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Would you every buy an Electric knife?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hi all, 

 

I'm doing a little study on electric knives for a design school project and am really interested in learning what the opinion is out there on them. Especially since reviews seem to be pretty divided on their usefullness.

 I thought I'd ask the experts, so here are my questions:

 

So, Do any of you own electric knives?

What do you use them for?

What about them do you like/ dislike?

 

 

I'd really appreciate any opinions at all: rants, interesting experiences,  simple dismissals. What do you think?

post #2 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hannahbee View Post
 

So, Do any of you own electric knives?

No. I understand the premise behind them, but not the logic.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #3 of 29

I got one when I got married.Use it 2 times and put it away,too mutch work ;take it,put knife in,electricitie,use it ,clean it and put it away.

I even don't know where I store it.

A Good knife is more easy.

post #4 of 29

Don't own one. Never saw the point of it. Added hassle, storage, cords. A sharp knife has been more than sufficient. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #5 of 29

I have cooked on BBQ teams that use electric knives to slice brisket.  I think you can slice a little bit hotter meat without shredding.  The temp of what you serve the judges can be the difference between winning and losing.

 

In most cases I would rather rest the meat a little bit longer then slice using a normal slicing knife.

post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillionsKnives View Post
 

I have cooked on BBQ teams that use electric knives to slice brisket.  I think you can slice a little bit hotter meat without shredding.  The temp of what you serve the judges can be the difference between winning and losing.

 

In most cases I would rather rest the meat a little bit longer then slice using a normal slicing knife.


I'm not quite following you there, why would an electric knife shred less? I would think the opposite would be true.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #7 of 29


Yes have 4 of them and use on the buffett

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #8 of 29

Chef Ed,I am not really familiar with using electric knives, why do you choose them over a regular slicer for buffets?

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #9 of 29

@cheflayne I couldn't tell you why.  Logic says that the sawing motion (even if small) would be bad. It's only anecdotal evidence. I'm curious where this thread goes too. 

 

The options were a granton edge victorinox slicer or an electric knife and we had better slices with the electric.  A perfect brisket slice when you stretch it has a little bit of pull, but it is still moist.  If it stretches like a rubber band (undercooked), crumbles dry (cooked too hot), or breaks into a wet mess (over cooked), those are all getting marked down.  I think this one was on the moister side and that is when electric gave better results.

 

This was before I got into j-knives.  I'm going to try with a well maintained sujihiki next time I get a chance.  With the amount of money put into competing, it's not bad to have a backup plan.

post #10 of 29

Maybe the bark on the meat or the finishing grit when sharpening the slicer are important factors?

post #11 of 29
post #12 of 29

As I said, I am unfamiliar with electric knives but I am still having trouble wrapping my head around it, just an old school dinosaur.

 

You have definitely got my curiosity aroused though and I would love to do a side by side comparison, as I have found this to be the best way for me to reach a conclusion for myself. Especially in case like this because I sharpen my knives to my specs (everyone has their own) and my knife techniques might be slightly different than someone else (because everyone has their own).

 

I don't want to buy an electric just for a test though. So I guess it is time to check with the relatives because somebody is bound to have one.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #13 of 29

In my searching, I guess people using slicers on meat with bark push straight down first to get past the bark, then do their pulling slicing motion.  Maybe my technique just needs refinement.

 

Electric knives don't really have much learning curve, so anybody on your team can use it with no training.

post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillionsKnives View Post
Electric knives don't really have much learning curve, so anybody on your team can use it with no training.

I figured that this would be one of the pluses to an electric, but wasn't sure. Great dialogue so far. I appreciate your insight as it helps me to learn. Thanks.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 

From what I understand, sped and volume are some of the few places an electric knife might have the edge over traditional knives. They also do seem to make a very clean cut. Whould that be enough to justify owning one though? I guess that depends on your needs...

post #16 of 29

What are the design factors you would like to address.  So far all of the questions/answers are addressing preference... which is good discussion but mroe focused on a marketing study rather than a design study.

post #17 of 29
Sharp, Brian!
post #18 of 29

@MillionsKnives,I must agree on smoked meats. When I do butts I sometime want to serve chunks instead of pulling. I break large pieces off the bone and slice pieces. Works better then my slicing knives. I also have two battery knives on the boat for filleting fish, The Best!!!

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 

At the moment, it is just the market, or potential markets, that I'm looking into. The full blown design project will come much later. 

post #20 of 29

@hannahbee,

Please don't overlook the sportsman market. The electric knife seems to glide along the bones and not cut through them for fish. I don't know of anyone down here in Tx who doesn't have them in their cleaning station.

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by panini View Post
 The electric knife seems to glide along the bones and not cut through them for fish.

Wow learning more new things! That's one of the reasons that I love this industry, the learning never stops as long as we are open to it. I definitely want to play around with an electric knife now to see what I have been missing.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #22 of 29

I have one, but I don't use it for food.

 

An electric knife is what you need to cut foam rubber. 

 

 

dcarch

post #23 of 29

I've seen lots of videos on fish filleting and turkey carving with an EK, and yet can't see the point of it. Not to talk about that uncorfortable power cord, the cleaning, etc.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #24 of 29

@ordo

the ones we have on the boat are battery driven. Yes, the handle is somewhat bulky but after a few it becomes easy, and it reduces the slimy handles on a regular fish knife.

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hannahbee View Post
 

At the moment, it is just the market, or potential markets, that I'm looking into. The full blown design project will come much later.

Thanks... that clarification helps.  Even though there are several models of electric knife currently available, some very affordable, and a strong endorsement by Alton Brown... I still don't have one and really don't think I'd seriously consider one.  Even if one were given to me for free I might graciously decline.  But maybe if you ask again after I fail to get really pretty turkey breast slices on Thanskgiving I'd reconsider.  :)

 

One of the features I've hated about electric knife (my parent's had one when I was a child) is the sound of them.  They sound something like a hedge trimmer or hair clipper.  Both evoke memories of negative experiences for me.  That is no joke... really they do.  If an electric knife would be quieter I might be tempted to reconsider.  But the price would have to be right, meaning very inexpensive.

 

Now if that electric knife would do a bit more then slice skin and flesh I'd also be reconsidering.  If it could slice bone also it would be a "multi-tasker" that would aid in butchering and breadkown of meat... well, brother, that would cause me to seriously consider my negativity toward electric knives.  And if the design looked and felt like a Milwaukee Sawzall... that would push me right over the edge.

post #26 of 29

I have used them and buy them (they are cheap, and break down fast)--but only for certain things.

 

Because two blades are moving in opposite directions, the knife does not "grab", and because of this, you can cut some really delicate things with it, likes cakes, St Honere cakes, napolean slices and even crumbly biscotti logs into slices.  I haven't tried hot brisket or meats with it, but I think it would slice pretty good--albeit you can never slice thin with the machine.

 

Here's a test you can try at home, and it won't cost you much:

Put a dollop of whipped cream on a slice of cake, pop a strawberry on the rosette.  With an electric knife, you can slice the strawberry in half and it will still be seated in the whipped cream.

 

That being said, the stuff that is available has been so reverse engineered, that the knives don't last long.

 

As Brian said, they are very loud.

They are also very bulky and heavy.

The blades could be thinner

...."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 #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcarch View Post
 

I have one, but I don't use it for food.

 

An electric knife is what you need to cut foam rubber. 

 

 

dcarch

 

I bought one for carving foam mattress material for my boat (boats have all sorts of unusual angles and shapes, where marine architects put berths).  Works great for that.

 

Never used it for food.

 

GS

post #28 of 29
here in the ozarks electric fillet knives are very popular with pan fish such as crappie. im talkin old school fisherman abandoning their fillet knives for electric models. I imagine speed has something to do with it but more likely is the lack of sharpening
post #29 of 29
Ok if you own (or) run a small catering business or do a ton of banquetswhere, and you don't have much skill help other than yourself. I can see how one would be beneficial around the holiday season. 50+ turkeys haveing to be carved by one guy on a very tight time budget.
I had both the benefit (and misfortune ) many years back to work with a Michelin starred chef that pseudo retired and open his own catering business. Around the holidays he payed really good money for help but the work was only per diem. I was out of work at the time (hence the misfortunate part of my statement). Anyway I learned a lot working with him and the point here being he used an electric knife to get the holiday catering out.
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