Just like any other professional, a butcher needs to have the right equipment in order to excel at their job. Without the right knives on hand to properly prepare meat, butchers will be severely limited in what they can achieve. Below are the five most important types of knife for butchers to know and own.
Boning knives are used for removing any bones present in meat, fish or poultry. In some cases, you might want to include the bones with the meat. For example, chicken drumsticks are served with the bone included. However, removing smaller bones from pieces of meat and fish is a priority in most cases.
In some cases, removing all of the bones is essential in order to achieve the right texture and taste. Some bones also need to be removed as a safety precaution. Small and delicate bones can easily break under the pressure of chewing and form dangerous shards when swallowed.
Boning knives are generally thinner than other knives, making them perfect for digging into meat and cutting bones out without damaging the surrounding meat. For fish and poultry, a more flexible boning knife is generally preferred.
Fish filleting knife
A fish filleting knife is a specialised type of boning knife that is designed specifically to be used with fish. The blade of a fish filleting knife is generally thinner than most other boning knives and they tend to be more flexible. This makes it easy to direct the knife as it pierces the fish.
As the name suggests, a slaughter knife is the knife a butcher will use if they slaughter their own meat. Depending on the animal in question, slaughter knives are generally used to slit the animal’s throat after it has been stunned. Exsanguination, death by loss of blood, occurs rapidly. Having a sharp and reliable slaughter knife means a more reliable and humane process.
Slicing knives are among the biggest knives that butchers use on a regular basis. These large knives are designed to easily slice through meat as well as vegetables, herbs, or any other ingredient that a butcher might work with. Despite their length, slicing knives are thinner than most knives and can be used to cut slices as thin or thick as necessary.
A cimeter (the Anglicised form of ‘scimitar) is a large, long, curved blade that butchers use to reduce carcasses into small pieces of meat to send on to retailers. The blades of cimeters are generally 20-35cm in length, but there are some that are even bigger than this.
Every butcher needs access to the right tools to do their job. From the outside, it might seem like any knife is as good as another, but you only need to spend a few hours working as a butcher to appreciate the importance of a more varied arsenal. It’s hard to overstate just how much of a difference it makes having professional-grade knives to work with. Aspiring butchers should try out the different types of knives whenever they have the opportunity.
Here at Butchers Equipment Warehouse, we take care to stock an extensive range of butchers knives, making us your one stop shop to equip your kitchen or butcher’s shop. You can find exactly what you need right here on our site, or if you need any extra help or advice, feel free to give us a call on 01254 427 761 – we’re happy to help!