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Chicken Chopping Knife.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

This grillin' season I got into grilling butterflied chickens under a brick.  I cut the backbone out with shears and after cooking I split the breastbone and cut each breast cross wise in two using a variety of the wrong knives.  I have a 270mm gyuto that I don't dare use.

 

What type of knife would you recommend to use?  I would assume that a 10" German type chef's knife would be the answer, but is there another type of knife or cleaver that would work well or better for this task?

 

Thanks,

M  

post #2 of 16

You are on the right track with the German chef knife.

 

I remove the wishbone with a small boning or paring knife, remove the backbone with scissors or a German chef knife.

 

If I want to take out some of the bones I bend the breast backward to pop out the breastbone.  Sometimes I use paring knife to also remove the ribs.  Then gill whole.  But at that point you can use any knife to split since it is just meat and skin.

 

If you really want to keep all the bones in place then the German chef knife is your answer.  I sometimes put the heel of the knife on the inside of the breastbone and push down.  It generally splits relatively easily and evenly.

post #3 of 16

You have 4 options:

 

1. The German knife.

2. A Western cleaver.

3. A Chinese cleaver.

4. A yo-deba. Which is like a thicker, heavy duty gyuto.

 

i have all of them and for chicken i use either the Chinese cleaver or the yo-deba.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #4 of 16

Equally important is your technique.  instead of swinging into a heavy chop, you should cut through the meat and get the edge lined up on the bone you're going to chop.  Then push down on the spine with your other hand.

post #5 of 16
I find it hard to imagine any task I wouldn't dare use a 270mm gyuto for.
post #6 of 16

If you want the feeling of, "Ah this is just great," then probably then I'd guess the  Deba with its 5or6mm spine and chisel profile.  I have a cheap butcher knife sharpened to an obtuse edge for this sort of thing.

 

 

Rick

post #7 of 16

medium weight Chinese cleaver is best.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies.  It ain't easy--at least for me.  I think all of the recommendations would work well. 

 

I live near a Chinatown and have been planning on picking up some sort of cleaver to play around with.  Just not yet.

 

The German chef's knife seems like the most economical ($150.ish) and maybe even the most practical however, I wonder about the redundancy issue with my 270mm gyuto?  How does Wusthof, Messermeister and F. Dick compare to each other?

 

I perused the debas and watched a few videos on You tube.  I was impressed with what I saw.  I looked at a few debas and they seem to run $250.00 and up.  There are less expensive ones and I wonder how they compare with the more expensive ones?

 

What other uses are practical for a deba?  I often cut up 10-15 pounds of pork shoulder to grind into sausage.  Would a deba work well for that?

 

BTW, I free hand sharpen on stones.

 

Thanks,

M

post #9 of 16
Wusthof, F. Dick, and messermeister all perform, difference is largely design, so if you went that route make sure to actually hold them and see what you like. I've used them all and liked them.
As far as redundency, they are basically the same knife with a few design differences from your gyoto. But if thats the knife you like and are comfortable using, maybe thats a good thing?
You don't *have* to buy an expensive.knife to get a good one. I personally use a victorinox butcher knife/cimiter for splitting chickens and most of my meat work, and a boning knife for the more finicky stuff.
There are reputable brands in all price ranges.
Example:http://www.knifemerchant.com/product.asp?productID=7306&gclid=CNWl3KWIs78CFUZbfgod6jAA5w
Since you already have a japanese knife, maybe what drew you to that will inform your final choice? For me, from what you're looking at, i think you can get chinese cleavers dirt cheap; if you're just gonna split chickens with.it, why lay out a lot of cash?
post #10 of 16
Sorry i didn't see that was a 5" knife, there are some reasonably priced ones on that site, though
post #11 of 16

Deba's size and shape lend it to breaking and filleting fish, smashing through breast bone, and it also works for chicken in general and boning. 

 

 

Rick

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by carpenter View Post
 

...

The German chef's knife seems like the most economical ($150.ish) and maybe even the most practical however, I wonder about the redundancy issue with my 270mm gyuto?  ...

Redundancy is not an issue.  If you get a German Chef Knife then you will have a knife that can do what your Japanese knife cannot -- cut a chicken.

 

Don't forget Heckels in your investigations.

post #13 of 16

Whatever knife you wind up using (from the Deba to a cheap heavy chef knife), thin the blade well behind the edge (what you will have to do with the cheap chef and many Germans) so it glides thru the bone, and sharpen to an obtuse angle so it retains the edge.  I knife with some belly is good here, makes sharpening in the long run easier especially if you tend to be a bit aggressive here, Deba and German profile fit.

 

I sharpen to my usual 12deg angle (per side) then convex the edge to 30deg. You can just sharpen as per your usual and add a 30deg micro-bevel.  You can leave the tip end of the edge sharp as you won't be hacking bone with it.  Being able to effectively cut and hack with the same knife comes in handy.

 

This will hold its hacking edge likely for the season and then some.

 

Rick

post #14 of 16
When I worked in a hotel we used to make rotisserie chickens and what I used to cut through the bones were a victorinox bread knife. Worked perfectly.

Mikael
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikael View Post

When I worked in a hotel we used to make rotisserie chickens and what I used to cut through the bones were a victorinox bread knife. Worked perfectly.

Mikael

 

Will wonders never cease!  And you won't have to thin it.

 

5.5" deba is too small, the same site has 7" for $98

 

Rick

post #16 of 16

I'm not going to pretend these are the best knives for attacking chickens, but I do know that they work well for me. The first picture dates from 2009, the other one is recent. I bought a bunch of these Fujiwara FKM knives from JCK a long time ago and I'm still a fan of the well-made Fujiwara no-nonsense knives with their unbeatable price/quality ratio...

 

So, I mostly use the Fujiwara honesuki for chickens. Never "chop" with them (or any other knife), put the knife against any bone and push on top of the blade with your other hand; it goes through so surprisingly easily and I never had a chip or any other damage on my honesuki!

For more tough poultry family like pigeons, guinea fowl but also rabbit etc. I happen to use the Fujiwara deba on their quite tough bones. I have to add that this 5 mm thick deba hardly leaves its hiding place in my kitchen. I'm pretty convinced that the honesuki will work equally well when using a bit more force.

 

Fujiwara FKM knives

Note on the Fujiwara FKM deba on the right; I used that thing to practice a lot of sharpening skills. The large bevel has been completely flattened out on a rough stone. It now cuts like a potato peeler. The cut in the back of the chicken was made with that deba.

On the left; Fujiwara FKM honesuki. A must in your kitchen if you ask me.

 

 

On another occasion; again the Fujiwara honesuki

 

Roasted chicken 2


Edited by ChrisBelgium - 7/8/14 at 3:50am
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