A butcher without a knife is as good as a writer without a pen. The skill of any butcher lies vastly on the different types of knives he uses to prep and cut meat. It is the most important tool for a butcher, and he must possess different types of quality knives at hand. Many butchers work with these knives on a day to day basis but are unaware of their names, types and special characteristics.
Let’s have a look at some of the most common butcher’s knives:
A meat cleaver is a very large knife and can be found it varying shapes. It has a thin blade to help the butcher in precision cutting. It also has a very tough edge to withstand the butcher’s repeated blows into thick meat and dense cartilage.
It is generally used to cut through carcasses. Its curved end helps make a smooth and long cut along the carcass. It is the most commonly used knife by butchers as it assists in majority of primary cutting jobs.
A boning knife is used once the breaking knife does its job. It is used to perform more smaller tasks like cutting the meat around the bone. A boning knife can be curved, straight, stiff or even flexible. Usually the semi-flexible boning knife is of more utility compared to the others. This type of knife can easily bend and create a curve around the bones, helpful in extracting the luscious meat.
It Is probably the most important type of knife used by the butcher. It has a blade that ranges from 8-14 inches and can be used for cutting large pieces of meat into accurately sized cuts and joints. It’s used to make retail cuts like steak. Cimeter knife is used to trim, shape and break down the large parts of cut meat. The blade of a cimeter is wide and weightier as compared to the breaking knife.
Skinning knife are used to skin meat. Different types of skinning knives are available to skin varied types of meat. A skinning knife with about 6-inch-long curved blades which are wide enough can be used to skin beef. Whereas, skinning knives for sheep meat don’t need to be have a too curved blade. The slightly curved blade assists in cutting the meat down to the mid-section and helps release the internal organs easily.
Using the right kind of tools for slicing meat is important to avoid damage and enhance quality of the meat. Having the right tools at hand minimalizes wastage and ensures cost effectiveness on a large scale. Also, it helps in saving time and minimizes the butcher’s efforts. It enhances his knowledge and upgrades his skillset. While having a variety of tools at his disposal is important, it is also important that a butcher should use safety gloves to protect his hands. Knife sharpening tools can also be used from time to time to keep the sharpness of knives intact.