"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cookware and Accessories > Knives
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-15-2010, 02:14 PM   #61
Head Chef
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Richmond, Va
Posts: 1,228
One day I am going to buy a pair of CCK cleavers and learn to chop meat like those guys on TV. I chop most of my meat instead of grinding, and good chef's can do in minutes what takes me a half hour.
__________________

__________________
Bigjim68 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2010, 02:36 PM   #62
Executive Chef
 
justplainbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Eastern Long Island, New York
Posts: 4,206
Would that I had room for a real butcher's chopping block.
__________________

__________________
justplainbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2010, 05:47 PM   #63
Head Chef
 
Rob Babcock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,281
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaybett View Post
A large part of what makes a gyuto a functional knife is the Japanese steel. A cleaver can be made of cheap steel, and still be able to perform at a high level. The extra weight of the cleaver, makes it ideal for chopping. The extra width is a built in knife guard. As long as the cleaver isn't raised above the knuckles, its hard to cut oneself. Also the extra width, is a plus for board management. Jay
I can see your points. Of course the extra weight is something I view as a negative, not a plus. One of the things I enjoy about a gyuto is the light weight, something that's especially nice if you spend ten hours with the knife in your hand. My knives rely on sharpness instead of weight.

The lack of a tip makes the cleaver a little less useful for detail work IMOHO. While I've seen guys like Martin Yan do amazing things with one I'm still happier to have tip for many things.

That's not to take away from the usefulness of the cleaver. It's a design that's stood the test of time. Still, I think there are good reasons that it's never caught on as a "Jack of all trades" blade in the West.
__________________
If we're not supposed to eat animals, then how come they're made out of meat?
Rob Babcock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2010, 05:04 AM   #64
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Babcock View Post
I can see your points. Of course the extra weight is something I view as a negative, not a plus. One of the things I enjoy about a gyuto is the light weight, something that's especially nice if you spend ten hours with the knife in your hand. My knives rely on sharpness instead of weight.

The lack of a tip makes the cleaver a little less useful for detail work IMOHO. While I've seen guys like Martin Yan do amazing things with one I'm still happier to have tip for many things.

That's not to take away from the usefulness of the cleaver. It's a design that's stood the test of time. Still, I think there are good reasons that it's never caught on as a "Jack of all trades" blade in the West.

A Chinese vegetable cleaver can be made out of low quality steel and still perform at a high level. Probably better then a German knives and on par with Gyutos. The steel is soft so it needs to be sharpened more then a Gyutos.

I am not aware of any Gyuto design that can be made with low quality steel, and still perform at a high level. The Gyuto pattern needs a higher quality steel. To be fair all purpose or chopping cleavers, also require higher quality steel.

Cleavers and nakiris are quite often faulted for their lack of tip. Lifting the handle of either knife and they become over sized box knives.

I've seen videos of cooks prepping, where they put the tip of the knife down and pull back through the food. Typically they have to lift the handle fairly high get the tip down. A cleaver doesn't have to be lifted that much, and there is all that weight on the tip.

The only cut that is not a strength for a cleaver, is the slice. But hey that's why I own a Sujihiki but so do most Gyuto owners.

The Sujihiki is an excellent slicer, and some cooks will use it as their chef's knife. One of the winner's from Top Chef, uses a Misono. Most cooks don't care for the Sujihiki as their primary knife. It's a knife where the cook has to do all the work.

A gyuto with its extra weight will do some of the work. Put the knife on top of the food push or pull and the gyuto will glide through the food. Add the weight of a cleaver and it will fall through food.

The cleaver is such an alien knife, that most people comfortable with
European or Japanese knives do not like it. There is a learning curve to the cleaver, most people are not willing to go through the process. I've been playing with full size cleavers for three years now, and still feel like I am just scratching the surface.

Jay
__________________
jaybett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2010, 07:01 AM   #65
Head Chef
 
Rob Babcock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,281
I agree that a gyuto must be made of a good steel. Most of the world disagrees, though- the ubiquitous "chef's knife" is a gyuto with more belly and sub-par steel. While I agree that the corner of a cleaver can be useful it's not really a substitute for a tip for all uses.

A suji is a great knife, and I'd hate to be without one. It can do many of the things a gyuto is used for. It isn't ideal for chopping but it can be used for that. True, slicing is not the forte of a cleaver. A gyuto or suji is better for that.

As a professional cook I can do 95% of my knife work with a gyuto, if I have to. But it's not always the best tool for the job. No one pattern could possibly be the best for all jobs. The strength of the gyuto is that it's acceptable for nearly everything. I frequently use a nakiri for veggies, a petty for fruit, a suji for meat and fish and various specialized knives for boning or cutting meat. I also keep a Western Deba for the heavy jobs.

I do have a soft spot for the cleaver, though. I used to use them more back before I got into Japanese knives. Someday I'll probably have to get a really good one, maybe try get the cleaver back into the rotation.
__________________
If we're not supposed to eat animals, then how come they're made out of meat?
Rob Babcock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2010, 01:40 PM   #66
Senior Cook
 
jpaulg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Posts: 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Babcock View Post
I agree that a gyuto must be made of a good steel. Most of the world disagrees, though- the ubiquitous "chef's knife" is a gyuto with more belly and sub-par steel.
Some people would say that gyutos use very expensive "super steel" that is trying to get the same performance as Carbon Steel but ultimately is inferior in performance to a Carbon Steel Chef's knife.
__________________
jpaulg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2010, 06:24 PM   #67
Head Chef
 
Rob Babcock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,281
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpaulg View Post
Some people would say that gyutos use very expensive "super steel" that is trying to get the same performance as Carbon Steel but ultimately is inferior in performance to a Carbon Steel Chef's knife.
Haha! Well played! Of course, there are many gyutos made of out "plain old vanilla" carbon steel. In fact, many gyutos and most highly regarded single bevel knives are carbon, be it Aogami, Shirogami, etc. Blue Paper #2, White Steel, Yellow Steel, all carbon.

What is inferior and and is superior? That's a bit more complicated than it would appear on the face of things. Better or worse for what? The mythology of carbon is that it takes a better edge, and there's a lot of truth to this. The reality of this (IMO) is that edge retention of carbon is a serious step below that of the "super steels." Which is more important to you? I can get some tools steels close enough to the edge of my Aogami that I defy you to tell the difference, and that edge will last much longer. So far I've found nothing that can match the edge retention of SRS-15, although that one doesn't get quite as sharp as Ao.

I will say the "bloom is off the rose" for me re VG-10 and SG-2, especially the latter. There are probably some great knives made from it but for the price there are tool steels that hold an edge roughly as well and carbons that get sharper. VG-10 is a great "daily driver"- it doesn't excel at anything but it's very competent at most everything.

One thing that's great about the better carbon steels is that the grain structure seems very fine and they can be hardened to pretty high RC levels. This lets them take a very acute edge and hold it.

I do share your affection for carbon, jpaulg, but I've owned, used, and sharpened enough "exotic" knives to have a halfway informed opinion about some of them. There are some tool steels and "exotic" stainless steels that I rather like.

But I don't see getting rid of my Aogami Super anytime soon.
__________________
If we're not supposed to eat animals, then how come they're made out of meat?
Rob Babcock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2010, 06:32 PM   #68
Head Chef
 
Rob Babcock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,281
As for the the gyuto vs chef's knife, that comes down to what you need. The chef's knife is like a Gerber multi-tool or Swiss Army Knife; it's a knife designed to do many things competently but does few things extremely well. A gyuto does many things extremely well, but is perhaps competent within a bit narrower range. By that I mean there are a few tasks that many gyutos may be a bit delicate for. Of course that depends on the gyuto. They range from "lasers" at one end to "mighty knives" at the other. I wouldn't be afraid to use my Hiromoto AS for some heavy jobs. But you'd be nuts to split a chicken with a TC Blades Laser or Konosuke HD!

Mostly I just can't live with a full bolster anymore. If you were to take a vintage sab and reduce the bolster I'd definitely find a spot for it in my kit.
__________________
If we're not supposed to eat animals, then how come they're made out of meat?
Rob Babcock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2010, 08:29 PM   #69
Senior Cook
 
jpaulg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Posts: 208
For me its the ease of sharpening that has moved me from the hard 'supersteels' to CS. Two or three strokes on a slick steel and you're back to shaving sharpness. When you put them on the stones you only need to use the lightest pressure to get a full edge back on them.

Having said that CS is a PITA to keep rust free and the patina makes the knives look shopworn. Also CS Sabatiers are much more lightly built than their Inox cousins and are closer to a Gyuto in terms of their ability to perform delicate tasks.

Agree totally about finger guard making sharpening more difficult but it isn't too much work to grind it off. If you do that make sure you round off the back, I've shed blood on 90 degree corners with CS knives - I cut through my knife callous when I got my first CS Sab simply from using a pinch grip.

Having said that if you do go down the path of non-standard knives I think that you should either go all CS or all supersteel. Having half your knife roll sharpen radically differently to the other half isn't something I'm signing up for again.

I love my single bevel CS J-knives, but they're not for dilettantes. You have to be serious about using them to get the best out of them.
__________________
jpaulg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2010, 10:19 PM   #70
Head Chef
 
Rob Babcock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,281
Very true. If regular a German blade is like a dirt bike and a Western-style J-knife is like a Hayabusa then a single bevel J is like a Ducati.
__________________

__________________
If we're not supposed to eat animals, then how come they're made out of meat?
Rob Babcock is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:48 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.