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Slicing Tomatoes?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Just out of curiosity what do you use to slice and/or dice tomatoes? (this is aimed at both the home cooks and the pros)
Just asking because I've seen a lot of the guys at work doing it with bread knives and can't work out why, especially when they try to dice the things. Blunt knives maybe? Or is there a legitimate reason for doing so?
post #2 of 28
I'd guess there are two reasons for it. First is a dull knife. Second, many people grew up with the idea that you needed a serrated edge to cut things like tomatoes.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 28
My MAC Chef's knife...
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #4 of 28
my Shun chef''s knife.

Nan
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
-
Me too as of wednesday when I get back to work - not that there was anything wrong with my victorinox/forschner but I do like stupidly sharp things ;)
I may of phrased my question badly though, it was more meant to be more along the lines of "why would anyone want to use a bread knife to cut tomatoes?"
post #6 of 28
My MAC Chef's

Petals
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Served Up
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Wine and Cheese
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(168 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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post #7 of 28
If there's nothing on the board, my chef's (K-Sabatier au carbone). If there's already some other knife on the board, probably that.

People resort to serrated knives because they don't keep their smooth-edged knives sharp enough to go through the skin. Most people, even many (if not most) professional cooks, have never used a sharp knife -- other than those times the knife if fresh out of the box or straight from a professional sharpener. And even including those exceptions, not many people have ever used a very sharp knife.

BDL
post #8 of 28
Because all of their knives are dull. There is no legit reason I can think of.
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #9 of 28
other than those times the knife if fresh out of the box

From other people I'd accept this statement, BDL. But I know you don't believe for a minute that a knife new out of the box is actually sharp.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #10 of 28
lol, yer busted BDL.

yep people use bread or vege knives when they have let their chef knife get dull. I too have done this, mainly before I got my own knives, cause i was always using a house knife that was dull enough to stand on barefoot. I now use tomatoes as my main test to see if a knife is sharp. if it cant slice a tomato without squeezing out pulp and leave me with a slice i can see through, it ain't sharp. course after dicing 100lbs of carrots it will need a touch up on the steel to slice a tomato the way i like it.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #11 of 28
I've used a bread knife a couple times for tomatoes, when I was in another kitchen that didn't have a sharp knife, the serrated blade helps pierce the skin of the tomato. But if you have a sharp chef's knife that would work better.
post #12 of 28
Whenever my supermarket swords get blunt, and I'm in a hurry, my little ol' beaten up steak knife will come and help with the tomatoes. It works for me. Grips them nicely, when a blunt knife won't,

(Note to self - Sharpen knifes tomorrow!!)
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #13 of 28
Busted.

What I should have said is "as sharp as they're likely to ever experience," rather than implying actual sharpness. Actually, some do come sort-of sharp OOTB, but few come with edges that can't be easily improved. Admittedly, my place is towards the edge of the spectrum, but I know people who are significantly more picky. Not just online either. And some are better sharpeners too.

It's funny that I end up talking so much about knives and sharpening when I'm really more into cooking. There seems to be such a thirst on the part of some people for practical knowledge and advice about cutlery and sharpening; and a lack of awareness about how much a more fun cooking gets with a sharp and comfortable knife, or how it opens culinary possibilities. Onion crushed by a dull knife is different from onion cut with a sharp one.

Am currently going through knife "orientation" with my dad's girlfriend who wants a second "go to" she can keep at his house. She might be finally convinced that "sharp" trumps "heft," and she might go for something good.

So? What am I? The pied piper of Seki City? Genug ist genug already. Sorry. Off the high horse for awhile.

BDL
post #14 of 28
My Sabatier knives are sharp and still a great aid - even after 30 plus years - although I am going to have to replace the paring knife as it is getting a little 'thin'.
post #15 of 28
Chefs knife but I keep it razor edge. I test by dropping celery or a tomato on the blade to see if it cuts :lol:
post #16 of 28
If I can't use only the weight of the knife and a light pull backwards to cut a tomato, it's time to reach for the steel. If that won't get it where I like it, it's time to head to the tinker.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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post #17 of 28
I have really sharp, really good knives. I treat them very well. I also have a $10, 10" Forschner bread knife that I treat like sh*t. It's always on my counter. If I use my 10" wide chef's knife to slice a tomato I have to wash, dry and steel it. If I use my bread knife I have to throw it in the sink. Ergo, I use a serated knife to slice tomatoes because I'm lazy!
"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
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"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
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post #18 of 28
Your average home (and, sadly most pro) cook has never seen a truly sharp knife. They rely on serrated knives because even a dull serrated will usually disassemble a tomato. I use whatever knife I have close at hand, generally a gyuto from Akifusa or Tojiro, sometimes a petty or sujihiki if it's laying there.

If I need a crap ton I use the Hobart slicer. What can I say, I'm lazy.:lol:
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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post #19 of 28

Re

My Mac Chef's knife do the work for slicing tomatoes.
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hmm there's no convincing some people..
Saw yet another person using a bread knife today (the owner this time), asked her about it, let her use one of my sharp knives, she used it for about two tomatoes then went right back to the cheapie supermarket bread knife, people are weird lol ;)
post #21 of 28
Hi all,

If some of the employees are picking a regular knife up, attempting to cut the tomato with it and then moving to a serrated knife to get the job done tells me something. It tells me you don't have enough sharp knives available. It doesn't necessarily tell me people prefer cutting tomatoes with serrated edges.


Personally I don't care for the texture a serrated knife leaves behind. I even prefer to use a regular blade on my steak. A serrated steak knife just ruins the texture of the meat.

dan
post #22 of 28
Ever noticed how peddlers cut tomatoes in TV infomercials?

They drag the knife tip on the board keeping the blade at (almost) a 45 degree angle. When the edge touches the tomato, the knife edge's angle combined with the pulling movement towards the fruit actually squeezes the fruit and presses through the skin then the edge completes the slice. No downward motion. This technique is similar to a sideways guillotine (a maintained sharp angle) which has a mechanical cutting advantage. With practice, even a soft tomato can be sliced this way using only a somewhat sharp knife. Try it!

Only when the knife is perfectly sharp can you slice a tomato in a straight downward motion. The only other way is using a serrated knife.

Luc H.
I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #23 of 28
That's why they make the perfect edge test.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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post #24 of 28
Victorinox Tomato knife with rosewood handle, quite obvious really
we're as good as our last meal.
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we're as good as our last meal.
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post #25 of 28
Honestly, most commercial kitchens use a knife sharpening service for their house knives. They tend to dull only after a couple of days. Therefore, a serated knife will slice through a tomato without bruising (or sometimes even smashing) it so yes, the common answere would be 'blunt' knives
post #26 of 28
How many slicing cuts through tomatoes can you make, before you notice your knife getting less sharp?
post #27 of 28
Four or five dozen maybe. Why?

BDL
post #28 of 28
Just curious. I notice a small change after four or five tomatoes. I'm not sure how many cuts that is - maybe 6 to 10 per fruit if making round slices such as you'd put on a sandwich. I think I need to do better on the edges.
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