PDA

View Full Version : Introduction to KKF:



Gravy Power
05-23-2012, 04:38 PM
Hey all,

Starting a thread to introduce myself. A few months ago I enrolled in culinary school, after wrapping up a 12-year career outside of the industry. I have always loved the kitchen, just never knew how much, nor had the means to do anything about it. I start my second quarter in a few weeks, in which I will begin lab classes.

An injury caused me to spend my entire first quarter in the classroom, which enabled me to get some non-essential, but nonetheless required hours out of the way. Regardless, I still bought the school knife kit back them because I've always found tools fascinating.

Over that time I've also been spendling lots of evening hours lurking in different knife forums, trying to learn as much as possible. It's a lot of information to soak up, to say the least, but I'm doing my best. I'm probably going to have several "newb" questions, but you all seem very kind.

I'll post some knives and there stories in this thread.

Thanks,
Gravy

echerub
05-23-2012, 04:40 PM
Welcome welcome, Gravy! :)

Gravy Power
05-23-2012, 04:43 PM
So this is our standard school kit, a Mercer 9" chef, boning and pareing knives (also came with a basic 10-inch steel):

Deckhand
05-23-2012, 04:57 PM
Welcome!

Gravy Power
05-23-2012, 05:06 PM
So almost a year ago now, I asked a friend/chef where I could get a good kitchen knife. He told me there was a Sur la Table where I live so I decided to go check it out. Not really knowing much about knives, I just went with what felt good (and also looked good). It wasn't cheap, but I'm a buyer by nature. The floor person had me sold on this Shun Bob Kramer model:

7401

I had never held a knife that sharp before, and was extremely satisified with my purchase upon using it. I didn't really know how to treat it though. I figured the knife had to be indistructable...I mean, just look at the thing. Anyway, a few months later I was taking apart some chicken thighs and didn't hesitate going after the bone (dumb, I know). A huge chip ensued.

I was pretty sad about it, and after showing it to my chef friend, pretty embarassed. Nevertheless I continued to use (and dull) the blade. I had bough the accompanying steel that came with it, but really didn't use it properly. Eventually I took it into the production kitchen at school to show it to a classmate. His quote was "that's a bad-ass knife, but you're going to have to grind the hell out of that edge to get that chip out." He then grabbed it to take the fat cap off of some brisket and said, "man, you really need to sharpen this thing too."

So I swallowed my pride and went into Sur la Table. I was more just browsing the knives when the floor person started asking me questions. I told her I was a student (I wasn't when I bought the Kramer) and was just looking around. She what I was looking for and I explained the ill-fated story of my Kramer. To my surpise, she immediately offered to exchange it. I even admitted to going through chicken bone, and she was like, "that's ok, just know your'e not supposed to do that.

So, instead of just replacing the Kramer, I opted to get a little more value, picking out three different Shun Classics in exchange. At this point I really hadn't begun to discover independent knife makers in the U.S. or Japan, so you could imagine my excitement. I got a 9-inch slicer, 7-inch Asian cooks knife and 3 1/2-inch pairing knife. I opted for the Asian cooks knife because it was a great value compared to the other Shun's, came with a nifty little board and I already had my 9-inch Mercer, so I figured it could double as utility:

7404

obtuse
05-23-2012, 05:10 PM
Thats pretty awesomr! Sur la tables return policy is legendary.

Pabloz
05-23-2012, 05:11 PM
Welcome. Beware....your buying hormones will go into warp speed here.

PZ

Gravy Power
05-23-2012, 05:15 PM
So after a week or so of using the Shun's in house, I continued to explore knives online. This is when I became about a million times more addicted. Seeing the beauty and effectiveness of handmade blades, and discovering how real professional blade heads don't really use commercially-produced kitchen knives.

I told myself I was going to wait until after I finished my first year before I bought a chef's knife. Welp. That lasted about five days. I spent about another week looking and debating how much I could budget for a proper knife. Eventually I settled on this Murray Carter.

7405

It's 8 1/2 inches (still trying to convert to metric, it's coming slowly). Since he sold it to me, the description was taken down, so I don't have all the specs on steel. I will try to find them. I absolutely love the knife, and the main reason I wanted to get involved in the forums is so I could ask how to properly care for it and sharpen it.

Crothcipt
05-23-2012, 05:16 PM
I would have still got the other Kramer, but then again I keep drinking his punch. Welcome, and hope your pocket book doesn't go into shock.

Gravy Power
05-23-2012, 05:17 PM
Welcome. Beware....your buying hormones will go into warp speed here.

PZ

Thanks for all the welcome's guys...

and yes, I'm like a kid in a candy store here!

Mike Davis
05-23-2012, 05:35 PM
Welcome to KKF!!! I see you are hopelessly addicted...Just like all the rest of us... :D

Namaxy
05-23-2012, 06:02 PM
Welcome the addiction....resistance is futile!

markenki
05-23-2012, 06:47 PM
Since he sold it to me, the description was taken down, so I don't have all the specs on steel. I will try to find them. I absolutely love the knife, and the main reason I wanted to get involved in the forums is so I could ask how to properly care for it and sharpen it.
Welcome! I'm certainly no expert, but that won't stop me from attempting to answer your questions.

Carters are great! Your knife will have a letter (either S or W) stamped on it. W is for "white steel" and S is for "blue Super steel". My guess is W since he recently stopped using blue steel. In either case, your knife is stainless steel-clad carbon, so the sharp edge will rust if neglected, but it will develop some patina. That's fine and even desirable. You'll want to clean and dry it after each use. To sharpen, you'll want to get one or two japanese water stones and a strop. Some of the KKF vendors carry good options. Be careful, that's another addiction waiting to happen. A good starter is King 1000/6000.

Enjoy the journey!

Regards,

Mark

bikehunter
05-23-2012, 06:58 PM
Welcome. I won't bother to warn you about addiction since it appears it's too late. <g>

Dave Martell
05-23-2012, 07:09 PM
Welcome Gravy :)

Gravy Power
05-23-2012, 07:12 PM
Welcome! I'm certainly no expert, but that won't stop me from attempting to answer your questions.

Carters are great! Your knife will have a letter (either S or W) stamped on it. W is for "white steel" and S is for "blue Super steel". My guess is W since he recently stopped using blue steel. In either case, your knife is stainless steel-clad carbon, so the sharp edge will rust if neglected, but it will develop some patina. That's fine and even desirable. You'll want to clean and dry it after each use. To sharpen, you'll want to get one or two japanese water stones and a strop. Some of the KKF vendors carry good options. Be careful, that's another addiction waiting to happen. A good starter is King 1000/6000.

Enjoy the journey!

Regards,

Mark

Thanks, I couldn't find the stamp, but here was the description that was emailed to me:


7.1sun High Grade Gyuto, Ho Wood/Water Buffalo Horn Handle

Here is a link for a slightly smaller one that was in the same class:

http://www.cartercutlery.com/japanese-knives/kitchen-cutlery/high-grade-series/57sun-high-grade-funayuki-ho-woodwater-buffalo-hor

So, yeah, sounds like it's white steel.

In regards to the water stones, yup...that one got me a little over a week ago. I watched some video's from Jeff at CKTG. I then saw that SLT offered a Shun model for $79.00, 1000/6000 grit (plus I get a 15% student discount), so I picked up these:

http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO-504761/Shun-Whetstone-Grit

What are people's thoughts on these?

I haven't touched the Carter with them, and don't plan on it until I have plenty of experience, but I did spend some time on a 10-year old crappy generic kitchen knife, as well as my Mercer. I was able to do quite well with the Mercer, and put the 7-inch Shun on it after a while (after all they are Shun stones).

I think my biggest problem was that I bought the guides as well for $15. To me it actually hindered things, after about 15 minutes I took them off. I found myself relying too much on them and the knives scratching on the stone when came off the endge (Shun's fake damascus is ruined on one side...oh well). It felt much more comfortable without them, but who knows how good I was doing.

Another problem with the guides, is that the grips put some sort of mark down the side of the knife on each side where it gripped. Haven't been able to remove it. I'll try and get a good pic and post it.

Gravy Power
05-23-2012, 07:30 PM
http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s280/shaneury/IMG_0907.jpg

Here is the Mercer. The mark it left is in the shadow. It seems like it was rub from the interior of the guide, but it won't scrub out...

markenki
05-23-2012, 07:34 PM
Interesting. I guess Murray no longer stamps his knives W or S (or H?) since he only uses white steel these days. I'm not familiar with the Shun stone, but I'd be surprised if it weren't a good starter stone. Yup, ditch the guides. Have fun!

Pensacola Tiger
05-23-2012, 07:42 PM
Welcome to KKF.

Rick

PierreRodrigue
05-23-2012, 07:49 PM
Welcome to the forum!

WillC
05-23-2012, 08:01 PM
Welcome, and enjoy you will fit right in here.:biggrin:

obtuse
05-23-2012, 08:25 PM
Yes, if it has no stamp it was made after he switched to white exclusively .

Eamon Burke
05-23-2012, 09:12 PM
Welcome!

:ntmy:

sachem allison
05-23-2012, 09:15 PM
welcome

brainsausage
05-23-2012, 11:02 PM
Welcome home:)

add
05-23-2012, 11:47 PM
Yes, if it has no stamp it was made after he switched to white exclusively .


Not, ... necessarily.

obtuse
05-24-2012, 01:45 AM
Not, ... necessarily.

I guess if you are in doubt you could always email carter

chinacats
05-25-2012, 03:19 AM
Welcome...enjoy the fun!

mr drinky
05-25-2012, 03:36 AM
Welcome. Your username reminds me of an old David Letterman top 10. It was something like: top ten signs you are too fat. Answer: you are sweating gravy. keep up your knife addiction -- umm, I mean...professional development.

k.