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Carving Set for meat show

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hi!

 

I am looking for a nice carving set to carve/slice meat in front of my customers (chefs). It has to be very sharp and good looking (the carving/slicing knife alone without the set is as well a possibility). The knife (set) should be max 500$

 

I checked out the PREMIER 2-PIECE CARVING SET from Shun but after reading many reviews here decided to do further research on this topic. Are there any recommendations on which slicing/carving knife I should focus?

 

Thanks for your help!

post #2 of 24

I use a sujihiki and bbq tongs.  I'm not fancy enough to use a fork.

post #3 of 24
My recommendation is that you get something nice and functional in the 125-150 dollar range x3... a 500 dollar knife has no place in a professional caterer's toolkit. You are going to cry so badly when some commis comes and puts a big heavy hotel pan right down on that blade, permanently bending it. If you really want to be that way about it get a nice carbon sujihiki and wax poetic about how much better carbon is while you're slicing your meat. Beyond that, you're trying to spend way too much! You can definitely get a nice showpiece for 150, and by the sound of it afford a backup to boot.

I saw a picture of Mario Batali holding a Victorinox Fibrox 10" chefs the other day biggrin.gif No shame in it.
post #4 of 24

Welcome to ChefTalk!

 

Offhand, since this is to be a knife intended to carve meats before an audience of chefs, I would suggest a sujihiki.  I would somewhat agree with SpoiledBroth that you don't want an extremely expensive knife, but I certainly would not go for a Victorinox Fibrox.  Presentation does have a certain degree of importance.  Chefs probably will be the most knowledgeable audience with regard to what knife you use, so it would be more impressive if your knife is good quality but discrete in appearance. 

 

There are several thing to consider before a serious recommendation can be made..

 

What length of blade are you currently using?   Are you comfortable considering a 300 mm (12 inch) blade?

 

How are you currently sharpening your existing knives?

 

When this knife is going to be used, will it be cutting into anything with bones?

 

Other questions before a recommendation, anyone?

 

 

Galley Swiller


Edited by Galley Swiller - 10/18/14 at 9:52am
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for these fast answers! So it seems like you recommend a Sujihiki.

 

Yes I know I don't need an expensive knife, but I am selling a product and cut in front of chefs. The overall appearance (experience for my customer) is quite import for me ;) 

 

@Galley: Thank you! I am using 20-25cm blades and was on and off considering a longer one (27, 30cm). I am currently using a whetstone to sharpen my knives (but with more expensive knives I would consider bringing them to a specialist to sharpen). Normally, there are no bones when I cut my pieces at this stage.

 

In case we keep to sujihiki, I am still a bit overwhelmed with the offers...  Hattori, Miyabi, Kanetsune, Gesshin, RyuSen and more

 

Smth on the side, I love hammered knives. Not recommended combined with Sujihiki? Or just a question of taste (looks)?

post #6 of 24

I spent a good month shopping for a sujihiki for use as a dedicated protein slicer.  I cook a lot of BBQ, roasts, and my own charcuterie.  I needed something that could slice raw and cooked meats, pork butt, leg of lamb, brisket, bacon, pastrami, etc.

 

My criteria for a dedicated slicer

1) Carbon steel - easier to sharpen and maintain

2) Long - as long as possible to make clean cuts in one drawing cut

3) Stiff - For the stuff I'm cutting that has a bark, any flex is just horrible.

4) wa handle - my preference

 

I searched everything from Misono swedish (330mm on rakuten was only $240) to yoshikane sld, to customs.  I ended up with the 270mm kochi from Japanese Knife Imports.  It's a fatter knife, so if you cut a carrot or something, it would wedge.  It's really intended for protein only.  So far it has just ripped through every product.  I've portioned fish, sliced bacon, cutt a pork butt straight in half, sliced a ballotine, portioned steaks.  Even though it is a 270mm, it's oversized and closer to a 300mm.  Compared to the victorinox slicer I was replacing (too much flex, useless on raw meat), it is only about 10cm shorter.  As far as length, few makers make anything bigger than 300, especially the carbon wa handled ones i like.  You will find western handled, stainless that are longer.  Or yanagiba (not recommended) that are longer.  The market for long suji is pretty much BBQ people, and the majority of them use the victorinox granton edge slicer. 

 

Hammered, damascus, etc cladding.  Yeah it looks cool.  It has no impact on performance.  If you want to pay a little extra, you should get the look that you want.  Personally I stay away from those, because I know that when I sharpen and thin, they'll get scratched up.  I'm more about the rustic looking knives.

 

Anyway. that was my thought process while shopping.  What you end up with should account for your preferences and sharpening skills.  I wouldn't take a nice sujihiki to just any sharpener.  In my area, there is only one hand sharpener using the edge pro system.  Everyone else uses belt sanders, a good way to wreck your knife.   The reason is that hand sharpening takes time and if people give you abused, chipped knives, repair can take a long time.

post #7 of 24

The other suji i would consider to not flex much are yoshikane and takeda.  The yoshikane ran short (263mm), but I almost bought one used.  Takeda was just out of my price range.

post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 

That's great, thank you for the elaboration!

 

Long, stiff sounds good. I am probably leaning more towards Yo-handle, western style. Any tips on this? Long, western style suji?

post #9 of 24

If price is no object you could contemplate buying a custom made from a mastersmith. This David Thomas scimitar, for instance is surely a show:

 

 

Back to suji, this one by Rodrigue is a beauty:

 

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 #10 of 24

Or this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UY-WUrhda8Q

 

Definitely you can get customs for under $500.  I stayed away from customs because of price and the wait time.   Someday I'll get a koa burlwood handle :D. You might find some used ones off active buy/sell/trade forums like on kitchenknifeforums.

 

Since I had a pretty good idea of what I was looking for already, I only considered a few western handled slicers. mostly because of price:  misono swedish (carbon),  suisin inox (molybdenum/chromium stainless).  Based on conversations with other users, these had too much flex for me.  Thinness isn't necessarily flex, there's steel type, heat treat, etc to account for.  If you're slicing roast beef or something soft like that, you'll be fine with a little flex, honestly.  I'm sure they were still stiffer than the victorinox forschner slicer; that one has what i would call a lot of flex.  I'm cutting stuff with a lot of bark and also thinly slicing raw beef and pork.  Those are very specific tasks that most people do not need to consider with a typical slicer.  Misono makes a stainless 440 version, masamoto has some, and togiharu.

 

Look through Korin and JKI offerings for those.

post #11 of 24

I thing the Dexter Chateaubriand set looks very cool and is very cheap.

 

http://www.wasserstrom.com/restaurant-supplies-equipment/Product_122629

 

Although many chefs look down upon anything Dexter, a Yatagan blade is seldom seen.

 

You can get a suji or custom that is much better but these take the cake on good looking for me.

 

I actually have run across several of these type forks and kept several for grilling since they can heft a lot of weight.

 

Jim

post #12 of 24

I have no problems with forks at home.  My reasoning is that if I have to pack tongs in my knife bag for bbq anyway, forks are just extra weight.  Does it look classier for presentation? Maybe

post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 

I checked all the knives out, some very nice once! Whilst doing research I found as well the FH-13 Sujihiki 270mm or FH-14 300mm Hattori. What have you heard about these?

post #14 of 24

Those were a collaboration made with input from a lot of knife forum members.  The handles are supposed to be pretty comfortable.  Hattori is known to be one of the better makers for VG-10.  I haven't used one so I can't comment on geometry or flex.

post #15 of 24

I forgot one.  Hiromoto G3 http://japanesechefsknife.com/Page4.html#GingamiNo.3  The no dimple version in particular.  When you sharpen up to where the dimples are, your knife is done, so it has a much shorter useful lifespan.

 

I don't do stainless much, but G3 is one of the better ones.  This is the last batch, the maker has retired.  When it runs out, that's the end.  That trivia will impress your chefs. :D

post #16 of 24

No experience with any of them, but there're a lot of reviews online for the Hattori Forum knives. The 300mm. suji with cocobolo wood handle is nice at $252.

 

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 #17 of 24

Whew!  Lots of suggestions and some mighty nice knives.  It's always fun to make wish list recommendations.  And I don't know about anyone else, but I'm going to have to do some serious screen wiping to get rid of my droolings over the knives shown and listed.

 

Unfortunately, I think we may be not seeing the forest because of all the trees.

 

The OP has a distinct requirement for this knife - that it be used during demonstrations, mostly before chefs.  That means it needs to be something that most chefs would recognize as a quality knife appropriate for the task (or at least what we think most chefs would recognize as quality).  The knife is going to do presentation work in cutting/slicing meat, so it needs to be kept relatively shiny (so that eliminates most - if not all - carbon steel blades).  It needs to be easy enough to bring to a high level of sharpness and it need to do its work WITHOUT stealing the show away from the OP's presentation.  And I will add another requirement: it needs to be precisely the type of knife which the better chefs can afford.  

 

I am probably a spoil-sport, but I think that eliminates damascus, Tsuchime (hammered) pattern, custom knives and a lot of other knives.

 

What I'm left with is something along the lines of the MAC MKS-105 "Mighty" Professional slicer: http://www.macknife.com/kitchen/products-by-style/boningfillet-knives/36-mks-105-professional-series-10fq-slicer.html  List price is $230.  And, if my current stock of MAC knives is any indication, it will carve your demonstration meat/roast just fine.

 

It's available online from Cutlery and More and the Knife Merchant for $189.95.  For the same price, it's also available on eBay from Oriental Discount.

 

Cutlery and More -  http://www.cutleryandmore.com/mac-professional/slicing-knife-p18063?gclid=Cj0KEQjw_IKiBRD7rPqut_OZ4qgBEiQASm4GAoysgjbdiBws77q8pWWF14oxtC8Jb8BIefXeTf7OAPkaAlb18P8HAQ 

 

The Knife Merchant - http://www.knifemerchant.com/product.asp?productID=2702&gclid=Cj0KEQjw_IKiBRD7rPqut_OZ4qgBEiQASm4GAkhgLb7fYg_lQsxlOwVzJ3S_2nvRZrhaqzYD4vOe7OIaAppy8P8HAQ

 

Oriental Discount eBay store - http://www.ebay.com/itm/Japan-MAC-Knife-MKS-105-Professional-Series-10-1-2-Blade-Japanese-Fillet-Slicer-/130742001960?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e70d4a128

 

The main drawback here is the length.  It's "only" 260 mm.  Otherwise it's a knife which is a recognizable name to many chefs in the know, within the potential experience of those chefs.  It can sharpen well and hold that edge.  

 

Now, for holding that ornery bit of protein still while you apply the knife to it.

 

If you want a standard carving fork, don't think you absolutely need to get a matching MAC Carving Fork ($45 List from MAC USA, $37.95 from Cutlery and More).  You can do just as well with another carving fork (mine came from an antique dealer's question bin and cost me a dollar).

 

Or you might want to try one of these Classic Metal Carving Tongs (at $6.22, but doesn't quite qualify for free shipping):

http://www.amazon.com/BigKitchen-Classic-Metal-Carving-Tong/dp/B002OFMWAU/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1413597669&sr=8-11&keywords=meat+carving+tongs

 

Or, you can get these roast cutting tongs:

http://www.amazon.com/CHEFS-Roast-Cutting-Tongs/dp/B001J8KGEM/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1413597899&sr=8-4&keywords=roast+carving+tongs

 

Either way, you should get a better grip on the subject than with ordinary tongs or carving forks.

 

Hope that helps.

 

 

Galley Swiller

post #18 of 24
What about Suisin Inox ? Their western style knives are quite nice and I have been watching alot of Japanese Knife Society videos where the sushi chef uses almost exclusively a suisin inox yo suji. He was doing some extremely boutique carrot cuts with it too. It come in at quite a few bucks cheaper than the MAC. The Carbonext Suji is in that priceclass too.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpoiledBroth View Post

What about Suisin Inox ? Their western style knives are quite nice and I have been watching alot of Japanese Knife Society videos where the sushi chef uses almost exclusively a suisin inox yo suji. He was doing some extremely boutique carrot cuts with it too. It come in at quite a few bucks cheaper than the MAC. The Carbonext Suji is in that priceclass too.

in the japanese knife society vidoes, he uses a suisin inox honyaki yanagiba, deba, and kamagata usuba, but no sujihiki for what its worth... glad you're enjoying the videos though :)

post #20 of 24
sorry yanagiba. -.- n00b mistake. that knife was impressive but I would not recommend it for the application in the thread. Guess it was cucumber he was cutting as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEjt3608-pM

stunning.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpoiledBroth View Post

sorry yanagiba. -.- n00b mistake. that knife was impressive but I would not recommend it for the application in the thread. Guess it was cucumber he was cutting as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEjt3608-pM

stunning.

yup... i know them well... i was a part of making them ;)

post #22 of 24

The Suisin Inox Sujihiki would also work very well.  For demonstration purposes, longer is definitely better, so a 300mm sujihiki would be well worth it.

 

I'm finding 3 sources for the 300mm - Japanese Knife Imports, Chef Knives To Go and Korin.  Prices range from $192.50 to $225.  

 

Do keep in mind that you may want to consider having the knife sharpened before it is shipped to you.  It's often customary for Japanese knife makers to ship a knife relatively unsharpened to the chef, in the anticipation that each individual chef will sharpen it to personal preferences.  For that reason, ordering from JKI and having Jon sharpen  the knife probably would be my suggestion.

 

You might also want an appropriate saya.

 

Hope that helps

 

 

Galley Swiller

post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley Swiller View Post
 

The Suisin Inox Sujihiki would also work very well.  For demonstration purposes, longer is definitely better, so a 300mm sujihiki would be well worth it.

 

I'm finding 3 sources for the 300mm - Japanese Knife Imports, Chef Knives To Go and Korin.  Prices range from $192.50 to $225.  

 

Do keep in mind that you may want to consider having the knife sharpened before it is shipped to you.  It's often customary for Japanese knife makers to ship a knife relatively unsharpened to the chef, in the anticipation that each individual chef will sharpen it to personal preferences.  For that reason, ordering from JKI and having Jon sharpen  the knife probably would be my suggestion.

 

You might also want an appropriate saya.

 

Hope that helps

 

 

Galley Swiller

Its worth noting that i'm currently in Japan and wont be back in the states until november 12th when i return to work.  That being said, the website is still active and shipping.  I just cant sharpen for you until i return.

post #24 of 24

When shopping for straight razors; I've read comments that suggest no straight razor is really shipped shave ready (though some are sold as such). The knives I've bought recently came sharp enough to shave with, but seem to either retain their edge or take a much better edge after resharpening. I knew Jon (JBroida) was in Japan. He's sharing interesting pics and stories on his facebook. JKI also now has a 3 stone set (value priced), though so far in my limited experience a 6k grit would have gotten me by for quite a while? A high grit stone was fun to play around with on an older well beat up knife, but I *think* a 6k makes a good starter for a Japanese knife knoob?

 

Sharpening on stones imo isn't as difficult as some make it out to be. Watch some of Jon's, and Carter's demos and you'll have a good understanding of what you need to do. The blade sings on the stone like it would a steel; if you're continuing the same edge angle. Tactile feedback is there; you don't need a guide or contraption unless you want a more flattened geometry vs rounded. (Wusthof markets the benefits of a more flat geometry with it's PEtec edge).  


Edited by tweakz - 10/18/14 at 5:38pm
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