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Thread: New to Carbon Steels

  1. #1

    New to Carbon Steels

    Looking for some specific tips about caring for carbons used for home cooking. I'm new to Carbon Steel knives, J-knives and sharpening but I'm already hooked. I'm a home cook (and a girl)...wondering what people use to keep their carbon steel knives clean while working. Do you take it over to the sink a few times or just wipe it on some sort of cloth? Wet cloth, Dry cloth? Trying to learn tricks from the experienced. My new gyuto is a Kikuichi TKC and isn't reactive, I also have a Tanaka Kurouchi Nakiri. I have to say, cooking is already way more fun!

  2. #2
    Wipe after cutting things, dry thoroughly after using. No problems for me so far. Accidents happen, that's when a little barkeeper's friend goes a long way.

  3. #3
    Senior Member/ Internet Hooligan
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    Just wipe it off with a sanitary cloth between every product you cut, I usually just use a rag dampened in a solution of bleach and water, and wipe it firm enough that you don't leave the blade wet. That's pretty much all you need to do. Before it sits for a long period of time between uses, ensure it's dry and doesn't have any water/product stuck to it. Long term storage might require a rubdown with some mineral oil, but I think that's more for people in extreme humidity or planning long term storage.

  4. #4
    Just keep it dry and after cutting anything acidic or reactive wipe it down, I haven't had a problem with any of mine.

  5. #5
    That's great. I can't get over the difference in using a knife that's actually sharp. Cred to Dave for his recent knife sharpening class, and to the forum for getting me hooked

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by homegirl View Post
    That's great. I can't get over the difference in using a knife that's actually sharp. Cred to Dave for his recent knife sharpening class, and to the forum for getting me hooked
    I think everyone here understands exactly what you mean, I felt the same way when I switched from regular beat up knives to shun, and again when I switched from shun to real Japanese carbon knives, and once more after Dave's class when I learned how to properly sharpen my J-knives. Each time I thought I knew what sharp was only to be blown away when discovering another level of sharp... I hope as I gain skill at sharpening to discover yet another level of sharp as every time I find a new level I find I enjoy cooking more, I'm at the point where I look for more ingredients to add to my meals as I enjoy cutting them up so much.

  7. #7
    Senior Member DwarvenChef's Avatar
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    More converts to the Dark Side

  8. #8

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    The only carbon knife I have is my Sabatier and I'll be honest, I don't worry about keeping it dry ASAP. Usually I wipe it off with a dry towel after I'm done cutting or after I wash it. But I've had occasion where I had to leave it on the cutting board for an hour and came back and couldn't tell any difference than if I had wiped it off immediately. I think people worry too much.

    -AJ

  9. #9
    Senior Member DwarvenChef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajhuff View Post
    The only carbon knife I have is my Sabatier and I'll be honest, I don't worry about keeping it dry ASAP. Usually I wipe it off with a dry towel after I'm done cutting or after I wash it. But I've had occasion where I had to leave it on the cutting board for an hour and came back and couldn't tell any difference than if I had wiped it off immediately. I think people worry too much.

    -AJ
    Worry is the nature of the beast with new carbon steel users. Once a patina has set in there is less to worry about. However there are those that keep their knives highly polished and don't allow a patina to developing. Both ways work just as well but for different reasons. Polished blades bead liquids up so there is less danger of liquids sticking and causing a reaction. Once the reaction happens enough you have a patina. Both protect the steel from rusting.

    Both aproaches take time and work, I'm leaving out the forced patina as there are just to many variables, Polishing to that level is a non stop process and letting a natural patina develop just takes allot of cutting and time.

    All you really have to do is use safe cleaning practices, as with any knife, don't leave food on the knife for long periods. When your done using the knife wash dry it. When using the knife with acidic foods just be a bit more diligent about wiping it down. I run the blade under the faucet after acidic foods (at least try to) and clean the blade after use. Letting the patina develop as it will, I don't do shiny...

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by DwarvenChef View Post
    Worry is the nature of the beast with new carbon steel users. Once a patina has set in there is less to worry about. However there are those that keep their knives highly polished and don't allow a patina to developing. Both ways work just as well but for different reasons. Polished blades bead liquids up so there is less danger of liquids sticking and causing a reaction. Once the reaction happens enough you have a patina. Both protect the steel from rusting.

    Both aproaches take time and work, I'm leaving out the forced patina as there are just to many variables, Polishing to that level is a non stop process and letting a natural patina develop just takes allot of cutting and time.

    All you really have to do is use safe cleaning practices, as with any knife, don't leave food on the knife for long periods. When your done using the knife wash dry it. When using the knife with acidic foods just be a bit more diligent about wiping it down. I run the blade under the faucet after acidic foods (at least try to) and clean the blade after use. Letting the patina develop as it will, I don't do shiny...
    My thoughts exactly. Keeping a carbon steel knife as new is difficult even if you don´t use it so just let the patina naturally cover the blade. In the end you will have one less thng to be concerned about and a blade that is much more charming and unique.

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