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Caring for Carbon steel knives in a kitchen

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I'm a prep cook, and naturally I cut a lot of things, all day. I'd like a knife which is more responsive to a steel than my Messermeisters, which I love but am not 100% satisfied with. So I'm interested in a carbon steel Sabatier-K or a Misono. However after reading about the discoloration issues I'm worried about the effect using on might have upon the food I'm preparing. Will it effect the taste and appearance of all foods or just some? Will this effect lessen as a patina develops? What treatment should I give the knife before and after each use and on a daily basis to protect it?

 

Chad Ward says: "But in the wet, acidic environment of the kitchen, stainless rules. For all their faults, compromises and shortcomings, stainless steel kitchen knives work better and will hold their edges longer than carbon steel knives...The culprit is corrosion – the effect of acid and micro-rusting. Even on what appears to be a mirror-bright, razor sharp edge, microscopic particles of rust and corrosion will form, attacking the edge and reducing its performance. Unless carbon steel knives are rinsed and dried frequently, their edges will degrade rapidly in kitchen use. The stainless edge will easily outlast them."

 

How true is this?

 

Thanks :)

post #2 of 27

Dunno about that, they DO keep their edge better than s/s and sharpen a bit easier, but as soon as they see a tomato or, god forbid, even a lemon, they turn black.  Nothing can stop that.

 

Easiest way to remove the oxidization is to sprinkle baking soda on a half a potoato and rub down the knives with this, a bit of elbow grease, but they turn shiney again.

 

How 'bout a compromise?  Keep the carbon knives for where they really shine: Cutting meat. Use s/s for everything else.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #3 of 27

There are excellent stainless alloys out there that take and retain a wicked edge. I'm no expert on these things -- I hear VG10 is good, but since all my decent knives are carbon it's all hearsay with me. But my point is, don't give up on stainless: ask around for wonderful alloys and knives, and you'll probably be happier in the end.

post #4 of 27

The irony is that while carbon can be, in many respects, superior to stainless, it is much easier to maintain carbon in the home kitchen than in the professional one.

 

I would take Chris's advice, and find stainless knives that meet your needs and expectations. They're out there.

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post #5 of 27

I used carbon professionally.  That's pretty much all there was until the mid-sixties anyway.  Maintenance is not a huge hassle.  Mostly you have to rinse, scour with a green cloth (like a Scotch Brite) and wipe regularly; then rub down with baking soda daily. 

 

The big difference between stainless and carbon in terms of maintenance, is that carbon not only requires more frequent rinsing, it requires it NOW.  This is more a matter of work habits than anything else.  If you're highly organized it's no big deal.  If you always seem to run behind it can be impossible.  

 

Alternatively, you can force a patina; and once a carbon knife is well patinated it won't need nearly as much maintenance as one which is not.  

 

Nearly all my knives are carbon Sabatiers, and I have at least one set dating back to the mid sixties which has about 10 years of pro kitchen use to it.  They are pretty easy to keep up.  Misono Sweden are very good knives, but they are somewhat more reactive than the Sabatiers so I suggest forcing a patina with them.

 

I don't know how you're currently sharpening, but the Japanese carbons represent a somewhat different challenge from European knives.  A good set of waterstones will help with Euro carbons, but sharpening Japanese carbons without one is extremely frustrating and inconvenient.

 

BDL

 

Bottom line, K-Sabs, T-I ****Elephant, Misono Sweden, Masamoto HC, Masamoto CT, and Kikuichi Elite are all great choices for a pro kitchen.   

 

post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisLehrer View Post

There are excellent stainless alloys out there that take and retain a wicked edge. I'm no expert on these things -- I hear VG10 is good, but since all my decent knives are carbon it's all hearsay with me. But my point is, don't give up on stainless: ask around for wonderful alloys and knives, and you'll probably be happier in the end.

 

Thanks Chris, I can definitely improve upon my edge retention just by moving over to a Japanese knife, so I will keep that in mind.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by foodpump View Post

Dunno about that, they DO keep their edge better than s/s and sharpen a bit easier, but as soon as they see a tomato or, god forbid, even a lemon, they turn black.  Nothing can stop that.

 

Easiest way to remove the oxidization is to sprinkle baking soda on a half a potoato and rub down the knives with this, a bit of elbow grease, but they turn shiney again.

 

How 'bout a compromise?  Keep the carbon knives for where they really shine: Cutting meat. Use s/s for everything else.

 

What about the tomato? Does it turn black or grey? I'm not too worried about the knife discoloring but I am worried about it messing up the food that I'm preparing. My chef definitely wouldn't appreciate it if I screw up his food just because I'm knife happy. I have enough knives that I can avoid using a carbon on foods that they really don't work well with, but if I have one really nice knife, I know I'm going to want to use it with everything.


Quote:

Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

I used carbon professionally.  That's pretty much all there was until the mid-sixties anyway.  Maintenance is not a huge hassle.  Mostly you have to rinse, scour with a green cloth (like a Scotch Brite) and wipe regularly; then rub down with baking soda daily. 

 

The big difference between stainless and carbon in terms of maintenance, is that carbon not only requires more frequent rinsing, it requires it NOW.  This is more a matter of work habits than anything else.  If you're highly organized it's no big deal.  If you always seem to run behind it can be impossible.  

 

Alternatively, you can force a patina; and once a carbon knife is well patinated it won't need nearly as much maintenance as one which is not.  

 

Nearly all my knives are carbon Sabatiers, and I have at least one set dating back to the mid sixties which has about 10 years of pro kitchen use to it.  They are pretty easy to keep up.  Misono Sweden are very good knives, but they are somewhat more reactive than the Sabatiers so I suggest forcing a patina with them.

 

I don't know how you're currently sharpening, but the Japanese carbons represent a somewhat different challenge from European knives.  A good set of waterstones will help with Euro carbons, but sharpening Japanese carbons without one is extremely frustrating and inconvenient.

 

BDL

 

Bottom line, K-Sabs, T-I ****Elephant, Misono Sweden, Masamoto HC, Masamoto CT, and Kikuichi Elite are all great choices for a pro kitchen.   

 


I think I can manage the maintenance. I'm thinking of having a sanitary rag, a dry rag, and a lightly mineral oiled rag that I can use to wipe the knife off in quick succession, and I can definitely handle a daily baking soda rub.

 

About the Misono Swedens, I've read that a forced patina isn't as slick as a developed one (and just isn't as nice looking). Does that depend upon what I use to force a patina? And is forcing a patina simply exposing it to an all encompassing reactive material until there's no remaining surfaces to react or does it matter what I use to force the patina? I've heard meats produce a rather attractive blue stain, so could I rapidly develop a lasting patina by lopping up a loin instead of sticking it in vinegar or something? Also, I noticed that you replied to another topic about the Misono Sweden and mentioned that it has an asymmetric sharpening pattern which makes it un-steel-able. Would I simply hone it on a super fine waterstone every day? Though, since I'm a lefty, I might simply make it symmetrical and get rid of the issue.

 

Thanks!
 

post #7 of 27

Stains and Staining:

 

 

What about the tomato? Does it turn black or grey? I'm not too worried about the knife discoloring but I am worried about it messing up the food that I'm preparing.

 

No problem with a sharp, clean knife -- at least not with the brands we're currently talking about.  Some of the bargain, Japanese carbons will not only stain food, but stink as well.


I think I can manage the maintenance. I'm thinking of having a sanitary rag, a dry rag, and a lightly mineral oiled rag that I can use to wipe the knife off in quick succession, and I can definitely handle a daily baking soda rub.

 

You don't need the oily rag.  Oil only for long term storage.  Oiling for overnight is okay, if a bit OCD.  Baking soda daily.  You might need to make extra trips to the sink during prep (but maybe not service) and you will need a scotch-brite rag  or the equivalent.  A scotch-brite does a better job with the baking soda than a potato, wine cork or any of the other old-school methods.

 

Re Patina:

 

I can't give you chapter and verse.  My knives only have whatever patina's left on them after scrubbing with baking soda.  I suggest going on to one of the knife specialty forums like Fred's at Foodie Forums or the KF and asking there.  My impression, based on eavesdropping hearsay, is that forced patinas work well when well done.  The last time I saw Mario Batali on Iron Chef he was using a Misono Sweden 270cm chef's with a forced, "mustard" patina.  He's obviously in a position where he could use any knife he wanted, and as far as I know doesn't have any sort of endorsement deal with Misono.  

 

Which to Choose:

 

If I were shopping for a new carbon chef's Misono Sweden would be near the top of my short list -- tied with K-Sab au carbone, T-I Nogent, T-I carbon, Kikuichi Elite, and Masamoto CT.  None of these knives are perfect, but all come very close. 

 

Masamoto HC would be my first choice.  The knife has no outstanding characteristic other than a lack of flaws.  If you find perfection boring, this one will put you to sleep.  Not cheap, alas.

 

The French knives have a better gestalt "feel" than the Japanese knives (with the exception of the Masamotos), and are less reactive than the Japanese knives (except for the HC).  However, the Japanese use alloys which are better in several edge characteristics, and don't force you to sharpen around a frikkin'

finger guard.

 

On the other, other, other hand, the edges on the European knives require more frequent honing but last much longer off the stones. 

 

As you can see, it gets highly nuanced.

 

As always... Sharpening:

 

If you want to get the edge quality any of these knives are capable of, you're going to need a good set of waterstones.  You can do a fair job with a serious set of oilstones on the French knives, but not quite as good (or as fast) as with waterstones.  With the Japanese made knives, waterstones are a necessity.  And not a cheap, combi-stone either.  Good knives and good sharpening are inseperable.  I don't care how much you spent or how carefully you shopped -- all dull knives are equal. 

 

You don't have to jump into the deep and expensive waters of an A+ sharpening set all at once, but it is something you need to plan and for and consider.   Figure on about $150 for a waterstone kit (stones and flattener) you can live with for a long time.  If you keep your Japanese knives at work, and work doesn't have a good set, you might want to keep something like a 1K/6K combi there for "touch ups." 

 

And, if you're going to continue to use European or American stainless, you'll want a Norton coarse/fine combination India as well. 

 

The French knives really NEED an excellent rod hone.  You'll be steeling them two or three times a night at least.  You won't steel the Japanese knives nearly as much, but good rods are cheap (< $30 for an 12" Idahone fine ceramic) so what the heck.    

 

Hope this helps,

BDL

post #8 of 27

I have never worked in a professional kitchen, but I have spent some time sort of observing how things work, primarily in very high-end Japanese kitchens in Kyoto, as well as reading and studying a lot about these things. And I've got knives of wildly varying quality.

 

My feeling is that BDL has 90% of the facts you need to know. What's missing has to do with the larger-scale everyday processes -- which he knows about too but hasn't mentioned.

 

If you're using good-quality professional knives, you need to emulate, within reasonable limits, the maintenance situation for which those knives have been developed. The American pro kitchen is something of a hybrid, weird place, but it's more like the old French kitchen than the Japanese. So if you use good Japanese carbon steel knives in the American kitchen, you have some work to do.

 

Basically high-grade carbon, properly treated, will not interfere with food. This is not a question of patina in any strong sense. High-end Japanese chefs polish their knives daily, including the ones used to cut onions, and when I say "polish" I mean gleaming shiny metal. The primary issue is to use excellent steel and a frighteningly sharp edge, and to wipe your knife with a slightly damp cloth constantly. Bear in mind, however, that slicing a case or two of onions at a stretch is an unusual task for this kind of kitchen, because the service structure is different.

 

High-grade Japanese carbon should be sharpened daily. I say this because this is how they are treated in high-end Japanese kitchens. This is part of the regular maintenance cycle, in other words. Different places work differently, but here's one common system. At the beginning of the day, chef starts sharpening the knives. (Yes, chef does it.) Because they are already very, very sharp by any reasonable standard, he does this on a very fine polishing stone, using always and only water. The knives are then wiped and racked, ready for use. (In a really big place, others help out with sharpening, but certainly the most important fish-slicing knives and such are going to be chef's province.) As the day continues, some knives may need to return to the stone. Whenever that happens, any bonded knives (kasumi style, with iron and steel bonded together) will temporarily produce just a slight off-taste, which comes from the ground soft iron interacting with the food; for this reason, some really high-end places insist on honyaki knives (which aren't bonded) for certain things in which that interaction is disastrous. Anyway, at the end of the day, the knives are polished, not on a stone but with polishing powder and the top slice of a daikon -- equivalent to the old French potato trick -- until they are completely shiny. The knives are wiped and put away.

 

If you're going to use knives like this in a kitchen that isn't structured this way, you're going to have to think about when you will sharpen and on what. Most western pro kitchens are not good environments for you standing there sharpening your own knives on your own stones. So you'll probably need to sharpen before you go to work or after you get off shift. Given what I hear about the rate of theft and abuse in these kitchens, I would suggest that you should carry your own knives to and from work, and do your sharpening at home -- the fine stones you'll need for the daily practice are not so cheap.

 

Now the question of using stainless instead is therefore really not about interaction with food. On the whole, all things being equal, which they never are, stainless is going to be harder to sharpen but will retain its edge longer. Basically it's more durable in both shine and edge. So the question is whether the stuff will stand up better, not to the abuse dished out by food, but to the abuse dished out by your kitchen and its denizens. Will a stainless knife survive better if the moron on the next station grabs it and cuts something on the stainless counter? Depends on the knife, of course, but first of all these knives are not so delicate as all that, carbon or stainless. Still, this is a worthwhile issue to think about in advance.

 

The abuse question also extends -- or is founded on, really -- you. Are you in a situation where you really can work very clean, wiping every time, constantly? Can you train yourself to do it automatically? There's no sin if you can't, or can't in this kitchen -- just buy excellent stainless and don't worry about it.

 

Anyway, some things to think about.

post #9 of 27

We're getting deep into inside baseball. 

 

I don't disagree with Chris but let me provide a little more nuance to further muddle the waters. 

 

Knives act dull for two reasons.  They actually dull via wear; and the edges go out of true.  Edges which are waved as a result of impact on the board are most easily maintained with a steel.

 

However, for a variety of reasons -- not all of them good -- a steel isn't something you're going to see much of in a professional Japanese kitchen.  This raises the specter that Japanese made knives can't or should not be steeled.

 

Sometimes true, but there's no special anti-rod juju in Japanese knife factories.  Any knife that's not too hard and not too asymmetrical can be profitably steeled on an appropriate rod hone.  Very actue bevels (say 15* included angle and less) may also be challenging, but at least they can be stropped straight.

 

To get back to the more practical world, all of the knives I've mentioned so far can and should be steeled.  That means you should not have to sharpen every day on stones -- the exception being a need for an extremely high level of polish on the edge, as for serving raw fish.  Otherwise, I'd say if you do use an appropriate hone AND you're obsessive about sharpening, you can go two or three days between hitting the stones.  

 

Part of the reason Japanese cooks do so much sharpening, besides tradition, is that many of their knives are made with very hard alloys (shiro, ao, etc., taken to 63RC and greater) and are sharpened extremely asymmetrically (70/30 and beyond).  There are advantages and disadvantages to both things.  In my opinion, the advantage of being able to perform the most frequent maintenance with a simple rod-hone outweigh the advantages gained by using a knife which doesn't need it as much but can't benefit from it anyway.  But it's a close call. 

 

Even if you were going to go with a Tadatsuna Shirogami3 gyuto, hardened to 63RC and sharpened to a pure, chisel edge -- we're only talking about a couple of minutes a day on a very fine stone.  The purpose being as much to straighten the edge (just as you would with a rod), as to polish it.  You'd still need to do "real" sharpening about as often as you would with a more prosaic knife.  Hard knives don't deform as easily but they do wear faster.  

 

Anyway -- it's all a very long way of saying that the basic truth still stands.  If you have good work habits, you won't have any real problem with carbon in a pro kitchen.  There are some trade offs vis a vis stainless, but nothing too serious and they sharpen up so easily and so well wotthehell they're worth it.

 

BDL

post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 

Yes, yes! Please, nerd out some more! :)

 

Thanks for the in depth advice. Chris, I'm not sure that I'm ready to pursue a full Japanese maintanence regimen, however I'm also not going to get a full on Japanese single bevel knife. Think it makes a difference if it's a gyuto made for western audiences? I do have a combination 1000/6000 waterstone that I can leave at work for touch ups like BDL suggested, and as long as its only a couple minutes at the end of each day, I can definitely commit to that. Is that 6000 a high enough grit? I'm not going to be cutting fish, so while I want a screaming edge, if it's not perfect, I'll still be doing quite well.

 

Luckily, we do have daikon at work and I don't have to worry about my coworkers grabbing my knives. We're all pretty respectful in that regard.

 

You do have some very good points about stainless which I'm definitely considering, however for some reason I'm stupidly attracted to the idea of a having a carbon blade (that and the UX10 is significantly more expensive).

 

And thanks again BDL, I definitely appreciate the effort and thought you put into your replies. I'll be taking your advice once I get the knife, however in the short term I'm going to invest in that quality set of waterstones so that I have the equipment and ability to maintain a truly nice knife before I actually get one. Do you think these will be sufficient?:

http://www.epicureanedge.com/shopexd.asp?id=80025

http://www.epicureanedge.com/shopexd.asp?id=80024

http://www.epicureanedge.com/shopexd.asp?id=80009

post #11 of 27

Oh yes, just a minute or so on a fairly fine stone will do it. That's true whether we're talking about ultra-high-end honyaki yanagiba or a mid-grade gyuto. You just choose the level of polish you want, and do it. As BDL says, it's not unlike stropping, really. If your kitchen will allow this sort of thing, 6000 is actually pretty high for a gyuto, so I think that makes perfect sense. Again as BDL says, you'd only want a much higher grit polish if you were doing yanagiba for slicing raw fish and stuff like that.

 

Personally, I remain stupidly convinced that honing very hard Japanese knives is a bad idea, whatever the symmetry, but BDL makes good points about this one. I'd be happier with you using that stone, but what do I know, really?

 

I was only bringing up the daikon-polish trick to raise a question that I can't answer. In a high-end Japanese kitchen, knives are supposed to be polished, not patina'ed. So the question is whether it's a good idea to let them patina. If you sharpen-polish them every day on that 6k stone, you're not going to be able to keep a patina at the edge itself, but otherwise you certainly could. Either way, you should have no real problems with carbon reacting with food -- it's just a question of choosing your method to avoid this, and then sticking to it fairly religiously.

post #12 of 27

It seems that most of this advice pertains to a pro kitchen.  How about my home kitchen where the knives are probably only used 10 minutes per day, at most?  Do the carbon steel knives still need to be sharpened every 1/3 (CL/BDL) days, or can the home cook get by with sharpening carbon every six months with daily honing maintenance?

post #13 of 27

I have some carbon steel butchering knives.  I only use them for butchering.  I sharpen before use.  I keep the steel close while working.  Wash throughly after, touch up as necessary, lightly oil with mineral oil.  Then do it all over again next time I butcher. 

 

I'm no pro, but for what it is worth, that's what I do. 

post #14 of 27

I sharpen mine (I'm a home cook now) every 6 - 10 weeks, and that's maintaing with a two hone system.  

 

If you want an edge sharp enough that you don't have to work around it, I'd say 15 weeks is an outside limit for the typical home kitchen.  The sharpen once or twice a year thing only works for people who aren't very demanding. 

 

Once you get used to sharpness -- which you'll do as your sharpening improves -- you get spoiled.  Worse, your wife gets spoiled.  When we first moved in together, Linda gave me a hard time about my knives and sharpening, how a steak knife was plenty good to cook with, etc.  Within six months (maybe less), I put off a sharpening rotation an extra week or so only to find they had become HER knives and they were DULL dammit! How dull?  She actually had to draw the edge across a tomato instead of it (the knife, not the tomato) just falling through from its own weight.

 

The Masamoto holds an edge extremely well, but -- if only for the sake of domestic harmony -- plan on not going more than 3 months. 

 

BDL

 

PS  Just to be clear, when I talk about sharpening in this post, I'm not talking about "steeling" on a rod hone.  I mean sharpening on stones. 

 

Using a rod-hone should be more for truing than sharpening (although separating true from sharp, can be a bit of messy linguistics).  Some knives used for some purposes should be steeled just about every time they come out of the block, some not so much, and others not at all. 

 

I'm not disagreeng with Silvercliff, just apples and submarines.  FWIW, butcher knives should usually be steeled quite a bit.

 

More FWIW:  No need to oil your carbons unless you're planning on storing them for a long time.  Just use a baking soda every now and then (once a month, maybe) and always get them nice and dry before they go into the block. 

 

PPS.  Cadmium, seems like I never got back to you on the stones from EE.  Do you still want to talk about it, or has the opportunity lapsed?


Edited by boar_d_laze - 7/31/10 at 10:54am
post #15 of 27

My Moritaka is not anywhere near as reactive as people make carbons out to be, but apparently AS Steel is less reactive than some. Anyways, my onions do not turn black, the knife gets a little dark or in one spot blue, i let it sit for like 10 minutes without wiping or rinsing and its fine... after i use my knives i hit the 6000 grit whetstone for a few minutes.

post #16 of 27

Aogami Super is not very reactive as carbon steels go, and is somewhat less demanding. It's made from a very pure iron ore, and in addition to the other intentionally alloy components has a little bit of chrome and quite a lot of tungsten in it. 

 

Unfortunately most AS knives are very expensive because honyaki knives are problematic and have a high failure rate. 

 

Moritakas, like several other brands of AS knives, aren't AS in the normal, western sense of knives made from a single alloy.  Only the core of the knife is AS, while the outside is something else.  That is the construction is warikomi and the AS is hagane between layers of jigane.  With Moritakas lines, the "Damascus" jigane is made from stainless.  The kurochi jigane isn't stainless but it's... well... kurochi and the blacking protects the soft, carbon steel.  You wouldn't expect either to show much corrosion.

 

You may want to check out these videos to see how Moritaka inserts the AS hagane into the jigane: Video 1; Video 2; and Video 3.

 

A couple of better known and similarly constructed AS hagane/jigane knives are the Hiromoto AS (AS between plain stainless) and Takedas (AS between kurochi).  Moritakas get compared to Takedas a lot, and the feeling seems to be that Moritakas aren't quite as thin but are better bang for the buck.

 

Since the only AS that shows in a Moritaka is the edge itself, you'd expect that a little abrasion on a sharpening stone would get rid of any oxidation and/or corrosion.  Of course, that's true of any carbon edge.  Sharpen it and it will shine.

 

Personally, I don't care for san-mai or warikomi knives.  Relative to "monosteel" their response is blunted, and they feel dead on the board to me.  Most people don't notice that though.

 

Hope this clarifies,

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 8/1/10 at 7:55pm
post #17 of 27

while the moritaka may be thick, that makes it far more robust than the usual thin japanese knives... it wasn't the thin fragile super slicing japanese knife i was expecting, but it is a great all purpose knife with enough heft that i can effortlessly smash & mince garlic with it and slice a tomato super thin. as for feeling dead, this knife definitely does not feel that way... and i have had knives that felt that way.

post #18 of 27

Hi, how do you force a patina, is that like proving an omlette pan?  I am interested to know is there any threat of contaminants / food poisoning when using carbon steel please?

post #19 of 27

Food poisoning, none that I've heard of.  The most common knife to food contaminants would be iron oxides and sulfur oxides in small amounts.  Neither is harmful.  The iron oxides are actually probably good for most people. 

 

You force a patina by soaking the knife in a mildly acid solution like dilute vinegar, or dilute vinegar with mustard, then rinsing the knife very thoroughly.  Sometimes forcing a patina causes rust spots to appear on the knife.  In the case of rust, the rust must be removed and the patina restarted afterwards. 

 

Another easy way to force a patina involves scouring it with Bar Keeper's Friend.  Afterwards the oxalic acid residue will darken the knife.  Arrest it before it goes too far by thoroughly rinsing and drying the knife.  Each time you use the knife, scrub the stain off with BKF and let it come back a little darker until you're happy with the color. 

 

Another method, scrubbing with baking soda, develops an almost invisible patina.  Stabilize the knife by scrubbing it with baking soda and a Scotch Brite (we used to use corks or potatoes but a Scotch Brite "cloth" works much better) after every use, until the knife becomes less reactive and mild staining is easily removed without the baking soda.  To keep the knife stable, scrub with baking soda whenever stains don't scrub out easily, or -- at least -- refreshing it with baking soda. 

 

I use the baking soda method.  It works, it's easy to see what's going on, and it looks better. 

 

BDL

post #20 of 27
I have probably the most reactive knife out there, misono Swedish.

At first yes I wasn't accustomed to such carbon, and tried cleaning it constantly (as I do anyways as a sushi chef), but eventually read enough about it and painted my own 'dragon scale' patina using lemon dipped toothpicks to draw the outline (grey) and tuna or beef blood to fill in scales (blue).

And basically let it dry, clean juice/blood off, and added a few more layers, while rinsing entire knife in lemon juice for a few seconds in between (rinsing with water and drying often).
post #21 of 27
Now that it has a super shiny coating of patina it acts almost like a stainless, not quite but not nearly as reactive as brand new.

A drop of water could land on a new misono and leave a patina, now it beads and wipes off clean even after a while.

Carbon knife cut with a smoothness stainless dreams about, In my experience anyways.

My GF is a chef and says 'OMG it feels amazing' everytime she uses my misono.
post #22 of 27

aeb-l might do the trick. =D

post #23 of 27

I'd consider posting your question if you're still interested at Chef Knives To Go and let that forum give it a good.

 

Jay

post #24 of 27

This might also be of some help with regard to working with carbon steel knives

 

post #25 of 27
I really enjoyed that video Jon broida!

I guess we live in a popular tattoo fad and patina can be viewed as a knife's personal tattoo.
post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 

I have the carbon steel Tojiro ITK knives. I really enjoy them and their appearance, however I have a slight reddish corrosion on the polished areas. No actual rust spots, just a slight reddening. Is there anyway to remove this without damaging the rough finish?

post #27 of 27
Perhaps after you polish you can wipe/dry several times to force a thin patina?

I'm not too advisable on anything but I know after a sharpen I must wipe edge so that it doesn't patina too quick (I kind of like the mirror polish edge to contrast dark blue patina).
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