Saturday, April 28, 2018

LAW 148: Take care of your tools

If you are a serious cook, or even half way serious about cooking the single most important tool you have is your knife. Without a good sharp, did i mention sharp? knife you are putting your fingers at risk. I know a lot of people actually seem to prefer a dull knife; i guess they feel safer, the opposite is actually true.

I just had to replace my cherished Old Hickory chef's knife, see picture below.

Yes, these are the same knives!

I have used this knife for over twenty years; i took it with me when i was cooking for Mungo Jerry's Fat Cat Cafe, i took it with me when i left after three years there.

Years of use!

I also know a lot of people prefer stainless steel knives; i have to respectfully disagree with them. Yes, i will concede that they are minimally easier to care for as they don't rust. But, and it is a very big but, no matter how sharp they are when new they simply do not hold an edge and have a very limited life span. They don't stay sharp and are difficult to sharpen.

Did i mention that a high end stainless steel knife is expensive?

If you cherish your fingers and an excellently sharp knife, one that takes only a few swipes on a steel to regain its razor sharp edge look no further than a high carbon steel knife. Yes they will rust if not dried properly, yes they develop a beautiful patina over the years, losing the bright shiny surface they come with. I'll take sharp over shiny any day.

A knife for every season

Since these knives retail in the $20 range i think i got my money's worth. If you look at my knife rack i think it is pretty easy to tell that all of my knives are high carbon steel. Some are "heirlooms", passed down through my husband's family, some that i bought when i was a very young woman, first starting my kitchen odyssey.

I own only one stainless knife, it's new, a replacement for my filet knife that somehow disappeared. I mean, i live on a boat, we eat a lot of fish. I simply have to have a good filet knife.

a good Finnish fish filet knife

I also really appreciate that Old Hickory is an American company; they have been making these excellent knives since 1924.

Did i mention i have my own sushi knife?

More later,