Help new customer to carbon steel use.

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ChefKnivesToGo
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Help new customer to carbon steel use.

Post by ChefKnivesToGo » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:30 am

Howdy Mark,

Thanks for chatting briefly earlier and supplying my home kitchen with more knives than I know what to do with. The gist of the piece is carbon steel knife maintenance piece that's focused a lot on the things that you either need to keep a carbon steel knife in good condition, followed by pointers and advice for new carbon steel owners.

Be as long-winded as you like - I'm going to throw out some numbered prompts and questions to stay organized below. Thanks again for your time!

1. Regarding maintenance, what are the fundamental differences to keep in my when upgrading from a stainless steel blade to a carbon steel blade?

2. What specific tools do you use (or think are good ideas, whether you use them or not) to maintain a carbon steel knife? Thinking whetstones, particular oils/vinegars, honing steel, storage solutions and so on. What's the kind of thing that can do a lot of good for a carbon steel knife that doesn't immediately come to mind?

3. What are the most common questions people have after investing in their first carbon steel knife? How do you answer them?

4. Are there things people worry about a lot that they shouldn't care so much about? I know at first I was super alarmed by the color shifting on the blade after using it a bunch, but a chef buddy told me it wasn't a huge deal.

5. If there's anything else I didn't touch on or a question I didn't ask, please elaborate here!


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Mark Richmond
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Re: Help new customer to carbon steel use.

Post by ChefKnivesToGo » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:36 am

I'll ask my forum customers to help with this.

For me personally, I add a little extra care to carbon steel. First, I don't force a patina any longer and just let it develop. Especially early in the life of the knife as the patina is forming the blade will be more reactive. So cut with it, wash it after you're done and dry it with a towel. Let it air dry after that just in case. If I see any small amount of orange rust on the knife I'll wash it again and use a little Bar Keeper's Friend to clean it up. That's pretty much it.

I don't use oil (messy) or special stones (I tend to use Shapton Glass stones for most things) and for storage, I just keep it in a slotted knife holder that has some air circulation. If you're in a humid environment you might want to apply a drop of oil to the blades if you're not using them daily just in case. I live in WI and the winters are dry so it's never a problem for me.
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datster
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Re: Help new customer to carbon steel use.

Post by datster » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:34 am

I tend to do the same things with all my knives so I don't need to really think about it when it's happening. For prep I keep a wet and dry towel beside the board. Depending on what I'm cutting I wipe the blade with the wet towel as needed. If I'm going to set the knife down I do wet and dry. I force patina once in a while for fun but mostly just let it happen. I store on a magnetic rack or in boxes, but regardless of which, after washing and drying with a towel I let them air dry a while before I put them away just to make sure because rust sucks. Like I said, I just do the same for every knife so I don't have to think about it.

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Re: Help new customer to carbon steel use.

Post by Gregory27 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:37 pm

ChefKnivesToGo wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:36 am
I live in WI and the winters are dry so it's never a problem for me.
You misspelled "miserable" Mark. "...the winters are MISERABLE..."

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Re: Help new customer to carbon steel use.

Post by ChefKnivesToGo » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:30 pm

Yeah I've had about enough of winter. I want to be Ray's neighbor!
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