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Nov 3, 2008 08:14 AM

Poultry Shears

I've been on a slight cutlery and gadget shopping spree lately...and came across poultry shears ?

Curious who uses it and in what fashion ? I never could see who could/would use them - and would require handstrength of steel to cut through bone and or even tough areas

Most if not all my chicken, aside from buying thighs in bulk, is generally whole chicken. Depending on how I'm breaking it down, there's always meat and also the remainder for making stock.

Just can't even imagine using a shear to cut bone - as I'm accustomed to a hard chop with the cleaver.

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  1. Poultry shears are good for when you have to butterfly a chicken and need to cut down both sides of the backbone...or so I hear. I've seen them used by tv chefs, but I personally only use my chef's knife for this job.

    1 Reply
    1. re: eefoodgeek

      I liked using them to cut smaller game birds in half, but I'm sure it could be done with a chef's knife as well.

    2. They are not used to cut bone such as a leg bone,.

      I think they are easier and safer than a chef knife to split/quarter whole fowl.

      They work well to split lobster tails/claws too.

      2 Replies
      1. re: FrankJBN

        I never even thought about shellfish applications.

        As much as I love lobster, it's a bloddy mess cutting lobster up. It just seems to get everywhere.

        1. re: FrankJBN

          "They work well to split lobster tails/claws too."

          That's what I use 'em for more than anything else. In fact, I own four shears and put 'em out for lobster dinners.

        2. I have my grandmothers shears and use it quite often. I find it much easier to remove the backbone of a chicken using the shears than using a butcher's knife or cleaver. And depending on the dish, I'll often cut off the knob on the bottom of the leg for a more attractive presentation. My hands aren't the strongest, but I have no difficulty cutting through bone. What my shears do not do well is cut through skin. So even though I use the shears to cut through the ribs on either side of the backbone, I still need to use my knife to cut through the skin.

          I use a knife to cut apart chicken wings, though. I can find the joint more easily with a knife than with the shears.

          I have a separate pair of shears for shellfish. They're much lighter in weight with shorter, more pointed blades. Great for cutting shells and for cutting open the underside of the lobster tail.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JoanN

            You did not say what brand or what type your Grandmothers shears are. I am searching for something to use for cutting up chickens naturally. I see the stainless steel stag horn cutters, the regular type, the all metal type, the run of the mill type that lasts only a little while. I want mid range cost ones that stay sharpened and do not fall apart just because they come apart to clean. Also, I keep searching and reviews always come up with the bad things like springs fall out, the blade does not allow for cutting until almost completely closed etc. Those are bad points I want to avoid when buying them.

            1. re: Tinkerbell

              Since writing that report, I now use Joyce Chen's kitchen shears for cutting up chickens (and myriad other kitchen tasks as well). I find they go through both skin and bone, remain sharp seemingly forever (I've had mine for at least five years now), and I just toss them in the dishwasher to no ill effect. And the price is right, too.


          2. I've got a really good set of Wusthof poultry shears. In retrospect, the chef's knife or better yet, a good chinese cleaver do just as good a job, and are a heck of a lot easier to clean.

            I think I've used them less than once a year. Nice toys, but too much of a single purpose item.

            However, I can always use another knife.......

            1. I use my Wusthof poultry shears ALL the time. I make a lot of stir fries and I use them to cut up boneless skinless chicken breast. Same goes for various cuts of beef that I use for stews or stir fries.

              I also use them for cutting up cooked roast chicken. I often buy rotisserie chickens and using poultry shears makes it so easy to cut a chicken into 8 pieces.

              I have 2 pairs and I honestly think that I use a pair every day for one thing or another.