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 Post subject: butchering
PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:20 am
Posts: 181
Location: north carolina
went to work in a butcher shop this week can you guys recommend some workhorses for whole animal butchery? I usually use high carbon or clad blades in the kitchen and would like to stay with these types if possible.


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 Post subject: Re: butchering
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:33 am 
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Location: USA... mostly.
TRINI <> First, your usage of "high-carbon" & "clad-blades" is ambiguous as its relatively non specific. Every steel on this menu is carbon steel or else they would bend like paper clips, and there are a myriad of cladding types.

#1) I will assume you mean reactive when you say high-carbon as that is the most common misnomer. It's ambiguity is simple as carbon content does not dictate reactivity. In fact, it is the percentage of Chromium present that dictates reactivity, and there are a plethora of stainless steels with carbon content over 1% (i.e., high-carbon).

#2) I will assume you mean stainless-clad reactive core when you say clad-blade as that is the most typically sought after cladding type. You could mean iron-clad reactive, stainless-clad stainless... who knows.?!

As for recos, even as a professional Chef since 1992, I have only dealt with pigs & sheep. Whole animals are simply not that common in the vast majority of restaurant kitchens, and cows are just too big. Anyhow, my comments should be tempered with that knowledge, and I think this is really a preference type thing. For example, I’ve never been particularly fond of the height (commonly referenced as width) of a scimitar, and I much prefer a breaking knife like this in that capacity.

Image

That said - for most of the breakdown off the carcass, I use a short semi-stiff curved boning knife. A knife that CKTG does not carry, but it is what I have used for decades & it works. It is not premium steel & requires vigilant maintenance, but the profile is perfect for me.

Image

Now with that said, I have recently replaced said knife with the Shun Gokujo <--link & have been quite pleased, but I use it on fish, as well. If you’re one that believes the hype, you may have some reservations about a Shun in VG-10, but to be quite honest, for me, it is a quantum leap in performance from the Forschner while coming as near the profile as I have seen. It is a better knife in every way, but it is also longer & taller than the 5” size I prefer for boning land animals of which might be a factor though I suspect not for you as it still only 6”.

I prefer the tip of these knives above for whole animals, but I have another Gokujo - which is a workhorse of a knife – that is made of the same VG-10 steel although it has a much sturdier feel and blunted tip. This Tojiro’s <--link design is what I would pick if I was limited to land animals as it is a bit more capable of errant torque that can happen when rotating around joints. I haven’t used this knife on a whole large animal as I have only had one for a year, but I wanted to mention it.

And my favorite idea for last. I saved it for last as, again, I admittedly have not broken down the aforementioned sheep & pigs with this knife as, again, I have only had this knife for a year, BUT I do feel strongly that if I were to break down another carcass, my Takayuki Hankotsu <--link would be my tool of choice. Since you want a reactive steel, I think, you could look at a Misono <--link or Kikuichi <--link as the Hankotsu is designed specifically for this, and she excels at tight rotations around joints with or w/o a reverse grip. These 3 knives are single beveled w/a right hand bias capable of exceptional edges, and they do have a bit of a bevel on the flat backside. I can attest to at least the Takayuki not having a classical urasuki, and its blade only being sharpened 85% of the way from the tip down which I find works as somewhat akin to a fingerguard. I’d strongly consider a Hankotsu if I were you.

If you are a little uncertain about the single-bevel, the Richmond Hankotsu <--link sports a more traditionally Western style with a double bevel. She is made with premium AEB-L steel although stainless, and another advantage to this knife is with a sharpened edge to the heel, it is a more versatile trimmer in applications like stripping silverskin off tenderloins & rounds or portioning smaller cuts like filet mignon & lamb rib chops, for example.

Earlier I did mention the scimitar because this design is widely accepted as a necessary butchery tool. CKTG, carries one in the aforementioned premium stainless AEB-L <--link. They also carry some fully reactive cleavers & larger blades that you might resonate with in the CCK line <--link.

Hope that does something for you…



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 Post subject: Re: butchering
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:19 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:20 am
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Location: north carolina
I stand corrected and thanks for the help.


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 Post subject: Re: butchering
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:22 am 
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I hope it was.

And I wasn't correcting, I was illuminating. ;)



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 Post subject: Re: butchering
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:23 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:20 am
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Location: north carolina
Thanks again and it really was a great help


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