Cutting, slicing, breaking, scraping – a good butcher knife has many uses and should be a staple in any amateur cook or chef’s arsenal.
Even if you don’t like being involved in the kitchen but regularly cook meat on your Best Electric Smoker, your life will be made invariably easier with a good cutting implement at hand.
You shouldn’t just purchase any old piece of sharp metal. There are things to look for if you want something that’ll be your go-to knife for years to come when it comes to chopping meat.
A good butcher knife should feel comfortable to use. It should fit in your hand easily, feel sturdy, and provide a safe amount of space between the cutting edge and the area where your hand grips the handle. Generally, a butcher knife should be heavier than your other knives and have a good balance. If you are trying to cut meat to go in your smoker from the BBQ Smoker Buyer Guide and the blade is too light or small, you better delay your BBQ because it can take forever cutting lean meats with an unsuitable knife. In most cases, the blade should be between 5 and 7 inches long (about 13 to 18 centimetres).
The composition of a knife’s blade and the way it was manufactured are very important if you want to find a decent butcher knife. You should only buy blades that are made from high carbon stainless steel. This type of metal prevents staining and also helps guard against rust, as well as other types of corrosion, which are excellent qualities in a butcher knife.
When it comes to how the blade was manufactured, there are only really two high carbon stainless steel options you should consider. Stamped steel blades are one of the choices and they are cut or stamped from a single sheet of steel. The other option is a forged steel blade, which are manufactured from steel that is heated to a high temperature and then formed into the shape of the blade. Forged blades are heavier and generally assumed to be sturdier. So unless you have extremely feeble wrists, I’d give a slight edge to a heavier forged blade if I had to choose between the types.
Believe it or not, the the handle of a butcher knife is also a good indicator of a butcher knife’s level of quality. So as well as looking at the marks on the blade, have a close examination of the handle to try and figure out what it is made from. Handles can be made from many materials, with wood and polymer (and other similar synthetic materials) being the most common. I would recommend a rosewood handle design, for the weight and balance. Be careful though, as wooden handle knives shouldn’t be left soaking in water or placed in a dishwasher as this can warp the shape of the handle.