Jamie Oliver

forum: Food & Drink

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#1 Sun 17 Feb 13 9:13pm


Occupation warehouseman
From leeds (uk)
Member since Fri 17 Apr 09


Hi, im looking for a good set of knives or even 1 good knife im fed up of trying to sharpen mine with no results so they are like they are on tv. any ideas for keeping them sharp or ideas for knives will be gratefull.

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#2 Sun 17 Feb 13 10:12pm


Forum champ
Occupation Handyman
From Dorset u.k
Member since Tue 21 Oct 08

Re: knives

any knife needs looking after, and regular maintainance....so, a knife that would suit me may not suit you...sir..

Try them out where possible...get a feel of the balance of the knife...though bear in mind that regular "Honing" is better than occasional "Sharpening"....

I quite like Sabatier, and can get them from TKMax amongst others...but check the blade for imperfections/warping and the handle...they do get "Seconds"...

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#3 Sun 17 Feb 13 10:47pm


Forum super champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: knives

Yes, you must try them out. The right knife is the knife that feels right in your hand. As for sharpening, can't say I'm great, so every so often I take my most used ones to my butcher and he does them when he has time. Need to have a good relationship with your butcher, though.

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#4 Sun 17 Feb 13 11:56pm


Forum champ
Occupation Why is the Rum always gone???!
From out to lunch
Member since Sat 07 Jan 06

Re: knives

I can give you my personal ideas and preferences but as with most things that involve the use of tools, everyones personal preference will vary.

In general I stay away from knive sets.  Having a bunch of knives with all the same look in a block may be pretty but function is more important to me. 

Second thing to think about is function.  I have a small selection of knives that do a large amount of the work I need .   

A  couple of paring/utility knives . The ones I have  are  fairly inexpensive drop forged ones made in portugal.  I have a straight and birdsbeak.  the birdsbeak is good for a few techinical things but not really necessary.

A 20 cm /8 inch chef's knife.   this is a good size for a homecook.  This is a workhorse knife that sees a lot of use.  this is  the place to put a bit of extra money to get a better quality knife.  I have a Shun classic  . This is a fairly high end knife but there are lots of good med range knives to choose from.. Just remember to pick them up and get a feel for what is comfortable in your hands.

A heavy chopping blade.  This could be a cleaver or just a asian style veg chopping blade. ( think smaller cleaver)   Unless you are a bit obsesive about knives like me, I would just find a decent cheap cleaver from an asian  market.  I have a Shun classic Nakiri

A good serrated knife.  about 25 to 30 cm long.   These hardly ever need sharpening and as long as it feels heavy for its size  with what looks like decent quality ( full tang and nice handle)  it can be fairly inexpensive.I beleive mine is a tramontina .

With these you can do 99% of anything you ever need to do in a kitchen.

If you really want. a long slicer/carver  is also an option, but a sharp chefs knife should do anything it can do with a little care.

as for maintaining.    a  decent steel for honing and   for standard western style straight edge knives a decent sharpening system  like  lansky hand sharpener kit.  A typical home cook shouldn't have to use this more than once or twice a year if they are vigilant about using their honing steel before and after use.  Sharpening too much will wear out your knives prematurely whereas honing maintians the edge with little wear. ( as long as you don't get into ceramic or diamond steels. these can bring up a great edge but they take material off whereas a standard steel is more about reshaping the fine edge of the knife)

A good tip if you are worried more about function than looks is to find a restaurant supply place and buy the commercial version of certain brands.   they will usually have nylon and or   brightly coloured handles  but the blades themselves are great quality and value.  I know victorinox makes a commercial range.

Only a fool argues with a skunk, a mule or a cook.  { cowboy saying}
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#5 Mon 18 Feb 13 12:15am


Forum super champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: knives

I agree with Ashen. I was given a set of knives in a block as a house-warming gift. They were all wrong (for me in my hand) for me. I felt ungrateful but I had to return them.

I bought loose ones from a restaurant supply shop. They might not look as good as the sets but they are right for me. I also had one of those magnetic strips installed in my prep area. The knives are at hand and precious bench space has been freed up.

Last edited by Maree (Mon 18 Feb 13 12:17am)

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#6 Mon 18 Feb 13 11:55pm


Forum champ
Occupation Shop worker/KP/ Commis chef
From UK/Germany
Member since Wed 28 Oct 09

Re: knives

Using a steel seems impossible a t first but you will get used to it, I did, so it must be possible. You need to have an edge to start with, a sharpener usually does this. A steal maintains it.
http://www.channel4.com/programmes/gord … nife-video
Good luck!

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