The Great Hall
Miracle Blade The Great Hall: Miracle Blade
By Pegasus (Pegasus) on Saturday, January 07, 2006 - 11:06 am: Edit

Just wondering if anyone here has acctually come accross them in either the work place or has a set at a home bought out of curiosity or given as a gift or etc.

I've never acctually tried to slice a pineapple in mid air with my serrated knife, but it's a bit suspect theres no cooks knife and theres a lack of thin precise work apart from slicing a tomato with a serrated blade which isn't exactly impressive.

Just for curiosity sake I'd like to know what they're like. Although the old ladies talking about the "perfect slice" and having the whole bit about a "custom knife maker" designed them seems to help cheapen the product.

I dont know, maybe I'm bored I dont really know what I'm rambling on about but its got to do with knives anyway.

On another note I'm back from holidays and have to start looking for a new job since being "re-structured" out on the 24th of dec, isn't the "hospitality" industry great.

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 02:29 pm: Edit

The Ginzu Knife. It slices. It dices. It cuts through steel cans, frozen packages of vegetables and continues to cut paper thin slices of tomatoes.

Everyone has seen the commercials. They were the seminal infomercial. They have become a part of television mythology. The claims made about Ginzu knives place them in the realm of ancient weapons of the Samurai but cast off Ginzus no longer able to cut those paper thin tomato slices abound in the knife bins of every thrift shop around the country. Any chef that brought a Ginsu into the kitchen would be mocked and his credentials would be seriously questioned.

But wait there's more.

One Ginsu commercial featured a French Chef exalting the wonders of the knife. The lighting was terrible. It looked as if it had been taped in a cave. The chef is vidioed cutting thin slices of cold smoked salmon. After which he delivers a testimonial that is almost unintelligible because of his thick french accent.

Yeah, right. A paid endorsement. Yet it's true. I once worked at the restaurant. I saw the knife.

It was between Chef gigs. I'd quit, out of work, and was running down help wanted ads in Los Angles. The Orange Grove wanted an experienced cook. I landed the job by down playing my Executive Chef experience and offering a free try out. I told the Chef, "Try me for one night, if you don't like what you see don't pay me." The sous pulled me aside at the end of the shift and told me to come back again the next night. I worked with the entremettier/broiler cook. After a week I was in charge of the family meal and the rest of the brigade started talking to me. The brigade was mostly French, the sous was Belgian, recent CIA grads were the rounds men and the pantry chef was from Basque Country.

The Basque pantry chef was the one that showed me the famous Ginsu. It was a week night. I had just watched him cold smoke a side of salmon in the ally/parking lot behind the restaurant. Grabbing a just started piece of the mesquite charcoal we used in the broiler, he placed it in the side compartment of the small smoker. A fan drew the smoke from the charcoal into the compartment that held a side of cured salmon. A hour and a half hour later, cold smoked salmon.

The Basque saw my interest. He showed me how he hung the side of salmon in the walk-in. He then indicated that he a special surprise for me. Walking to the pantry prep table he asked if I had seen the Ginsu commercial with the chef. With a big smile he said it was done at the Orange Grove. At the pantry prep table he cut a paper thin slice of smoked salmon for me to taste. He Then presented the knife as if he was handing me a sword, holding the knife on his arm for me to examine. It was a Ginsu. I was completely taken by surprise. All this high powered talent and a Ginsu in the kitchen. The Basque gleefully relayed to me the story of the commercial and how they now used only this knife for cutting the salmon.

By Foodpump (Foodpump) on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 02:47 pm: Edit

Ginsu, the stuff of legends.... Actually for smoked salmon, it's not too bad. The very nature of a Ginsu is it's flexiblitlity; in plain english it's a hacksaw blade inbedded in a hunk of plastic. For smoked salmon, you do need the flexibility, but the Ginsu has some very aggresive teeth. On the other hand you can't cut a potato or any firm vegetable with it because the blade keeps wiggling and squirming around.

I personally don't have any Ginsu's, but I am guilty of using/relying on good ol'Black&Decker electric knives in my pastry work. For cakes and pastry nothing beats it, for everything else there's my trusty Victorinox 8" chef's knife....

By Pegasus (Pegasus) on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 10:10 pm: Edit

My european style knives and meat cleaver are all globals, apart from my cooks knife which is a wusthof because the global is too light/uncomfortable for chopping and doesnt absorb shocks like a heavier knife.

My old global cooks knife is as sharp as a razor though, only because it never gets any use since I last sharpened it. It just gave me a massive painful callous and pain in my wrist all of which has gone away since using the wusthof.

The best global product I think is the global diamond sharpening steel its spot on, if theres one good thing global make its their diamond steel, has the right weight it feels right when your using it and obviously its good to use in between stone sharpenings its perfect. Apart from I end up scratching the hell out of the face of the knife, but their tools so who cares.

My other knives my yanagiba, deba, nakiri and my light chinese cleaver are all no name brands. The cleaver was only $30 and it takes a pretty damn good edge.

My parents used to have the cheap supermakret special knives, and along time ago I ended up snapping/pulling the "blade" out of the handle of several knives, they seemed to be just glued in, which looks simillar to what the miracle blade would be. The year I got my globals I bought them one of those global blocksets, they'll probably last long enough that my parents wont ever need to by knives again and that was a few years ago to.

On the website of miracle blade in the FAQ section it claims the knives are made of "top quality japanese steel" even though u get a set of 7 or so knives for $10 more then the price of my single chinese cleaver thats also made in japan.

By Chefjoannam (Chefjoannam) on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 11:19 pm: Edit

isn't knife snobbery silly?

I have a full set of Wustof, but I only use them when I know they're going to be the only knives in the kitchen, or if I'm the chef for the event. *

In other words, if there are rent-a-chefs, or if I'm working in someone else's kitchen, I bring my relatively crappy knives I bought in Chinatown or at the Asian market. They work well enough, and if someone borrows it and abuses it, I don't get worked up over a $17 knife, as I would over my $117 knife.

The knives I keep for my kosher clients are 1) a set of beautiful-looking, but barely functional, no-name crap I bought on ebay for about $25 and 2) a set of forged Farberware that I bought at Ross ($30 at a discount dept store) which are pretty nice. I also have a granton kitchenaid santoku ($20) that's pareve (veggies only) which has a rather nice balance. right now, they're only used once a week for a few hours, so I'm not investing more into them.

A diamond steel is good for once-a-week sharpening, but a plain old steel is best for constant use. The Diamond steels remove a bit of the metal, from what I understand, so if all you're doing is lining up the teeth, a diamond steel is overkill.

* People who work for me know that in "my" kitchen, nobody touches anybody elses knives without asking, ever. It is NOT cool to just pick up whatever knife in front of you and start using it without permission. IMHO, it's proper kitchen etiquette, and it only take a few seconds to say, "may I use this knife?"and have the person reply. Many of the people who work for me have no formal training...and are learning what's "appropriate" behavior. What's your culture?

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 05:27 pm: Edit

Save your money mate! Here are some complaints about the Miracle Blade.
My buddy was given a set of Miracle Blades for testing in his kitchen. I asked him for his opinion. I mentioned that the man who developed those knives was from Wisconsin, a fellow Cheesehead, but those knives are similar to the old Ginsu knives as Cheftim had already stated, I digress.
Anyway, my friend smirked and said that those Miracle Blades are NOT suitable for ANY commercial kitchen, but the cooks liked the serrated knife.
I concur with Chefjoannam about using less expensive knives as my utility cutlery and using my better quality knives only for special occasions, because not all cooks are professional in their conduct and they will inadvertently grab your finest knife to open a cardboard box or stab at a #10 can in a feeble attempt to open it.
I hope that someone does not try that with one of your Global knives.

By Chefjoannam (Chefjoannam) on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 03:01 am: Edit

Thanks for the props, Andapanda... although I do use my best knives weekly, I just don't use them around potentially careless people... and that INCLUDES many other chefs!

Here's an interesting article I came across:

By Foodpump (Foodpump) on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 11:02 am: Edit

Naw, cooks don't stab #10 cans to open them!

They use your best boning knife to stab open a 3 ltr tin of xtra virgin olive oil, and then lay the oily knife on the base of the "Edlund" can opener for you to clean up...

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 04:54 pm: Edit

If you're seeking some good, inexpensive, professional-grade quality cutlery at the low-end of the professional cutlery market, consider the following brands:

Boker Arbolito



If you want some recommendations for butcher's steels, I'll post that info later.

Interesting article.
Tip: instead of cutting and pasting the URL, next time, go to the left column, scroll down to Documentation, click: Formatting, Other Formatting, Hyperlinks. You'll find it much easier to add links to articles.
NO ONE touches my knives either!

I stand corrected, it was a WAITRESS whom I had witnessed stabbing at a tin can with a chef's knife(fortunately, NOT my knife!).
Another time, I saw a recent culinary graduate-"cook" with a Chinese cleaver attempting to vent a can of olive oil. I was relieved that it wasn't my Chinese cleaver!
Yes, if I could only figure out a way to profit from the endless stupidity in this world, I'd be a wealthy man!

By Pegasus (Pegasus) on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 04:55 pm: Edit

My knives are usually pretty safe, well I dont know what happens when I'm not around them but none of them seem to have been blunted excessively and I've never had a knife broken as of yet.

I acctually like the look of the chefs choice trizor knives you showed me awhile ago. I'm not really looking for new cheaper knives I was just wondering about the claims of the miracle blade. Also an apprentice at the cafe I'm working at now uses mundial knives.

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 05:25 pm: Edit

Here is a knife holster for cooks/chefs who want to keep their knives close to hand!

By Pegasus (Pegasus) on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 06:32 pm: Edit

I could see myself "drawing" the tongs and flicking them around on my finger excessively if I used one of those.

That'd be pretty cool acctually, but I dont think thats quite me.

Nice find Andapanda.

By Foodpump (Foodpump) on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 10:24 am: Edit

Andapanda: The new X14 Can opener! Yours for only $19.99. Vent your frustarations on those nasty cans, the genuine Latvian chrome-steel blade pierces cans easily, and with a back and forth motion your can lids come easily off. Also suitable for slicing Tomatos, Kiwis and cutting through 1/2"copper pipe.....

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 11:15 am: Edit

I suppose that the temptation to twirl your tongs would be too tempting! I apologise for the alliteration.
I had seen a metal chef's knife holster a few years ago, but I don't remember who manufactured it. I don't own a chef's knife holster either.

Perhaps Mr. Ron Popeil might be interested in marketing that gadget for us so that we could quit the trade as cooks and become financially independent!
I still think that the WFP correspondence culinary school concept would be a viable venture, if George would approve of it.

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