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Knives needed for Professional Kitchen

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

So I am looking for advice on what Chef knife/other essentials I should buy. I am going to be moving to NYC within the month and will be applying to stage/work in kitchens. I have little to no kitchen experience, but I have a decent groundwork. I read, watch and practice cooking when I am free. 

So I learned my mistake when I staged at Fork in Old City Philadelphia, coming in with a chef knife and paring knife that weren't up to par. They wouldn't even let me use them, and luckily a cook there let me borrow his knife for the day. But I realized how much faster and precise I was with a sharpened and professional knife.

I am really going for this so my price range isn't really fixed. I would definitely dish out a few hundred dollars.

PLUS! I have no idea about sharpening/honing knives. So, advice on stones, sharpening tools, etc would be a huge help. 

thanks

post #2 of 9

IMHO there is no real need to shell out a few hundred dollars. A no frills knife from a solid brand will do just fine.

 

Japanese knifes are usually tempered to greater hardness and keep their edge longer, but are also harder to sharpen and will often chip when dropped or you hit a bone or you don't have good cuttin technique or sth. Personally I'd recommend a decent European knife for a beginner. It may not be the latest and greates but a beginner can't really go wrong there.

 

 

Lots of people use a Victorinox Fibrox knife and are content with that, I have one and I find the blade really narrow, more like a slicer than a chef's knife which can give you problems with knuckle clearance.

 

Some similarly cheap (but wider) knives are the F.Dick ProDynamics or the Wüsthof Silverpoints. If you are willing to shell out more for midrange types you could try the F.Dick Superior series or the Wüsthof Gourmets.

 

Top of the line german knives would be the F.Dick PremierPlus series, the Wüsthof IKON or Classic series (my favourites, I have five knives from that series), the Henckels Professional S, Four Star or Five Star Series. Messermeister is also a very good brand (Their "real" name under which they are sold in Germany is Burgvogel http://burgvogel.de/ ). I also own the large "Slitbar" IKEA knife and it is not bad at all.

 

Minimum length is usually 8'', for a grown man it can easily be 9'' or 10''. More if you often will have to cut really large stuff (watermelons, heads of cabbages)

 

Whetstone can be a combo stone, one side under 500 grit, the other between 1000 and 1500. Higher grits make little sense for softer steel.

post #3 of 9

I work in a kitchen where i bring everything I need. Working an entremet this is what I use on a regular basis sometimes everyday.

What you bring real depends on what station your on and what your kitcehen is going to have. I don't have to bring tongs, I borrow someones peeler lol.

 

Microplane

Fishspat

Sharpies

Poker/Thermometer

CKTG Spoons or Gray Kunz

120 mm petty

Pairing Knife

Deboning Knife

Chef knife

Bread Knife

Steel

Sweet second string 8" for opening plastic

 

I use a combo 1000/6000 stones I got from korin still on sale for about 50 big ones.

 

That's what I need to bring. If your working meats I would suggest a slicer etc. Your work tools are tailored to what you make, each station you work is unique to its own loadout. Now price, thats going to depend on you...can you afford a Astin Martin, Civic, or somewhere inbetween?? I started with a 8", a Pairing knife, and steel then added stuff to my kit as I evolved to different jobs.

 

A good entry level knife brand would be Tojiro DP's, Fujiwara FKMs, If your really strapped for cash I'd just go with a victorinox set and uprgrade as you see fit. In my opinion most europeans are a little thick for everyday use although sometimes I opt out my deboner for my wushthof 8 to massacre chicken corpses before service because I'm to cheap to buy a deba lol.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Are there specific websites or stores you like to go and buy your knives? Also if you recommend a knife is there anyway you can recommend a proper sharpening stone/tool to go with it. 

post #5 of 9

You might try ebay. I bought four of my five Wusthof Classics there, only one of the four slightly used, and all four at less than half the price of a new knife.

 

Otherwise there is your local store where you can handle the knife and see if it fits your hand ... and of course there is amazon.

 

There are various sharpening devices and aids out there, but based on what other people say few of them seem to work well (personally I have never used anything than a simple whetstone). the only exception might be the EdgePro, but it is expensive. I find that nothing beats the satisfaction of putting a razor edge on your knive just by handsharpening it. Plenty of vids on that on youtube. Just get a decent water- or oilstone somewhere ($20-30 on amazon, mind the reviews - no fancy Japanese 100$ stone needed) and practice.

 

More info can be had on kitchenknifeforums.com, but the guys there lean very heavily towards Japanese knives, almost obnoxiously so IMHO.

 

websites with Jap knives are korin.com, chefknivestogo.com and japanesechefknives.com, just to name a few.

post #6 of 9

I used chef knives to go for pretty much like 90% of my stuff.

post #7 of 9
One misunderstanding: that European knives are easier to sharpen than Japanese. True, Japanese steel is often much harder, but this doesn't make its sharpening more difficult. Problems with sharpening arise because of large carbides causing deburring difficult or incomplete, and this is exactly why sharpening soft Germans is such a painful process. And please note that the abrasion resistance of these soft steels is much higher than that of harder Japanese. And that thin blades are easier sharpened than thick ones.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benuser View Post

One misunderstanding: that European knives are easier to sharpen than Japanese. True, Japanese steel is often much harder, but this doesn't make its sharpening more difficult. Problems with sharpening arise because of large carbides causing deburring difficult or incomplete, and this is exactly why sharpening soft Germans is such a painful process. And please note that the abrasion resistance of these soft steels is much higher than that of harder Japanese. And that thin blades are easier sharpened than thick ones.

That is still a little confusing to me HA. So what would you recommend. 

post #9 of 9
Have a thin carbon blade to learn sharpening, hardness doesn't matter that much.
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