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Old 08-01-2010, 06:41 PM   #1
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Why a butcher's knife?

Hi All,

I have a fairly simple question, and I'm hoping some of the more experienced members here can help shed some light. In a nutshell;
Why would someone buy a butchers knife?

There's a butcher near me that allows me to economically buy large sections of beef, and from that cut my own steaks. Ive done this once with my 8 inch chefs knife. This seemed to work moderately well, which leads me to my question. Is a butchers knife, with its different blade shape, better suited to this task? Or will a sharp chefs knife do just as well?

Thanks!

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Old 08-01-2010, 09:30 PM   #2
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If you're not dealing with primals I don't see why you'd need a "butcher knife" of the pattern that one typically refers to with that name. A semi-flexible boning knife is very handy, though, not just for trimming out bones but also for cleaning silverskin off of things like PSMO's. Beyond that, I think you could probably just use a chef's knife for most home meat cutting. Or a carving knife/sujihiki.
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Old 08-02-2010, 01:49 AM   #3
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Butcher's knives are for primal cuts.

I find a Yatagan style carving knife, same length as a chef's knife but with a thinner and more curved blade to be much more efficient than a chef's knife at breaking down large cuts.

Here's some examples of the blade shape I'm referring to available at Everten:
Andre*Verdier*Carving*Knife*20cm*-*Andre...
Dexter*Russell*Green*River*Carving*Knife*23cm*-...
Kai*Shun*Carving*Knife,*Classic,*20cm*-*Shun...

Don't use the straight edged style carver as its the swept back scimitar style cutting edge that you're looking for.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:49 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice guys. I'll stick to my chefs knives for now.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:54 PM   #5
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One thing not mentioned to, the weight. Good butcher knives/cleavers are heavy to help get through bones/joints/chine and all that connective tissue.

What has been said, if you aren't dealing with large primals, I agree with Rob.
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Old 10-29-2010, 03:54 AM   #6
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I've just joined this forum, but I'm not a rookie in this area. I've had much use for a butcher knife, because I got into cooking through hunting and fishing, and I've butchered from start to finish over 50 deer and 35 bear I've personally taken, plus moose, elk and the occasional farm animal I've bought locally.

A butcher knife (I use three, with blades of 10, 14, and 16 inches, plus two boning knives of 5 and 7 inches, plus two cleavers of 6 and 8 inches) is necessary for cutting up large portions of meat. I don't use power saws at all for this work, just hand useable meat saws, as well.

I don't use expensive butcher knives, just stock Old Hickories. There is too much abuse of them in the process to use your precious Sabs or Wusthoff kitchen tools. And you have to take meticulous care of them at the end of the day or they will not last through the night! into the next day. A pain it is, doing your own butchering. But saves big bucks if you hunt.

If you don't do this kind of work, a butcher knife is really not necessary, and your 10" chef's knive and a good 5" boner is all you need in meat prep. IMHO. :-)
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Old 10-29-2010, 07:46 AM   #7
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When I was growing up, the term butcher knife was used for the main knife that you use for almost everything, so when someone says it in conversation, it doesn't necessarily mean a real butcher knife
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:16 PM   #8
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I have found that partially frozen meat is much easier to cut straight. It doesn't wiggle ;)

What does "primal cut" mean?

I have helped butcher a moose and two deer, but that was nothing to brag about.
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:24 PM   #9
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A primal cut is a major section of the animal. For example, the entire round, chuck, loin, etc.
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
A primal cut is a major section of the animal. For example, the entire round, chuck, loin, etc.
Thank you. So, would the whole tenderloin be a primal cut?
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