Rewiring Cheese Slicers

Cheese slicers

Cheese slicers

My ladies favor hard cheeses that are murder on cheese slicers. I just replaced the wires on a pair of favorite slicers, using 0.020 inch stainless wire. That’s thicker than the 14-mil wire they came with, so I’m hoping it’ll last longer.

Being thicker, it’s also harder to push through the cheese, so it’s subject to more force and might break sooner. Ah, tradeoffs…

What I really want are monomolecular wires that can cut through anything

I’ve suggested using a knife on the Romano and Gruyere, reserving the slicers for Cheddar and other sissy cheeses…

Oh, the red stuff on the right-hand slicer is Liquid Electrical Tape. The handle is raw aluminum and leaves smudges all over the place. I’m assuming the layer doesn’t have much lead content, but who knows?

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  1. #1 by CircuitGizmo on 19-May-2010 - 09:45

    Velveeta. That is the only thing these slicers are good for.

    A good quality thin chef’s knife is good for cheese. There are some paring knives that I have that are coated in Teflon – they are wicked sharp. They slide through cheese well.

    • #2 by Ed on 19-May-2010 - 10:09

      coated in Teflon

      Sounds good to me… I even promise to not run it past the sharpening steel!

      • #3 by CircuitGizmo on 19-May-2010 - 10:33

        This is the type of knife:

        http://www.amazon.com/Kuhn-Rikon-Paring-Knife-Nonstick/dp/B000GZA38I/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=kitchen&qid=1274278907&sr=1-4

        I have 3 or 4 of those in my knife drawer. Mainly for my wife’s use. She “doesn’t cook”, but will often prep things while I cook. The paring knife is the right size for her smaller hands and she likes to pick as small of a knife as she can to do the job whereas I pick ax-murder-large knives. I find using a Santoku 8″ works well for me.

        But anyway these little coated knives are affordable and do the job well. I have not had them a whole year, yet, so I don’t know how they stand up to the test of time. So far they have stayed nasty sharp, though.

        If you match the angle of the bevel you should still be able to use the steel.

        • #4 by Ed on 19-May-2010 - 12:55

          a Santoku 8″ works well

          Around here, ya learn something new every day! I never knew that’s what that shape was called, but it’s my all-time favorite kitchen knife.

          We have three sizes and they’re all in constant use: thin blade, razor sharp, cuts like there’s no tomorrow. Love ‘em to death… except that soft cheeses adhere to the blade like hot-melt glue to skin.

          I’ll pick up one of those Teflon-coated blades just to have one around. Thanks!

      • #5 by randomdreams on 19-May-2010 - 11:13

        I found a truly marvelous knife sharpener: a tungsten carbide cutoff lathe bit. It leaves a wonderfully sharp edge. Of course, nobody will let me touch their knives with it…

        • #6 by Ed on 19-May-2010 - 12:59

          a tungsten carbide cutoff lathe bit

          Ya gotta have stuff!

          Our sharpening steel dates back to my parents’ restaurant days, so it’s been in more-or-less constant use for nigh onto seven decades.

          I used a ceramic sharpener that worked fine, but ceramic breaks all too easily. I give the steel an annual scratch-up with some coarse sandpaper and that’s all it takes…

  2. #7 by CircuitGizmo on 19-May-2010 - 17:30

    Ed – A steel doesn’t really sharpen. It straightens the edge. Or that is what it is supposed to do.

    A sharp edge that has cut something – especially if you use a hard/glass cutting board – will have the very tip of the edge curled over. Hold up your hand with your fingers straight and together. Then curl your fingers down. That is what happens – the edge curls over. The steel straightens that edge.

    You are supposed to sharpen knives the “regular way” and then use the steel to “keep” the edge every time you use the knife. I’ve heard from chefs that using the steel each and every time makes actual sharpening a much less frequent event.

    That’s also what all of my chef books say, especially the “knife use” book. And that has been my experience.

    If you have an oil spritzer/sprayer you can “lube” your knife for when you slice cheese. My oil sprayer is olive oil. I buy a disposable sprayer with olive oil. The reusable sprayers that I have had all have failed after a few months. I lube my Santoku before cutting mozzarella.

    • #8 by Ed on 19-May-2010 - 18:37

      You are supposed to sharpen knives the “regular way”

      For sure!

      Once every couple of years, more or less, I march the knives to the basement and wave ‘em around the slow stone to refigure the blades; used to do that by hand with diamond stones, but I’m getting lazy. They eventually develop a gentle curve just in front of the heel: sharp, but the entire length of the blade doesn’t contact the cutting board.

      Then, maybe once or twice a week when I’m cooking, whatever knife I’m using gets a zip-zap-zot on the steel: onions just fall apart from sheer terror. The ladies aren’t much for using the steel and I can tell when I’ve forgotten: the onions put up a fight.

      I admit to always running the blade away from me on the steel, as I don’t have to worry about pinking the next line chef in his starboard ham; aiming a blade at me is not going to happen. That’s probably what puts the curve in the heel.

      On rare occasions when we go visiting we get to use their knives. It’s invariably like clubbing the veggies to death with a tire iron…

      a hard/glass cutting board

      Now, that is a perversion…

      Every few years I screw our butcher-block board to some cleats, clamp it to the (big) milling machine, and flycut the top few millimeters. The surface becomes wonderfully smooth and lovely, particularly after an overnight oil soak. The next time will be its last:it’s now so thin that the original screw holes for the feet are starting to show on the top surface…

      My oil sprayer is olive oil

      I’ll give that a try the next time around… thanks for the hint!

      • #9 by CircuitGizmo on 19-May-2010 - 21:12

        ( I’m gonna try your italicized reply style. I have no idea if it will work… )

        [i]screw our butcher-block board to some cleats, clamp it to the (big) milling machine, and flycut the top few millimeters.[/i]

        Huzzah! Nothing better than a bold, manly engineering solution to a kitchen problem! I ran a sander over a plastic cutting board, followed by a torch. Walked back into the kitchen with the board, torch, goggles, and lab coat. Got “that look” from the Mrs.

        • #10 by Ed on 19-May-2010 - 21:39

          a sander over a plastic cutting board

          I’m sure that seemed like a good idea at the time. [grin]

          Took me a while to realize that the fly cutter would make short work of the problem. The mill doesn’t quite have the reach to cover the whole surface in one swipe, but one reclamping does the deed. Now, if I had a bigger fly cutter …

  3. #11 by CircuitGizmo on 19-May-2010 - 21:12

    Obviously not [i] [/i]

    • #12 by Ed on 19-May-2010 - 21:38

      Yup, it’s less-than-bracket em greater-than-bracket.

      • #13 by madbodger on 31-August-2012 - 21:25

        I’ve been using < cite >

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