Professional Butcher Knife Set
When we think of butcher knives, we always imagine a man in an apron clutching a meat cleaver. You'll be surprised to know that that's not the only knife a butcher needs to get his job done. Butchery is a great skill but you need the right knife to do it right. Professional butcher knife sets usually consist of a number of different knives, each suited for specific purposes. We'll look at each of them in this article.
The most commonly known knife in a professional butcher knife set. No picture of a butcher is complete without the cleaver. The cleaver resembles the traditional butcher's knife, but think lighter and thinner for more precise cutting. In spite of this, cleavers are large and feature a wide, long blade. The blade is also tough to enable it to withstand being used to repeatedly hack into cartilage, bones, and thick meat.
If you're looking for a good strong cleaver, the Furi Pro Heavy-Weight Cleaver 16.5cm is a great pick. While most meat cleavers are light in weight, this one features a heavy weighted blade, so it can handle particularly tough sinews and joints. Its reverse-wedge handle ensures comfort at all times, and the high quality Japanese stainless steel delivers precise and clean cuts.
The Traditional Butcher Knife
You would be forgiven for thinking this is the cleaver, but it isn't. The knife is slightly curved at the tip of the blade, which is useful for cutting through meat.
It's an all-round knife that can be used to trim and slice meat, and even skin large animals.
Some butcher knives have Granton edges. These are a series of oval-shaped dimples along the blade of a knife. They form a small pocket of air between the food and the knife blade when cutting, which reduces friction when slicing and also prevents food from sticking to the blade. This in turn prevents tearing or shredding of meat when cutting.
The F DICK ErgoGrip Butcher's Knife 26cm is a fine example of a butcher knife. This German-made blade combines ergonomic functionality with a razor-sharp blade for cutting edge performance.
The Boning Knife
Indispensable in a professional butcher knife set, boning knives are used to make smooth cuts around a bone. They are usually curved or straight, stiff or flexible.
A boning knife that's semi-flexible is ideal for bending and curving around bones. The knife is thin enough to maneuver around meat and bones, and the curved end can be used to slice and trim meat.
Boning knives can also be used for other purposes such as slicing loins, breaking leg joints, and trimming hideaway. An example of a good boning knife is the ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Four Star Boning Knife 14cm. Made of German high carbon stainless steel, this knife has a sharp point and a narrow blade that makes it ideal for deboning, fish, meat, and poultry.
The Skinning Knife
Skinning knives have a short, wide blade ideal for skinning and gutting animals. Often, the blade is blunt-tipped to prevent puncturing of the skin during skinning. They are really more of a hunting tool but are useful for butchery as well.
The Victorinox Curved Skinning Fibrox Handle is a great example of a skinning knife. This Swiss-made knife has an advanced and functional design, with a strong and durable blade and handle. It is ideal for both indoor and outdoor use and can be used to skin beef, deer, moose, or hogs.
The Cimeter Knife
Also known as a scimitar knife, this knife has a very heavy and wide blade, which helps to keep portions compact during slicing. It's basically a longer, curved version of the butcher's knife. The knife is commonly used in large beef plants to cut large pieces of meat into smaller ones and trim fat.
The Mercer Culinary M13612 is a great pick for a cimeter knife. It features a Granton edge and a sleek, curved blade that enables you to slice steaks and other meat chunks with relative ease. It has a pointed tip with which you can make deep cuts in the meat so as to slice through in one smooth motion.
The Breaking Knife
These are a type of butcher knife typically used to cut carcasses into smaller pieces and cut large pieces of meat into smaller ones. They are an important component in a professional butcher knife set. They have long, curved blades that give extra support when cutting through small bones, cartilage, and tough skin. Breaking knives can also be used to trim fat from meat cuts.
A great choice for a breaking knife is the Mercer Culinary M13714 BPX 9 7/8" Breaking Knife with Nylon Handle. It features a strong, curved blade that makes it easier to cut through tough cartilage, skin, and even small bones. The blade is ice-hardened for extra strength, with a unique formula that guarantees blade-retention and wear resistance. Its nylon handle provides a safe, stable, and comfortable grip, so you don't have to worry about the knife slipping out of your hand when doing particularly difficult cuts.
The Steak Knife
Steak knives can be straight, semi- serrated or serrated. They are small knives commonly used at table for cooked food- mostly steak, fish or chicken. Non-serrated steak knives get dull fast, but they are easier to sharpen, while serrated steak knives stay sharp longer without sharpening or honing.
A great steak knife is the Wusthof Classic Steak Knife 12cm. This German-made knife handles beef very well, and can also be used to cut other types of meat. It's extraordinarily sharp blade enables it to cut cleanly through tough meat without tearing it. It also has a special bolster shape which provides optimum balance and allows the user to use the entire blade.
Now that you know that professional butcher's knife sets consist of more than just cleavers, you can get some additional knives to build your collection of knives and actually have a real butcher knife set. Check out the knives discussed in this post and choose one according to your culinary needs.