Sour hands, torn meat, or meat gone airborne or onto the ground sound familiar? The solution comes down to figuring out the types of butcher knife and butcher blocks and cutting boards, and we’re here to help you out with that. Take a look.
The purpose defines the knife’s type. For example, a steak knife is too big for filleting, but a boning knife or a fillet one is super convenient for cutting steaks. Also, a butcher steak knife differs from a restaurant and chef one. So, there are fundamental differences between the knives. After learning them, you will definitely choose the right ones and improve your work efficiency significantly.
This butcher knife serves the purpose of removing the skin from the bones of meat and fish cleanly. Also, it allows for cutting thin and precise slices. A boning knife comes in different formats, such as straight, curved, stiff, flexible, 5-7 inches, wooden handle, etc. Besides, you can use this knife for secondary needs. For example, as a skinner on goats, breaking knife for leg joint, slicer for loins and a knife for dividing mangoes and removing skin from the mango meat, for pulling out the core from a fruit without damaging it. A good boning knife works great for both professional and home use. Sharpening its edges with the ordinary sharpening system won’t be a problem at all. So, debone a pork shoulder correctly and easily!
A boning knife and fillet one are often used in the same context. However, many professionals prefer a boning knife over a fillet knife for beef. But a knife for filleting is still important to have around for other tasks like fish skin removing. It usually has a relatively longer and thinner blade - 4-9 inches versus 5-7 inches of the boning knife. And it is more convenient for separating the delicate fish meat and skin from the bones without ruining it. There’s an important thing to know: when filleting thicker slices, it’s always possible to bend and break the blade. Also, some users don’t like the fact that they can only use a thin and long blade for deboning and filleting fish.
Traditional butcher knife
Amongst distinct types of butcher knife, this one is probably the most popular in kitchens. It has a large blade curved at the tip. Just to remind, the tip takes the third part of the blade and comprises the point. The blade is usually about 7-8 inches. It is a multipurpose knife that serves the purpose of slicing, trimming, mincing (if used as an anchor), and even skin big animals. The traditional butcher knife can come in handy as a primary utility knife during outdoor activities for food cooking.
This butcher knife is made particularly for skinning. Super experienced users know that there are these knives are with folding blades or fixed blades. Just like the names imply, the first one has a permanent blade, while the other - a hinge point. In most cases, the beef skinning knife features a curved blade that allows complete cut motion. It has a wide, 6-inch long blade, and can be used to disjoin cheek meat. As for the lamb skinning knife, the blade is not too arched at the tip. This one serves mostly to skin and gut small animals as the dull tip prevents from puncture. The slightly hooked blade allows cutting the animal down the mid-part and pulling out internal organs.
It’s another butcher knife in kitchens and butchers’ slice, trim, or break down cuts with it. Its blade is intentionally heavy and large compared to the breaking knife. The broad blade of the cimeter is very important when it’s about processing the environment. It allows making the cut portions “nice-size” when slicing. Slices come out “uniform”. Also, the knife is often exploited in big beef processing plants to cut out fat and cut large pieces into tiny ones. It is commonly used in restaurant kitchens, grocery stores, or butcher shops as it provides smooth, clean cuts, which is super convenient for standardization.
This one is used to break down large pieces, up to and including whole animals. Butchers use it when they need a long-arched blade to tear through a carcass. This type provides a full scope of cutting motion and makes meticulous cuts. To clarify a bit, breaking knives and cimeter knives are quite analogous types of a butcher knife. But each one works best for specific tasks, and their use depends on a particular stage of the butchering process. That way, cimeters will do a great job at cutting sub-primal, while breaking knives are good at whole animals, at the very beginning of the butchering process.
Unlike the knife for filleting, this one has an unwieldy size and comes in multiple shapes. It is similar to the traditional knife, but this one is lightweight and features thinner blades for elegant cutting. Such knives have a tough edge helping withstand continuous blows into chunky meat, massive cartilage, tendons, and bones. It is also used for working with soft sinews and bones. Butchers find it useful when willing to tenderize tough cuts of meat. It is great for smashing garlic and fresh ginger, cutting hearty squash, and sectioning pizza dough. Some even use it as a bench scraper to take cut ingredients from the cutting board to a bowl.
Amongst the various types of butcher knives, this one is very popular in U.S. households. Steak knives serve to cut steaks, especially meat fibers and bones. Mostly, you can stumble upon two types of steak knives: serrated and straight.
Serrated steak knife
This knife features a serrated blade that has multiple little ridges or teeth at the bottom. A serrated blade literally tears through the meat. The knife is good at cutting bread and roasts. These knives usually stay sharper than straight ones, but it’s difficult to sharpen them frequently.
Straight steak knife
Straight knives are just sharp blades with thin edges to cut food. They are good at precision cutting. However, they need more maintenance, and you’ll need to sharpen them at least once every two weeks. Make sure you know everything about different types of kitchen knives and their uses.
Ultimate ways to sharpen the knives
Sharpening a butcher knife is pivotal to a smooth cutting process. So, here are the most common sharpening methods.
Sharpening with a stone
You need to choose the type of stones to use, there are diamond-edged, ceramic stones, or just hard stones. Add some oil or water on the stone. Then position properly the blade's’ edge at a 20-30 degrees angle and pass the blade along the whole body to the tip.
Sharpening with a steel
The first right position is the tip meets the kitchen counter, making the sharpener upright to it. The second one is holding the knife at 20 degrees angle from the steel. Next, pass the blade in an arc motion throughout a point in the sharpener.
Using electric knife sharpener
This device features a bunch of options and is used for all types of a butcher knife. For example, it can have a full stone set containing diamond, steel, and hardstone. This way, not just butcher knives but serrated ones and others can be sharpened with one device. A sharpening process is well described in a user manual coming in the box.
Butcher blocks or cutting boards - integral to ultimate butcher's toolset
Even if you’re using a great knife, the wrong choice of a butcher block or cutting board can let you down. They are different surfaces and used for various purposes. For example, when prepping the vegetables, a standard cutting board does the job well here because it’s light prep work. When it’s about meat, a sturdy butcher block for desk with a large working surface is an ideal choice. So, let’s have a look at each separately.
Butcher or chopping block
It is a particular type of wood surface for countertops or tables that looks like an ordinary cutting surface in butcher shops and meat processing plants. Another name for it - a chopping block due to the physical act of chopping. It is usually an inch and a half wide and made using end grain or edge grain. Thickness is crucial here since it carries the weight of the product. End grain suggests that the ends of the wood fiber are exposed, while edge grain is placed along the outside. The reason to prefer end grain is that it is resistant to cuts and scarring and even has healing properties. An ideal butcher block for a desk should feature end grain, be at least 1.5 inches wide, and enough strong to handle the meat.
A cutting board is a ply board created from different materials, such as wood, vinyl, glass. It is a firm surface on which people cut meat, fruit, vegetables, bread, etc. As a piece of material, it is easily stored. Homeowners can also use the entire surface of the counter as a cutting board or have it integrated as rolling furniture. Also, cutting boards can feature in-built compartments to store the knives. To make it short, there are about 30 types of cutting board in a kitchen.
The right butcher knife is half of a deal in the kitchen. The right knife and an ideal butcher block or cutting board are a great combo that can tackle meals of any complexity. Butchers, chefs, homeowners save time, money, and increase productivity in the long run once they figure out what works best for them.