Boning Knife 101 – FAQs & What to Look For

How sharp is a bone knife? And what exactly is a boning knife, and do you need one? It is common to have these and other questions when equipping your kitchen with proper knife sets.

You may have been used to having a chef knife and a cleaver, but you need several specialty knives for professional experience and results. And one of them is a boning knife.

What is a bone knife?

As the name suggests, a bone knife is a knife you use when removing bones from meat. It is easy to spot a bone knife by its features once you know what you are looking for. A bone knife features a long and thin blade with a sharp tip.

A boning knife's characteristics make piercing meat easier, and the long blade ensures it can cut through the flesh faster and safely. They usually measure 5 to 7 inches.

F DICK 1905 Series Boning Knife Flexible 15cm

F DICK 1905 Series Boning Knife Flexible 15cm

How sharp is a bone knife?

A boning knife needs to be razor-sharp. A dull knife will rip through the meat instead of slicing it, which will have you wasting meat and affects your food presentation. A blunt blade also poses a safety hazard since you use extra force, which can easily slip and harm your hand.

The sharpening angle determines how sharp a knife will be. The use of the blade determines how small or large the angle will be.

Since the boning knife will be cutting through some thick chunks of meat, it needs to be sharp but not too much. Too low and angle will affect its durability, especially under heavy use. An angle of 17 to 25 is what you should aim for, and 22 is the more accurate measurement.

Differences between a bone knife and a fillet knife

The boning knife's size makes it tempting to use as a fillet knife, and the two can be confusing, especially with some boning blades being designed to serve both purposes. The main difference is in their uses and their features, which allow them to be suited for their purposes.

A fillet knife is used exclusively to separate fish meat from its bones. Fish meat is delicate and needs higher precision. It is thinner and usually curved and sharper as it sharpened at a lower angle of about 12-17 degrees. Fillet knives measure from 4 to 9 inches. They are also flexible for easy maneuvering, where boning knives are usually stiff.

Fillet knives cannot be used for boning other meats. Some manufacturers create boning knives that can serve as fillet knives too. These tend to be more flexible than traditional boning knives.

Fillet knives can be smaller and longer than boning knives since fish sizes differ. You cannot use fillet knives for boning meat since their light and flexible nature can easily cause injury and lack the toughness to penetrate thick meats.

ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Four Star Boning Knife 14cm

ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Four Star Boning Knife 14cm

Uses of a Bone knife

Besides removing bones from meat, a boning knife's features make it suitable for several other tasks, including the following;

  1. Fruit preparation

A boning knife can help you prepare fresh fruit you can use for trays, fruit dishes, and even decorative purposes. Its small blade allows you to use it even on small fruits comfortably. It can be used to peel rinds, skins, and barks from fruits without taking much of the fruit underneath. It can also help remove fruit cores like in apples. When using a boning knife for peeling, the knife should face away from you, and it should be across the base of your four fingers.

  1. Slicing baked goods

You can use the boning knife with your baked food, whether they are cookies or cakes. For cakes, they will help you in carving round and straight lines as well as different shapes.

The thin blade will also be handy in straightening edges and evening out round lines and layers in layered cakes. The boning knife is also useful when filing and coring cupcakes. You can use it for cutting cookies in the desired shapes too.

  1. Removing fat and skin

Some meats like pork and some beef parts have thick fat layers that need to be removed before cooking. It is also a precision job, and a boning knife's size and sharpness help peel this fat layer off without taking extra meat and without risking injury to yourself.

Wusthof Classic Series Boning Knife 14cm

Wusthof Classic Series Boning Knife 14cm

How to pick a good boning knife

Given the importance of the knife, you must choose a knife that will serve you well and for long. Durability is essential as it also impacts the sharpness of the blade. Herein are the primary considerations when buying a boning knife;

  1. Design of the blade

There are several options you get for a boning knife blade. They include straight, curved, flexible, stiff, thin, and wide blades.

Curved blades are for delicate jobs like filleting fish or quail. Straight blades work well for thicker and tougher chunks of flesh. However, some Japanese fillet blades have straight blades.

Flexible blades are excellent for intricate jobs allowing the knife to cut around corners but can bend and go off course in thicker meats. Stiff blades excel with thicker meats and also make broad cuts. Thin blades offer more precision and no ripping of flesh and are excellent in tight angles. Broad blades, on the other hand, are useful in portioning thick meat sections.

  1. Handles

The handle of the knife should be comfortable in your hand. It would be best if you opted for full tang knives or ones made of one continuous metal piece, even the handle.

These two options offer the most robustness. Choose a durable and comfortable material, like polypropylene, which is not cold as steel or damaged with continuous washing like wood.

  1. The material of the blade

The material of the blade should offer enough strength to support the sharpness of the knife. Stainless steel is the best option here.

  1. Size

The size of the food will determine the knife's size though you should look for a medium ranged knife to offer versatility if you can only buy one blade.

A boning knife is a precision item, and if you get your purchase right, you will have one that can multitask and serve you for a long time.

Shun Kai Classic Gokujo Boning Knife 15.2cm

Shun Kai Classic Gokujo Boning Knife 15.2cm

Final Words

At House of Knives, we provide you with the best range of affordable and quality bone knives from leading brands globally. Shop with us today by clicking here, and we will help you find the best option for your needs.

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Explore Our Other Products:

Victorinox Fibrox Straight Back Butcher's Knife, Victorinox Fibrox Straight Back Safety Grip Sticking Knife, and Victorinox Fibrox Straight Back Wide Boning Knife.