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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 04-28-2011, 12:33 PM   #1
pahutchens
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Question Knives, should I have known this?

Was at a big outdoor cooking demo eyeing the Memphis pellet pooper grill/smoker a few weeks back and the store employee offered us some steak, with a twist.
He said your knife can affect the flavor.
He cut a few pieces with a 'traditional' serrated steak knife then a few with a real nice smooth edge slicer.
I was amazed it did make a difference in the intensity of the flavor.
the serrated blade was good, the slicer was phenomenal.
Same chunk of meat.

It farked with head. Is that why sushi knives are so premo? same principal?

Just what I need to buy, more knives.

For those following the burger throw down do forks make a difference too?
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Unread 04-28-2011, 12:39 PM   #2
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To be honest it makes no sense to me. Only difference could be he is cutting either across or with the grain of the meat. Otherwise thick or thin slices. Lets be real here the knife cannot make a difference in the taste of the meat.
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Unread 04-28-2011, 12:53 PM   #3
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I think some say there is truth to this when it comes to sushi and delicate fish, but I seriously doubt it makes a difference in beef.
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Unread 04-28-2011, 12:54 PM   #4
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i think he was selling knives and you were hungry.......
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Unread 04-28-2011, 01:12 PM   #5
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Here are a couple of interesting links from Alton Brown about knives & how to use them. Cheers!!!

Part #1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9Qzz...ature=youtu.be

Part #2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YT2EH...ature=youtu.be
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Unread 04-28-2011, 01:26 PM   #6
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Certainly with preparation of sashimi and the fish on sushi, it is very important. The manner in which the knife cuts through the meat and how the cut releases oils makes a noticeable difference. This is the same reason that there are specific cuts and shapes for each fish, to maximize the flavor.

For meat, I can say that there is certainly an effect between tearing meat and cutting cleanly through the meat. You can even see the oils and moisture being released differently. While I am not dead certain about taste being better, it stands to reason that it would be.

I am in the camp that a quality knife, and by quality, I mean a very good quality steel properly sharpened, polished and stropped, makes food preparation easier and makes for better tasting food.
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Unread 04-28-2011, 01:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
Certainly with preparation of sashimi and the fish on sushi, it is very important. The manner in which the knife cuts through the meat and how the cut releases oils makes a noticeable difference. This is the same reason that there are specific cuts and shapes for each fish, to maximize the flavor.

For meat, I can say that there is certainly an effect between tearing meat and cutting cleanly through the meat. You can even see the oils and moisture being released differently. While I am not dead certain about taste being better, it stands to reason that it would be.

I am in the camp that a quality knife, and by quality, I mean a very good quality steel properly sharpened, polished and stropped, makes food preparation easier and makes for better tasting food.

I agree.
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Unread 04-28-2011, 02:10 PM   #8
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The power of suggestion never ceases to amaze me. Put a magnet on your wrist and increase your strength and balance. They'll even 'prove' it to you and you'll be absolutely convinced it's true!

What is possible, I guess, is that mouth feel has something to do with overall perception of 'taste', and a perfectly smooth, thinly sliced piece of steak might 'taste' better than one hacked up with a dull serrated knife.
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Unread 04-28-2011, 04:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Bob View Post
The power of suggestion never ceases to amaze me. Put a magnet on your wrist and increase your strength and balance. They'll even 'prove' it to you and you'll be absolutely convinced it's true!

What is possible, I guess, is that mouth feel has something to do with overall perception of 'taste', and a perfectly smooth, thinly sliced piece of steak might 'taste' better than one hacked up with a dull serrated knife.
Now now, we don't need rational thought in this forum. Passion is limitless here, even if it means buying the next greatest gadget!
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Unread 04-28-2011, 04:44 PM   #10
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I agree with the power of suggestion comment. I also hate knives with serrated edges. I don't buy really expensive kitchen knives but I do have a really nice set of Chicago Cutlery that I'm very happy with. The only knife I like with a serrated edges is a bread knife. My chef and a couple of santoku blades in my Chicago Cutlery work great.
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Unread 04-28-2011, 04:53 PM   #11
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I would love to encounter someone with a pallet good enough to tell the difference in steel used to cut food
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Unread 04-28-2011, 05:00 PM   #12
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Some of the best steak I've ever had was camping with my family. Cooked over an open fire and cut with my pocket knife. There is a lot that goes into the taste thing.
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Unread 04-28-2011, 05:04 PM   #13
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It is not about the steel, it is about the design of the knife. A serrated knife with pointed serrations saws the meat, it makes a difference. A sharp knife, no matter the steel, will cut smoother cuts, tears less meat and releases juices in a different manner. Similarly, I believe a long blade with a thin profile makes for a better cut of meat. I think that matters in terms of analyzing taste.

Beyond that, it is a crap shoot and a lot falls to personal preference. I happen to like fine knives, it is a lot like does it really matter what quality bourbon you drink if the goal is to get drunk. No it doesn't, but, some do taste better along the way. I can tell you this, if I have to prep for 100 covers, I want one of my Japanese Santoku knives in my hand and not some $30 knife, I know this first hand.

As for perception, why do we care about smoke ring, bark development and color, tenderness and bite through skin? Why even bother with anything but the taste in BBQ. I know plenty of folks that will tell you all that matters is sauce. Everything else is perception.
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Unread 04-28-2011, 05:06 PM   #14
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That is an interesting concept. I'm in the liquor business and have attended a couple of seminars touting that different size/shape wine glasses can affect the taste of the wine. Some varietals of wine taste better with a big bowl and small mouth, some are better with a smaller bowl and larger mouth, etc. Apparently the different sizes and shapes of the glass affect which part of the pallet the wines hit first and thus affect the taste. While in an inexpensive wine I couldn't tell much difference, in nicer bottles of wine there was definately a discernable difference. Now knives slicing through meat, I'm not sure I can buy that!
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Unread 04-28-2011, 05:31 PM   #15
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I understand the concept Bob, but I don't believe it changes the taste at all. Texture yes, taste no.
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