Pumpkin killer wanted

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Emieloss
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Pumpkin killer wanted

Post by Emieloss »

Heya,

I'm looking for a knife that's an absolute beast in cutting through dense ingredients like: Pumpkin, butternut-squash, sweet potato, cabbage, carrots, etc.
Will you help me find one? :)

1)Pro or home cook?
Home, used to be pro

2)What kind of knife do you want? (Gyuto, Santoku, Petty, Paring, Sujihiki, etc.)
Whatever kills the pumpkins

3) What size knife do you want?
Doesn't matter

4)How much do you want to spend?
Between my 60 and 300 preferably

5) Do you prefer all stainless, stainless clad over reactive carbon, or all reactive carbon construction?
I'd like to try Blue #2 since I don't have that yet, but open to suggestions. Preferably no iron cladding though, in my experience it often forms an ugly orange/brown patina.

6)Do you prefer Western or Japanese handle?
Doesn't really matter

7)What are your main knife/knives now?
Moritaka AS 240 Gyuto, Shibata Kotetsu 180 Bunka, Tadafusa w#2 165 Santoku, Moritaka AS 130 petty

8)Are your knife skills excellent, good, fair?
Good

9)What cutting techniques do you prefer? Are you a rocker, chopper or push/pull cutter?
N.A.

10)Do you know how to sharpen?
Yes
Last edited by Emieloss on Tue Jan 05, 2021 5:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
cliff
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Re: Pumpkin killer wanted

Post by cliff »

I can't tell from your list, would you prefer a laser -- Konosuke HD2 is laser thin and has surprisingly tough steel -- that won't wedge, or would you rather something with more heft? Sounds like the latter, in which case I'd go for Gihei B2 workhorse. I don't have one, but it is well priced and very well regarded: https://www.chefknivestogo.com/gibl2gy24.html. Although it's out of stock at the moment, the Goko 240 in W1 would work, too. It's on the softer side, so it should be able to handle the tough stuff. It's stainless clad, takes a wicked edge, and has good food release: https://www.chefknivestogo.com/gokogyuto240mm.html. Perhaps Tanaka's Kurouchi: https://www.chefknivestogo.com/takugy24.html or Matsubara's wavy-face: https://www.chefknivestogo.com/mawafabl2gy22.html.
Emieloss
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Re: Pumpkin killer wanted

Post by Emieloss »

Thanks for the advice Cliff, I don't really know what would work better for the really dense products. I was thinking of a workhorse with some heft to it that can take a beating, but a laser is thinner and can probably get through easier. I'm really interested in what people on this forum find themselves using on the tougher / denser / harder ingredients. I'm afraid I'd chip a laser when peeling the skin of a butternut squash for example. Since you're twisting a little bit in the cut. I wouldn't use my Shibata Kotetsu for that.

In the Netherlands we have pumpkins that are pretty hard and dense. A polished cladding can then create suction against the product and get stuck. So maybe a Tsuchime or other kind of rough finish would work well. I was thinking of this Kohetsu https://www.chefknivestogo.com/kobl2gy27.html which seems to have great value for the price. I'm afraid the finish will cause above mentioned problem though.

I'll check out your recommendations.
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Re: Pumpkin killer wanted

Post by cliff »

A lot of experienced users swear by lasers for the hard stuff. I can't bring myself to use them for the heaviest work.

I usually just use a beater on pumpkins--not really something I prepare all that often. For Butternut, I use a Mac paring knife to peel them, but then whatever gyuto I have out is fine to dice them. For cabbage, nothing is better than a big Sanjo workhorse. I have a 270 Watanabe Kurouchi that comes out to make slaw or deal with sweet potatoes. I like those bigger, convex knives for carrots and potatoes, too. While I wouldn't use it on pumpkin, Takedas have great food release and work well on the other ingredients you mention.
Last edited by cliff on Tue Jan 05, 2021 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
XexoX
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Re: Pumpkin killer wanted

Post by XexoX »

The Squash: The not so silent killer of knives thread might be worth reading.
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lsboogy
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Re: Pumpkin killer wanted

Post by lsboogy »

Find an old Sabatier 14" chef knife -
LaVieestBelle
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Re: Pumpkin killer wanted

Post by LaVieestBelle »

I often go to my 30+ year old French knife. No chance it would become a pumpkin-victim. I accept a little wedging as a trade-off for the certainty that I will not destroy anything other than the pumpkin.
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Re: Pumpkin killer wanted

Post by LaVieestBelle »

ok, so now this topic has me thinking outside the box a little. Yes, it would wedge, but I wonder how it would feel to pull out my chicken-breaking-down honesuki to cut into a pumpkin. It's got a very specific, defined tip and some extra rigidity.... Could be a great or an awful idea.
Emieloss
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Re: Pumpkin killer wanted

Post by Emieloss »

I still have a Sabatier somewhere. Think it's somewhere beat up in a drawer at my parents house. Mind as well sharpen that to cut off the head / butt and cut the pumpkin through so I can take the seeds out. After that one of my japanese knives should have no problems doing the rest.

Thanks guys
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Re: Pumpkin killer wanted

Post by LaVieestBelle »

And I agree with you about transitioning to a more elegant knife after you get through the outer barrier!
stevem627
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Re: Pumpkin killer wanted

Post by stevem627 »

I have a Mercer 10 inch that I use whenever in doubt. Hard squash, in general, isn't the time to "enjoy" using my nice knives. I know they would be fine most of the time but I have a tendency (being from Kentucky originally) to have some bourbon in many recipes ;) and don't want to make a stupid mistake.

Like others point out, I switch to regular knives afterwards to finish.
d_rap
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Re: Pumpkin killer wanted

Post by d_rap »

Emieloss wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 4:05 am I still have a Sabatier somewhere. Think it's somewhere beat up in a drawer at my parents house. Mind as well sharpen that to cut off the head / butt and cut the pumpkin through so I can take the seeds out. After that one of my japanese knives should have no problems doing the rest.

Thanks guys
I use my sabatier too, particularly when I want to cut an acorn, butternut or pumpkin squash in half, skin on. I frequently start the cut with some soft taps on the knife spine with a wooden mallet.

Once you're cutting up the skinless hard flesh, sweet potatoes, squash, big turnips, whatever, the main thing, particularly if you're using a knife like the shibata, is to make sure the resistance doesn't cause you to push hard into the board at the end of the cut.
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Re: Pumpkin killer wanted

Post by Kalaeb »

I have always used the trusted victorinox for pumpkins and squash. For sweet potato and cabbage I go laser.
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Re: Pumpkin killer wanted

Post by ronnie_suburban »

A virtual relic from an earlier era in my kitchen, I use my 10" Henckels chef knife for tasks like this. I'm not even sure which line it's from but I know that it gets the job done and it's impervious to damage (not that I'd care that much about that, anyway).
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SeattleB
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Re: Pumpkin killer wanted

Post by SeattleB »

I have a Henkels Four Star that I use as a kitchen hatchet. 265mm edge. It's thick and will wedge in squash, but then I can always pound the blade though with a wooden mallet.

A Sawzall works really well for hard squash also (just kidding).
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Re: Pumpkin killer wanted

Post by XexoX »

I've heard mention, on this board I think, that some people will use a bread knife. I guess it saws right through. Never done it myself, the old beater carbon steel no name 240 works just fine for me so far. Haven't even had to use a mallet.
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d_rap
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Re: Pumpkin killer wanted

Post by d_rap »

XexoX wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:46 pm Haven't even had to use a mallet.
Yeah not necessary but it helps to push in for that first cut through very thick skin if you're keeping the skin on say for roasting halves of acorn squash.
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Re: Pumpkin killer wanted

Post by XexoX »

d_rap wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:42 pm
XexoX wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:46 pm Haven't even had to use a mallet.
Yeah not necessary but it helps to push in for that first cut through very thick skin if you're keeping the skin on say for roasting halves of acorn squash.
I bow to your superior experience in all matters squash. I will admit, I've only used it on butternut squash. Cut just fine. But then maybe I had thin skinned ones. I'll be growing them this year, several different varieties, so I'll find out. I'll even store them and see what happens after a few months.
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Re: Pumpkin killer wanted

Post by d_rap »

Yeah I didn't mean to come off like that it's just a little hack that I have found really helpful and we do squash around here all the time. My wife grew a bunch of butternut that is pretty thin-skinned but the acorns and the pumpkins I have a hard time getting my sabatier or Victorinox in for that first cut. A lot of times I peel them, cut them in chunks, and roast them and that's different. And really once you're just cutting the actual squash flesh even the finest blades go right through.
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XexoX
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Re: Pumpkin killer wanted

Post by XexoX »

d_rap wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:03 pm Yeah I didn't mean to come off like that it's just a little hack that I have found really helpful and we do squash around here all the time. My wife grew a bunch of butternut that is pretty thin-skinned but the acorns and the pumpkins I have a hard time getting my sabatier or Victorinox in for that first cut. A lot of times I peel them, cut them in chunks, and roast them and that's different. And really once you're just cutting the actual squash flesh even the finest blades go right through.
Hey, no apology necessary. I didn't think you did, and my attempt at humor came over wrong. I don't people well, and it is worse in the written word for me. I just don't read people or social situations well and at 62, it ain't gonna get better. Mea culpa. And a mallet would help on those hard skinned ones. I've read a hatchet or an axe can work well too, but that seems pretty extreme, but maybe needed.
You can blame Mr. Suburban for my being here. :lol:
The thing about quotes on the internet is you can not confirm their validity. -- Abraham Lincoln
All steels are equal if you can't keep them sharp. -- Jeff B.
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