Let’s say you walk into your walk-in and you see this beast sitting there. What knife are you going to pick to break it down? Well, if you are Chef Holly Smith, you might pick a pairing knife(maybe you’re laughing…but it’s a true story).
What is great about these knives, is that most are under 100$ knives. Some of these knives are even well under 50$. The most important thing for a boning knife in my mind is flexibility and sharpness. Some cheaper knives are actually much better at having a flexible blade compared to some of the harder German steels.
Now in all seriousness, whether you perform classic European seam butchery, or hack at your meat with a little less style. Having a knife that curve around a hip join, and can trace the sinew of a beef tenderloin without cutting into the expensive meat is more than important.
This isn’t another top 5 list of knives or cook books. There aren’t always 5-10 products of one type that I have used. In fact, in this case I could only think of 4 boning knives that I would pick to be in my set. It depends on your skill level, and preferences.
One of the struggles with buying knives, is it is almost like picking your college major. You really don’t know what you like, but you need to pick it before you have even ever used a knife. Even a year into culinary school, you might still not know if you like your knives. It is not until you are working full time, having to use your chef knife day in and out for 12 hours a day that you might finally get it. It is brutal. You have a callus on your index finger that is as thick as your knifes hilt and your hand cramps because the knife grip is too fat for your hand size.
Hopefully the list below helps guide you to find the best knife for you.
My favorite knife is not even the knife I own. In fact, my favorite boning knife is often a company I don’t prefer. However, the qualities that I often don’t enjoy in a Global are exactly the reason I prefer a Global boning knife. It has great flexibility, and a grip that really handles itself well when having to hold onto a 30-40lb pork butt.
Now for the knife I relied on for seven years to plow through rabbits, beef quarters, pork and the like. This was a Wusthof classic. It was quite reliable. Being that my Chef Knife was a Wusthof Ikon Classic I figured picking a matching set would be best. However, these knives due tend to be a little more pricey. This is not to say that this knife is worse than the Global boning. One of the benefits is that it is much sturdier. So I always felt better using this knife on larger pieces of meat with big bones. It even worked amazing on rabbits. I could slice through a bone on accident and not feel like the blade was going to break. Compared to the Global. This knife is over 100$
Now, let’s look at a knife that is less that 50$. There are not to many cases where good knives can come under 50$ Looking at good utility knives, often then are well north of 100$ Boning knives serve a different purpose and require different qualities. Somehow this allows for these knives to be much cheaper. Check out the Victorinix 6 inch boning knife. The metal is super flexible and as long as you keep the blade sharp it works great. That is really the only downside. Keeping this metal sharp can require more maintenance.
Finally, the Gokujo 6 inch boning knife. This is the last knife because it is a little expensive and does not offer the flexibility of the other knives. The shape though, offers an interesting benefit. The fact that the knife is so far curved back it can allow someone with a little skill and practice the ability to maneuver better than some of the more flexible knifes. I wouldn’t buy this as a starter knife. If you don’t already get meat, and the structure of different animals. I would stick with the knives above.