Author Topic: Curd Cutter - Knife Type & Cutting Method  (Read 2310 times)

Offline terrie

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Curd Cutter - Knife Type & Cutting Method
« on: January 21, 2009, 07:53:46 AM »
Yes, I'm very new.  What's the big deal with these expensive knives for cutting curds?  I used a thin stainless boning knife.  It cut...  Is there a big advantage in having a special knife?


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Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Curd Cutter - Knife Type & Cutting Method
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2009, 09:16:52 AM »
Achieving a uniform, and specific sized curd cube can be considered and important part of cheesemaking. 

Curd size influences the amount and rate at which whey is released from the gel.  This in turn does other things and affects the resulting cheese.

Some recipes call for very specific curd sizes. 

A boning knife will of course work,  but achieving a specific sized curd is easier, more reliable, and in many cases, more practical with a knife that has specifically spaced wire blades.

For example,  achieving a horizontal cut, that is evenly spaced, under the surface of your coagulated milk, is difficult, if not impossible with a boning knife.


That is just my 2 cents.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Curd Cutter - Knife Type & Cutting Method
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2009, 10:01:34 AM »
terrie, Wayne is correct. For small volume cheese making, a long thin knife works fine, most of the posts on Curd Knives are about large ones for large 15 US gallon/50 litre batches where a knife is not big enough.

I recently made a few Best Practice webpages with one on Cutting The Curd that may be of use.

Anyone have any changes/additions to this or the other Best Practice pages please PM or email me :).

Offline terrie

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Re: Curd Cutter - Knife Type & Cutting Method
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2009, 10:19:21 AM »
Thanks, makes sense with large batches.  Two gal. is probably the largest that would be practical for me to be able to handle.

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Curd Cutter - Knife Type & Cutting Method
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2009, 07:59:31 PM »
What wayne and Cheesehead said. My main concern that led me to build my own was the horizotal cut which is the hardest, but as others said it's the big batches they prove difficult.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.


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Offline Likesspace

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Re: Curd Cutter - Knife Type & Cutting Method
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2009, 05:25:58 PM »
Terrie...
For the past three years, I've made cheese using a similar knife to the one you use and it as worked and worked well.
My main reason for wanting a set of curd knives is to take cheesemaking to the next level and hopefully turn out a better final product as a result (okay, the coolness factor does come into play as well....I'll admit it).
The knives are not necessary to make cheese, but they just might be something that gives the cheese that little extra something that makes it great.

Dave

Offline chilipepper

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Re: Curd Cutter - Knife Type & Cutting Method
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2009, 09:48:52 PM »
Terrie the cool factor is high.   The boning knife or cake knife, etc. all work really well for the cuts that you make vertically but the horizontal cuts end up just being guesses. Ultimately when you start stirring the curd you have a lot of cutting to still do at that point.  This may in some small part affect your consistancy as you have a wide range of curd sizes.  For me it is just a time thing... I can make the vertical cuts in about 5 minutes but I really struggle trying to get those horizontal (or angled ones in this case) made accurately.   I used my custom built insane curd knife 5000  ;D ;D (just cause I built it myself) today for the first time.  Wow was that slick.  Sanitize it, drop it in and make one circle with it and you have all the cuts top to bottom nicely spaced at 1/2 inch with nice 1/2 inch cubes for curds left.

So basically long story short it is just a lot more convenient and consistent... necessary.. NO...but it sure helps!! :)

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Curd Cutter - Knife Type & Cutting Method
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2009, 10:15:34 PM »
I kind of disagree Ryan, the better you get at cheese making the more you're going to realizes how more refined your learning and understanding and consistency becomes when all the curds are very close in mass to each other. Each one will have roughly the same moisture content which leads to curds that are not harder or softer than each other making the texture of the cheese better in that respect. Then there is the control of the process if you need to monitor how much whey gets expelled from the curds, if the curds are not roughly all the same size...well you get my point.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline chilipepper

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Re: Curd Cutter - Knife Type & Cutting Method
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2009, 10:49:20 PM »
I agree Carter and that is what I was simplistically referring to as consistancy.  From the starting out point of view however, I think it is more of a matter of doing what you need to do to get your curd cut and turn out a bunch of cheese so that ultimately you can realize and appreciate the advantages of taking that next step. Although if you what to spare no expense then get the right tools up front for the job and you will be better off in the long run.