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Thread: Should I force a patina on new knife?

  1. #11
    Senior Member mpukas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgy Guy View Post
    When you wrote, "if you find the steel is reacting to foods prior to developing a patina on it's own", what is this reacting you speak of?
    Isn't this reacting just the patina-forming process?
    Or are you talking about a huge reaction, like rust?
    Different steels reactive differently w/ different foods. Onions and cabbage are two of the biggest. Usually it's a darkening of the food you're cutting and a bad odor from the steel.

    This reacting can be part of the patina forming process, but not necessarily. Certain foods may react w/ the steel and not develop a patina. I have a Moritaka kiri-gyuto that is clad. The cladding on that knife reacts horribly w/ many foods, rusts easily, and won't take a patina at all.

    I don't have a Kono, but I have a Yusuke in white #2 - it may be the same steel, or something very similar - and I find it to be not terribly reactive or prone to rust. When I cut citrus fruits, I often rub the blade down w/ a spent half of a lime and let it sit for a while; no problems w/ rust and it get a good patina. Patina will also change with use depending on what you're cutting.

  2. #12
    Senior Member mpukas's Avatar
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    Check out Darkhoeks blog entry about forcing a patina on a Shigefusa. You should really read the previous entry on the gyuto shoot-out to see what happened w/ knives reacting to foods he tested.

    In my limited experience and knowledge, I find that the cladding of a knife can react to food more than the actually cutting edge, or core, metal. Many san mai knives are clad w/ cheap, soft iron or steel (don't know the varieties) that rust easily and react badly. That's why I currently prefer: A) single steel knives, like the Kono white #2 & Yusuke white #2, or some stainless or semi-stainless variety; B) clad knives that are clad in stainless or semi-stainless steel; C) clad knives that are clad in a metal that will take a patina to limit reactivity.

    This is personal - to some it may not be a big deal, but to me, as a serious home cook and private chef, it is a potential deal breaker. There are so many great knives available to us that I don't want to deal w/ a stinky knife and black cabbage in front of clients and friends.

  3. #13
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    A few knives really give a strong odor and flavor and react quickly. Any steel that has very low impurities (esp sulfur) will be fine with constant wiping, initially and then much less once the patina is developed. As for the edge deterioration, yes, acid dulls your edge. However, once the patina forms on the rest of the knife, you will eventually sharpen the edge and keep the rest of the patinated surface. I cut a lot of acidic materials and a lot of carbon steels definitely lose their super keen edges fairly quickly. However, they also sharpen up very easily.

  4. #14
    Senior Member TamanegiKin's Avatar
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    I've forced a patina or two using mustard or vinegar. You can get creative with forcing a patina, my konosuke gyuto is currently sporting a dabbed mustard patina. I'm probably going to remove it though and trim up a bunch of rib eyes this weekend. I believe there are a couple threads in here discussing the influence of different foods on building patina. From what I've gathered blood works well.

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    Are there any particular carbon steels that you guys have found are too reactive as a general rule?

  6. #16
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    I do mustard on my O1 blades for the consistency of it. Meat juices work, butt it ends up being a bit random, which isn't bad in itself. The various elements that contribute to the patina blend with the mustard patina in my experience, and result in a mellow look.
    Spike C
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  7. #17
    Senior Member Mattias504's Avatar
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    I haven't read the other replies yet but I say do not force a patina. I find that you get better results just letting it happen over time. I prefer natural patina over forced every time.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Cadillac J's Avatar
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    I would wipe your knives down with acetone first, as both of my Kono white#2 had some lacquer on them that wouldn't let the patina develop fully.

    Personally, I always let my patina develop naturally...you can just buy a cheap bag of cooking onions and go to town to get it started.

  9. #19

    RRLOVER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadillac J View Post
    I would wipe your knives down with acetone first, as both of my Kono white#2 had some lacquer on them that wouldn't let the patina develop fully.

    Personally, I always let my patina develop naturally...you can just buy a cheap bag of cooking onions and go to town to get it started.
    +1.....Sacrifice some cheap produce.

  10. #20
    Senior Member/ Internet Hooligan
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    Yeah, I haven't used a Konosuke but I'm willing to bet, if it's anything like other higher-end White #2 knives, that you won't have discoloration on food. Nor will the steel itself be so reactive you really need to worry a lot about rust--I say cook yourself a lot of red meat for the next few weeks and "persuade" the patina.

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