Super sharp knives and slicing

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by krx927, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. krx927

    krx927

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    Do you also find it impossible to perform continuous  slicing action with extremely sharp and thin (Japanese) knives? By slicing I mean the standard way how good cooks are cutting i.e. carrots or similar. Where the knife tip is resting on the board and they are making fast circular moves forward (down) and then backwards (up).

    I cannot do this with extremely sharp knives as the tip of the knife is biting into the board so much that it is enabling smooth forward knife slide which is needed for this kind of cutting.

    I can only do chopping (up/down) cutting if I want to cut something fast.

    I would appreciate your view/experience on this…
     
  2. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    What kind of board? I've had my blue #2 gyuto bite into plastic boards but not on my end grain wood.
     
  3. tweakz

    tweakz

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    Get a better board (end grain hard wood) and hone your chopping skills. I use rock chopping for herbs, but most other tasks; it's too slow and takes too much effort. Watch some MrKnifeFanatic vids on youtube. ;-)
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
  4. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Errr, umm... if the tip is digging into the board than maybe a German profile would work better?
     
  5. rick alan

    rick alan

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    I'd say your grip is too tight and that is causing you to exert pressure on the tip.  Relax, in other words only use the muscles you need and only when they're needed.

    Also, and this might sound a little hoaky to you but take it from pro athletes - put your attention where you want your power to go (where the food is in other words) and that's where it will go.

    Rick
     
  6. tweakz

    tweakz

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    'Where the knife tip is resting on the board and they are making fast circular moves forward (down) and then backwards (up).'

    -Describing rock chopping. We experience this even with the house knives when they get sharpened and used on the colored plastic boards. German profile would be worse (then more of the blade would be digging in).  German blade geometry might help, but I know Wusthof (German) uses 14deg angle while most would probably consider German to be ~20?
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  7. krx927

    krx927

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    Thanks for all the answers!

    It's the plastic board that is causing this. Yesterday after your advises I tried with one relatively good wooden board and I was not getting problem.

    BTW it is not the actual tip of the knife that is getting stuck, it is the cutting edge near the tip (that is resting on the board)  which gets stuck if the knife is really sharp.

    I have problems with cutting like in this video - at the beginning with cucumber - knife does not want to slide forward and backward:



    Now I have an issue... I was so used to plastic board that you can put in dishwasher. Not so with the wooden ones.

    Does any of you know for some non wooden board that would not give me this issue but still be washable in dishwasher?
     
  8. tweakz

    tweakz

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    It's a horrible video krx927; the slices on the cucumber are way uneven, and when she says 'wooden' they are showing a bamboo (bamboo is grass; not wood) edge grain board which is hard on knife edges for being hard and edge grain, and bamboo contains lots of silica (also harsh on edges) and possibly toxic glue..

    I rarely even wash my cutting board. I lived for ~5 years in an apt with a dish washer provided; and I didn't use it. I'll cut raw meat on a plastic board, and just wipe off my end grain board after use on other stuff. 

    Changing knives for me included changing boards I used, replacing honing steels with water stones, and changing techniques.
     
  9. galley swiller

    galley swiller

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    To care for and clean a good quality wooden board (i.e., an end grain 2 inch thick hard maple board), the steps you should take are as follows:

    SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:

    A.  a straight-edged metal scraper, preferably with rounded ends.

    B.  a spray bottle filled with full strength clear vinegar.

    INSPECTION AND TREATMENT BEFORE USE

    1.  Upon receipt of the board, check for flaws (glue failure, gouges or nicks in the board, gaps, etc.).  If you find them, reject the board.

    2.  If Step 1 checks out OK, then treat your board to multiple layers of mineral oil.  Don't just do it once - do it multiple times until the board starts begging you to stop (Okay, that means that no more oil gets absorbed).

    3. From time to time, repeat Step 2.

    USE

    4.  Each and every time after you have used the board, first scrape the board surface clean.  Then clean the scraper with hot soapy water.

    5.  Then hand wash the surface of the board with hot, soapy water and rinse with hot clean water.  DO NOT IMMERSE THE BOARD IN STANDING WATER!!!  Then scrape the board with the (now clean) scraper.

    6.  Now spray the full surface of the board with vinegar.  Do not wipe the vinegar off.

    7.  Set the board up so that it will air dry.

    That's it.  Saturating the board with mineral oil is the first step to ensuring the board will not absorb water and expand.  Scraping the board will remove the majority of surface gunk and water.  Soapy hot water will emulsify any remaining oils (which are the binding agents for pathogens) while the hot clean water will rinse that hot soapy water (and emulsified oils) away.  The (cleaned) scraper will remove a significant portion of residual water clinging to the board.  And vinegar is an antiseptic, which will kill pathogens, then safely decompose in exposure to air (provided it is not wiped off the board right after application).

    And your end grain wooden board will be soon ready to be cut/chopped on again.

    Galley Swiller
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  10. krx927

    krx927

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    Thanks for the tips above. Unfortunately this is for me quite some hassle as I am used to go through 2 or 3 board when cooking. In stead of cleaning them immediately I just change them and since they are plastic I just rinse them and then they go directly in dish washer...

    Looks like I will really have to start using wooden boar.

    Or perhaps I should just buy one made out of glass, for sure I will be able to put it in dish washer. Just joking, lol
     
  11. galley swiller

    galley swiller

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    Until you change your board from plastic to wood, you will continue to risk having the edges of your knives catch in slices they make into the plastic.  Those slices will also be places where oils and greases (and pathogens) can hold out and avoid getting cleaned during washing.

    If you still are using multiple boards, then sequence your cutting so you cut (in this sequence)

    (1) dry items (such as breads)

    (2) vegetable, fruits and the like, beginning with the ones with the least liquid.

    If you feel the need for a cleaner board at any point, use the scraper, then a quick rinse of both scraper and board, then scrape the board again and rinse the scraper.  Then resume cutting.

    (3) Meats.  

    You should not have to go through a full (hot, soapy water) cleaning during a prep session, except after meats and other proteins with oils.  A properly oiled end grain wood board should not be absorbing anything.

    Yes, there is more work to pre-treating a board, sequencing what goes onto the board and proper hand cleaning of a board, but no one ever said that good cooking should be push-button simple.

    Get, prepare, use and care for a good cutting board and your knives and their edges will appreciate it.

    Galley Swiller
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014
  12. ordo

    ordo

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    I wonder why i'm not seeing end grain boards in pro kitchens. 
     
  13. michaelga

    michaelga

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    Cause in most states in the usa and provinces in canada they are banned. 

    Mainly because they shouldn't go thru the sanitizer... thus they are illegal.

    Stupid and crazy but that is what it is..

    Don't mention that beef-tartare and rare burgers are also banned.. that gets my blood to boil!
     
  14. spoiledbroth

    spoiledbroth

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    Cost too probably.
     
  15. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Yes, acute edges and plastic boards simply don't mix.  You can hardly touch a real sharp knife to plastic without hearing an uncomfortable ping.  As to the dishwasher thing:

    You need to get your priorities straight.  But if you must do the dishwasher thing, I have a related problem and the [not perfect but adequate] solution.  A large wooden board sitting on the counter does not fit in with my wife's idea of kitchen décor, and I have no other convenient place to store such a board.

    So I picked up a very nice, black, textured surface, 14x17" plastic board that wipes dry so easily and is very unobtrusive sitting atop the microwave when not in use.  Sitting atop that also when not in use is a much smaller wooden board, anything 6-8" wide will do.  Cut on the wood, push it off onto the plastic.  The wood gets rinsed/bleached and tossed in the dish drain to dry.  Not ideal but it has its conveniences, and it works.

    Rick
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014