Investing on my chef knife

I have been cooking for a few years now. I love to make meals from scratch and I’ve learned over the years that having high quality tools makes a difference.

One of the things I make often is stew. I often use potatoes, carrots, and beef or chicken and have to cut them up pretty finely. Also, since last year, I have been prepping my meals for the week so I need to be able to cut down on my prep time.

Using basic and cheap knives for these tasks doesn’t work for me. When you use a dull knife, it makes prepping more time-consuming than it needs to be.

I decided to invest in the best chef knife under 100. I debated it for a while. I wasn’t sure if it fit my budget but since I cook regularly, it seemed like a smart investment and I was correct. It is a bit pricey but it’s worth it in the end.

When you use a dull knife,
it makes prepping more time-consuming than it needs to be..

I had never used one before and I could see the difference right away. From one glance it looked much better than any knife I’d ever used. The feel of it seemed superior to anything I had owned.

It cut through even the toughest potato like it was pudding. When I cut vegetables like onions or lettuce, it cuts them precisely. When I cut my meats, I don’t have to force the knife through the meat. It glides right through. I can move more efficiently as I cook.

Read: The Knife: How to buy your most important tool

Having a knife like this makes me feel like I’ve been going about cooking the wrong way for so long. It makes the process go so much faster.

I also notice that chef knives don’t rust like their cheaper counterparts. Although they will eventually have to be sharpened, I’m satisfied with it overall. I would recommend it to someone else.

Other related posts:  Which is best japanese knife?

New York’s Black River

When discussions of winter steelhead fisheries arise, most conversations lead to popular fisheries such as the Salmon River or Niagara River. But there are other options out there; some can rival the big boys when it comes to numbers of trophy sized trout. The Black River in Dexter, NY, is the northern most steelhead stream along the American side of Lake Ontario.

Black River, NY

While fish ladders allow steelhead to migrate up through the city of Watertown, most of the action takes place below the first dam in Dexter. Since the dam is only a few miles from the open waters of Lake Ontario, fresh run steelhead and browns appear at the dam throughout the fall and winter. As with any trout fishery, there are prime times and preferred gear that takes fish on a consistent basis.

Eggs, Eggs and more Eggs

It’s no secret that winter steelhead and browns love eggs, whether it’s the real deal or imitations thereof. The trick to picking the right bait is being tuned into the fishery and having a few options available. Jason Hamilton of Under the Float Guide Service is an egg fishing junkie and has a pulse on this fantastic fishery. “The Black has a reputation for its strong fall salmon run, but most folks don’t realize how good the steelhead and brown trout fishery can be,” says Jason.

“I find that Trout Beads are hard to beat in the fall when eggs are prevalent from the spawning salmon. But as we transition into winter, the fish tend to prefer real eggs tied in sacs.” As for the eggs, Jason will utilize eggs lightly cured in Pautzke’s Borx O Fire or straight fresh eggs. “The bite can change on a daily basis; some days the fish will take the cured eggs as fast as you can feed them and ignore the eggs on the next day. Having a variety of eggs will keep you on the bite!”

Be sure to mix up the netting colors when tying eggs sacs. The same blue netting that is popular to the south on the Salmon River works well here. But since the Black runs with a heavy tannic stain, bright netting is also a good bet. Bring a healthy mix of pink, white and chartreuse, the latter being the color preferred by the trophy browns that lurk here.

Float Fishing Reigns Supreme

The bottom of the Black River is strewn with boulders and broken rock, so bottom bouncing is difficult at best. Float fishing is the method Jason prefers to present his egg sacs.  “There are fast runs and deep holes below the dam in Dexter that are ideal for float fishing,” comments Jason.  “I find that big floats, those that can hold 12-20 grams of weight, are necessary to get your bait down and stay down in the swirling, heavy currents of the Black River. The fish aren’t as picky about the presentation as they can be about the bait.”

With the big floats, make it a point to bump up your mainline and leaders to handle big fish in the heavy flows; 10-14 pound mainline and 8 pound fluorocarbon leaders are standard gear for this fishery. Be sure to check your hook points and leaders often as the ragged bottom can chew up terminal tackle, which can lead to lost fish if not checked often.

Change up with plugs

The best steelheaders are well versed in several disciplines; it pays to know several techniques in case the fish ignore the usual presentations. For Jason, running plugs through the prime holding lies can produce some extra bites on really tough days. “I usually run plugs when the float bite dies off; there are just days when the fish have had enough eggs and you need to change things up” Jason told me on a recent outing. “I prefer a plug that can run deep and stay down in big currents; Wiggle Warts are hard to beat in the winter, their wide wobbling action drives stale fish nuts!”

As with most plug fisherman, Jason like to run four rods with the lures set back at the same distance.  “I like to put a wall of plugs back to the fish. They can’t take it when all the plugs come wobbling back in their house. Sooner or later, they are gonna whack one!” Color preference can vary, but bright metallic colors produce most often. Start with a variety of colors and let the fish tell you what they want. When the plug bite gets dialed in, double hook ups are not uncommon!

Come Prepared

The winter weather in upstate New York can be brutal, but those nasty windy days can often be the best. Several years ago, I was headed south on I-81 from Alexandria Bay with some Canadian friends bound for the Salmon River. Problem was a snow squall overnight had the highway coated and treacherous. Being Thanksgiving Day, we had limited time to fish and decided to get off the highway in Watertown and take our chances on the Black River.

Thank goodness we did because we landed 20 steelhead and 6 browns that morning, even as the snow squalls picked back up making visibility nearly impossible at times. Bring all the warm clothes you can manage and be ready for snow and wind.  If you do, you will be rewarded with trophy trout and a lack of fishing pressure. – Reference: Lake Ontario Outdoors

You might be interested:

Paring Knife Treatment

No matter the price you pay, if you maintain a knife well, it will last you longer than expected. The first thing you should do is to always sharpen them. You never know what happens to the edge of the knife when you chuck them in your utensil drawer.

You should invest in a knife block or buy a knife set with a block. Not only does it organise your knife, some knife blocks are very elegant and it will look great on your kitchen counter. Canola or corn oil is good for lubricating the blade. Apply a thin layer of the oil after sharpening it and let it rest for a few minutes.

Never keep a knife with a cracked handle as you have a higher risk of getting injured. Even though, knife brands claim that their knives are dishwasher safe, don’t be encourage by this statement as the heat may damage the blade. Ensure that you dry your paring knife after washing them.
This simple and easy actions may reward you buy resulting your knife to last for many years.

A Great Classic Knife Set On Sale

This kitchen set is designed to the aid the people who only want the most important knives in their kitchen. If you wanna know what I’m talking about, it is the Wusthof Classic 8-Piece Knife Set with Block. I was on amazon and was impressed to see this knife set on sale there.

What You Get With This Set

The 8 pieces of knives that come in this set is the 8″ Cooks knife which is great for chopping. A 3-1/2-inch paring knife that is great for peeling fruits and vegetables. A 4.5″ utility knife, 8″ bread knife, 6″ sandwich knife and kitchen shears. Then there’s the 9” sharpening steel and an oak block that has a total of 17 slots. Take note that the sandwich knife can also be used as a carving knife.

Features That You Will Love

I have only read amazing reviews about this set. Due to the high-carbon steel and stain-resistant alloy, the blade gives a perfect balance to the user. It has also gone through many steps to get this perfect. From being honed by hand to continuous tapering and grinding by computers. This is why the edge is dangerously sharp and you don’t need much effort in making the knives do their job.

If you didn’t know, Wusthof’s Classic knives will last you longer than you can imagine. However, you must occasionally sharpen them to maintain their performance. Always dry them after washing the knives and never put them through the dishwasher.

The Price

Wusthof Classic 8-Piece Knife Set is quite pricey but you must know that by purchasing this knife set, you get a lifetime’s warranty. You will never waste your money in buying new knives again and with this set, you basically have the best professional set of knives in your kitchen.
At the end of the day, it’s all about the quality and I personally feel Wusthof is the best at make high-carbon stainless steel knives.

Knife Set Knives : Pairing Knife

The Paring Knife

Did you know that paring knives existed since the medieval times? Paring knives were used to cut, skin, scrape and gouge anything. Nowadays, a kitchen is not complete without at least a good paring knife as it is important to cut vegetables, precise peeling and cutting, coring out fruits such as Melons. The one important feature is that a paring knife is usually 4 inches long. Any longer than that and you will get a utility knife. I got mine from this knife set

Styles of Paring Knives

There are many styles to a paring knife but two famous ones are the Hawksbill style and the Finnish Pukku. Now, the Hawksbill style is the most popular. They are used for coring and peeling fruits and vegetables. If you like eating grapefruit, lemons and oranges, this is the best knife for slicing them.

The Finnish Pukku is a small but powerful knife. They are by the northern community for almost everything. From slicing vegetables to cutting seal fat. This knife has a unique handle that are comfortable to hold on too even when your hands are wet. It has been also known to slice through chicken bones effortlessly. If you want a multipurpose paring knife, a Pukku is what you need.