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Best Knives for Slicing & Carving Meat
What is the best knife for cutting meat?
Every type of meat might require a different knife. Let’s discuss the different types of knives to find out which works best for specific types of meat.
Chef’s knives have a broad blade tapering to a point. Use this knife to mince meat in a back and forth motion. Chef knives can measure between six to twelve inches long, and size should be picked on the size of the cook’s hands. A chef knife works best for a variety of uses, from chicken to carrots.
Boning knives separate meat from bones or for filleting fish. The thin knife can also peel and trim vegetables. They measure between three and eight inches with a flexible blade.
Carving knives have narrow blades and a rounded tip with cutouts on the long part of the blade. Use this blade to cut thin, uniform slices of cooked meat.
Bread knives cut bread but also work on meat, poultry, and seafood. The dull point and serrated blade usually measure between seven and ten inches make this an excellent choice for cutting larger items.
Utility knives measure between four and seven inches long and work best for cutting items too small for a chef’s knife because of the narrow blade. Use this knife for slicing, trimming, and filleting.
Santoku knives are a Japanese chef’s knife with a shorter, thinner blade perfect for smaller hands. Use this knife for slicing, dicing, and mincing, although this blade does not rock, and it’s best for herbs and vegetables. Cutouts on the blade help to remove food with ease.
Cleaver is a bulky, heavy knife with a full tang, thick spine, and wide blade with no sharp point. Use this knife to cut through bones, meat, and thick foods like pumpkins and watermelon. Also, use it to pulverize meat.
Paring knives are tiny three to four-inch blades with a pointed tip great for cutting fruits and vegetables. Use them to trim excess fat off meat.
Steak knives are smaller knives perfect for cutting cooked food because of the serrated blade that stays sharper longer.
Fillet knives are similar to boning knives with a couple of differences, such as it’s thinner, longer, and flexible. You can still use it to debone the meat, but it’s best for cutting meat into thin slices.
Kitchen shears work well for cutting the fat off of meat, stripping herb branches, and a variety of other uses, making them an all-purpose item perfect for any kitchen.
Butcher’s knives are full tang options used to cut meat with ease. Many have shallow points to help the meat slide off the blade.
Salmon knives are designed to fillet large fish like salmon. They make quick work of the skin and reduce waste. A curved cutout at the bottom helps to remove the skin and reduce drag. Also, they have rounded tips to scale more areas at once.
What is a meat knife called?
Meat knives do not have a single name as multiple knives work for meat. However, a meat cleaver is the only knife meant to be used only for meat, although you may find other uses for a cleaver too. Another standard meat knife is the butcher’s knife.
What knives do professional butchers use?
Butchers use a variety of knives based on the meat they are cutting and how they want to cut the meat. Moreover, they will have a variety of sizes for every type of knife. Most butchers will have a butcher’s knife, boning knife, santoku knife, chef’s knife, cleaver, carving knives, and a flank and shoulder knife.
Tips for cutting meat – fresh or frozen
Cutting fresh and frozen meat requires two different processes. Cut fresh meat against the grain for tender meat. When meat is cut against the grain, it’s easier to chew as the fibers are broken into more manageable pieces. Also, cutting against the grain helps to retain juices.
Next, make sure the meat stays cold for cutting, not room temperature, as colder meat moves too much. Meat that is slightly frozen moves less, making it a little easier to cut, especially against the grain. Use a sharp, smooth knife that can cut through muscle fibers.
Frozen meat is harder to cut because of the added thickness from the freeze. To cut frozen meat, you will need a sturdy rigid knife. If you can wait for the meat to thaw even partially. Otherwise, run the meat under water to reduce some of the ice. Then, use a long sharp knife with a tip and serrated edge to cut the frozen meat. Alternatively, use an electric knife to cut frozen meat.
Can I use a bread knife to cut meat?
While you can use a bread knife to cut raw meat, the serrated edges will produce an uneven cut and will dull the knife. However, you can use a bread knife to cut cooked meat as long as it’s very tender.
Do you cut meat with a serrated knife?
Serrated knives tend to mangle raw meat. Instead, use a sharp, smooth knife to cut raw meat. However, a serrated blade may help to cut tender cooked meat. If you do choose to use a serrated knife for cooked meat, make sure the blade has larger serrations for the best cut. Otherwise, avoid serrated knives for meat to keep the meat intact and juicy.
What is the difference between a chef’s knife and a butcher knife?
Butcher’s knives are specially designed for cutting animal flesh, while chef’s knives are utility knives ready to cut various foods. Use a chef’s knife to slice, chop, mince, and dice. Alternatively, use a butcher’s knife only for meat or very hard foods like pumpkin.
Can you use a Santoku knife to cut meat?
The Japanese Santoku knives are three-in-one knives you can use for meat, fish, and vegetables. A straight edge and pointed tip make quick work of vegetables and boneless meat. Definitely use your santoku knife to cut meat, as it’s an all-purpose knife ready to perform like a champ in your kitchen.
What knife do you use to cut a roast?
Use a carving knife to cut a cooked roast as it has a long thin blade perfect for slicing. Carving knives pair well with a two-pronged fork that holds the meat in place for easier slicing. For cutting a raw roast, use chefs, butchers, or santoku knives as these are sharp knives with flat un-serrated edges.
What knife is best for cutting raw chicken?
The knife you choose will depend on the type of chicken. If cutting up a whole chicken, you may need a boning knife and then a chef’s or santoku knife for the parts without bone. Kitchen shears work well for cutting tendons and fat off of chicken. Try not to cut chicken while it’s warm or at room temperature, as the cold helps to stabilize the meat and makes it easier to cut.
What is the best knife for slicing meat thin?
To slice raw meat into thin sections, use a filet or santoku knife. For cooked meat, use a carving or bread knife, depending on the tenderness of the meat. A utility knife can also help to slice meat thinly.
What is the best knife for chopping meat?
Chef’s knives are the best option for chopping meat. For larger or tougher cuts of meat, use a meat cleaver to work through the tough parts. A butcher’s knife will chop through meat well, too, with its thicker blade and sturdy rigid design.