Tourne vs Paring

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by honeybear85, May 30, 2012.

  1. honeybear85

    honeybear85

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    Ok, so, I start class at LCB Atlanta in July. I've been told there are odds and ends that I need to add to my tool kit such as a digi scale. I have been told by some staff and students at LCB that I should invest in a tourne knife. Some others tell me to just use the paring knife that comes in the tool kit. Any advice? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Buy one and see what you think. I think a Forschner "bird's beak" runs around $10 with either the Rosewood or Fibrox handle.

    I found them difficult to sharpen, not much help, and generally preferred a "sheep's foot" profile for doing that sort of nit-picky, garde work; but (a) I was never very good at it; and (b) you should make up your own mind.

    BDL
     
  3. twyst

    twyst

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    I find a birds beak knife is a big help, but dont invest in an expensive one for two reasons.  

    A. they are hard to sharpen

    B. You wont be making very many tournes in the real world so the knife wont get much use.
     
  4. duckfat

    duckfat

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  5. michaelga

    michaelga

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    My $.02

    Get a really good sheeps foot style blade.   Forget about the other paring / birds / etc.

    The curve on a birds is so large (in diameter) that it is not noticeable unless you were peeling a pumpkin... which wouldn't work because the blade is so small.

    A regular paring knife also is kinda silly because it has a stabbing tip profile when most of the work you will do with it is a fine slicing profile.  

    Most of your small cuts are also straight cuts... think about making a strawberry fan.  Do you want the cut to end exactly where the knife went in... or slightly short of that point?

    Get a sheeps foot  (straight edge) 3-4 inch granton edge knife with whatever handle fits your hand the best.

    Make sure you sharpen it correctly and don't twist or pry with it.
     
  6. honeybear85

    honeybear85

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    Maybe I should have been a tad more specific. Which of the two is easier to use to make a proper tourne? I have found a good pro grade tourne that is only going to be $40 after my discount, so price isn't an issue. I just want to make damn sure I can make a good enough tourne. However, I am also going to look into a sheeps foot knife as well. Also, are there any places that anyone can suggest for engraving? I intend on having my knives ingraved since from what I hear, they have a tendency to grow legs at school. Thanks again!!!!!!!
     
  7. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Get the cheap Forschner/Victorinox.  Bird's beaks are shaped for turning, but the knives tend to get lost in vegetable trimmings and thrown out . D.A.M.H.I.K.T.....
     
  8. chefedb

    chefedb

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    In my day we did not have but exactly what is in a Garde"Manger kit??
     
  9. duckfat

    duckfat

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    Garde Manger kits or carving kits come in quite a range of sizes Ed but they usually have a birds beak, zester, melon baller butter curler etc.

    Dave
     
  10. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    A tourne knife aka bird's beak or bec d'oiseau, makes doing classic turned vegetables slightly easier for some people; but only very slightly and only for some.

    If you can't tourne with a $5, disposable serrated paring knife, you can't tourne with anything. So, the first thing to do is learn to make the cut(s) competently with some sort of ordinary paring knife.

    I may not be the right person to talk, because I was never very good at doing decorative cuts. However, like many other people, I find getting my thumb on the length of the blade more helpful than a curved blade itself; so -- as I said -- I preferred a sheep's foot.

    Before you dump $40 (way too much!) on a tourne knife, you also want to consider that they're a bear to sharpen. It's not that you can't sharpen them --you can -- but, because you have to use a slip (or something else that will fit inside the curve), you end up not going through the entire sequence that gets you the sharp, fine edge which works best for vegetables. If you don't care much about truly sharp edges -- and quite a few people don't -- that may not be a drawback. But, drawback or not it segues to the $40. Spending that kind of money on a 2-1/2" knife which can't and won't ever get sharp after loosing it's factory edge is nuts.

    My advice is still to get a $5 Forschner bird's beak, try it out and see what you think.
    [​IMG]
    If you want to get a better knife down the road (although there may not be a better bird's beak, all in all), you can always find someone kind enough to take your money.

    Also, learn to sharpen.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
  11. duckfat

    duckfat

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    A birds beak will give most users a tiny bit more control as you cut the arch.  $40 is more than a bit over the top for a tourne knife unless you are buying a pairing knife. For that price buy an inexpensive Garde Manger kit with a birds beak or just go for the forschner.  Spending more will not improve your technique.

    Dave
     
  12. honeybear85

    honeybear85

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    Ok, so, I've decided to just stick with the paring knife that come in the school issued tool kit. If I happen to need something else latet then I'll worry about it then. Thanks so much for all the great advice!!!
     
  13. pohaku

    pohaku

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    I like the Forschner bird's beak.  Works well and and cheap enough to be basically disposable.  When it gets dull, get another.
     
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012
  14. peloton

    peloton

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    Just graduated from LCB Austin and was one of the first classes to go through the new program. First off you dont need the digi scale unless you are in the pastry program. You do have one session where you are in bake shop but digital scales are provided. There were maybe 3 or 4 things that I bought that help. Each for less than $10. If you want a tourne knife then you can get one at Williams Sonoma for $10 but you get a discount there so it'll be cheaper. The one I purchased was the orange birds beak http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/kuhn-rikon-essential-paring-knife-set/?pkey=cvegetable-tools 

    Next I would highly recommend buying another peeler. You can keep the one in your kit for julienning vegetables if you want but you're better off going for Kuhn one, less than $4. Makes peeling faster and when you have a timed knife skills assessment it will be a life saver. http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/kuhn-rikon-peeler/?pkey=cpeelers 

    Get a cheap bench scraper. You can get one from Walmart for like $2. It comes in handy especially when cleaning your station.

    You can get a zester or wait for the class one to free up. 

    And last but not least, kitchen shears.

    I was lucky enough to renew my lease at my apt complex 1-2 months into the start of the program and got a free months rent, I used that free rent to buy a new chefs knife and boning knife. The boning knife I got from a sporting goods store in the fishing dept. Extremely sharp and flexible. But that was my preference. 
     
  15. jccampb

    jccampb

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  16. jccampb

    jccampb

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    well I ordered the birds beak on line from Chefs ... it's "moosy-er" than my old black handle beak. Does feel fine in the hand but the haft is between 2/3rds to 3/4s of an inch longer before you get to the actual 'blade. It'll probably take some 'getting used to' ... to say the least. Nothing in the catalog gave me a clew that it was so much heftier. Most of my cutting is done with my right handed Shun Pro "Usuba bocho" a 'handed' knife (right handed in my case) it has only an angle on one side and that is a 15 degree angle as compared to a 20 degree European knife, and the other side is flat with a slight (ura oshi) scallop in it (honyaki steel, and handmade). The shape is "higashigata" style (the square tip) a far cry from this knife. for heavier work I use a 10" French Chef or my 8" Ken Onion multi-tasker from Shun.