Honing Steels for 15 and 20 degree edge?

Following on what @Yellow said, in my previous replies I kind of assumed your reference to a "steel" was just an error, and what you really meant was a sharpening stone. As @Yellow pointed out, steels don't create (i.e., sharpen) edges. All a steel does is straighten the microscopically ragged peaks of the edge so that it remains as sharp as possible until you have a chance to actually sharpen it with sharpening stones.

I've been led to believe steels are of secondary value to sharpening stones, and if your goal is simply to sharpen a knife, you need sharpening stones, not a steel.

Honing Steels for 15 and 20 degree edge?

Yeah, I can't imagine a steel that some manufacturer says is good for grinding a knife to a 20-degree edge is that much coarser than a steel a manufacturer says is good for grinding a 15-degree edge. Both a 15 and a 20-degree edge are pretty darn razor-thin. I suspect your 15-degree Wustof is some kind of specialty slicer designed for thin slicing, like a sashimi knife, rather than a utility knife ("chef's knife"). A utility knife typically has a 20-25 degree edge, if I'm not mistaken.

The Best F&$king Grilled Chicken Sandwich Ever

Honing Steels for 15 and 20 degree edge?

Generally speaking, the finer the honing steel/stone, the more useful it will be in forming a narrow edge. You would use a coarser steel/stone on a big blade that isn't intended for precision slicing work, like a cleaver, and a finer steel/stone on a blade that is. To take an extreme example, you'd sharpen a razor blade, which has an extremely small angle or narrow edge, using an ultra-fine steel/stone. You need ultra-fine in order to do that kind of precision sharpening work.

To answer your specific question, of course you could sharpen a slicing knife that has a 15-degree edge using a coarse stone that comes with instructions saying it's best used to sharpen knives with 20-degree edges. You might do so for the purpose of first removing the old, damaged edge. (Indeed you could probably use an even coarser stone than that.) Once the old, damaged edge is removed with the coarse stone, you would form a new edge using a finer stone, presumably a stone that comes with instructions saying it's best used to sharpen knives with a 15-degree edge.

Beets in lieu of red food coloring

Poll: Are You a Blotter?

I was raised on the NY style slice, which at times could have puddles of grease, but having now lived in various other regions for a long time--regions where the vast majority of pizza is chain pizza--I rarely see a slice with grease puddles. I don't care if grease puddles are a sign of low quality cheese, to me they signal authenticity. And on the rare occasion when the puddles are just too deep, I'll gladly blot. Grease is sadly absent from chain pizza.

Phenomenal Craft Beer and Whiskey and Food on Chicago Outskirts

Apparently they serve spam. "Jane Franklin" has posted this same advertisement on several other forums.

What Cut to use for home ground meatball mix

It's my understanding that the purpose of the veal component in meatball or meatloaf mix is to provide collagen that will break down during cooking and contribute mouthfeel and moisture; its fat content is essentially irrelevant to that purpose. If you want more fat, use pork fat.

I have no idea whether lamb provides the same effect as veal.

Wok safety question - post oil fire

Why would you be paranoid to cook anything in it? Burned oil in itself shouldn't harm a wok. Did you use some sort of harsh cleaning product on it? Did you scrape off the seasoning? If so, the obvious thing to do is re-season it.

Ask a Bartender: How Do I Get Into Bitter Drinks?

That's funny. I didn't like cocktails until I discovered what you call "bitter" drinks. The cocktails that were popular in past decades were all too sweet for my taste, so I drank beer.

NY vs. DC for a Californian

As much as food is a part of our lives--and some of us more than others--I highly recommend you just forget about food as a factor in deciding where to attend college. Don't let it influence your decision at all. Even if you say "all other factors are equal."

As much as four years sounds like a long time, college will be over before you know it. After college you'll have the rest of your life to seek out food and places to visit to sample foods and be able to exercise more control over where you want to live. For now, I suggest attending college wherever the college may be located that is the best fit for you. It's not as though when you're in college you will have a lot of time to spend playing with food options. If you're a typical college student, between the time you spend going to class, studying, and just trying to eke out a life, you'll be grabbing what food is convenient and affordable. We all enjoy eating out on occasion, but there is unfortunately a good reason why cafeterias exist on college campuses (and in business offices as well), and that is because people in those environments are usually pressed for time.

Substitution for Korean chili powder in Kimchee

None of the Mexican-type chiles is a good substitute for the mild Korean pepper powder known as "gochugaru" that you will need for making kimchi. (@epperhead's descriptions are apt.) Just bite the bullet and order a bag of gochugaru on-line from Amazon or elsewhere.


The Food Lab: Maximize Flavor by Ultra-Smashing Your Burger

"Crust" reminds me of the dry and, yes, crusty, burgers my mom used to make in the '70s. I used to cut off the dry exterior bits and go straight for the soft interior. I know this "smashed" style is all the rage nowadays, but it's sure not to everyone's taste.

The Arbequina Oil From Séka Hills is My New Favorite Extra Virgin Olive Oil

@BakerRB: Yeah, I immediately Googled the Capay Valley and checked out Seka Hills web site. I would like to patronize CA olive oil producers, but they are so under the radar in much of the US--almost all is from Italy and Spain. I bought some CA olive oil on-line not long ago, and it was fantastic. I suppose the likes of Trader Joe's and Whole Foods would carry it, but I don't shop there often. California olive oil is definitely out there--just takes some effort to find.

The Arbequina Oil From Séka Hills is My New Favorite Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Since I had never heard of the Capay Valley (despite having lived in the Golden State a long time), it took me a minute of reading before I realized this is California olive oil. The foreign-sounding names had me confused.

Staff Picks: What to Drink at a Not-Great Bar

@nycpunk: I dunno about NYC, but I have to believe that outside the world of hipster mixology bars, Campari, Fernet, etc., are uncommon in much of the US. They are things out of 1960s postcards from Italy, not manly drinks. Until the current wave of cocktail mania, asking for Campari and soda would at best get a look of bewilderment or, at worst, your ass kicked. I think the Northeast had a leg up on the rest of us due to a large population with Italian heritage.

Paleo Diet Craze- Love it or leave it?

@lil_brown_bat, well said. From my own experience, as I mentioned above, it seems my normal diet is "traditional," and I eat it based on my own intuition and what makes me feel good, and not pseudo-science.

Prosciutto Knife Recommendations?

If this is your first attempt at curing a ham, keep in mind that the result may not live up to being put on quite the pedestal you have in mind. Just be realistic about your expectations. My dry-curing attempts have not been worthy of special knives or stands--my first dry-cured ham was tough as leather. But I wish you the best of luck.

Staff Picks: What to Drink at a Not-Great Bar

Not sure what a "not great bar" is, but if they have things like ginger ale and Campari, you're hardly in a wasteland. Now, whether the bartender has ever been asked to mix a drink with that dusty bottle of Campari on the back shelf is another story.

Paleo Diet Craze- Love it or leave it?

I don't know anything about the Paleo Diet--or at least didn't until recently, when I discovered that what my wife and I happen to eat as our normal routine pretty much falls in line with the Paleo Diet. We never knew we were so trendy.

Food-related deal breakers when dating?

Food knowledge is the most important food-related quality. Actual hands-on cooking ability is not as important as understanding what the food is and where it fits in the scheme of things. Snobbery is a turn off, but if a person is going to enjoy the pleasures of convenience/processed/comfort food, at least understand how it differs from the alternatives and why you find it pleasurable.

Behind the Scenes In Kenji's Home Kitchen (A.K.A. Home of The Food Lab)

Whenever I find myself envying people who get to live in New York I will bring myself back to reality by looking at these pictures of what is considered a "spacious" kitchen.

Cook the Book: 'My Irish Table' by Cathal Armstrong

oysters and Guinness

Asparagus stems revisited.

It's nearly impossible to find American asparagus in my region, so I have stopped buying asparagus. I heard recently (was it on NPR maybe?) that the cheaper Mexican asparagus, which arrives in the stores weeks earlier than American asparagus, is driving American producers out of business. And then of course the Peruvian asparagus is available all Winter. It used to be such a rite of Spring to see locally grown asparagus in the stores. The only grocery store in which I've seen American asparagus in the last couple of years has been Whole Foods.

My apologies for this rant that has nothing to do with stems.

Is octopus a trendy food in the US now?

I've eaten octopus in Greece and maybe elsewhere near the Mediterranean, and I suppose I've eaten it in the US in sushi and Mexican seafood cocktails, but recently I've noticed a number of people mentioning eating it as a main course or appetizer here in the US, including right here in my very much landlocked non-seafood-centric city. Is octopus a trendy food at the moment? I certainly wouldn't be surprised, as it can be quite tasty if prepared well. And if in the past 20 years or so we Americans have learned to love squid (so long as it's labeled "calamari" on the menu), then it makes sense we would venture on to octopus (and maybe cuttlefish is next).

I raise an eyebrow when I see a seafood that seems to be trendy because I am concerned about sustainability. But it looks to me like Monterey Bay Seafood Watch considers octopus from Hawaii and the Gulf of California sustainable.

oat nutrition: steel-cut, rolled or doesn't matter?

A friend of mine believes she read that the human body gets more nutrition from oatmeal made from steel-cut oats than from oatmeal made from rolled oats or, for that matter, rolled oats eaten in other ways. She was specifically referring to the cholesterol benefits. All the information I have been able to find suggests that nutritional differences are negligible. But that information doesn't seem to address any studies that may have been done about how the human body absorbs or uses those nutrients and any specific effects on cholesterol. I know there are a few nutrition hounds on SE. Anyone have information?

Expat Thanksgiving stories

In another thread, someone's question of where to buy Thanksgiving supplies in Paris seemed way too easily answered: a store called "Thanksgiving." I remember the days when being an American abroad at Thanksgiving meant hunkering down with fellow Americans and cobbling together a Thanksgiving meal. Does anyone have any good stories? Plans for this year?

how do I separate fresh rice noodles?

Because they looked good and I had never experimented with them, I bought a package of fresh (not dried) rice noodles. Shrimp noodles to be exact. They come in a package stuck together in one near-solid mass. How do I get them to separate? I tried simply putting the whole mass in a pot of boiling water, but they don't separate. And no matter how gently I prodded them to try to coax them into separating, they just broke apart into bits rather than separating.

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