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What are some good resources for learning Knife Skills? is a fairly old question, from when we were a lot more tolerant of wide-open questions inviting long lists of answers.

It's recently been bumped by two bounties, and as long as a bounty is on it, regular users can't actually vote to close. But I've seen a couple users suggest that it may be too broad.

So, should it be closed? We moderators can certainly override the bounty and unilaterally close it, but I'd rather do so with community support.

(As a side note: the current bounty text is almost a new version of the question, rather than the normal "more answers please" type of thing. I'm aware that this may also not be the most appropriate use of a bounty, but for the purposes of this meta question, let's focus on whether the original question should be closed, not the bounty.)

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It comes under a 'classic' close reason - "product, service or learning materials". Unless Seasoned Advice has a specific, 'local' policy of letting such questions stand, I don't see any reason not to close it.

A better way to handle such questions might be to encourage seperate, specific questions on specific knife skills, or the use of specific tools in my opinion in a sense, this site should be the resource, and answers self contained

  • The bounty-er did say some things in chat suggesting they might actually have some more specific questions, but are trying to take care of them all at once by finding one awesome resource. Certainly agree that it's better to end up with that knowledge here! – Cascabel Oct 16 '16 at 4:12
  • Yup! cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/74767/… this is entirely inspired by this question and is a pretty good example of how I'd personally ask a knife question to do with a specific style of knife. – Journeyman Geek Oct 16 '16 at 4:18
  • Okay, no dissenting answers or even votes, and I not only agree with your reasons, I think it's also quite broad and that we've closed plenty of questions in this vein in the past. So I'll go ahead and close it. Thanks for the confirmation, everyone! – Cascabel Oct 17 '16 at 17:15
  • The more specific the questions get, the greater the chance that I (the OP or bounty-er) will miss out on knife skills that are more obvious to more seasoned cooks. Also, it would be great if this site was the resource but frankly I'm not seeing people posting images in any instance for knife skills and to me that is extremely important to have a visual of some type. Two pages of text on knife skills can hardly hold up to a single image in my opinion. So yes external links and resources for this topic can be valuable and to me necessary. – dpollitt Oct 21 '16 at 1:51
  • @dpollitt People can absolutely still link to resources in answers, if they know of any that are freely available. (They aren't always - there's a reason you discovered so much paywalled stuff on that older question.) The issue here isn't just about images/videos versus text, it's about asking for all knife skills at once versus asking for specific things. And, well, StackExchange is all about specific Q&A, not sharing general tips. We can argue about where to draw the line, but I think when you get to the point of asking for an hour-long class on a skill, that's pretty obviously broad. – Cascabel Oct 22 '16 at 0:56
  • I think the 'why' self contained answers are good is important to understand - external links go down or can be moved. If so, your answer is useless. However a focused answer on a specific part of the skillset you need, then referencing external sites for more information works better. I'd note, for once, your comment might be better extended as an answer and I agree with the bit about 'posting images' as part of an answer. – Journeyman Geek Oct 22 '16 at 0:59
  • So asking 20 questions about knife skills and having each question with an answer linking to a 22 second random video on the skill is preferred vs asking broadly and someone linking to a 30min video covering most of the general skills needed. I can do that, its just tedious. – dpollitt Oct 22 '16 at 1:00
  • If I were asking "how to change my oil?", I could break it up into "how do I unscrew the oil filter" and watch a 20 second video on that, then "how to let oil drip out of the engine" another 20sec video, "how do i unscrew an oil pan drain", another 20sec video, etc. Or just ask how to do it and find someone willing to write a bit with explanations of each step, a few graphics, and maybe a link to one 5min video. In that vein, it would be easy for me to miss out on one of the steps completely (which is what I'm afraid of with general knife sills). Maybe I'll forget to lock my brakes! – dpollitt Oct 22 '16 at 1:03
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    I'd actually consider two sorts of questions here - one would be "how do I use this sort of tool" see my question in the comments above and the other is "how do I use tool X to do task Y" . The latter would cover your "how do I change my oil" problem. Your scope feels like "How do I use a knife" which is overbroad – Journeyman Geek Oct 22 '16 at 1:07
  • You cook? :-) @JourneymanGeek Funny what kind of people you run into here... ;-) – Fabby Oct 25 '16 at 21:47
  • Sometimes. I've active in their chat room and elsewhere and decided to turn an offhand comment into an answer complete with an example – Journeyman Geek Oct 26 '16 at 5:33
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The more specific the questions get, the greater the chance that I (the OP or bounty-er) will miss out on knife skills that are more obvious to more seasoned cooks. Also, it would be great if this site was the resource but frankly I'm not seeing people posting images in any instance for knife skills and to me that is extremely important to have a visual of some type.

Two pages of text on knife skills can hardly hold up to a single image in my opinion. I think that external links and resources for this topic can be valuable and to me in fact are necessary.

  • Thanks for posting this! I wholeheartedly agree that images are more helpful than text, but I don't think that the way to get them is to ask a broad question for external resources. Being unhappy with the initial answers to newer questions is not a justification for preserving a problematic question. – Cascabel Oct 22 '16 at 1:05
  • As for general skills... I think there's a clash of perspectives here. You've asked about what specific cuts you should make for specific tasks, and those cuts really are specific to what you're doing, there's not really a general skill beyond the intuition you'll develop with practice. The general stuff is more like gripping the knife (you asked this), managing piles, and moving food into position (you could ask those). So you're mostly trying to learn a bunch of different individual things all at once here, and we prefer one question at a time. – Cascabel Oct 22 '16 at 1:07
  • I don't see it as a problem, although I know SE isn't fond of community wiki, linking to external resources(how would they make money off of that!?), or answers that are too broad for someone to type up on a smartphone screen. The question could be answered, I've seen people write up thesis quality answers on SE, and I don't believe that with a bit of effort someone with the knowledge couldn't put up a great answer to that general knife skills question. – dpollitt Oct 22 '16 at 1:08
  • @Jefromi - That right there is exactly what I'm talking about! "there's not really a general skill beyond the intuition you'll develop with practice." How would I know that without asking the question that is now closed? Why isn't that an answer on that question? I also didn't know any of this "managing piles, and moving food into position". I guess I should be asking in meta to get answers to the questions I have about cooking... – dpollitt Oct 22 '16 at 1:09
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    "managing piles" was meant as an extra-concise reference to things like keeping things from falling off the cutting board, or running out of space and accidentally re-chopping things. Do you have problems with those things? Then you know about them and could ask. Do you not have problems with that? Then you don't need to ask! (though it could still be helpful for others) Same kind of thing goes for moving food into position - do you have trouble easily cutting a carrot into slices without getting all angled? – Cascabel Oct 22 '16 at 1:12
  • Alright, glad you guys like questions. I'll ask 'em. – dpollitt Oct 22 '16 at 1:15

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