds
d

mr drinky
02-15-2012, 06:52 PM
What exactly does the "stink" smell like?

Pull my finger Justin.


Sorry I have been waiting a long time to do a proper forum pull-my-finger joke ;)

k.

tk59
02-15-2012, 07:04 PM
...Isn't the imputiries supposed to be removed during the knife making process?...Not usually. In general, all of the purification happens before the steel ever gets to a knifemaker.

Lucretia
02-15-2012, 07:37 PM
The first nastiness may have been sulfur combined with just a regular chicken smell. Now after a day of mustard/vinegar/hot water it just kind of smells acrid/metallic. If you've ever cleaned silver with boiling water, baking soda, and aluminum foil, it's kind of like that--so probably some sulfur involved. Maybe I'm just lucky enough to be sensitive to it--hubby isn't getting much smell off of it, where for me it's bad enough it gets in my mouth and coats my teeth--kind of like when you get an amalgam filling drilled or chew tin foil. Dammit. There are some nice blue and purple tones showing up, at least.


Pull my finger Justin.
Sorry I have been waiting a long time to do a proper forum pull-my-finger joke ;)

k.

Don't get the correlation--for me that smells like roses. :hoot:

ajhuff
02-15-2012, 07:38 PM
1084 can have trace amounts of sulfer in it.

Yup, key word: trace. All of the carbon steels have trace amoults of sulfur, white, yellow, blue, 1095, it doesn't matter. I call BS on the sulfur in steel story. I am amazed how the sulfur content of the onion, which is higher than that of the steel, is consistently. Ignored as the source of odor.

-AJ

ajhuff
02-15-2012, 07:40 PM
Even chicken probably has more sulfur than the steel.

-AJ

Andrew H
02-15-2012, 07:44 PM
Yup, key word: trace. All of the carbon steels have trace amoults of sulfur, white, yellow, blue, 1095, it doesn't matter. I call BS on the sulfur in steel story. I am amazed how the sulfur content of the onion, which is higher than that of the steel, is consistently. Ignored as the source of odor.

-AJ

What do you think it is AJ?
I would have said sulfur but that argument makes sense.

Lefty
02-15-2012, 07:50 PM
It's been proven that women have a better sense of smell, so it could be coming into play here.

zitangy
02-15-2012, 07:59 PM
Not usually. In general, all of the purification happens before the steel ever gets to a knifemaker.

OOh.. I am under the wrong impression then.. i thought that during the forging and hammering process, imputiries would be removed.

so women shld stay away form high carbon knives becasue they have more sensitive olfactory sense?

thanks.

tk59
02-15-2012, 07:59 PM
...I call BS on the sulfur in steel story. I am amazed how the sulfur content of the onion, which is higher than that of the steel, is consistently. Ignored as the source of odor...Obviously, the reason the sulfur content in the onion is ignored is because the amount of stench produced given a particular onion varies among different blades. You can literally wipe the patina off of some blades with an onion.

tk59
02-15-2012, 08:04 PM
... during the forging and hammering process, imputiries would be removed...That's true. However, most knives aren't really forged much. These aren't samurai swords.

ajhuff
02-15-2012, 08:57 PM
I think in 15n20 it is far more likely that the Nickel content is reacting with sulfur compounds than the 60 ppm or so of sulfur is being released from the steel.

-AJ

Ordo
02-15-2012, 09:29 PM
All carbon steel knives smell. May be more, may be less, but they smell.
I stopped fighting it. Very few people feel the smell in the food, if none.

sachem allison
02-15-2012, 09:34 PM
Lucretia, have you been sick lately? taking antihistamines or had a runny nose or dry nose. All of these things can make your receptors overly sensitive once you get better. Plus the whole super woman sense of smell thing.

Eamon Burke
02-15-2012, 09:45 PM
I'd be interested to know how the reaction happens, both with sulfur and whatever is in the onion, and the sulfur in the onion with the nickel in the steel. Some knives give off a funny, metallic smell(my shig, my parent's sabs), and others give off a stench(my cck).

boar_d_laze
02-15-2012, 10:41 PM
The number of competent chemists contributing to this thread is overwhelming. :dazed:

BDL

ajhuff
02-15-2012, 10:51 PM
The number of competent chemists contributing to this thread is overwhelming. :dazed:

BDL

LMAO!

-AJ

rsacco
02-15-2012, 11:06 PM
Have you tried Summers Eve for Damascus - when your knife has that 'not so fresh feeling'?

mr drinky
02-15-2012, 11:12 PM
Have you tried Summers Eve for Damascus - when your knife has that 'not so fresh feeling'?

I have to link this from SNL (http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/espn-classic-ladies-darts/1194032).

k.

Edit: Sorry if it offends, but now you really want to watch it don't you?

Lucretia
02-16-2012, 01:03 AM
No cold, no other problems to affect sense of smell. This one is noticeably worse than my other carbons. My 52100 knife has only had a noticeable smell once, after a big batch of guacamole with a lot of limes and garlic. Otherwise it hasn't had a detectable odor. The 30-plus year old Old Hickory (no idea what the alloy is) would smell occasionally, but nothing like this one. Going to have to work on it--unlike my other carbons, it smells too bad to use as is.


Have you tried Summers Eve for Damascus - when your knife has that 'not so fresh feeling'?

No, sticking to vinegar and hot water for now. :bigeek:

JohnnyChance
02-16-2012, 03:27 AM
Send it to me. I will butcher a bunch of proteins, build up a nice patina for ya, and sent it back when it doesn't stink. No charge!

Lucretia
02-16-2012, 10:16 AM
Send it to me. I will butcher a bunch of proteins, build up a nice patina for ya, and sent it back when it doesn't stink. No charge!

So, proteins the best bet? I can do that! But thanks for the offer.

tk59
02-16-2012, 10:51 AM
I think we just tend to like to use proteins because they don't stink or discolor with carbon like a lot of other items and because you tend to get the pretty blues and purples from it, too.

DeepCSweede
02-16-2012, 11:24 AM
I think we just tend to like to use proteins because they don't stink or discolor with carbon like a lot of other items and because you tend to get the pretty blues and purples from it, too.

:plus1: Now I have to make another run through the I love Blue thread.:biggrin:

Lucretia
02-20-2012, 11:40 PM
After several rounds of vinegar, mustard, hot water, and soaking in beef blood (rare steaks) more chicken cut up tonite and NO stink. :dancecool: I am a happy camper. Thanks, all.

tk59
02-20-2012, 11:51 PM
Excellent! Congratulations. :)

sachem allison
02-21-2012, 01:17 AM
yeah!

Johnny.B.Good
02-21-2012, 01:19 AM
Is it starting to turn pretty colors?

Lucretia
02-21-2012, 01:55 PM
Is it starting to turn pretty colors?
Oh, yeah. A fair amount of purple and blue--with the damascus swirls, it's kind of like a muted peacock feather. Unfortunately I don't have the knack for getting it to show up in photos.

jmforge
02-24-2012, 12:57 PM
How deeply was the blade etched when you got it?

tk59
02-24-2012, 09:02 PM
How deeply was the blade etched when you got it?Now, how exactly would she be able to answer that question, lol? Given your experience, you can probably get a better idea from checking out the pic.

Lucretia
02-25-2012, 01:49 AM
How deeply was the blade etched when you got it?

Sorry--left my optical comparator in my other pants.

Here's a photo showing the etched damascus:

http://i599.photobucket.com/albums/tt79/lucretia_02/Burke.jpg

The smell problem seems to have resolved as the patina has built up. It's actually got more of a smell when it's being washed than when it's being used. Makes me wonder about the chemistry involved. Isn't the sense of smell triggered by molecular interaction with the olefactory receptors? If so, something volatile is causing the stink.

dragonlord
02-25-2012, 07:36 AM
What sort of knife is that?

jmforge
02-25-2012, 11:23 AM
By using your calibrated fingernail comparator. if it goes bumpity bump (thats a technical term) then it is probably etched deep. I was wondering if maybe the residual etchant or oxides might be causing the stink. Someone recently made a comment that deeply etched damascus might cause some food sticking, so I just assumed that folks on here knew what deeply etched damascus looked like.:O

tk59
02-25-2012, 11:41 AM
What sort of knife is that?It's a filet knife.
@*******: In order to make that call, you'd have to have some basis for comparison. Unless you are a knifemaker, hang out with knifemakers, or own (or have seen) multiple etching jobs, not that many folks are going to have a great idea of how to judge the depth of an etch.