Author Topic: I want to cut some sweet potatoes  (Read 5053 times)

mozar

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I want to cut some sweet potatoes
« on: April 04, 2016, 07:15:11 PM »
I have finally come to the top of the maslow hierarchy. All my needs are met, except my desire to easily cut sweet potatoes. I want to quarter them, and make french fries.
I like the idea of a curved knife because you can rock it back and forth to cut faster.
A couple of examples:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Pampered-Chef-1063-Crinkle/dp/B000J1FLAO
http://thesecondknob.com/food-chopper-carved-handle/

Any suggestions? I don't want a french fry cutter like this:http://www.amazon.com/Weston-363501W-French-Fry-Cutter/dp/B000T3OO8C
because it's a unitasker and I read you have to microwave the sweet potato first (I don't have a microwave).

Runrooster

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Re: I want to cut some sweet potatoes
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2016, 07:50:42 PM »
I use a mandolin, which runs $20 range and comes with thin/thick slices, and matchstick or thick Julienne.  I use the thick Julienne on potatoes, sweet or regular.  Definitely not a unitasker.

Fwiw, the from frou salad place in DC uses the curved chopper.  Stuff is in large pieces and then chopped altogether with the curved knife.  It helps make the salad minced, and means everything mixes together well.  But I think yupou have to finish the salad faster. I'd be terrified to use that on a sweet potato that could roll away.

asiljoy

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Re: I want to cut some sweet potatoes
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2016, 07:59:48 PM »
I agree with Runrooster that a mandolin is going to be the faster/easiest way to get uniform fries, but be careful, those suckers are sharp.

Otherwise I'd say just get a good knife, keep it sharp, follow the basic advice here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-6E-qv9oic, and practice. Knife work gets easier the more you do it.

lbmustache

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Re: I want to cut some sweet potatoes
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2016, 08:59:00 PM »
Nothing to contribute except I LOVE SWEET POTATOES.

Adventine

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Re: I want to cut some sweet potatoes
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2016, 09:41:41 PM »
Nothing to contribute except I LOVE SWEET POTATOES.

ME TOO.

mozar

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Re: I want to cut some sweet potatoes
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2016, 08:52:13 AM »
But it seems like the mandolin slices would be really  skinny,  like shoestring fries. I want something thicker. Maybe what I want doesn't exist.

yyc-phil

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Re: I want to cut some sweet potatoes
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2016, 09:34:48 AM »
I use a stainless steel mandolin to cut potatoes, yams and onions in thin slices for gratins. Using the guard is imperative, as mandolin blades are really sharp and an accident can happen very quickly. For fries, a good knife does the trick. Since I cut down on grains and other carbohydrates, I eat a lot of tubers like potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, jicama, taro, cassava, jerusalem artichoke and the likes at practically every meal. The easiest way is to cube them, coat in olive oil, add whatever seasoning you want, toss on a baking sheet and roast in the oven. You can add chopped daikon, beet, onion and garlic, turnip and parsnip, etc.

mozar

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Re: I want to cut some sweet potatoes
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2016, 09:48:22 AM »
I don't like mandolins tbh. The problem with knives is that I'm on the short side. So I have very little leverage. I have henckel knives.

boarder42

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Re: I want to cut some sweet potatoes
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2016, 09:48:51 AM »
are you wanting to cut them like this

http://recipe.ramp.com/hosting/media/recipe/1618932/41980442/how-to-make-the-best-homemade-french-fries.jpg

Just use a knife cut it in half then into thirds.

asiljoy

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Re: I want to cut some sweet potatoes
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2016, 09:58:42 AM »
When's the last time the blades have been sharpened? http://lifehacker.com/5903770/the-right-ways-to-sharpen-a-knife

I don't necessarily see a problem with either of the links you have in your first post, but I'm not sure how you're going to get even/consistent results with them without using a knife anyways to cut off a chuck of the potato to stop it from rolling around on you and if you're already holding a knife, you might as well keep going with it.

Runrooster

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Re: I want to cut some sweet potatoes
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2016, 10:45:44 AM »
Most mandolins have two settings, one shoestring and one thick.  I admit that I often skip the mandolin and cut with chefs knife, after microwaving the sweet potato 3 min.

CmFtns

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Re: I want to cut some sweet potatoes
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2016, 10:50:34 AM »
I just cut up potatoes into thick slices this past weekend to make homemade french fries... Why can't you use a normal 8"/10" chef's knife? I don't understand the need for a specialized cutter... You should be able to cut them thick and relatively even as long as your knife is even remotely sharp...

I know because my knives are really shitty and I managed to cut up a whole baking sheet of fries in like 5 minutes.

I don't like mandolins tbh. The problem with knives is that I'm on the short side. So I have very little leverage. I have henckel knives.

If you need leverage to cut then you need to sharpen your knives.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 10:56:02 AM by comfyfutons »

2buttons

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Re: I want to cut some sweet potatoes
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2016, 11:39:20 AM »
When's the last time the blades have been sharpened? http://lifehacker.com/5903770/the-right-ways-to-sharpen-a-knife

I don't necessarily see a problem with either of the links you have in your first post, but I'm not sure how you're going to get even/consistent results with them without using a knife anyways to cut off a chuck of the potato to stop it from rolling around on you and if you're already holding a knife, you might as well keep going with it.

Yup, this is the key to consistent fries. Cut one side of the potato so it will lay flat and stable and you can easily slice stackable slices of potato (think stackable pickles), then you can take that stack of pickles and slice to your desired thickness all the way through to make a consistent fry.

I dont skimp on kitchen knives, especially from a safety perspective and really you can get away with like three total.  My go to these days is the wusthof santoku, its my work horse. 

GuitarStv

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Re: I want to cut some sweet potatoes
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2016, 11:58:35 AM »
cut with chefs knife, after microwaving the sweet potato 3 min.

This is your golden info right here.  A knife works fine for sweet potatoes.  Even a cheap/dull knife is no problem once you've softened the potatoes a bit first.

mozar

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Re: I want to cut some sweet potatoes
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2016, 12:14:53 PM »
I don't own a microwave. I sharpened it maybe two weeks ago. I could try my 10 inch knife instead of the 8 inch. Even when my knives were brand new it was hard. The counters are also too high for me. I guess I'm the only person who has this problem,  people on this forum either have microwaves or are average or above average in height.

boarder42

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Re: I want to cut some sweet potatoes
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2016, 12:16:03 PM »
I don't own a microwave. I sharpened it maybe two weeks ago. I could try my 10 inch knife instead of the 8 inch. Even when my knives were brand new it was hard. The counters are also too high for me. I guess I'm the only person who has this problem,  people on this forum either have microwaves or are average or above average in height.

or just get a step stool. if you really think this is leverage.  what are you 4' tall

mozar

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Re: I want to cut some sweet potatoes
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2016, 12:27:55 PM »
Lol, the step stool is a good idea.

Runrooster

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Re: I want to cut some sweet potatoes
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2016, 12:33:40 PM »
I'm 5'2" and ive noticed the leverage issue. If I'm chopping a lot of things, I use the dining table as that is lower.  I also use the sink to use the mandolin in a bowl.  I really notice it when I've cooked something that needs a lot of stirring, my shoulder hurts the next day.  I tried a step stool but it was like doing a step class.

asiljoy

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Re: I want to cut some sweet potatoes
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2016, 01:37:46 PM »
I don't own a microwave. I sharpened it maybe two weeks ago. I could try my 10 inch knife instead of the 8 inch. Even when my knives were brand new it was hard. The counters are also too high for me. I guess I'm the only person who has this problem,  people on this forum either have microwaves or are average or above average in height.

I usually sharpen mine every 2/3 uses or before I do any heavy duty dicing/slicing and take them in about once a year to a professional who does a way better job of maintaining the edge than I ever could. It doesn't take much to dull them depending what you're using them on; glass/stone/plastic/wood cutting boards are going to have different effects on the blade.

mozar

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Re: I want to cut some sweet potatoes
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2016, 02:37:41 PM »
Thankyou Runrooster! I am 5'2" as well.