How a fillet knife and boning knife differ
- A Boning knife is designed for removing the bones from the meat
- A Fillet knife is suitable for making filleted fish
- Usually the boning knife is thicker and more rigid so it will weigh more than a fillet knife of the same length
- Fillet knives are more flexible since they are thinner and lighter in weight
- there are significant differences in the design and flexibility of both types of knives though they may have a few similar features.
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How are boning and fillet knife are similar
While both the boning and fillet knife can be used for certain tasks, there are some major differences. The boning knife is mainly used to remove all the bones mainly for meat, though it can also be used for some fish. While a boning knife with a blade length between 5-7 inches is slightly flexible, it is far stiffer than a fillet knife. Boning knives are usually thicker, so they can be used for removing bones from a wide variety of fish, chicken and meat.
The blade of the fillet knife for fish is 5-9 inches long and is specifically designed for smaller fish which are delicate. Since the knife blade is very flexible and thin, even smaller fishes can be deboned, descaled and de-skinned quickly usually in a few minutes with a fillet knife.
One of the main differences between a kitchen expert and amateur is understanding the knives in the kitchen collection, the function of each knife. the expert will easily identify the application for which the knife is designed, use and maintain it properly. Some experts are also aware of the entire history of each type of knife.
Many people who cook regularly at home, are able to easily identify most of the knives in their knife set on the basis of their appearance. Some of the knives which can be easily identified are bread knives, chef's knives, paring and utility knives
However, most home cooks are not able to distinguish between the boning and fillet knife. Often these knives are not used at all or used incorrectly, which is unfortunate since the knives are extremely useful, saving time and effort if used correctly. Experts claim that if used the right way, the fillet knives from Dalstrong are far easier to use and more efficient than the more expensive electrical knives.
Both fillet and boning knives are similar in shape, being thinner than other kitchen knives, usually are similar in length and have a noticeable curve. Some cooks may mistake them for different versions of the same knife, used for the same application. Additionally both these knives are manufactured from the same materials, so some users may interchange these knives by mistake. In some cases the user may have only one type of knife available in his or her kitchen, and the knife can be used for both filleting fish, and removing bones from meat. However, if the cook wants to make high quality precise cuts in the meat or fish he should use the right knife and ensure that he has both types of knives available.
Differentiating a boning knife and fillet knife
There are some major differences between boning and fillet knives which home cooks should be aware of, so that they can use the knives properly and efficiently
The main difference between the fillet & boning knife is the purpose for which they are designed though some features are common to both.
Boning knives are specifically designed for separating the meat from the bone by cutting the connective tissues, fat, muscles and sinew. So cooks who are looking for a stronger knife for butchery and removing bones will have to use a boning knife.
In comparison, the fillet knife only removes the skin and bone from the fish, and is usually suitable for a variety fish available. Hence it is recommended for fish lovers, anglers
While the knives may be interchanged, the filleted fish or deboned meat may not be perfect. The fillet knife can be used only for deboning smaller fish. If the boning knife is used for filleting, the blade rigidity may prevent proper filleting. Hence the right knife should always be selected.
Weight and length of knife blades
usually the blade of fillet knives is thinner by design since more flexibility is required, so the weight of these knives is less than boning knives. The length of boning as well as fillet knives varies, but blades length will usually vary between 5-8 inches. For smaller fish, shorter knives should be used, and if larger fish are being cooked, knives with longer blades are required for filleting properly.
Maneuvering knife blade
The blades of fillet knives will bend more since they are flexible, making it easier to cut the fish and remove the skin. Hence these knives are suitable for precisely cutting through delicate or soft meat. The rigid boning knives are suitable for cutting harder meat, especially the connective tissue, removing the bones from meat. It is usually difficult to cut the tissue using a fillet knife. Additionally the blade of the fillet knife may break if it is used for cutting hard meat.
Shape of knife blade
Boning knives are usually straight till the sharp blade tip since the sharp tip makes it easier to pierce the meat which is being cut. The boning knife is also less curved compared to a fillet knife. In comparison, the top part of the fillet knife is more curved, and the knife tip is also curved. This makes the knife suitable for making longer cuts on the fish which are filleted. However, this filleted knife is not suitable for deboning meat.
Boning Knife specifications
Though a boning knife is thinner than most of the knives in a kitchen, it is thicker than fillet knives. It strong and rigid, though very slightly flexible. The pointed tip of the knife makes it very easy to pierce meat while removing bones. The knife is usually manufactured from high carbon steel or stainless steel.
A boning knife is used for removing the bones from livestock, game animals and birds like chicken, ducks and turkey. It helps in removing the bones from the meat so that the meat can be easily cooked and eaten. Additionally the skin is also removed from the meat using the boning knife. The thicker boning knife will also make it easier to cut the harder connective tissue, ligaments in the meat, to reach the bones which are then removed. Additionally the boning knife can be used for removing the apple core with seeds, stalk before eating or using it. The boning knife can also be used for cutting or carving cakes into pieces.
FILLET KNIFE SPECIFICATIONS
Since a fillet knife is usually thinner than a boning knife it is also more flexible and will bend more easily if required for filleting. The knife has a noticeable curve near the tip which is pointed. Usually stainless or high carbon grades of steel are used for manufacturing fillet knives
A fillet knife is designed for filleting fish, quickly removing the bones as well as the scales of the fish, making it easier to eat the fish. Additionally it can be also used for preparing vegetables for cooking, fruits for eating, salads and other applications. Specifically it can used for dividing citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits into segments for eating conveniently. The fillet knife is also designed for mincing shallots or onions finely, before making dishes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I purchase a boning or fillet knife?
This depends on the kind of food you cook often. If you cook fish regularly and have to cut it precisely a fillet knife is recommended. Cooks who prepare meat often will require a boning knife since it will cut through meat easily. If possible home cooks should purchase both a fillet knife and boning knife, since they can be used for multiple kitchen applications. The guidelines provided above should help in choosing knives with the right specifications.
What is the right technique for sharpening boning and fillet knives?
Both these knives are thin, so the procedure for sharpening the knives is similar. Though it is easy to sharpen these knives, those sharpening knives the first time may require additional effort.
What is the typical length of boning and fillet knives?
Most of the knives for filleting and boning are of length between five and eight inches, though some companies are selling knives which are longer in length. Since fish are usually smaller in size than most livestock like cattle, goats, the fillet knives are usually smaller in size.
Which knife is recommended for cutting fish?
Fillet knives for fish are designed for cutting fish which are freshly caught into fillets since they are thin, easily maneuvered and of the right size. While a boning knife may also be used, the fish may not be filleted perfectly.