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Why is it so difficult to find a bread knife?

Unless you're cutting hard, crusty breads, you don't need a serrated edge. The serrations help break thru the crust, but that's about it.

I get a much nicer cut thru my bread (& bagels) using my 8.3" gyuto than I do using my serrated bread knife.

1 day ago
Eiron in Cookware

Shun Fuji vs. Miyagi Birchwood SG2 7" Santoku

Well, I didn't see either CBAD or Chem address this comment (& I've been purposefully staying out of the conversation), so I'll throw it out on the table:

"It is true that all Asian knives get more brittle as they get sharper, leading to chipping. That certainly includes all VG/10 core knives, including Classic knives made by Shun."

Actually, all of the experience (of mine & all others I've read) is the exact opposite of your statement. First off, there is no steel that will "get more brittle" as you sharpen it. The steel will be as brittle as it is when it's manufactured, after the tempering stage, sharpened or not. But perhaps you meant that thinning an edge (during sharpening) will allow a brittle steel to more easily chip?

Secondly, I believe the consensus on Shun VG-10 knives is that they become LESS chippy after several sharpening sessions, especially if they are hand-sharpened. Other manufacturers of VG-10 knives seem to have different tempering methods from Shun, and so don't experience the same degree of chippiness right out of the box.

Of course, as CBAD mentioned, I'm sharing this info not only for you, but also for those gaining knowledge from this discussion.

Mar 14, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

The search for a decent stovetop espresso maker (moka pot)

I bought one from my local kitchen shop, made by Alfa Inox. It makes moka coffee at least as good as the Bialetti aluminum pots. I used several Bialetti aluminum pots for more than 20 yrs before buying this stainless one. I used the Alfa for maybe eight years before getting my Quick Mill espresso machine.

(I noticed there's one for sale on Etsy right now.)

:-)

Mar 13, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Shun Fuji vs. Miyagi Birchwood SG2 7" Santoku

"<CBD is dead right>

I thought only Eiron calls him that. Guess not. :)"

You're close ...

I use CBAD

:-)

Mar 11, 2015
Eiron in Cookware
1

Good strong coffee at home

I would also recommend adding a moka pot alongside your drip brewer. That'll provide more satisfying results than trying to find one machine that'll "do it all".

Mar 08, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Good strong coffee at home

Actually, there IS a reason why you don't want to use espresso grind in your drip brewer:
over-extraction

Any coffee-making process is a balance between the beans & the water. Finer grinds require shorter water contact times, while coarser grinds require longer contact times. That's why espresso ("fast" in Italian) uses such a fine grind - it's extracted quickly - & why French press uses an extra-coarse grind for its long soak.

Putting extra-fine espresso grind in your drip brewer will provide a wonderfully astringent, bitter brew.

Mar 08, 2015
Eiron in Cookware
2

Shun Fuji vs. Miyagi Birchwood SG2 7" Santoku

I prefer Pakkawood over POM/acetal (Delrin), but the Birchwood is simply beautiful! :-)

Mar 03, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Shun Fuji vs. Miyagi Birchwood SG2 7" Santoku

Well, it's got the "traditional D-shaped style handle," & I don't see a lefty version offered at C&M (or SLT).

If you have a Bed, Bath & Beyond nearby (or SLT, or WS), they might carry either the Shun or Miyabi knives with this handle style. Not all BBBs carry all of the knives, so call first.

Mar 03, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Shun Fuji vs. Miyagi Birchwood SG2 7" Santoku

The (original?) Shun Kramers -
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/756181

I haven't tried the Zwilling Kramers yet, & I probably won't go out of my way to find them. As soon as I can get my shop relocated & set up, I'll be working on the revisions to my Provision Knives.
:-)

Mar 02, 2015
Eiron in Cookware
1

Shun Fuji vs. Miyagi Birchwood SG2 7" Santoku

Personally, I'd buy the Miyabi Birchwood.
I used the 8" gyuto in the Sur la Table store & preferred its balance, ergonomics & appearance over all of the Shuns & Kramers they had.

Mar 02, 2015
Eiron in Cookware
1

Best pot/pan (or cleaning technique) for low & slow scrambled eggs?

It's the constantly decreasing burner temp that allows the eggs to release from the pan. Your (Gordon's) method of removing/replacing the eggs over a hotter burner is what's causing your sticking problem.

If you don't want to (slightly) change the finish on your cooking method, I'm okay with that. I just didn't realize that was a fixed parameter.

Jan 17, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Best pot/pan (or cleaning technique) for low & slow scrambled eggs?

Sorry I didn't see this sooner.

The method I've arrived at is done on an electric ceramic cooktop stove, meaning it's VERY unresponsive to changes in burner temperature.

What I do for my own l-n-s scrambled eggs is cook them until they're close to being done, then turn OFF the burner & continuously stir the eggs as they finish on the cooling burner.

This method has always worked for me in either my AC Copper Core SS or Calphalon SS omelette pans. The pans finish almost completely clean of egg residue.
:-)

Jan 14, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Sharpening Stones

From my own experience, I use a Spyderco ceramic "medium" bench stone on all of my softer Forschner/Henckels/Wusthof knives. It's a little more expensive ($45), but it doesn't wear out or need any maintenance or prep other than an occasional cleaning with a green Scotchbright pad. I always splash it with water while I sharpen to help keep it from clogging up.

http://www.redsgear.com/spyderco-benc...

I can also tell you that a $25 "medium" grit Japanese waterstone is much faster cutting on these softer knives. But, as CBAD said, it'll take soaking prep & occasional flattening maintenance as it wears. I'd buy either a 1000 or 1200 grit to keep Forschners sharper than new.

http://www.mikestools.com/Sharpening-...

I like the faster cutting of the waterstones, but always use the ceramic on these softer knives because of its easy care & eternal life.

Jan 02, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Can you help me identify this (Japanese?) knife?

I bought a very similar "Three Rams" #2 knife from a local thrift store. This website refers to it as a fruit knife:
http://www.chasesupplies.com/brands/T...

Sep 16, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

A Knife Made By A Chowhound (our own Eiron): an overdue review

CBAD, I've finaly got the new handle design worked out. I've pushed the 'fall-off' point back a bit & kicked the underside 'hook' out. This should help a lot with balance, but allow me to maintain ergonomics with final wood shaping.

Yes, I think you're right (at this stage) regarding time spent on finishing. Thanks for the Murray Carter suggestion! I've been thinking of going with two lines (each of different finish), but I might just offer one with an 'option' for polish.

Sep 06, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

A Knife Made By A Chowhound (our own Eiron): an overdue review

Thanks Chem! :-)

Sep 06, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

A Knife Made By A Chowhound (our own Eiron): an overdue review

Thanks sherrib! Regarding marketing/pricing, you're correct. Overall, the votes are in favor of 'rustic', so that's my plan at this point. :-)

Sep 06, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

A Knife Made By A Chowhound (our own Eiron): an overdue review

I think my preference is for the tung oil finish. I didn't really care for the other finishes I tried.

However, the cherry is very fine-grained, so the Salad Bowl finish might provide better results on a heavier-grained wood like the black walnut or the oak. I might give that a try, just to see what it feels like. :-)

Aug 15, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

A Knife Made By A Chowhound (our own Eiron): an overdue review

Well, I did notice when I visited him again 6 more months later that his santoku was still very sharp & only required a touch-up sharpening. He admitted that he switched from plastic to wood, so my feeling is that it IS due to the cutting surface.

Aug 15, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Best 8" Chef's Knife $100 or Less

:-D I actually had something next to my arm (I don't remember what it was now) that I rested the handle on. The difficult part was getting a 'clean' reflection on the blade! I had to tilt the blade until the relection was clear, then pick up the camera & adjust the zoom's focal length, then take the picture. Usually my arm would move slightly while I was making those actions, ruining the tilt angle, so then I'd have to do it all again. It took a LOT longer than I would've thought to get that image!

Aug 14, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Best 8" Chef's Knife $100 or Less

I would suggest (as others have) an affordable knife & a single waterstone.

If you want a thin, light blade with great maneuverability & excellent cutting abilities, then I'd recommend a Forschner Rosewood knife. I greatly prefer the rosewood handles (over the more common Fibrox material) for overall usability & balance.

Similarly, you don't have to spend a lot to get a good waterstone. I started with both a 1000 grit & a 6000 grit waterstones, but you don't really need the 6000. You could easily get a 1200 (or 1000) & be happy with that forever.

The knife might be this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-8-In...

I'd get the stone from these guys:
http://www.mikestools.com/Power-Tool-...

The attached picture is of my Forschner Rosewood Santoku, sharpened on a 1000 grit Splex waterstone. I also used a leather strop with CrO polishing abrasive, but simple stropping on paper or cardboard works almost as well.

Aug 14, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

A Knife Made By A Chowhound (our own Eiron): an overdue review

No pictures? Bad Chem! :-D

Thanks again to both you & CBAD (& a few others!) for taking the time & effort to provide feedback on these initial efforts! It's really helping me a LOT in the advancement of my designs.

Handle finish - The Salad Bowl finish consistently got the most praise for appearance, as it's really a very thin urethane. The tung oil finish (on CBAD's knife) got the highest marks for feel, as it left more of a natural wood grip to it. I tried several other finshes as well.

Edge retention - I gave one of my cousins a 155mm santoku & another cousin a 210mm gyuto I had made, then visited them after 6 months. (Neither knife had been sharpened during this time.) The one using the santoku was cutting on one of those roll-up plastic cutting boards, while the one using the gyuto was cutting on a wood board. The santoku was terribly dull, but the gyuto was still reasonably sharp! I sharpened both knives for them, then told my cousin (using plastic) that he was "being beaten" (in edge performance) by the cousin using wood. I visited him again 6 more months later. The santoku was still very sharp! He admitted that he switched from plastic to wood .... :-)

I'm still using D2 for all of my new knives, as I like the combination of strength, toughness, & sharpen-ability. In this next group of knives, I'm also trying one knife out of CPM D2. It's a more expensive steel, but if I notice any improvements it might be worth the upgrade.

Aug 11, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

A Knife Made By A Chowhound (our own Eiron): an overdue review

To answer your question about handle size/shape, I tried to match all of the handles (as close as I could, since I was doing everything "free-hand"/"by eye"). This part of the design was critical for me, since this is THE interface between user & knife. We'll see how the new, longer handles shape up .... (pun sort of intended)

In the attached picture, the only knife with a different handle shape is the far left petit gyuto, due to its smaller size.

The knives are, L to R:
150mm petit gyuto (aka 6" utility) with cherry handle
170mm santoku with cherry handle (Chem's review)
210mm gyuto with oak handle
8" chef with black walnut handle
240mm gyuto with black walnut handle (CBAD's review)

Aug 11, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

A Knife Made By A Chowhound (our own Eiron): an overdue review

I'll answer a few items in CBAD's review first.

Convex Grind - I'm going to reduce this quite a bit. Since it didn't accomplish its intent (to reduce food sticking to the blade), there's no reason to keep this relatively dramatic curveto the 'wall' of the blade. CBAD made a good suggestion to convex one side, so that's what I'll try next. This should reduce the resistance quite a bit.

Feel - The new handles will be a bit longer, & I'll use three pins rather than two. This will provide better balance for the larger/longer blades, & give an immediate feel of 'familiarity' when picking up the knife for the first time. Of course, the challenge will be incorporating my same concern for maintaining ergonomics when there's more handle than you really need. ;-)

Finish - Although I kinda like the 'rustic' grind finish to the blade, I might try a slightly more 'refined' polish for the next group. But really, I'm torn between the more hand-made look (visible grind marks) & the store-bought look (polished). So if anyone cares to offer an opinion, I'm all ears.

Aug 11, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

A Knife Made By A Chowhound (our own Eiron): an overdue review

Hey everyone, sorry for not responding quicker!

Thanks to CBAD & Chem for taking the time to critique my initial attempts at knife-making. And thanks to everyone for the positive responses, too - it's very encouraging!

For the past year I've been sending these first knives out all over the country, asking friends & family members for opinions. Based on what I've been hearing, I AM going to make some changes.

Unfortunately, I don't have time right now to elaborate, but I will come back & answer some of the questions raised in the reviews, & I'll also outline the planned changes.

:-)

Aug 04, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

My Wusthof Knife is NEVER sharp enough...please help!

First of all, I don't think Chem would EVER do anything to a knife's edge capricously. He's accumulated too much knife knowledge to do that!

Secondly, I agree with him. I, too, think that most people believe their knives must maintain a specific, marketing-defined edge in order to 'work'. That's just not true! In fact, it's not even necessary to keep the edge angle constant! Before the proliferation of 'sharpening systems', all knives were sharpened by hand once they left the factory. (And what did people do before knives came out of factories?!? The horror!!)
Y'know what? It simply doesn't matter.
Sorry, but it's true.

Thirdly, if you hired ME to sharpen your knife, I'd try to evaluate what edge angle YOU would most benefit from. Playing into that would be the quality of the knife, the manner in which you use it, the surfaces you cut on, & your tolerance for having it resharpened sooner rather than later.

Remember, it's just a sharp piece of steel. Use what works best for you.
Everything's a trade-off.
Nothing's set in stone.
(Or steel, as the case may be.)

May 15, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Coffee Grinder Question? Please help.

I used a blade grinder for about 20 yrs before buying my first burr grinder. I now own three burr grinders & no blade grinders. :-) And I could immediately taste the improvement switching from a blade grinder to a burr grinder.

But it sounds like you're really asking if you should keep the expensive burr grinder or get a cheap burr grinder instead? If that's your question, I'd say keep the better grinder. As long as the price doesn't bother YOU, then use it happily! I've only used one sub-$100 burr grinder, the Cuisinart, & it wasn't worthy of the name.

Apr 28, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Farmhouse Sinks

We also put in a 2-bowl Rohl Allia fireclay sink, about 10 or 11 yrs ago. It's still the single best improvement we made to the entire kitchen, IMO. We installed the top mount version with all the holes for fixtures (model #6327).
http://www.rohlhome.com/Kitchen/Produ...

Like Duffy describes with her Kraus, the Allia gave us HUGE amounts of extra washing-up area compared to the standard SS sink it replaced, due to all of the space created by the cast walls & small-radius corners!

Feb 28, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Olive oil dispenser for easy cooking

Hi Kaleo,

Yes, I agree on the sizes. The smallest I've found (online) is 2 liter. I'm not sure how much my cousin's fusti holds. Of course, you could always fill it only 1 liter full at a time. We go thru a fair amount of olive oil, so the convenience would be the biggest benefit for me.

I think the tops are all wide for easy filling from a bulk tin of oil? I look at oxidation with an eye towards "air exchange rate". If I had a 2 ltr fusti, then the gradual replacement of oil with a small amount of air is not so much of a concern (to me) because it's trapped inside the fusti. I wouldn't have a constant exchange of new oxygen to break down the oil. But that's just me ....

I did find one online vendor who recommended putting a shot of "Private Preserve" inert gas into the fusti when you use out of it. (Oddly enough, they DIDN'T mention filling your bulk tin with gas after you pour from it into your fusti!) I'm not sure I would care enough to go to that amount of trouble. I don't do it with my opened wine or olive oil now, so ....

:-)

Feb 28, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Olive oil dispenser for easy cooking

My cousin uses a small fusti, & I'm thinking of getting one myself:
http://www.amazon.com/M5-Corporation-...

In the meantime, I'm using a large beer bottle with an attached stopper. If you're not using steel or ceramic, brown glass seems to be the way to go to protect your liquids from damaging sunlight.

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/r...

http://brokensecrets.com/2010/03/23/w...

Feb 28, 2014
Eiron in Cookware