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Ceramic knives

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Post Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:19 pm
jayeffel well done
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Location: Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
I know this is not really a grilling questions, but it is part of prep work- what make and size ceramic knives do you other grillers use? Never used one, got a small paring knife tonight to try . Wife asked "Is this for me or for you? I said it's ours- when she cuts herself it will be mine probably. :P
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Post Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:07 am
CharredGriller User avatar
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jayeffel wrote:
I know this is not really a grilling questions, but it is part of prep work- what make and size ceramic knives do you other grillers use? Never used one, got a small paring knife tonight to try . Wife asked "Is this for me or for you? I said it's ours- when she cuts herself it will be mine probably. :P


I've alway's thought ceramic knives were a bit gimmicky so I've never bought any. That's just my own impression, though, so I'd love to hear otherwise.

I use a ceramic sharpener for basic quick sharpening, though. My good knives are a mix of Sabatier, J. A. Henckels and Victorinox knives. You'd be suprised what people sell for peanuts at garage and yard sales. :D
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:32 am
beercuer User avatar
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CanadaBBQGuy wrote:
jayeffel wrote:
I know this is not really a grilling questions, but it is part of prep work- what make and size ceramic knives do you other grillers use? Never used one, got a small paring knife tonight to try . Wife asked "Is this for me or for you? I said it's ours- when she cuts herself it will be mine probably. :P


I've alway's thought ceramic knives were a bit gimmicky so I've never bought any. That's just my own impression, though, so I'd love to hear otherwise.

I use a ceramic sharpener for basic quick sharpening, though. My good knives are a mix of Sabatier, J. A. Henckels and Victorinox knives. You'd be suprised what people sell for peanuts at garage and yard sales. :D


Nuttin' beats a Victorinox boning knife. But ceramic knives are a new one on me, Jay.
Last edited by beercuer on Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:21 am
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Jay - now I'm getting interested in these knives. Do you have a link to any of them?
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:05 am
jayeffel well done
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Location: Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
I've seen them around for a while, thought gimmicky myself. But a few co-workers use them and highly praise them. They are not for cutting anything hard --frozen foods, meat with bones etc., but for veggies etc they are said to be great.

I saw some links but didn't copy them. I guess the attraction is they are sharper than steel-- and a bit different also. I would suppose a rel hard cutting board would be out of place.

My main question is if they do loose an edge how to you sharpen them? Maybe not at all. The reason for not cutting hard stuff is so you don't chip the edge. Though I might get some users advice here.

Looked via google and found this link about ceramic knives vs steel knives, need to look through these myself when I have time. http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=ceramic+knives+vs+steel&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
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Post Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:47 pm
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jayeffel wrote:
I've seen them around for a while, thought gimmicky myself. But a few co-workers use them and highly praise them. They are not for cutting anything hard --frozen foods, meat with bones etc., but for veggies etc they are said to be great.

I saw some links but didn't copy them. I guess the attraction is they are sharper than steel-- and a bit different also. I would suppose a rel hard cutting board would be out of place.

My main question is if they do loose an edge how to you sharpen them? Maybe not at all. The reason for not cutting hard stuff is so you don't chip the edge. Though I might get some users advice here.

Looked via google and found this link about ceramic knives vs steel knives, need to look through these myself when I have time. http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=ceramic+knives+vs+steel&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8


After reviewing about 8 different sites, I think I'll stick with my carbon steel knives (and not stainless steel, either - carbon steel holds a much better edge). I've never had one discolor on me and I slice a lot of acidic foods. And I've never noticed any metallic taste in foods when I slice them with these knives, either. I think the ceramic knife manufacturers are overstating that point.

EDIT: Here is a thread on this board from some time ago. There are some interesting points here:
http://www.barbecuebible.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=19684

As for sharpening ceramic knifes if they get a nick, from what I read it isn't possible. They'll also apparently shatter if you drop them on a hard surface. Steel knives don't do this.

And sharper than steel? I was going through some of my tools and it turns out that I have a couple of work knives with ceramic blades. They're sharp, but not that sharp. By comparison, I can shave with some of my steel knife blades - in fact, that's the test I use to see if they've been honed well enough.

Your mileage may vary, but I think I'll pass on these.

However, I might spend some cash on one of these rigs instead: :twisted:
http://www.leevalley.com/en/Wood/page.aspx?p=67152&cat=1,43072,67090
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:37 am
beercuer User avatar
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Now if they were made out of obsidian flakes, they would retain their edge for centuries! :D
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Post Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:54 am
Griffin well done
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Location: Dallas, Texas

I've never used a ceramic knife, but would like to try one. Something I heard awhile back was that when you cut lettuce with a metal knife, it causes it to turn that reddish-brown color but ceramic knives don't have that affect. Don't know if its true or not, just something I remember.

Post Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:28 am
jayeffel well done
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Posts: 336
Location: Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
And sharper than steel? I was going through some of my tools and it turns out that I have a couple of work knives with ceramic blades. They're sharp, but not that sharp. By comparison, I can shave with some of my steel knife blades - in fact, that's the test I use to see if they've been honed well enough.


Ceramic is harder than steel , between steel and diamonds in hardness, You can sharpen steel with ceramic or diamond, and ceramic by diamond. As for sharpness of knives, I believe most work knives have a different angle than most kitchewn knives- kitchen knives should have a keener edge.

From what I gather, as mentioned ceramic knives are not as forgiving as steel for rough handling and are not for everything. What they are good for are fruits and veggies, and lettuce cabbage etc. So, I guess a full set of ceramic knives may not be as desirable as one or two smaller one used properly.

I guess there are no knife police be sure we use the right ones! :roll:
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Post Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:34 pm
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A friend of mine makes knives (the kind I can't afford) so I asked for his thoughts:

"If you baby your knives the way Barry babies his cars, it might be a decent solution for you. Ceramics hold a great edge because they are very abrasion resistant. However, that comes at the cost of being brittle. Don't drop your expensive ceramic chef's knife on the time floor, or you'll need a new one. For that matter, be very careful cutting a thick-skinned melon or gourd, the accidental sideways load that happens sometimes can chip the edge out. :)

IMHO, it's better to learn some sharpening skills and get a good set of steel knives."

For reference, our friend Barry takes insane care of his cars. :lol:

Post Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:46 pm
jayeffel well done
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Posts: 336
Location: Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
IMHO, it's better to learn some sharpening skills and get a good set of steel knives."


I have several stones and steels, I just don't get them out often! I'd like to get real good knives but whenever I see some I like, the money seems to have fluttered away. :(
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Post Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:40 am
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
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My friend also had this to offer when I told him that it was here that ceramic knives were being discussed:

"BBQ? Man...one good bark on a brisket and the edge could chip all to hell. I know a guy who makes great kitchen knives and BBQ slicers. Tell the guys to look up Butch Harner on Facebook (probably more up to date than his website) if they want proper slicing equipment ;)"

Post Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:57 pm
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ScreamingChicken wrote:
My friend also had this to offer when I told him that it was here that ceramic knives were being discussed:

"BBQ? Man...one good bark on a brisket and the edge could chip all to hell. I know a guy who makes great kitchen knives and BBQ slicers. Tell the guys to look up Butch Harner on Facebook (probably more up to date than his website) if they want proper slicing equipment ;)"


No kidding? You can chip a ceramic knife on a melon or on brisket bark? That's pretty scary.

I've seen Butch Harner's videos and they're very informative. I learned my sharpening skills from guys like Leonard Lee - founder of Lee Valley Tools and author of one of the most detailed sharpening books around. I also learned a lot from a few authors of bushcraft books, like Mors Kochanski (who lives not too far away from where I work).
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Wed May 01, 2013 9:18 am
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
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It's possible he might've embellished just a little to make his point. :lol:

Post Thu May 16, 2013 10:55 am
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Sorry, no pics but I just did a little test. I bought a head of iceberg lettuce a week ago and since I was slicing it up anyway I figured I'd try a little experiment.

I often have issues with lettuce turning rusty after I slice it and leave it in the fridge for a few days. So what I figured was I'd slice one piece of the lettuce head with a carbon steel knive, another with an el-cheapo stainless steel knife (a Wiltshire "Lazer" - same edge as the Ginsu knive, basically), and a third one with a better stainless steel knife.

The lettuce cut with the carbon-steel knife turned a bit rusty after about 3 days. However, both lettuce heads sliced with the stainless steel knives haven't rusted at all and they have been in the fridge for a week. I also tasted all three samples and the one cut by carbon steel tasted a tiny bit metallic but the other two were fine.

What do I gather from this? If an el-cheapo stainless steel knife doesn't cause lettuce and other veggies to discolor or giver them a metallic taste, then for myself I couldn't justify buying a ceramic knife for that purpose. My own opinion is that ceramic knives are a bit too gimmicky for my own use.
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.


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