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Thread: Reactive Experience

  1. #1
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    mr drinky's Avatar
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    Reactive Experience

    I was just wondering what experiences others have had with reactive steels. I just got my Martell blade in, and I know that O1 is quite reactive, but what does that mean in terms of food discoloring/taste?

    I've heard of onions turning green/black and also some odors when cutting meat, but I've never really had a mono-steel blade that is particularly reactive.

    Of course, I can see what happens to the steel and the patina developing, but I am thinking more about what reactive blades do to food.

    k.
    "In Japan they don't call it Japanese food, they just call it food." -- Children's Hospital Quote

  2. #2
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    I have a new knife in 1095 and it doesn't discolor food or lend any off-flavor to it. As far as building a patina on the blade though, it's so fast you can almost see it happen right before your eyes.

  3. #3
    Garlic turned red for me with a Shige nakiri. Didn't seem to affect the taste, but man, that was unexpected - never had that kind of reactivity either at all with garlic, or just that active with anything else! Have yet to really give much time on that knife, but I have a feeling it's gonna be reacting with a lot of stuff for a while yet.
    Len

  4. #4
    Delbert Ealy's Avatar
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    I have heard some people say that it can have a minor difference on flavor, but I have never noticed(I guess I must be used to the taste of steel) there are no harmful effects, after all you need iron to make hemogoblins
    Del

    Laminated metals specialist, Kitchen knife and gadget maker
    www.ealyknives.com
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    "Build a man a fire and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life"

  5. #5
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    I haven't noticed any effect on food with my O1 blades. They patina nicely, but do not seem to have any effect on food.
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
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  6. #6
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    The amount of discoloration and stink/flavor depends on the amount chromium in solution, the amount of sulfur (and perhaps other) impurities in the steel and the amount of time the reactive juices are in contact with the steel. O1 is not that reactive and it is generally on the purer side. As long as you cut efficiently and wipe the juices off frequently, you will have minimal (or no) problems with it, esp. after a light patina sets in. It is almost like stainless, as long as I don't sharpen.

    FYI, the worst offenders have been Japanese iron clad knives and the low grade carbon steels like 2N and SK-4, etc. I haven't had any bad experences with W2 or 52100 or any of the Hitachi steels we all know or any of the mystery "swedish" carbon steels.

  7. #7
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    Thanks tk59. Good stuff.

    Btw, what were the Shigs made out of? I often heard how reactive they were.

    k.
    "In Japan they don't call it Japanese food, they just call it food." -- Children's Hospital Quote

  8. #8
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    Shiges are some secret swedish steel but it's the iron cladding that is particularly reactive.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    Shiges are some secret swedish steel but it's the iron cladding that is particularly reactive.
    "If you are flamable and have legs you are never blocking a fire exit."

  10. #10
    Senior Member NO ChoP!'s Avatar
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    Now, I can't even begin to guess at the scientific explanation, but when I butchered ducks with a carbon Masamoto, they went bad fast; like overnight. When I use stainless they last for days.....at least this is the reason I deducted, as the scored breast skin was grey'ish.
    The difference between try and triumph is a little "umph"! NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!
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