Home Tech The deep dimples on this Japanese chef’s knife really work

The deep dimples on this Japanese chef’s knife really work

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Two side views of the same kitchen knife, on the left the serrated side is shown and on the right the smooth side is shown.

Many years ago, An advertisement in a food magazine caught my attention. In it, a chef recommended a unique-looking Japanese chef’s knife with giant dimples on only one side of the blade, designed to prevent food from sticking. Knives with small dimples are common, but they were huge and he made me wonder if the maker was right. That knife turned out to be as interesting as it looked. while appears Being a specialized equipment, it can help any level of home cooking. Whether you’re looking for your first good chef’s knife or your everlasting blade, this Japanese gyuto is ideal.

You may have seen dimples (also known as dimples or “kullens”) on other knives and wondered if they prevent food from sticking to them, but on Glestain blades they are oversized and they work. The Glestain’s dimples (two rows of them on the gyuto, no less) are extreme, like a neat double row of fingerprints on a single side of the blade. Lefties like me order theirs with the dimples on the left side and righties order them on the right. Lefties can use the right-handed version (and vice versa) and still love it; The only thing they would lose is the non-stick effect of the dimples. He was excited to put it through a long-term use test.

Hard and durable

A gyuto is a type of chef’s knife that has a shape between the curved part of the German chef’s knife and the almost flat edge of the French style. There are two versions of Glestain gyutos, Professional and Home. I tested both and found them both to be pro-level equipment. The main differences are that the Professional has a larger tang (the metal part that goes through the handle) and a metal plate on the butt of the knife. That makes it noticeably heavier: it feels a bit like a tank. Most home and line cooks will prefer the Home version for everyday use.

Both versions have a hard steel blade: 59 in the Rockwell hardness scale—in a mixture that includes chromium, carbon, molybdenum and vanadium. That combination creates a hard, thin, durable blade that resists rust and maintains an excellent edge. (For more information on knives, see Chad Ward’s excellent reference, An advantage in the kitchen.) Glestains are Western style knives made in Japan, high-end Japanese blades with handles like you would find on traditional French or German knives. It’s quite comfortable and balanced and will keep you happy while you open tons of products.

Photography: Joe Ray

Actually, we’re here for those dimples. It is a “normal” knife, so you do not have to make any special wrist movements to take advantage of it. It only took a minute to understand what to expect and how effectively they worked.

The dimples are quite deep and much wider than on other knives. I have an old Mundial brand clipper and the Glestain dimples are much deeper and easily three times as wide. The real magic happens when what you’re cutting is wider than the dimples.

I started cutting, very happily. Dimples or not, it is a beautiful knife to work with. Dicing onions felt like I was doing it with an extremely nice blade, not a magic one. For those accustomed to the curvaceous belly of a German-style chef’s knife, the flatter arc of the gyuto takes some getting used to. I cooked Moroccan chicken stew from Vishwesh Bhatt’s cookbook, I am from here, a favorite of 2022. It featured chopped dried figs, which weren’t too sticky. I loved the crunch-crunch-crunch sensation of chopping roasted nuts.

Bringing out the new Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things cookbook, I made a daikon version of her rutabaga tonnato recipe. The daikon was about two inches wide. I started by making quarter-inch-thick slices with both the Glestain and my santoku, a more vegetable-focused Japanese knife. The slices sat perfectly next to the Glestain, but when I switched to the santoku, they stuck to it like they would with almost any other knife. I got similar results when I quartered and sliced ​​the daikon.

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