Jump to content

Menu

A cutting edge situation... or do I want some knives like Jamie Oliver?


Recommended Posts

So I'm watching these Jamie Oliver videos on youtube, and it almost seems like this dude's *knife* skills are the secret to his success. What do you think? Like look at the knife he's using in this first video. What do you think it is? He uses it to cut the veges so thinly, and then the just cook super quick and blend into the already cooked stuff. Me, I chop and all my things are, well they're never that fine, lol. Here's the video. 

And here's another video where he's doing knife work on these little veges till they turn out thin and happy. That's a big chef knife and a paring knife. I'm just realizing I don't even OWN a chef's knife that big! Haha, I own a santoku, not sure the size. 

 So what do you think? If I got some new knives (in our quarantine driven boredom) would my cooking improve? Or is my knifework limited by my fingers, clumsiness, that kind of thing, and I already have a good enough knife? This is probably what I already have.                                             Wusthof 4183 Wusthof Classic Hollow Edge Santoku Knife 7, 7", Black                                      So what do you think, do we need new knives? Need, want, I don't know. I want my food to look like that video and taste like that video, haha. I chop a lot of veges, and mine are never so pretty, lol.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you have a cleaver? My aunts used the meat cleaver for meat and vegetables. You can buy a meat cleaver and a vegetable cleaver if you have the space to have both. 

e.g. 

https://www.amazon.com/Aroma-Vegetable-Stainless-Full-tang-Restaurant/dp/B07H4FPNN8/

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07BK4LPTV/

Edited by Arcadia
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you hone your knife regularly? Do you have it sharpened periodically? Doing both of those will give you a better (and safer) tool to work with. Then you can practice improving your technique. No, your knife won't be as good as Jamie's, and no, your skills won't match his. But you can always make smaller steps toward improvement with what you have. If you do decide to get a new knife, you might try a different shape. I personally prefer the chef's/cook's knife shape over santoku. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know, but my big purchase during this time was a set of Cutco knives.

I would offer to report back on whether they improve my cooking skills, but we are stuck in the middle of kitchen remodel, so it may be awhile before I am doing my regular amount of cooking. If they turn me into a professional quality chef, I will be thrilled. 😋

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Storygirl said:

I don't know, but my big purchase during this time was a set of Cutco knives.

This one looks similar to the one Jamie Oliver use for the first video that OP linked. 

https://www.cutco.com/products/product.jsp?item=vegetable-knife

A sushi chef takes a 10 year apprenticeship to hone his skills so practice makes perfect. Having better and correct tools does make the practice part less arduous.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the same 7" Wusthof Santoku knife that you have, as well as a 5" Wusthof Nakiri, and I do 95% of my chopping with those two — probably 80% just with the Nakiri. A big chef knife just feels too heavy and unwieldy to me, and I'm more of a straight-chopper versus a rocker-chopper anyway, so the straight edge Japanese knives suit me better. I have a big chopped salad for lunch almost every day, and I like to cut my veg super fine (like Jamie does in the first video), and the little 5" Nakiri works perfectly for that — it's really light, and you can get paper thin slices because of the 10 degree blade angle and the hollow edge — it goes through carrots and other hard veg like butter. If I could only choose 3 knives, I would choose the Nakiri, a paring knife, and my Wusthof 10" double-serrated  bread knife (ideal for artisan bread with thick crusts). 

If the main reason you are thinking of a new knife is to cut really fine julienned veg like Jamie did in the first video, then you might also consider a julienne peeler like this. For things like zucchini, carrots, cucumbers, it's much faster than julienning with a knife. I have one and I use it a lot.

Edited by Corraleno
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Good, sharp knives DO matter, but they won't automatically improve your cooking.  

- Texture matters.  And having good knives allows you to get the texture right, assuming you know what you're doing.

- Getting a new knife or two (you don't need a set!!!) can create a self-fulfilling situation where you are motivated to spend more time working in the kitchen and experimenting with the knife, and more time in the kitchen makes you a better cook through experience.  

- Working on knife skills usually means working with fresh, unprocessed ingredients, which usually means higher quality meals.  

 

Personally, I say go for it.  Whether you learn to cook better as you learn to use your knife better, or learn to use your knife better while you learn to cook better, you will find a good knife is just SO satisfying to work with.  And then, when you go to your friend's house and discover they've got nothing but an old steak knife in a drawer, you'll STILL be able to make something amazing, because the skills will be there.  

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Arcadia said:

You can buy a meat cleaver and a vegetable cleaver if you have the space to have both.

Thanks!!!! The cleaver suggestion and rabbiting that helped me find the Nakiri which turns out to be exactly what I was looking for. And looking at the charts, it looks like the blade on the nakiri is thinner, which would give those cuts he's making. I'll have to see if my knife block has a spot wide enough for a meat cleaver, hmmm. Honestly, my anxiety has never been calm enough to touch a cleaver, haha. I know the nakiri will fit so I went ahead and ordered that.

6 hours ago, Storygirl said:

I don't know, but my big purchase during this time was a set of Cutco knives.

I would offer to report back on whether they improve my cooking skills, but we are stuck in the middle of kitchen remodel, so it may be awhile before I am doing my regular amount of cooking. If they turn me into a professional quality chef, I will be thrilled. 😋

Ooo, I'm excited you're getting a kitchen remodel! That will be so nice when it's done. 

6 hours ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

I can only speak for myself.  I think that for me, buying a different knife and hoping it would turn me into Jamie Oliver, would be a little bit like buying a different paint brush and hoping it would turn me into Picasso. 

LOL, well that's possible. But I do sit around watching videos about knife skills. We got some of the Great Courses cooking classes on dvd and ds and I watch them together. So I've been *trying* to improve my skills and when I saw his knife realized that at this point some new knives, new tools might actually be the right next step. I had bought a couple knives a year for dd and then she TOOK THEM when she moved out to go to college! I kid you not, moved out with the knives, half my sewing stuff... LOL So I've got this lonely knife block that could use some excitement. 

Besides, the knives I had bought for her were a german brand (F Dick) with BIG handles for her BIG hands. I have big hands, but hers are even bigger. I'm better with Wustoff, something I can manage. So I have my two Wustoff knives (small chef and a santoku) and then the wood handled Chicago Cutlery from when I got married 23 years ago. Time to add some pieces, get adventurous.

6 hours ago, meena said:

Do you hone your knife regularly? Do you have it sharpened periodically? Doing both of those will give you a better (and safer) tool to work with. Then you can practice improving your technique. No, your knife won't be as good as Jamie's, and no, your skills won't match his. But you can always make smaller steps toward improvement with what you have. If you do decide to get a new knife, you might try a different shape. I personally prefer the chef's/cook's knife shape over santoku. 

My dd takes my knives each year for Christmas to a shop to get them sharpened. You're right I *don't* have a honing steel. I always thought about it, asked for one, and my dh got me something totally different. I'm also pretty anxious about knives, so I'm probably slower to do something like that. And I kind of got my brain muddled when someone was telling me that steels were bad, don't do that, blah blah. So I just gave up. (hangs head in shame) But I could look into it.

Yes, I really think I'd like some kind of fresh chef's knife too. My wustoff chef's knife is small, and sometimes it's nice to have something bigger, like when breaking down a cabbage. The blade on my chicago cutlery knife doesn't feel really dependable going through something bigger. 

And thanks, yes I do think I could keep going forward. And it's just fun to try new things. Certainly couldn't *hurt* at this point. Well it would if I cut myself, lol. But other than that, it will probably help. And I can find videos on using it.

6 hours ago, Arcadia said:

A sushi chef takes a 10 year apprenticeship to hone his skills so practice makes perfect.

Hmm, well I've been chopping salads longer than that, haha. But yeah, I think it will be fun to improve a bit. Thanks for that cutco find. I ended up going with Wustoff just because I like what I already have, but that was really right on track! 

5 hours ago, Corraleno said:

I have the same 7" Wusthoff Santoku knife that you have, as well as a 5" Wusthoff Nakiri, and I do 95% of my chopping with those two — probably 80% just with the Nakiri. A big chef knife just feels too heavy and unwieldy to me, and I'm more of a straight-chopper versus a rocker-chopper anyway, so the straight edge Japanese knives suit me better. I have a big chopped salad for lunch almost every day, and I like to cut my veg super fine (like Jamie does in the first video), and the little 5" Nakiri works perfectly for that — it's really light, and you can get paper thin slices because of the 10 degree blade angle and the hollow edge — it goes through carrots and other hard veg like butter. If I could only choose 3 knives, I would choose the Nakiri, a paring knife, and my Wusthoff 10" double-serrated  bread knife (ideal for artisan bread with thick crusts). 

If the main reason you are thinking of a new knife is to cut really fine julienned veg like Jamie did in the first video, then you might also consider a julienne peeler like this. For things like zucchini, carrots, cucumbers, it's much faster than julienning with a knife. I have one and I use it a lot.

Ok, you win the prize. Once I realized that thing was called a Nakiri, it's obvious to do it in Wustoff, yes. The classic fits my hand great, and I found a little set with that and a snazzy "asian paring knife" (whatever that is) for just $10 more. I'll definitely check out that julienne peeler, sounds fun.

4 hours ago, Monica_in_Switzerland said:

And having good knives allows you to get the texture right, assuming you know what you're doing.

- Getting a new knife or two (you don't need a set!!!) can create a self-fulfilling situation where you are motivated to spend more time working in the kitchen and experimenting with the knife, and more time in the kitchen makes you a better cook through experience.  

Yeah, that's what I was seeing in that video. Well this will be fun. And yes, I've been buying pieces. I think I just spent years buying dd pieces instead of me, haha. So now I think I'll buy some for myself. :biggrin:

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Ok, you win the prize. Once I realized that thing was called a Nakiri, it's obvious to do it in Wustoff, yes. The classic fits my hand great, and I found a little set with that and a snazzy "asian paring knife" (whatever that is) for just $10 more. I'll definitely check out that julienne peeler, sounds fun.

If this is the one you mean, I have that knife, too. I don't use it a lot but its handy if you want to rocker chop something like herbs, and it also works as a larger paring knife (as long as you're not holding whatever you're cutting in your other hand). It has the sharper 10 degree blade edge like the other Asian knives, vs the 14 degree edge on the Wusthof Euro style knives.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, happyonthebeach said:

Well I'm not the one to ask, because I'm the one spending my whole budget on one knife, hahaha. 

I watch these street food videos on youtube and I haven't figured out how they have knives that work just fine but we struggle. 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

If this is the one you mean, I have that knife, too. I don't use it a lot but its handy if you want to rocker chop something like herbs, and it also works as a larger paring knife (as long as you're not holding whatever you're cutting in your other hand). It has the sharper 10 degree blade edge like the other Asian knives, vs the 14 degree edge on the Wusthof Euro style knives.

I guess as it's worth the $12 or a space in my knife block it's ok. But if it's taking space and not getting used, that would be bad. I thought it might be kind of snazzy at apple slices. I'm always looking for the right knife for that, something bigger than a paring knife and smaller than 7" chefs.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Knife skills ?? What is that ?? If I try to cut like Jamie a little piece of my finger will be an additional source of protein every time I do that 

I do a lot of cooking and prepping, so I employ a variety of gadgets. Gadgets are my friends, I will never say I don't wield a knife, but honestly the least used piece of equipment. My most used pieces of equipment are mortar and a pestle and my DH's hands. 😜

  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

Well I'm not the one to ask, because I'm the one spending my whole budget on one knife, hahaha. 

I watch these street food videos on youtube and I haven't figured out how they have knives that work just fine but we struggle. 

 

 

Wow!  I never would have thought of cutting up a watermelon like that.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Good knives are nice, but I don't see them improving your cooking.  The recipes in the video are going to taste good even if your carrots aren't professionally chopped.  Really, close enough is good enough for the home cook.  Do you have a food processor?  That might short cut it. If you have dull knives that don't cut well, that does make cooking more difficult, but you don't need professional knives to chop well and owning them won't make you a better cook.   

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you watched Gordon Ramsey or anybody else, you would think you'd need their knife.

Learning the technique helped me more than a specific knife even though sharp knives that sit well in your hand are very helpful.

When you put your fingers down one finger, pointer or middle finger should be a little forward . Everything gets cuts along this finger in a downward motion. That way you really are never in danger of cutting the tip of a finger off. Speed will come once you master technique.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

Good knives are nice, but I don't see them improving your cooking.  The recipes in the video are going to taste good even if your carrots aren't professionally chopped.  Really, close enough is good enough for the home cook.  Do you have a food processor?  That might short cut it. If you have dull knives that don't cut well, that does make cooking more difficult, but you don't need professional knives to chop well and owning them won't make you a better cook.   

I'm not sure why we're going around on this. I liked his knife, want his knife, have the money for the knife, and would enjoy trying to use the knife. I have two wusthofs I've used nonstop daily for 20 years. I wanted to expand my collection, lol. I mean, to mean it just seemed like a reasonable thing to do, lol. And I bought my dd knives that are significantly nicer than my wusthofs and a big block to hold them and now she's GONE with her knives. So I have plenty of room to store them, a desire for them, and a little change to buy them. 

And while I COULD go buy $200 in curriculum for ds (I've got things in a cart, I really could), I just kinda thought for once I'd treat MYSELF. I bought myself some piano music this week too. I don't NEED it, so it was a totally frivolous want expenditure. Oh well. It's kinda like cinnamon rolls. Sometimes we just do things to stay sane. And if buying a new knife gives me something to think about besides POLITICIANS JERKING OUR ENTIRE WORLD APART AND TRASHING THE ECONOMY AND DESTROYING SMALL BUSINESSES AND COLLEGE FUNDS AND THE FUTURES OF OUR YOUTH, well then I think that's ok. Cuz right now, I try to think about ANYTHING besides what is going on outside. Even the weather doesn't cooperate but keeps sending CLOUDS. And I could weed, but somehow that didn't rank. So I decided to be slightly frivolous and buy some new knives.

If I don't spend my time on this, the other thing I was researching was cutting my own hair. Somehow, I think buying new knives is safer. :biggrin:

Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Liz CA said:

If you watched Gordon Ramsey or anybody else, you would think you'd need their knife.

Ok, well I have to confess that unless I've seen him in passing I've never intentionally watched a full show of Gordon Ramsey. I hear he's kind of provocative, lol. And that may be true, but fwiw, I don't usually have knife lust like this. I mean, I watch Rie on Tasty and she's always talking about her girls (knives) going to the spa (knife sharpener) and bringing her own and blah blah and I never lust for hers. 

I think I just thought it was a novel knife, something I hadn't seen before. And when I bugged dd about it today, she's like oh yeah I used a nakiri last summer and loved it, blah blah. So I'm not crazy. Too much. :biggrin:

And I mean seriously, it's such a SMALL indulgence. And I really do use my two wusthofs over and over all day long. I really think it would be ok for me to have a few more and make my knife block less lonely. 

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

And I mean seriously, it's such a SMALL indulgence. And I really do use my two wusthofs over and over all day long. I really think it would be ok for me to have a few more and make my knife block less lonely. 

 

If your knife block is lonely, I'd recommend that foot long thingy the fruit magician used. When you figure out what that is called, let me know!  😂

  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have some Jamie Oliver knives I bought at the grocery store in a promotion. They weren't expensive and I really like them. I even have a Jamie Oliver cookbook, which has some really great recipes. In the book I have, there is no special veggie chopping required or even recommended. The recipes are all meant to be easy for people of any skill/experience level to achieve success.

I've watched several different TV series of Jamie Oliver, and I like his message that cooking your own health and delicious food doesn't have to be difficult and doesn't require a lot of expensive tools or ingredients. 

If you feel like you could benefit from new knives, then go for it. I sliced myself plenty with my Jamie Oliver knives until I got way more respectful of their sharpness. They have dulled down a lot over the years, and I don't sharpen them. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

I'm not sure why we're going around on this. I liked his knife, want his knife, have the money for the knife, and would enjoy trying to use the knife. I have two wusthofs I've used nonstop daily for 20 years. I wanted to expand my collection, lol. I mean, to mean it just seemed like a reasonable thing to do, lol. And I bought my dd knives that are significantly nicer than my wusthofs and a big block to hold them and now she's GONE with her knives. So I have plenty of room to store them, a desire for them, and a little change to buy them. 

And while I COULD go buy $200 in curriculum for ds (I've got things in a cart, I really could), I just kinda thought for once I'd treat MYSELF. I bought myself some piano music this week too. I don't NEED it, so it was a totally frivolous want expenditure. Oh well. It's kinda like cinnamon rolls. Sometimes we just do things to stay sane. And if buying a new knife gives me something to think about besides POLITICIANS JERKING OUR ENTIRE WORLD APART AND TRASHING THE ECONOMY AND DESTROYING SMALL BUSINESSES AND COLLEGE FUNDS AND THE FUTURES OF OUR YOUTH, well then I think that's ok. Cuz right now, I try to think about ANYTHING besides what is going on outside. Even the weather doesn't cooperate but keeps sending CLOUDS. And I could weed, but somehow that didn't rank. So I decided to be slightly frivolous and buy some new knives.

If I don't spend my time on this, the other thing I was researching was cutting my own hair. Somehow, I think buying new knives is safer. :biggrin:

Well, um, in my defense, I did not know that new knives meant all of THAT. You asked if they’d improve your cooking and I didn’t see how that was even possible.  I didn’t know these were therapy knives or that you were really asking if you deserved them. Of course you DESERVE them. Go on and hit One Click right now. 

  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

Well, um, in my defense, I did not know that new knives meant all of THAT. You asked if they’d improve your cooking and I didn’t see how that was even possible.  I didn’t know these were therapy knives or that you were really asking if you deserved them. Of course you DESERVE them. Go on and hit One Click right now. 

I'm not sure *I* knew they were therapy knives. It started as a justification by usefulness and turned into well fine just because I WANT them. :smile:

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...