Best way to chop veggies

Nica

New member
I've been trying different ways of chopping the veggies. The most recent way I've been using is with a 9 1/2" SS blade. I've found that by holding this in both hands with my thumb and fore finger I have very good control. I can hold one end down to the cutting board and chop and swivel the other end at the same time for pretty precise cutting. Or, I can chop with the entire blade when the pieces are a little larger. So far this works well for me. I realize I'm holding an unprotected very sharp instrument, and must be careful of what I'm chopping, sense I'm not the most coordinated person in the neighborhood.

I have several boxes of these blades that I picked up at a surplus store when I lived in NJ, and now I think I've found a use for some of them.

However, there are probably better ways, and I'm open for suggestions.
 

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joec

New member
Gold Site Supporter
My favorite method is shown below. Chinese Chef's knives (thin cleavers).
 

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joec

New member
Gold Site Supporter
I have a bunch of them too. It and a paring knife are my main knives. :biggrin:
 

Nica

New member
After the last few days in the kitchen, I'm going to start looking for a "good" paring knife, just for me! :wink:

Non of the one's she had in the drawer were worth a hoot. I was coring apples and tomatoes and just about went nuts. I need to show her what a good knife really is.
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When I get one......
 

joec

New member
Gold Site Supporter
The best I've found and I have a few is the Shun Classic 3.5". It would the top one in the picture below.
 

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Nica

New member
Just cked internet........looks like about $110.

Just found another place......$60.
 

joec

New member
Gold Site Supporter
Yes that one is expensive but you can see the whole line here. http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/HattoriForumHighEndChefsKnives.html

Oh and Japanese Chef's knife is in Japan but delivers in about 5 days any where in the US. 3 days from Japan 1 day in customs and all shipping is $7 per order. I've purchased most of my knives from them though I have also bought from Koren's (NYC) and The Epicurean Edge (Washington State).
 

The Tourist

Banned
Nica, from your description, I assume that this strip of stainless steel is not inserted into any type of fixture with a handle, correct?

If that is the case, yes, it is extremely dangerous!

Since you mention vegetables only, you might ask JoeC if he has some leads on a knife called a nakiri.

Even one that is 'clad' like that Shun he showed you (built up in thin layers of steel) is very sharp and serveable and comes at some decent pricing.

(You might also ask him to find you an Hattori.):wub:
 

Nica

New member
Nica, from your description, I assume that this strip of stainless steel is not inserted into any type of fixture with a handle, correct?

If that is the case, yes, it is extremely dangerous!

Since you mention vegetables only, you might ask JoeC if he has some leads on a knife called a nakiri.

Even one that is 'clad' like that Shun he showed you (built up in thin layers of steel) is very sharp and serveable and comes at some decent pricing.

(You might also ask him to find you an Hattori.):wub:

Yes, you are correct.....no handles... duh.....I know I know! :eek:

What you pros need to know about me is I'm "new" to the kitchen and gardening. Really got hooked on the garden, now I'm being attracted to the kitchen as I help preserve some of the garden stuff. I'm a big ole outside welder construction kinda guy so I have no finesse at all in the kitchen.

But I'm learning fast. You all have taught me that there is a difference between a real knife and something that is "called" a knife, usually found at the local Wal-Mart.

When it cools down a bit more I'll go back and pull up the posts on sharpening. You've sparked my interest!

Really glad you knife folks are here.
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The Tourist

Banned
Nica, if you enjoy both working in the kitchen and gardening, go the website www.japanwoodworker.com

It have a wide variety of both kitchen knives and garden supplies. Their catalog--which arrives in your mailbox every 47 minutes--has even more. There are pages of chisels, woodworking tools and machinery, the real-deal from Japan.

I can attest to their customer service.

(I got a bad knife once. And I stress "once." A few days later a rep from DHL brought me a package, festoon with Japanese characters and coated with Japanese postal stamps. Inside was the replacement knife, which I believe cost less than the postage. They are serious about client expectations.)
 

joec

New member
Gold Site Supporter
Yes nakiri as a really great vegetable knife. The image below are what I have currently. They range in size from the smallest (impractical) 4" Shun to the more normal sizes of between 165mm to 170mm. These are excellent knives that range in price for about $50 and up. Well worth the money for a thin knife that comes laser sharp that can be made even sharper.

They are from top down
170mm Watanabe #1 white steel
170mm Takeda AS (super blue steel)
165mm Tojiro DP damascus clad
4" Shun Classic (got as a gift)
 

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joec

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One of mine too. I just traded the Watanabe with a custom Fish handle shown above with cheap handle it came with to David (Boardsmith) for a new Cherry wood cleaver block which he is now building.
 

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The Tourist

Banned
Nice block. I need something. But my wife and jiggle our schedules around so much that just letting the knives sit on the cutting board works about as good as anything.

But then, at my house, knives lay everywhere.:mrgreen:
 
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Doc

Administrator
Staff member
Gold Site Supporter
Good thread guys! Lots of good info for us knife novices. :thumb:
 

Nica

New member
Nica, if you enjoy both working in the kitchen and gardening, go the website www.japanwoodworker.com

It have a wide variety of both kitchen knives and garden supplies. Their catalog--which arrives in your mailbox every 47 minutes--has even more. There are pages of chisels, woodworking tools and machinery, the real-deal from Japan.

I can attest to their customer service.

(I got a bad knife once. And I stress "once." A few days later a rep from DHL brought me a package, festoon with Japanese characters and coated with Japanese postal stamps. Inside was the replacement knife, which I believe cost less than the postage. They are serious about client expectations.)

I signed up for their catalog and emails. I had a hard time pulling myself out of their online catalog. Pretty impressive.
 

Locutus

New member
I'm just now getting into kitchen knives. I'm in the process of learning the finer points of using a Santoku.

But in the past, I was always able to get veggies chopped with my Cold Steel Master hunter. :whistle: (Carbon V steel! 0170-6???)

Not exactly "the right tool for the job" but it more or less served the purpose until I got the Santoku! :neutral:

Now, I gotta start "squirrelling away" a my shekels for a Gyoto, and Nakiri, and Cleaver and a Paring knife. (Ha! I should live so long)
 
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The Tourist

Banned
Say, Locutus, it's a good thing we now have the internet. In a matter of seconds I'll bet you could find a harlequin of the service industry who could find you a gyuto.

Off the top of my head, I don't know where to look. Those people in the 'blade industry' are a dark, formidable bunch of rapscallions. I know I lock my doors at night...:ninja:
 

joec

New member
Gold Site Supporter
Just get an inexpensive cleaver like a Tar Hong or Dexter and see if you like it before anything else. If you learn to use it and like it that and the paring knife will do most of your kitchen duties. If you have a cleaver you don't need a gyuto or a nikiri though I have them all I like wasting money. :bangin:
 

joec

New member
Gold Site Supporter
Here is a great source for inexpensive cleavers such as Tar Hong and Town Food Service. I own a Tar Hong not (medium weight) but have owned a few thin slicer types which I use mostly. Also the Town Food Service are excellent cleaver with good steel though the #1 thin slicer can be a bit scary for a new cleaver users as it is about the size of a US car license plate which is huge though it is pretty light. Both brands are excellent and in the < $30 range.

Here are some video on how to use a cleaver for some common cuts.

Cleaver Videos
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9GzpSei6u0&mode=related&search=
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qT9lKA5_bPI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rUoxxQBeQk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zs5WiddD7i0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sy6P3E84Dqs
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4177237986590820979&q=martin+yan+videos
 

Locutus

New member
thankls, Joe.

When the wife "recovers" from the last three knives, I think I'll get one. :wink:

If I bought another knife right now, or within the next few weeks, I might be paying hospital bills when she had a stroke! :sad:

I just can't seem to convice her that all of our money should be spent on guns and knives! :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:
 

The Tourist

Banned
Locutus, the one thing I might add is that Chinese cleavers is that many kitchens are run only with such cutting tools. My wife and I have a favorite restaurant here locally that only uses Chinese pattern cleavers. In fact, many such cleavers are under one hundred dollars:

http://www.japanwoodworker.com/dept.asp?dept_id=13161

After reading JoeC's post, I remember hearing you say that your wife and yourself pretty much had your own knives. In that regard, your wife may not be using your knives.

In addition, you remarked that you had larger hands. And of course, you're a good tinker. A cleaver has a large expanse of featureless bevel. You can buff that 'sucka to split diamonds!
 
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