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Thread: exactly how much care is required for carbon steel?

  1. #1

    exactly how much care is required for carbon steel?

    Every description when looking at carbon steel seems to say " for those that dont mind the extra care", but it seems like all the extra care is just to keep the blade towel dry.

    I there much more than this? Oil between use? Whats a good oil? Is it easy to remove oil before use? Is this just for a break in period?

    Any other maintenance?

  2. #2
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Cincinnati, Oh
    keep it dry, add oil when it's being stored, and you're good. the oil you use is food grade, so there is nothing to do, when it's ready to use a knife again. carbon knives dull quickly when cutting acidic items: get used to using fine stones, a lot.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lucretia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Isle of Lucy
    It depends on your expectations. Do you want a knife that's going to stay bright and shiny? Or are you ok with a patina? If a patina is good with you, they can be incredibly easy to take care of, in my limited experience. I have a Zwilling Kramer in 52100 steel with a forced mustard patina that doesn't take much extra care at all. If I'm cutting something acidic like limes or have a salty crust on a roast, I need to wipe it off before I go eat dinner or it'll get dark spots. And I generally try to wash it right after use. But I've left it without wiping off during a meal after cutting vegetables, cheese, meat, etc, just to see what happens--and it's fine. I don't leave it sitting in water and it gets washed by hand--no soaking in the sink. The blade gets a dab of oil when I oil the handle (when the wood starts lightening up a little). Super easy knife to take care of. My Shigefusa, on the other hand, can start changing color during food prep and needs to be scrubbed down ASAP. It's still pretty new, and I'm hoping it will be less reactive over time.
    Now is not the time to bother me. And it's always now. Wiley Miller

  4. #4
    To be honest my maintenance routine is the same with my carbon steel knives as it is/was with any SS knife. Wash and dry after use.

  5. #5
    I'm a home cook and not particularly skilled in using knives.. but carbon knife is working out just fine Other than wiping it really clean and dry, and also avoid super acidic food (not only I don't like patina so much but also I don't want my food to change their color or smell), I see no difference between stainless and carbon. Even if I had stainless knife, I'll still make sure that knife stays clean and dry anyway, so.....

    But the common sense differs depending on who you ask. I think that's why people are meticulous to let customers or their friends know to be careful with carbon knives.

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirsty View Post
    exactly how much care is required for carbon steel?
    5 care units.

  8. #8

    Zwiefel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Little Rock, AR
    Quote Originally Posted by Larrin View Post
    5 care units.
    is that for white #1 or blue #2?
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Amstelveen, The Netherlands
    I don't care for the entire blade. Just as for stainless, I wipe of the edge,

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    I think alot of the bad rep carbons get is when they are new and react to certain foods staining or rusting blade immediately.At work I just used them to cut everything because for almost 30 yrs.never even owned a stainless knife.The old Masa's I had were very thin,they made Tads & Kono's look thick.The only blade I have found as thin as my old Masa's is the Sakai Ultra Thin.

    Doing banquets in Gardemanger over time cut hundreds of 25# cases of Tomato's for Lomi Salmon & salads.Also a great # of 25# cases of lemons for wedges.Cutting anything & everything my knives turned a dark gray patina.Once a good patina is formed blades do not stain food or leave a metalic taste.

    My knives at nite just wash wt. warm water & wipe dry.Carbon works great when it is being used hours on end every day.Just look at Japanese Fishmarket or all those carbon cleavers in chinese kitchens cutting up everything going in the Wok day in & day out.If not using them,better oil them, fine food grade mineral oil,I like a few drops of clove oil,the Japanese knew that clove kept bacteriia fr. growing in wooden sword sheaths.Sayas too.

    I always put a damp towel on edge of board,using thin carbons to cut inside out sushi roll Tobiko eggs on top.Nori wrapped Ahi wt. Panko crust try cutting that wt. a stainless gyuto.Razor sharp thin carbon every slice a clean perfect cut.Like Yanagi perfect cuts for sashimi & sushi topping.

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