Published on January 15th, 2010 | by Greg0
We’ll let you in on a little secret: If you spend any time in the kitchen at all, having a good sharp knife (and a way to keep it sharp) will make cooking easier – and even a little more fun. Ironically, it might even make it safer. Trying to cut with a half-sharp knife can have nasty consequences.
The first thing to do is acquire a few basic knife skills. Next, get a sharp knife. MAC is a Japanese knife maker with a reputation for producing some of the sharpest knives on the market. They stamp instead of forging them, which makes for a thinner, lighter, slightly more flexible blade. They also make them a little harder than most knives (57-61 degrees Rockwell C), which helps them hold an edge longer.
Our writers learned that people here in Hawaii have known about MAC for decades. Hawaii locals take their food seriously, and MAC knives have become the go-to knives for many local people. It seems MAC’s popularity has been spreading all over the world, after getting their US debut in Hawaii many years ago. Quite a few professional chefs are using them these days and we’re sure word-of-mouth and famous chefs like Thomas Keller and Charlie Trotter endorsing them hasn’t hurt either.
Recently, we had a chance to try out the MAC Superior series SB-105 bread/roast knife 10 1/2 inch, as well as the Professional series MBK-95 Mighty Chef 9 1/2 inch. The chef’s knife might be a little bigger than your average kitchen knife, but big has it’s advantages- a hefty piece of meat, a whole cabbage, you name it- the chef’s knife will make short work of it. Of course, it also chops and dices like a great knife should. There is nothing too flashy about it, but it is still a well-balanced, good-looking knife. It’s designed to be a classic French chef’s knife: versatile, useful, and tough. It definitely holds its own against any other knife in its class, and is available directly from MAC for $200.
We can’t say we’ve ever been excited about bread knives, with the possible exception of our Super Bread. We don’t use them much and they just seem to take up space in the knife drawer. All that has changed now, as we keep picking up the SB-105 for everything these days. It has a 2mm tungsten alloy blade that slices the hell out of anything in it’s path. It goes way beyond a simple bread knife. Cut whatever you want as thin as a cracker- or really, even thinner if you have the skills! We’ve been slicing up roasts and even cut up a whole fruit salad with it the other day, just for fun. It’s long, light, and best of all- unlike most bread knives- it can be sharpened like a non-serrated blade. This knife is a steal at $95.
Which brings us at last, but not least, to keeping these lovelies sharp. If you don’t want to be bothered with oil and sharpening stones, there are cheap, easy, and effective alternatives. MAC offers the SR-2 from FISKARS for $16.50. Roll your knife back and forth a few times across the ceramic wheel and you’re good to go. It gets no easier. With the right tools for the job, you’ll be that much closer to cooking like a pro.