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Best Knife for trimming Brisket


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Posted a few weeks ago about my attempt on a brisket and over the past weekend took my knowledge and tackled it. I don't think  I did too poorly, the thinner portions of the meat got to temp faster than the center of it so the edges were drier and more like jerky but a majority of the cuts were as expected. After my first attempt I can see where some downfalls are to tweak in the future and the first one was trimming the brisket. Due to my knives either not being sharp enough or small enough to get out some of the thicker pieces of fat I realized as time went on and the my brisket wasn't as cold it was getting harder to cut as some tips I've gotten from trimming the brisket. In the end, decided to invest a true boning or carving knife for future briskets. Per your guy's experience what's a solid knife for the long term? I don't need high end, but I also don't want to have something so cheap that will die in a year.

I tend to take care of my products well so looking for that in the middle quality.


Any advice is appreciated! Thanks

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I like my boning knife for trimming fat off cuts (including brisket), but unlike many folks, I have a preference for cheap-a$$ knives (I purchase for $2 - $5 at the local thrift store) and then I put razor edges on them using my sharpener (Ken Onion edition Work Sharp).  That said, I regularly find great quality knives (I sharpen and give/sell most away to family, friends, and other contacts).  Often see Henckel, Chicago Cutlery, and even Victorinox.  People toss out everything!

 

I still only need to maybe sharpen most once a year at best except my heavily used chef knife (my daily cutter). 

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FYI – "yes, a honing rod actually works."

 

In the referenced article, Cook's Illustrated magazine actually "scientifically demonstrates" not only that "knife steels" work, but precisely how.

 

So – before doing your next carve, and whether or not you also use a knife-sharpener, go ahead and give your knife a few swipes along "the steel."  Yes, it actually helps.  Your "crazy uncle" actually wasn't that crazy, all those Thanksgivings ago ...

 

(Note: the article includes a section – "when to hone and when to sharpen.")

 

I enjoy CI, and "America's Test Kitchen®," because in a very-practical way "they analyze 'cooking.'"  Although for whatever reason I've never watched their popular PBS television show, I love their magazines and books.

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I've had this Victorinox knife   https://www.victorinox.com/us/en/Products/Cutlery/Chef's-Knives/Fibrox®-Pro-Boning-Knife/p/5.6603.15  for many years and I think it's the best bang for the buck available. I like the shape of the blade and it sharpens very easily. You must keep a knife sharp, especially a boning knife.

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  • 1 month later...

I've worked as a butcher for nearly 15 years and the boning knives we use at work cost ~£10 each (about ~$13 I guess) from a catering supplier.  They're not any particularly high grade steel, but they take a good edge easily (though need to be honed and re-sharpened on a regular basis).  As other people have already said it's important to keep the knife sharp.  We have to replace them every six months or so as the blade profile wears down.  They also have to be sturdy enough to go through a commercial dishwasher (it's the easiest way to meet food hygiene requirements, though not something I'd ever do with one of my own knives at home.) 

 

The handle is as important as the blade.  You need to make sure it's comfortable in your grip.  One of the things I look for in a boning knife is decently grippy handle with a substantial bolster to stop your hand accidentally sliding down on the blade.  (When you're working on a joint for any length of time out of refrigeration, contact with the fat can make your grip greasy and slick.)

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  • 1 month later...

I have used Dexter Russel commercial knives for literally decades.  About the most useful knife in their range is the 6" carbon steel boning knife... we have two that are used every single day.  Over the years I have literally worn out only one previously.  It got so thin it made a great fish fillet knife however.  And they are very inexpensive.  Commercial use for years no problem.

 

I used to use only my Japanese waterstones to sharpen but then my son convinced me to try one of these:  https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0018RSEMU/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I never looked back.  Razor sharp edges in literally seconds.  Be sure to get the X15 (15° bevel grind) for the best sharpness, get the 22° bevel unit if you are hard on knives and want a steeper bevel.  I treat all my knives well so the 15° bevel works for me.

 

Tom

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