Working With Carbon Steel Knives- Japanese Knife Imports

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  • Published on Dec 10, 2012
  • In this video, we discuss the use and care of carbon steel knives. I explain a workflow that helps reduce reactivity with carbon foods and create a cleaner working environment. This kind of workflow can and should also be used for stainless steel knives. I also discuss a few ways to deal with rust when rust does occur.
    Towards the end of the video, I briefly discuss patinas- their pros and cons, as well as cultural differences between Japan and the US with regard to them.
    As always, if you have any questions, you can find us at www.JapaneseKnifeImports.com, or e-mail us at Jon@JapaneseKnifeImports.com.
    Thanks for watching.
    -Jon
    P.S. Sorry for the odd ending of the video... i never edit these things and the camera wouldnt turn off right away ;)
  • Howto & StyleHowto & Style

Comments • 101

  • frankie diaz
    frankie diaz Month ago

    How do I remove the black matte from my new Japanese knife. I recently purchased one and I don’t like how it feels when I start chopping

  • frankie diaz
    frankie diaz Month ago

    I use olive oil and it works perfectly

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  Month ago

      the main reason we dont recommend this is that olive oil can go rancid and also has a different pH balance. There are better options out there.

  • Jarod Kelly
    Jarod Kelly 4 months ago

    full time sushi chef here, and thanks for the information. I don't have space on my cutting board for two towels, so i have my damp cloth off to the side and a dry paper towel that i keep in my pocket and I wipe between every use

    • Jonathan Broida
      Jonathan Broida 4 months ago

      Yeah... i actually dont recommend keeping the dry towel on the board... its usually on my side or on the table nearby. Also, keep it clean and change it often to avoid cross-contamination.

  • Cutting Edge
    Cutting Edge 6 months ago

    Sensei!

  • Derryl Gavin
    Derryl Gavin 8 months ago

    SKIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jonathan Broida
      Jonathan Broida 8 months ago +1

      any particular reason you were unhappy with the content of the video or was it something else?

  • Muse 12
    Muse 12 8 months ago

    Yeah yeah yeah dreamer

  • nmssis
    nmssis 11 months ago

    you should loose the garb...imagine how ridiculous if a Chinese guy was selling chaps wearing a cowboy hat

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  11 months ago +1

      @nmssis and thats what matters most to me ;)

    • nmssis
      nmssis 11 months ago +1

      videography, sound, content...most sharp and informative, thank you!

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  11 months ago

      lol... fair enough. The coat i was wearing in the video is vintage indigo, which I happen to be a fan of, and the apron (maikake) is something that I wore in kitchens when cooking in Japan, so they happen to be things I enjoy, but I can see how it looks a bit ridiculous in the video. Then again, as long as the content was good, that was my main focus. I'm sure its clear from the video that videography is not my strong point ;)

  • iTz iBraHimM
    iTz iBraHimM 11 months ago

    is it the sime for the blue steal ?

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  11 months ago

      @iTz iBraHimM check out this playlist: ruclip.com/p/PLDgLV2bW_MlCtt2LOAYJ5fhw5N7eakBYx

    • iTz iBraHimM
      iTz iBraHimM 11 months ago

      @Japanese Knife Imports I am a new chef and i really want to know that this knife are made for i got i set of knifes from my dad (nagiri-usba-deba-gyuto-yanigiba-the samoray sword looking one) please tell us how to use them

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  11 months ago

      Being that blue steel is also a carbon steel, the same concepts apply.

  • n x
    n x Year ago

    Hello am looking to buy a new knife but don't want loads of hassle I love these knifes but is it just better to just get stainless steel am prepared to clean but just don't want to stress about it
    Thanks

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  Year ago

      hey... feel free to e-mail us at jon@japaneseknifeimports.com and we'd be happy to help you find some options that make sense

  • lbdeuce
    lbdeuce Year ago

    you look absurd.

    • Tony Wall
      Tony Wall Year ago +1

      Refreshing and something rarely seen these days. Someone owning up to what they said and apologizing. Good on you, Ibdeuce!!

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  Year ago +1

      lbdeuce lol... no worries. I know it looks stupid in the US... I don’t mind being a bit of a dork and don’t take things so personally online. Glad the video was decent at least 😉

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  Year ago +1

      fair enough... i just really like traditional japanese indigo dyed clothing and for the guys i train with in japan this is normal... but i get its not everyone's jam. Was the info in the video good at least? Thats really all that matters to me.

  • procekim
    procekim Year ago

    Interesting, I wet knife so food doesn't stick to it. It doesn't make it easier to cut. I love patina on carbon knives. Mine are totally black and I can guarantee that more patina you have on your knives it protects the knives against corrosion or food oxidation. I've never ever experienced metal taste in my food. Anyone experienced metal taste in their food? If yes how much % of Carbon is in your knives? Mine have 1% of Carbon hardness 60 HRC. I've no experience with hardens of 62 HRC or more. I've one Japanese knife around 53-55 HRC too soft for me (in this option it is better to buy Zwilling or Wushof. My favourite is Ikon with dark wood.

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  Year ago

      yeah... it helps with food stickage as well. Thats part of the reason you will see many sushi chefs using water on their blades before cutting. In terms of metal taste, yes... i've experienced it first hand with a wide vareity of knives in varying carbon contents and at varying hardnesses. Its pretty common... expecially with high acid foods.

  • Kevin Wilson
    Kevin Wilson Year ago

    I am looking for a starter sharpening kit with a base.

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  Year ago

      you can see all of our sharpening equipment here: www.japaneseknifeimports.com/collections/sharpening-supplies
      If you have specific questions, feel free to e-mail me at jon@japaneseknifeimports.com

  • Kevin Wilson
    Kevin Wilson Year ago

    Do you know where I can buy Tojiro shirogami iron cladding over white #2 knives.
    From
    Kevin Wilson

  • Kevin Wilson
    Kevin Wilson Year ago

    Do you have tojiro itk kiritsuke Gyutou 240mm iron cladding over white #2

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  Year ago

      yes... i believe you can find them at chef knives to go... if there's anything else i can help you out with or if you're curious about anything we sell, please don't hesitate to ask

    • Kevin Wilson
      Kevin Wilson Year ago

      Japanese Knife Imports I am looking for a place I can buy Tojiro shirogami iron cladding over white #2

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  Year ago

      We dont sell them, but i've used them... did you have a question about them or were you looking for where to buy them?

  • Robert Florea
    Robert Florea Year ago

    Will a rust eraser damage the Damasc pattern of the blade? Thank you!

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  Year ago

      for sure... feel free to bug me with any other questions

    • Robert Florea
      Robert Florea Year ago

      Thank you very much, John, for your fast and useful reply! Thank you, I will follow your advice!

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  Year ago

      yes... it can change the way it looks. However, its not damage per-se. Also, the damascus pattern can often be brought back with some etching. If the damascus finish is a concern though, i would recommend using something like simichrome a bit more often and not letting rust or patina build up.

  • Harcos
    Harcos Year ago

    I see our host is a Weeb.

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  Year ago +1

      lol... thats a first for me. Doesn't that normally relate to crazy anime fans usually? Not really my jam.

  • BoulderHikerBoy
    BoulderHikerBoy 2 years ago

    Will applying (cooking oil) to the knife blade before working with acidic foods reduce problems with reactivity and/or reduce the amount of knife-cleaning required while working?

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  2 years ago

      nope... will make things more messy, as you'll have oil on your food too in that case. And the parts that wipe off due to contact will still be reactive.

  • charlie dipietro
    charlie dipietro 2 years ago +3

    Why is he dressed like that? What a goofball

    • pjitiwong
      pjitiwong Year ago +1

      I actually like it.

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  2 years ago +14

      haha... fair enough... I rarely get an excuse to wear traditional Japanese clothing, so I jump on the opportunity when I can

  • Cool Guy
    Cool Guy 2 years ago

    You have a shop in CA?? I've been on your site hundreds of times and didn't realize you had an actual store front!

  • Jeffrey Hunt
    Jeffrey Hunt 2 years ago

    What type of towels do you recommend or what towels are used in the video? Microfiber? Thanks

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  2 years ago

      we use microfiber towels because they were what i had around at the time... any decent towel should be totally fine though.

  • Cynthia Copeland
    Cynthia Copeland 3 years ago +6

    My husband has just gifted me with 4 of the Moritaka Hamono knives (we are living in Japan at present) and the new set features this particular knife. I am studying up on how to look after them, use them, before I launch into my first onion. Thank you for your videos!

    • piworower
      piworower Year ago

      make sure you pay him some money for that knife, it is bad luck to recieve a knife as a gift.

  • Daniel Berry
    Daniel Berry 3 years ago

    I am becoming very interested in Japanese knives, and was fascinated by what you had to say.
    Question: If shiny culinary knives are traditional, and considered ideal in Japan, then are all these black, or dark grey finished J-knives sold primarily to the American, and/or European markets?

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  3 years ago +2

      The kurouchi finished knives (the ones with the black finish) are more common in home kitchens and smaller knifemaking regions than in fancy restaurants like those that you see in Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokyo. These are a few reasons for this, but its more a function of availability in those regions (the fancy, shiny knives far outnumber the black ones). That being said, kurouchi wouldnt be a problem if the blade was well kept and taken care of. However, it seems most japanese pros still prefer polished blades.

  • Grill Wasabi Sushi Channel

    Beautiful!

  • Colin Pennington
    Colin Pennington 3 years ago +2

    Hi Jon. I love the videos, especially those covering single bevel knives and how to sharpen them. You give in depth explanations that are very helpful when just starting to learn about and work with them. I had a question off topic of this video. I was wondering what the style of robe your wearing in this video was called. Could you share that, please? I'm not very familiar with Japanese culture. I did a little looking online and there are a lot of robe styles, most of which looked much longer than what your wearing here. Thanks!

    • Colin Pennington
      Colin Pennington 3 years ago +1

      +Japanese Knife Imports thanks for the response!

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  3 years ago +1

      +Colin Pennington thanks... i was wearing samue... the one in that was traditionally dyed with indigo i believe.

  • J J
    J J 4 years ago

    Hey! Im getting some ruse spots on my aogami kohestu superblue. Any way to make it go away?

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  4 years ago

      +Jake Jemas Its possible to clean it up... we have a video on how to use rust erasers... thats probably your best bet

  • sonespazz518
    sonespazz518 4 years ago

    Hi Jon, I had a quick question about recognizing rust vs patina: I bought a cheap-ish carbon steel gyuto (first non-stainless knife) to practice sharpening/reprofiling on and also to see if I would be comfortable with owning and maintaining a pricier carbon steel blade later on. After the first 2 weeks of usage, most of the blade had that dull gray natural patina. In the past week I've noticed a colored streak along where the bevel meets the blade face, and the color of that streak is closer to a tan or brown as opposed to the mirror of the bevel and the dull gray of the majority of the blade face. Is this rust, or can the color of patina stretch slightly into light brown?
    Needless to say I will more diligent with damp towel wipe-downs in the future.

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  4 years ago

      +sonespazz518 in general, my feeling is that if it looks like rust (brown, orange, or red), clean it off. Its not really worth risking.

  • Jawad Ibrahim
    Jawad Ibrahim 4 years ago

    this video is refreshing. thanks for the info.
    I really should try a traditional Japanese style kitchen knives
    when I can afford them.

  • Severin Bahman
    Severin Bahman 4 years ago

    Hi, I have a food hygiene question which is: how often do you change the towels? I can imagine that the damp towel gets dirty quite quickly and that one should use a new one each day (as a home cook). How is it with the dry one?

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  4 years ago

      @Severin Bahman rather often... or i continually clean my towel. Usually i use paper towels though, so they are disposable. In general, every time i switch to a new kind of food (i.e. switching types of fish, types of veggies, etc.), i change the towel, so as to avoid cross contamination. The dry towel is only used after the knife is clean, so i dont worry about that one as much. It pretty much only comes into contact with water.

  • An Nguyen
    An Nguyen 4 years ago

    Thank and what if i gonna buy aogami super knife with stainless cladding. Does it need to be wiped off every cut or i just need to wipe it off like 2-3 minutes

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  4 years ago

      @An Nguyen not necessarily, but aogami super can be on the brittle side, so you can test and see. If you see chipping, try a microbevel or adjusting the angle of sharpening. On the wiping down and oil, it depends on where you are and what kind of environment it os. Is it very humid over there? If so, oil would be helpful at the end of the day. If not, you should be ok. If you plan to store the knife for a couple of days or more, oil would be great though.

    • An Nguyen
      An Nguyen 4 years ago

      Hi again. I gonna work in a restaurant and since i gonna buy a aogami super stainless cladding knife and at my restaurant's kitchen only have the plastic cutting board. I wonder if it will damage the knife. And furthermore i wonder how to maintain the knife since i will wipe off the knife after washing it.(Do i need to apply the oil or i can just put it in the box)

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  4 years ago

      @Yan Nguyen the edge is still carbon, so it depends on how you care for the knife. If you let the edge patina, you dont have to wipe off as much. If you keep it polished, its pretty much the same. For what its worth, you can also patina carbon steel knives without stainless cladding if you want an easier knife to use/care for.

  • An Nguyen
    An Nguyen 4 years ago

    Hello. I am thinking to buy a Carbon steel knife. But 1 problem is when you say you cut onion you say cut a few cut then wipe it off with the knife isn't too much time ? If not how often do you wipe it off because if i am cutting a onion i want to finish the cutting not like cut 5 cuts then wipe it off then cut.

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  4 years ago

      @Yan Nguyen Its about learning how to incorporate it into your work flow. It really doesnt slow me down at all, but it takes some getting used to. The more acidic the food, the more often you have to wipe.

  • Bull Lea
    Bull Lea 5 years ago

    well ... nice explanations . all this lead to a conclusion : the carbon steel knife IS NOT FOR ME !

  • IzzualYamakawa
    IzzualYamakawa 5 years ago +1

    Very helpful video, thanks! But one thing I gotta say, you sound like you know more about knives than I ever will but when you said "nori" with the American accent it really caught my ear. Completely no disrespect, just pronouncing Japanese words correctly will help in your line of work I think!

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  5 years ago

      @IzzualYamakawa its one of my favorite things to joke about in japan... heck, even the yoshimoto comedy people make jokes about this all of the time

    • IzzualYamakawa
      IzzualYamakawa 5 years ago +1

      @Japanese Knife Imports
      Yeah you're right, I was trying to say it nicely but living in Japan I haven't heard the goofy American way of saying Japanese words in a while and wasn't expecting it. You're right though, people will think you're trying to sound better than them. In Japan they would think "Oh he's so good at pronouncing foreign words, what a cool guy" In America they think, "Who's this guy think he is???" Culture...

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  5 years ago +1

      haha... i actually can speak japanese, but many of our customers feel like they are being looked down on when i'm super uptight about that kind of thing. That being said, i'd be happy to be more appropriate in the future.

  • Matt Kingman
    Matt Kingman 5 years ago

    Hello! I know this video is quite old, but would you mind recommending a non-bleach powdered cleanser as mentioned in the video? I'm in the market for my first carbon knives and would like to maintain them without a patina. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated :)! Thanks!

    • Matt Kingman
      Matt Kingman 5 years ago

      @Japanese Knife Imports Thanks for the reply :). I so wish I could pop into the store in person as it looks absolutely amazing, but unfortunately I'm not located even remotely close, haha. Maybe next time I visit home in Monterey!

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  5 years ago

      bon ami works well... Bar keepers friend is ok, but can cause a patina too if not used properly. I actually carry some japanse versions here in-store (but not online... extremely limited stock for now).

  • CKtoys K
    CKtoys K 5 years ago

    Hello John may i ask u something. i want to know that after finish all cooking things. How you clean your carbon steel knife or just damp towel and dry towel. Can we soap it or it have special way to clean. im beginner.

  • CKtoys K
    CKtoys K 5 years ago

    very good explaining video thank you very much

  • LexLuthor1234
    LexLuthor1234 5 years ago

    Hello John/Japanese knife imports, and thank you for a very informative video :)
    I have a question to your dam+dry towel cleansing procedure: Where does a regular soap wash down come into the picture?
    At the end of the shift and/or when shifting from veggies to meat or vice versa ?
    Thank you in advance, and once again thank you for a very useful video :)
    Best Regards,
    Claus

    • LexLuthor1234
      LexLuthor1234 5 years ago

      Hi again Jon :)
      It does. And concisely so.
      Once again i must thank you for your useful advice. Please do keep up the good work on youtube. It is much appreciated. :)
      Claus

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  5 years ago +1

      Ideally, in between each food you are cutting (i.e. when switching from chives to tomatoes, or meat to veggies, etc.). Just keep it clean ;)
      Hope this helps.
      -Jon

  • Gloomy Noodle
    Gloomy Noodle 5 years ago

    Jesus, this is professional..

  • David Gaudette
    David Gaudette 5 years ago

    Why use a carbon steel blade instead of stainless?

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  5 years ago

      @David Gaudette not 100% of the time, but for the most part, carbon steel has a finer carbide structure, and will thus get sharper... of course there are exceptions to the rule, and it depends greatly on the quality of the heat treatment, but generally this is true

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  5 years ago

      @David Gaudette yes... how sharp the knife can get and how easily it will get there

    • Japanese Knife Imports
      Japanese Knife Imports  5 years ago

      some people prefer the ease of sharpening and edge taking of carbon steel

  • Bryle D
    Bryle D 6 years ago

    If I allow my knife to develop a patina will that decrease the chances of imparting color or flavor on reactive foods?

  • Japanese Knife Imports
    Japanese Knife Imports  6 years ago +1

    thanks... i really appreciate that.

  • sherwin3
    sherwin3 6 years ago

    I love the videography of this. But anyway,the 'realism' in which you explain information in your videos is the reason why I actually watch them;unlike some American dudes that just yap away and try to sound cool. I think it's something about working with the Japanese that makes you humble yourself too.

  • John mark
    John mark 6 years ago +1

    this made me realize that i should probably buy a cheaper carbon knife than the $500 one that i want for my first :P thx bro

  • stide13
    stide13 7 years ago

    Yeah....i should be way more carefull with that. I do love the handle on my knife allot and it does not need to be upgraded. Thanks allot I think mineral oil might make my handle a little happier with me right...

  • Japanese Knife Imports

    i dont recommend it, but its not going to harm the blade usually. However, your handles will not be happy with you. If you do use it, be careful and make sure to really clean the blade well afterwards.

  • stide13
    stide13 7 years ago

    Is it bad to use bleach based powders to remove rust if your gonna rinse and clean it well after?

  • stide13
    stide13 7 years ago

    Again, great video! Thanks allot Jon! This simplifies my system allot :) I was looking at a good stainless for work but this is making me wanna just keep getting carbon knives for everything :)

  • Chef316
    Chef316 7 years ago

    Great Video Jon!!!

  • Cliff Stamp
    Cliff Stamp 7 years ago

    Thanks, that is about what I would expect, decent skill though if you can see a sharpness different.

  • Japanese Knife Imports

    nebulax123, you should try to avoid using food based oils on your knives. Give mineral oil a shot instead.
    Also, i agree when it comes to murrays knives, but you can also see other makers where this is not the case. It can be a heat treatment thing too, as i mentioned before.

  • Japanese Knife Imports

    sometimes... blue steel tends to be more corrosion resistant over time. However, the heat treatment has something to do with it too. That being said, the core steel is often less reactive than the cladding, so the cladding is usually what people have to worry about more.

  • Cliff Stamp
    Cliff Stamp 7 years ago

    Can you see a difference in patina/rust formation in the white/blue steels?