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Sep 3, 2013 08:30 AM

Best type of knife for slicing uncooked meats?

I want to know what is the best type of knife for slicing uncooked meats.

I am not looking for a brand recommendation, i just want to know what type/style of knife is best suited to cutting uncooked meats into strips or cubes or whatever.

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  1. A very sharp Chef's knife, take your pick of length that suits you.

    1. Different meats could cause people to choose different knives.

      While you can cut meat with just about anything I tend to like traditional butcher's knives or a cimeter.

      1. l use a dedicated large white steel yaganiba. Plain meat, no bones. Do l need it, probably not, do l love it, oh my.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          "Do l need it, probably not, do l love it, oh my."

          Don't you feel that this applies to many things in your life? Like good friends, they just make you feel good to be around.

          1. re: mangeur

            And l would consider you, Margaret, a good friend, oh my.

          2. re: Delucacheesemonger

            Do l need it...
            Is the Pope Catholic? Does a bear poop in the woods? :-)

            I use my yanagiba mostly for sushi, but it works really well on boneless raw meat as well.

            1. re: JavaBean

              Yanagiba works well on boneless cooked meat, too...unless the meat is cooked low and slow (smoked/braised/etc). But a seared duck breast or rare boneless steak -- yanagi is perfect.

          3. It really depends what kind of meat you are trying to slice. If you have boneless meat, then I think any large thin blade knives will work very well. A slicing knife, a gyuto, a long Chef's knife, a carving knife...etc. The only except is what Delucachessemonger said. A yanagiba will work great. It is very long, but it is not thin. However, due to its unique design, this thickness does not hinder meat slicing.

            Now, if you are trying to slice meat off and around bones, then I would pick something with a bit of curve and a bit thicker.

            3 Replies
              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Agree with Chem. I'll emphasize that if you're cutting boneless meat, a longer blade is generally helpful, since a slicing motion tends to work best. With a slicing motion, an 8-12 inch blade is more efficient and makes cleaner cuts. Hence most slicers, carving knives, sujihikis and yanagibas tend to be long knives.

                That said, sharpness is even more important than the shape of the blade when slicing meat.

                For meat with bones, I don't think a curve is strictly necessary. But that can depend on your cutting technique. Either way though, you'd want something maneuverable with sturdy edge geometry. A Western boning knife, a hankotsu, or a honesuki would all be fine choices.

                1. re: cowboyardee

                  <That said, sharpness is even more important than the shape of the blade when slicing meat. >

                  Good point.

              2. Assuming that you are not trying to do super-thin, even slices, but just cubes or stir-fry-style strips, as your post seems to indicate, I don't think you'll find it hard to succeed well with all the knives recommended here.

                Also, don't overlook the technique of first putting a meat about 20 minutes in the freezer: in that time it will not freeze solidly enough for crystals to begin altering the meat character, but it firms up a 3/4" beef steak just perfectly for easy cutting with most any good knife. Same for boneless chicken and pork, etc.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Bada Bing

                  I knew this already, but i always forget it and have never actually done it... it was info deeply buried.