Boning knives have long, thin, flexible blades with a sharp tip that makes it easier and safer to pierce meat. The blade is designed to cut through ligaments and connective tissue to remove raw meat from the bone.
Boning knives must be extremely sharp, and the stronger the blade, the longer it will retain its edge. Dull blades can pull meat off the bone instead of slicing it, affecting both cooking and presentation.
Dull knives are dangerous because they require more force to cut the meat, which means you can easily lose control of the knife.
How to choose a boning knife
The type of boning knife you use will depend largely on the task for which it is needed and the type of meat you will be handling. When choosing a boning knife, you will have the following options:
Blade design of a Boning Knife :
Curved: The curve of a filleting or boning knife is excellent for removing the skin of fish in one stroke, as well as making long, clean strokes through the flesh. This shape can also facilitate some delicate work, such as filleting a quail, as the angle of the curve allows for more efficient maneuverability in small spaces.
Straight: This shape is easier for removing large pieces of meat, such as beef. It is interesting to note that many traditional Japanese fillet knives are straight. The straight blade is said to help slice and carve more finely. In the hands of an expert, these knives are ideal for quick cuts.
Flexible: The ability to adapt and flex is better for intricate work as it allows the knife to round out lighter angles and difficult shapes.
Stiff: Harder, thicker meat can cause a weaker knife to flex and go off course. Stiff blades can be used to cut through and portion wide cuts.
Thin: Not all thin blades are necessarily flexible. Sometimes thinner blades are needed to cut around small angles. Thin blades also cut through flesh with less resistance, causing less damage to more delicate meat.
Wide: Wide, sturdy knives are essential for cutting thick portions of meat.
Size of your boning Knife
It depends on the type of meat to be cut.
Handles: Handles should feel comfortable in your hand. However, some jobs require a firm grip when pressing on the meat, while others will be used more like a scalpel to make precision cuts.
Tang: This is the thin piece of metal that runs through the handle of a knife. It is the same metal that makes up the blade and is continuous. A full tang means that the metal runs to the end of the handle, which is then built around it. This is a safer handle than partial tang handles, in which the metal stops halfway up. Some knives are made entirely from one continuous piece of metal, including the handle. These are particularly strong.
Material: Wooden handles are very elegant but can warp if left in water. Metal handles are durable but some people find them cold and less safe. Polypropylene is a good all-around material. This hard synthetic plastic can have the look of wood without the maintenance issues.