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Posts by ChrisLehrer

  It's really, really different. Grip isn't that much a of shift, though there is some. But the shape of the blade, in every dimension, alters everything. Here's a few points off the cuff:   1. It has no curve at all. Pick up any other knife that you use on the forestroke (i.e. not exclusively on a draw) and cut a carrot. Do you see what you just did? You tilted the point of the blade down, a lot or a little, and you pushed forward and down. You MUST NOT do this with an...
What stands out to me is that you're not getting swarf. The mud is a good thing; the lack of swarf is not.   I advise you to discard the notion of learning on a truly cheap POS knife. It never works. If it gets sharp, chances are you have begun to learn some truly bad habits. The honest truth is that on a 1k King, which is a terrific first stone, you probably could not damage your Wusthofs or Victorinoxes or whatever if you tried. So don't pussyfoot around: put them...
Gotcha.   Usuba: Can you learn this? Probably. Have you got basically decent hand-eye coordination? I mean, can you play ping-pong, sharpen a knife, or play a video game without a disaster? Then yes, of course you can learn this. Don't overestimate this: 15-year-old apprentices in Japan have learned this perfectly well for 150 years.   But that's just the beginning.   Can you acquire the knife? Well, it'll cost you. Do NOT buy a cheapie just to try. Honestly, I've been...
I'm very sympathetic. Not long ago, I was barely scraping by with following certain recipes line-by-line. You CAN learn this, and it's not going to be painful. I promise.   Right from the start: Steaks are, to be honest, a B***H. It's learnable, to be sure, but let's not start with that. You'd be surprised.   How about you tell us one dish you like, something that doesn't seem to you outrageously complex, that you'd like to make well. And we will then give you...
  Um. Wag, can you clarify a bit? I don't mean to carp, but there are a lot of negations here, and I am having a hard time figuring out what you are asking or commenting on. Are you thinking that once upon a time you were figuring that the usuba would be something you might aspire to? Sorry -- guessing here. I want to help, honestly I do, and as a home cook guy I'm with you, but I'm not getting where you're coming from.
Yes. You can. It's honestly not hard. I speak as someone who will happily tell you that usuba cuts are a bleeding nightmare. Basic deba butchering is much, much easier than you might think.
Both of you make me very happy, actually. Because you are reading me dead right, which suggests that I may be expressing my meaning accurately.   An usuba is a "yes yes yes" thing or a "run like heck and don't look back" thing. There is no middle. Do it or don't. [Yoda: "Do or do not. There is no "try."]  The first month SUCKS. Seriously. If you're not rather good at sharpening, with a great kit to do it, and you aren't willing to shell out pretty serious cash to buy...
As time goes on, I seem to be simplifying:   300mm blue steel yanagiba (secret maker, extremely high quality, long story) 195mm yellow steel (?) yanagiba (minor local maker) 210mm white steel Aritsugu (Tsukiji) usuba 210mm black Aritsugu (Kyoto) deba 105mm Masamoto KS deba   OXO peeler some sorta somethin-er-other bread knife thing weird but functional serrated cheese knife thing   um....   I have a box grater. Does that count?
Lenny, I for one do not discount or dismiss the santoku. I think it has its place. My sole objection is to the strong push some companies make to get western wannabe gourmet home chef types to buy these knives at very inflated prices on the ground that they are "traditional Japanese" whatever.   You are dead right: a santoku is very good in a confined space. If you have ever seen the kitchen layout of the average Tokyo housewife, you know she's working in a teeny...
    I should perhaps note that the big yanagiba is a pretty high-end thing, the short one not so much. The big deba is good, the small exceptional. The usuba is solid professional stuff. That has to be factored into my choices, to be honest. 1. The omission of a gyuto: I actually own a Masamoto 270mm KS wa-gyuto, which is pretty much a Ferrari sort of gyuto, and I admit that at times I miss it. My wife got for Christmas a Masamoto 210mm VG gyuto, which I have sharpened...
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