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Score! You just grilled a slice of lemon-infused salmon to perfection and -boy!- does it smell good. So, you quickly grab a fork and start digging in that pile of fishy goodness. But, right after that first bite, you feel that pinching pain that comes with having a pin bone stuck in your throat. Dang it!
If only there was a way to make sure your food had no bones before you chugged it down. But, wait, there is! Ever heard of the boning knife? This unique blade is specially designed to help you cut meat away from bones and vice versa. So, it actually makes your life much safer, especially if you have kids around. Now, if you need a few pointers, these six chef-worthy boning knives are definitely worth your attention.
What Is A Boning Knife?
Sporting a narrow blade with a really sharp point, a boning knife is a unique type of kitchen cutlery that is used to remove bones from fish, meat, and poultry. Depending on your needs, this piece of cooking equipment can range anywhere from 5 to 6½ inches. So, the longer the blade, the larger the chunks of meat you can carve.
Why Use A Boning Knife?
Pro tip: Not every moment is a chef’s knife moment. While versatile, this go-to blade is not always up to par with certain tasks. That is where the boning knife takes the reins and saves the day (and perhaps lots of your dough). So, if you’re flirting with the idea of growing your cutlery collection with a brand new boning knife, here are the four most convincing reasons to head out and buy one today.
Removing Bones Easily
The most obvious reason to own a boning knife is to separate meat from bones in the shortest time possible. More often than not, you’ve come to hate on certain foods just because they take forever to debone. Fish is only one of the food groups to pay the price for this nuisance but not anymore. Own every single one of your meals without worrying about choking on a bone.
Less Meat Wasted
Thanks to their delicate design and shard edges, boning knives also allow you to carve those hard-to-reach spots. This way you get to put more meat on your table and save some serious dough down the line.
Let’s be honest: Every time you try to carve meat away from bones, you end up causing a mess. Why? Simply because the food slides from one surface to the next as you push against it with a random knife. Boning knives spare you the cleaning afterward as they get the job done without all the hassle and mess. You merely graze the part where you want to carve with the razor-sharp blade and the meat basically “detaches” itself from the bone. It’s as simple as that!
Let us know if that sounds like you: You’re trying to get rid of all the bones and finally enjoy your meal without worrying about swallowing bones etc. So, you grab the first knife in sight and push it against the meat in hopes the bones will come off at some point.
However, as you put all this pressure on your food, the blade bounces back, and you end up cutting yourself. The moral of the story? Using the wrong type of knives is not worth it. So, if you want to debone your food safely, boning knives are your only hope.
What to Look For When Shopping For A Boning Knife
The truth is that not many people are familiar with boning knives. So, it actually makes sense that they don’t always know what to look for when shopping for one. Luckily, we’re here to change all that and get you acquainted with the ins and outs of this special type of cutlery. So, if you are ready to head out on a shopping spree, these are the five things you need to keep in mind.
Not all boning knives are created equal. In fact, some of them tend to have thicker blades while others don’t. But, which type is the right one for you? Those that sport narrow blades are best used for precise carving around the bones which is very helpful when you cut chops and ribs. On the flip side, wide blades are ideal for large chunks of meats such as chicken or pork fillets.
Boning knives can be either stiff or flexible. Stiff boning knives are best used on tough cuts of meat such as beef and pork whereas flexible boning knives are recommended for softer types of food including chicken, turkey, and fish.
As mentioned above, this type of cutlery usually ranges anywhere from 5 to 6½ inches. That said, choosing the right size depends on your deboning needs. So, if you are planning on using it just for carving poultry and fish, then you should opt for the smallest one.
However, if you have a large family and cook large batches of meat at a time, then choosing a 6-inch knife sounds like the best option. Keep in mind, though, that there are a few exceptions where the knife size reaches up to 7 or 9 inches. Of course, such measurements are tailored to XL cuts of meat.
Another thing to consider when shopping for a boning knife is the blade’s design. So, while some models come with a curved edge, others feature a straight one, allowing to perform a different set of tasks. Specifically, curved knives are best for straightforward tasks such as deboning fish whereas straight ones perform better in tricky situations such as carving the meat off of a rib.
Fun fact: Most knives feature an even blade-to-handle weight ratio, allowing you to balance between the two. But, this is not the case with boning knives. This special type of cutlery is all about precision. That’s why their handles are usually more cumbersome than the blade itself. As a result, the knife tips toward your side and grants you full control of the blade, allowing you to make delicate movements without risking an injury.
When you’re working with foods (and in this case, meat or fish), chances are you’ll end up being sticky AF. Now, imagine trying to use a knife with those slippery fingers. You are just asking for trouble, aren’t you? To prevent any kind of injury, make sure you opt for a boning knife with a non-slip handle. Better yet, choose one with a textured/contoured grip for a solid grasp.
The 6 Best Boning Knives, Reviewed
Whether you are a seasoned home cook or the go-to chef in your household, there’s one thing you’ve probably realized by now: Boning knives are kind of essential, especially if eating fish or meat is commonplace around your house. So, to help you pick the best one out of the bunch, we’ve rounded up the top 6 boning knives every newbie should know about. Ready to cut this to the bone?
If you are looking for a newbie-friendly boning knife that will help you ease your way into meat or fish deboning, then this is the one for you. Made of high-quality materials and approved by NSF, this piece of cutlery is all about safety and precision. So, a rookie’s wishful combo. But, let’s see what else this knife has in store for you.
- Long-Lasting Materials
This knife features a high carbon stainless steel blade which practically means that it doesn’t rust easily. Even so, avoid loading it in the dishwasher as much as possible and stick to traditional washing. This way you’ll retain its new looks for longer.
- Sharp Cutting Edge
It has a razor-sharp edge that can help you carve any kind of meat or fish effortlessly, even through fat and tendons.
- Safe-to-Use Handle
The knife’s patented handle is known for its non-slip and textured design that increases safety even when your hands are slippery AF from touching the food. But, this is just the beginning. The product is also certified by NSF(1) (National Sanitation Foundation), a title that guarantees the product is manufactured under strict standards which prioritize the user’s safety.
- Curved Blade
As the name implies, the knife’s arched blade is best used for following the natural curve of the meat. So, it’s ideal for simple and straightforward tasks such as removing pin bones from salmon or carving the Thanksgiving turkey.
- Bolsterless Edge
It also features a bolsterless edge which allows you to take full control of the blade and makes deboning a piece of cake.
- Lifetime Warranty
This product comes with a lifetime warranty against defective material which guarantees the best customer experience possible. So, even if your blade goes dull after a while, you can always contact the company and replace it with a new one that performs way better.
- Goes Dull Quickly
Many previous owners mention that the blade tends to go dull sooner than most, requiring sharpening all too often.
If you are on the market for a boning knife that delivers but don’t want to splurge from the get-go, then this model is a dream come true. But, don’t let its low price fool you. This blade is made of high-quality German steel that can cut even the trickiest of meats. So, here’s what you need to know before you add this bad boy to your cart.
- Non-Slip Handle
Sporting a rubber coating, the knife’s handle is non-slip by nature, preventing any injuries while in use.
- Safe to Use
This product is listed with the NSF. That means that it is tested under specific safety standards and approved for meeting them.
- High-Quality Materials
Made of German high-carbon steel, this knife screams “high quality.” To be exact, the blade is made of molybdenum and vanadium, two substances which are known for their strength and durability.
- Curved Design
It also comes with a curved design which allows you to debone most types of meat or fish with relative ease.
- Flexible Blade
A flexible blade is a synonym for soft cuts of meat. So, if you are planning on deboning poultry and fish, then this should be your go-to option.
- Tricky to Maintain
Since it’s made of carbon steel, this knife requires a bit more attention than most. So, make sure you wipe the blade clean even as you cook. That sounds a bit tedious, but it’s well worth it as it will keep it from rusting.
If proper hygiene is your #1 priority, then look no further. This boning knife is all about keeping the bacteria away from the blade and sparing you the possible cross-contamination. But, that’s not all. Here are a bunch of other reasons why this knife is worthy of your cutlery cupboard.
- Sharp Edge
This knife features a razor-sharp edge which can help you perform a variety of tricky tasks, from deboning fish to removing silverskin. That’s something that many boning knives are not equipped to do.
- Curved Design
Thanks to its curved design, the blade tends to follow the bone’s natural curve. This way you refrain from wasting large amounts of meat just because you couldn’t reach it.
- Solid Handle
This product comes with a sturdy handle which allows you to hold the knife as steadily as possible even if the meat is hard to cut through. That guarantees a safe use, even for those of you who are not familiar with the ins and outs of boning cutlery.
- Flexible Blade
This piece of cutlery features a flexible blade. That means that it’s best used for soft cuts of meat such as turkey, chicken or fish.
- Durable Materials
This product is made of high-carbon steel which means it can last for years (if not decades) as long as you take good care of it.
- Top-Notch Hygiene
This model is part of the brand’s Sani-Safe series. As the name implies, this knife is manufactured based on specific standards which prioritize hygiene. Specifically, this product is a unique Grip-Tex handle which is specially designed to seal the blade and keep bacteria and other harmful microorganisms away.
- Requires Constant Maintenance
Even though it’s highly efficient in the form of a knife blade, carbon steel is a quite demanding material. So, to prevent it from rusting in a matter of weeks, you need to keep it as clean as possible and even wipe it almost after every cut. That is as time-consuming and boring as it sounds, but it is well worth the effort. After all, you don’t want the knife to rust only after a couple of uses, right?
If you are a bit more advanced in the art of deboning and looking for a knife that will be able to perform a bunch of tricky tasks, then we have the perfect option for you. This boning knife comes with a very sharp edge that will allow you to do anything from basic bone removal to getting rid of fat or silverskin locally. That’s some next-level deboning right here. So, are you ready to see what this knife has to offer?
- Durable Materials
This knife is made of high-carbon German steel which is resistant to rust, corrosion, and discoloration. That said, chances are you’ll stick with his blade for many years as long as you take good care of it. It’s also worth mentioning that the handle is designed to withstand very high and low temps and even some corrosive kitchen oils. All around, it’s a durable boning knife that can endure even the toughest of culinary challenges.
- Efficient Deboning
It also comes with a taper-ground edge which makes the blade highly efficient. That means that you can practically carve anything very quickly, whether that’s tough cuts of meat, fish or fat.
- Safe to Use
As mentioned above, this model has a taper-ground edge. Efficiency aside, this feature makes the knife super stable and, thus, safe to use. Not only that, but the handle sports an ergonomic Santoprene design which reduces slippage and provides you with a steady grip.
It is also equipped with a bolster which balances the weight between the blade and the handle and increases stability during cutting. Lastly, it is approved by NSF which practically means that it is safe to use, no matter what.
- Ergonomic Design
This model also has a tang at the rear end of the handle which increases its balance. Note that the more balanced a blade is, the more accurate it’s likely to cut – even if your skills are not up to par.
- Requires Maintenance
No one said that you can’t load this knife into the dishwasher. However, the high temps and the harsh nature of detergents are bound to spoil the blade’s quality and diminish its efficiency in the long term. Instead, you could wash it in hand with some mild soap and, thus, keep it neat between uses. That, of course, may feel tedious at times, but this option is way better than basically wasting your money due to poor maintenance.
If you are on a shoestring budget but still want to get your hands on a high-quality boning knife, then this one is a safe bet. Equipped with a stain-free blade, this piece of cutlery is easy to maintain without burning a hole in your pocket. Luckily, there’s more to this knife than a reasonable price tag and a fancy blade. So, let’s take a closer look.
- Ergonomic Handle
This kitchen tool comes with an ergonomic handle that is not just durable but also provides you with a comfort grip. In fact, it is made of Santoprene and polypropylene, two substances which increase its durability and make it feel as comfortable as possible.
- Safe Design
The handle is also equipped with textured points, a trait that makes you feel more secure every time you hold the knife. Not only that, but these points make the handle more resistant to slippery or water-soaked hands even as you carve the food.
Unlike most, this product also comes with a unique finger guard feature that protects your fingers from accidental cuts by keeping them as far away from the sharp edges as possible. Last but not least, this blade is listed on NSF for meeting specific safety standards. So, playing it safe is the name of the game for this boning knife.
- First-Rate Materials
It features a top-notch blade which is made of high-carbon Japanese steel. As a result, the knife can last for many years without staining, rusting or losing its sharpness.
- Bulky Handle
The truth is that this knife’s handle is a tad bulky. So, for some, it can be tricky to handle, especially for beginners.
If you are set on buying the most efficient boning knife on the market today, then this one is your best shot. Sporting a high-quality blade as well as many safety and stability features, this knife is designed to perfection. So, here’s what you should expect if o=you invest in it.
- Blade Sharpness
The blade features satin-finished edges which make cutting a breeze, whether you are carving beef or fish. Not only that, but this unique design guarantees your knife won’t go dull anytime soon. So, you won’t be needing to sharpen it now and then.
- Long-Lasting Materials
This knife is made of stainless steel which is known its rust-resistant nature. So, unlike most boning knives, this one is dishwasher-safe.
- Solid Grip
This cutlery product also comes with a fully forged construction that balances your grip between the blade and the handle. Specifically, it has a traditional triple-rivet handle, a design which is ergonomically engineered for maximum hand control and comfort.
- Flexible Blade
It comes with a flexible blade which allows you to cut around bones and cartilage with ease. That means that you end up removing most of the meat, even from those hard-to-reach places.
- Safe to Use
This knife features a bolster which prevents your slippery fingers from sliding all the way to the blade and getting cut.
The truth is that this boning knife is a bit expensive compared to its peers. However, considering its many high-quality feats, this doesn’t come as a total surprise. So, at this point, you gotta make a decision. Are you willing to spend a bit more and invest in a blade that will last and deliver for years or do you want to save money and perhaps get stuck with a less efficient product?
From removing pin bones off of your salmon fillets to getting rid of your pork’s silverskin, boning knives are legit the only way to get the job done. But, with so many options out there, it can be downright confusing to choose the right one.
To cut through the clutter, we checked out a bunch of them and now present you with the top 6 boning knives, from minimalistic and straightforward to fancy and efficient. So, which one is it going to be?