Carbon blade care how much effort is it really?

Proper user technique and care is essential to enjoying these high performance knives to their fullest while keeping edge damage to a minimum. Learn how here.
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Maitake
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:38 am

Carbon blade care how much effort is it really?

Post by Maitake » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:11 am

So what is the level of care required for a carbon blade say compared to a cast iron skillet?

I have a stargazer skillet and find the care to keep the seasoning minimal, and enjoyable as I know the small amount of care it takes makes an amazing cooking surface.

Is this in any way relatable to a carbon blade?
Is a carbon blade more/less work or just too different to relate to cast iron care?
Is an occasional "rust incident" with a carbon blade really detrimental or can they be cleaned up, sharpened up and keep on rocking?

Machine gunning questions I guess, but just trying to get a handle on it.

Thx.
Maitake

Kalaeb
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Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:59 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Carbon blade care how much effort is it really?

Post by Kalaeb » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:37 am

I spend more time caring for my steel and cast pans than I do knives by a fair margin (excluding sharpening).

Don't leave food on it, wipe dry and put away...that's all I do. If a small of rust happens it's an easy fix.

Eversor13
Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:39 am

Re: Carbon blade care how much effort is it really?

Post by Eversor13 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:40 am

I agree with Kalaeb, if you let you knives get a patina it's pretty dang easy to care for them. Some people, and especially some japanese chefs (so I've heard) will obsessively clean the patina off the knife after every use. If you want to do that it might be a pain.

The method for cleaning I use is to wash it off, wipe it dry, but also importantly, before putting it back in the knife block I use for storage (where it will have to air flow) I let it air dry for a short time or wave it back and forth in the air a few times (make sure to not stab anyone!) to make sure the small amount of water on the surface that you can't wipe off evaporates. Since I started waiting a short time to store them after wiping dry I haven't had many (any?) problems with rust.

Maitake
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:38 am

Re: Carbon blade care how much effort is it really?

Post by Maitake » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:43 am

That doesn't sound too bad at all.
Thanks for the insight.

Maitake

salemj
Posts: 2695
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Location: Victoria, BC

Re: Carbon blade care how much effort is it really?

Post by salemj » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:10 pm

I'd add that, as a home cook, I've developed a particular opinion on this:

If I am doing mise-en-place (prepping everything before starting to cook), carbon is essentially exactly the same as stainless in terms of use, how often I need to rinse and wipe it (between ingredients), etc., etc., but I enjoy the feel of it more in cutting. However, if I am preparing a complicated soup or stew and I am cooking as I go, carbon can be more of a hassle. Cutting an onion, then getting distracted by browning meat that may burn, then dealing with moving the onion, stirring, going back to the meat, then peeling the garlic, then answering a friend's question and taking a sip of a drink, then going to cut the garlic...and then I realize the carbon blade was sitting with onion juice on it the whole time that was drying and crusting on. Is the knife harmed? Not at all. But is it more of a hassle and does it create an uglier patina, etc.? Yes. So, when I'm doing this type of cooking, I often grab a semi-stainless or stainless, and/or I just make sure to use lower heat on the stove. :)
~Joe

Comments: I'm short, a home cook, prefer lighter, thinner blades, and own mostly Konosukes but have used over a dozen brands.

milkbaby
Posts: 565
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Location: Sunny Florida

Re: Carbon blade care how much effort is it really?

Post by milkbaby » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:14 pm

It's less work than a cast iron pan. I actually use my cast iron less because I don't like to leave it dirty long, and I dry it on the stovetop, oil, then heat again before letting cool then storing away.

In contrast, I basically only use carbon steel knives now and the only thing I do is rinse with water, then towel dry with a first then second towel (the second towel tends to dry out any spots I missed with the first), and air dry before storing. I usually leave the knives out on countertop an hour or two to thoroughly dry then store in saya or on magnetic strip. A lot of people don't store in saya because the possibility of rust from moisture but with my care routine this has never been a problem even in humid Florida where I live.

Let me add that I leave the natural patina, so I don't spend any time trying to restore knives to pristine look. I guess that would add time and effort but useless to me as the patina actually gets rid of undesirable food reactivity.

Maitake
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:38 am

Re: Carbon blade care how much effort is it really?

Post by Maitake » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:16 pm

Thanks all, I will give carbon and clad a try after I get some quality time with the new Kanehiro gyuto ginsan 210.
Hopefully I will learn something about what I am looking for and it will inform my next purchase.
I may pick up some inexpensive Tojiro carbons to get a feel for them. Not a big loss if it doesn't work out and they seem to be popular.
See you over in the what knife should I buy thread!

PappaG
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Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:48 pm

Re: Carbon blade care how much effort is it really?

Post by PappaG » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:07 pm

Carbon pans are much more difficult. Carbon knives vary quite a bit. Some are much more reactive then others.

Eutectic
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Re: Carbon blade care how much effort is it really?

Post by Eutectic » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:46 am

For me it was just a matter of building habits. Now I habitually rinse it after cutting up foods and after finishing I leave it out to dry. That's about it.

Tastyjibblets
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Joined: Mon May 28, 2018 7:52 am

Re: Carbon blade care how much effort is it really?

Post by Tastyjibblets » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:25 am

Once you are finished cutting rinse and dry. That’s about it just don’t walk away from it wet.

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