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Old 12-13-2007, 12:39 AM   #1
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Santoku vs Chef's knife

I seem to see santokus a lot on food network shows. What can they do that plaid old chef's knives can't do? Or is it just a preference? The Wikipedia articles say the santoku started out as a modified chef's knife & is used mostly on fish, vegetables & meat. The chef's knife started out as a butcher's knife & is used for more than the santoku because of the angle on the edge. Which does everyone prefer?


vs
?

A cool idea I read on Wikipedia is to make the tip area as sharp as possible (for mincing, etc) & give the middle part a longer-lasting edge for general use.

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Old 12-13-2007, 06:31 AM   #2
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A big part of it is personal preference. Comfort in use is a factor in preference.

The cutting/chopping motion is a little different from that with the chef's knife. Also, the chef's knife blade is often thicker/heavier.

Either will work in the majority of cases. Let your comfort level decide.
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:33 AM   #3
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This is what I've been using. I got it before they became very popular, hence the lack of cullens. I like my chef's knife, too, but I reach for the santoku more often.
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Old 12-13-2007, 09:13 AM   #4
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the hollow grinds (culens) are said to allow for easy release of foods but I find that is not true by and large. Recently read that the grinds are to prevent food from tearing as you slice it thinly (meat fish cheese etc) and that I do find true.
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:14 AM   #5
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The santoku posted by the original poster is a santoku. They have a flat blade, not curved. The new santoku's are more like hybrid santoku/chef knives. I can chop veggies, remove the stem of a tomato and break down a chicken all with my chef knife.

...don't tell anyone, but they open stock cans pretty good too.
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:30 AM   #6
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The wikipedia thing said genuine santokus don't have the dents in them, and the best of the best are made with a laminate blade, like a samurai sword I guess.
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:53 AM   #7
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Those are hand made damascus blades. If you have a coupla grand to shell out on a knife, be my guest.
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:11 PM   #8
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I think Santokus became popular because of popularization of Japanese cuisine. I might be wrong of course. It seems that Santokus have replaced what cleaver used to be in European kitchens. Just lie all of a sadden Sushi has become a staple for so many restaurants. So did santoku knives became staple in many of our kitchens. Though I have 2 of them I tend to reach for chef’s knife or a cleaver more. Also I think the original Japanese knife might be some what different than the ones we see in stores now. Now the question is if I am right about it being Japanese, maybe I’m wrong on that one.
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:19 PM   #9
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Oh, speaking of opening cans. Years ago I went to Bukka, and they served the big platter on the top of canned tomatoes. So I asked waiter if tomatoes were also for us. So he laughed in my face and said:” sure if you can open it…”

Ha-ha-ha, was I laughing when I was looking at his twisted face when he came back and so me opening the can with the knife that was on the table, what is it knife called, you know knife and fork, the regular stuff. He could never imagine that the dull knife like that can be used to open a can. I guess he never was in the Soviet army.
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Old 12-13-2007, 05:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieD View Post
Oh, speaking of opening cans. Years ago I went to Bukka, and they served the big platter on the top of canned tomatoes. So I asked waiter if tomatoes were also for us. So he laughed in my face and said:” sure if you can open it…”

Ha-ha-ha, was I laughing when I was looking at his twisted face when he came back and so me opening the can with the knife that was on the table, what is it knife called, you know knife and fork, the regular stuff. He could never imagine that the dull knife like that can be used to open a can. I guess he never was in the Soviet army.
Back in the days when the US Army had it's own cooks (instead of contractors / catering services), like during the Korean War and the early days of the VietNam War, many army cooks opened their #10 cans with their cooks knife. Considering the quantities of food they prepared, it wasn't half bad. I still miss the Army's New Year's day breakfasts of black eyed beans. Wish I had the recipe.
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