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Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:53 am
Hi everybody. I love CKTG, the only place to buy knives online.
I'm looking for recommendations for a knife to spatchcock and break down chickens. I work in a busy catering kitchen and I also raise and slaughter my own birds, so this knife is going to get some serious use. Right now I am using my 10 inch chefs knife for this job because I don't want to ding up any of my other blades bumping a bone or cutting out the backs.
1. I am left handed.
2. Interested in a honesuki, a deba or a 6 inch utility knife.
3. Something in the 5 to 6 inch range. I've held a 4.5 inch Shun honesuki, and it felt small for me.
4. I prefer stainless, but if a carbon blade can provide better performance and durability, I would be open to try it.
5. I prefer western handles but am open to trying japanese. I generally like lighter knives.
6. Looking to spend 100 to 150$.
7. I know how to sharpen.
Thanks for any suggestions,
Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:57 am
Consider a désosseur. Thin, narrow, with more or less flex, it's the traditional European boning knife. Steel is often soft, damage will be limited, easily repaired and no chipping should occur.
You will find them with Victorinox, Dick, Wüsthof, Global and the French makers of course. Neutral and unexpensive. Misono has a so called American boning knife in their UX-10 series as well.
A different approach is reflected in the thick, stiff, highly asymmetric honesukis, with one face highly convexed, and one flat. Looking for a neutral one wouldn't make sense as it would sub-optimal to both right- and left-handers. Getting a left-handed version is with most makers on special order. You should know whether you want to adapt your technique to such a knife. http://www.topcouteaux.com/12034-large/ ... p-chef.jpg
Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:47 pm
I have switched to a honesuki for this task. I have the moritaka supreme. It is aogami super steel and is scary sharp and the edge retention is good. When I switched blades, my technique didn't change, it just felt different. Balance of knife and profile were much different than what I had been using. Mine definately gets serious use, I've done a couple thousand birds with it and still love it. Care needs to be taken with it, not to leave it set wet. Keep wiping it occasionally as you are using it. If you are processing your own birds, on a side note, I recently tried the Richmond Hamon petty for use as a vent knife for eviceration. The forchner vent knife works, I found the petty to stay sharp much longer.
Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:13 pm
Should have mentioned, the moritaka is 50/50 bevel, will work for a left hander most honesuki are not.
Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:39 pm
Definitely wouldn't recommend a true deba unless you've already been using one or have a lot of fish to butcher. It's a purpose built fish dismantler....not great at other tasks really.
A western deba is great at breaking through chicken bones. The Tojiro DP is a good value:http://www.chefknivestogo.com/todpwede21.html
Otherwise, most honesuki are very right hand biased. Some, aren't and like the Moritaka might work for you. I do use a honesuki to break down birds when the occasion arises.
The last option would be a good petty. It works well at breaking down chickens....AND other tasks.
Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:20 am
Thanks for the recommendations.
I feel like a thicker, less flexible knife is best for the task i need this knife to perform. So I guess a Honesuki knife recommendation is what i am looking for. I am left handed so a 50/50 bevel is a must for me.
Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:26 am
You say you have switched to a petty knife for eviceration, but you didnt say if you like that knife for that task...
Is that a recommendation?
Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:57 pm
If you are a knife nut and really want high quality knives because you enjoy them, don't mind spending the money, and or do enough chickens, I would recommend it. I don't think just any petty would work. You want a shorter narrower one that has some spine to it with an edge that is not too delicate. I had purchased the 110mm Richmond Hamon for use as a utility type knife and thought it would work for this task, which it does nicely. The grind is very convex with a thicker spine. It does a good job circling around to remove the vent area. It does have a blue core so it is reactive so it needs to be cared for. I had currently been using the forchner vent knife for this, which works, and since they are cheap, I have a box full of them. When one gets dull, Instead of steeling, I grab a new one. Then re sharpen all after I am completely finished and cleaned up. I got this knife at the end of our season, so I only have used it on our last short run of about 75 to try it out. I really liked it and I didn't have to stop to sharpen it. If you are getting one knife or the other, get the honesuki. It will do you more justice to have that. Your yield off the carcass will be better and it's a great knife. Expect an adjustment period to get used to it. However, if you really like knives and like to make a mundane task enjoyabe, you might want to try the Hamon petty as well.
Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:54 pm
I second the recommendation of the Hamon Petty as a very tough poultry knife. Damn near purpose built. Short for you, though, at 110mm.
Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:26 pm
Clarification on my recommendation, you talked about you also raise and process your own birds. I assume you are doing it all from; kill, scald, pluck, eviceration, carcass break down. My recommendation is the honesuki for carcass break down and the Hamon for eviceration. Yes, 110mm is a little short for breakdown on chicken. I have used it on rabbit though. I'm currently using it as an upland game knife.
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