Precision Poultry and Fish
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Thread: Precision Poultry and Fish

  1. #1

    Precision Poultry and Fish

    First of all- thanks for your other help. I ended up going with the Hattori FH in Cocobolo 240 Gyuto and a matching petty.

    I now need a knife (or two) for precision fish and poultry. Im looking for recommendations as the style vary so drastically.

    Im looking for the sharpest knife for detailed work on fish and poultry.

    I am looking into the high end Japanese blade. But maybe the western handle- looking for pros/cons.

    I dont require stainless. A precision knife of this kind, I dont mind the extra care.

    What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife? I would like to keep the knife in the 250 dollar range.

    As I am moving over to all Japanese type knives (only had a couple before)- I am not sure what shape I prefer. I would like to hear which knives/handles people prefer for this type of work.

    (currently I use a custom made blade from the iron range, and I dont like the super thin/pointy profile- feel like a millionaire fisherman- but it was a gift)

  2. #2
    Describe some of the tasks your current kit performs poorly at. ??? Breaking 60 whole chickens // snapper down vs trimming and detail work. Elaborating on precision will help people give accurate answer.

  3. #3
    Ok, no problem.
    I dont:
    Break down 100 chickens (line cook does that or I use my workhorse knife)
    Bash bones of any kind (have a large butcher knife for that and a saw)

    I do precision work:
    Remove all the bones from poultry without breaking the skin (pigeon, chicken, quail, cornish, etc)
    Detail work with offal from a whole beast (often removing specific items from pig head, etc)
    Trim from smaller proteins, rabbit loins/belly, suckling pig
    Large protein detail work- silver skin, shaping, etc
    Fillet special seafood (cuddle fish, small fishies, octopus, and sometimes larger fish)

    Im looking for something sharp- no 'sawing' action, butter smooth and maneuverable.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Central Jersey
    For poultry and silverskin or tender trimming I use a Honesuki. For whole fish in the smaller range it would be a 165mm to 180mm deba. I typically just use a 210mm deba but that's what I'm used to. For salmon it's my 270mm mioroshi deba. Octopus? Takobiki of course!
    Starting this harvest I'm a starving startling artist/
    Lyrical arsonist it's arduous spitting this smartest arsenic/

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hbeernink's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Pacific Northwest
    I'm thinking petty in 150-180 or so and here's why:

    you probably want something really thin, and perhaps with a bit of flex at the tip for stuff like pig head trim, precision boning of poultry, and squid/cuttle/octo trim. this isn't popping thigh/wing joints, where a honesuki works well due to the blade's mass and stiffness. I usually use a honesuki for breaking down birds, but I wouldn't call it exceptionally maneuverable (except at the extreme tip), particularly in tight spots, and you'd struggle with it for any kind of fish work I think. I use a small suji or an unusually shaped knife that I have for this kind of detail work. A lot of different shapes will handle portion shaping and silverskin, so that's probably not a decision maker here. I really think you'd want the narrow, thinner blade - even if it meant you needed to be a bit more careful with the full-boneout of game birds to avoid chipping.

    there's certainly room for a bigger knife for some of what you're describing, but you likely already have that covered?

    handle is really personal preference- some have argued that western style handles hold up better in pro use, many think that's crazy talk.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ucmd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I am certainly not a pro chef but I cook and study technique a ton. I don't see how you are going to do large and small meat and seafood with one knife. This is a two knife purchase....

  7. #7
    Senior Member Chuckles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    This is a tough one. There isn't really a good high end version of a western boning knife readily available. This may take some time for you to figure out. On the bright side the petty you just bought is a great choice for the tasks you described.

    The best fit may be a vintage sabatier like this:

    Do you want flex in the blade?
    'The only real security that a man can have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability.' -Henry Ford

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    180mm-210mm petty. Big enough to fillet fish break poultry and small enough to debone poultry and trim meat.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Raleigh, NC
    I,ve been using this knife for such detailed work. The blade is stiff. It tapers to a strong but thin tip. I have the five inch but I bet the six inch might suit your needs better. I had to soften the spine a little but edge retention is really good and even when ballon toning whole birds I've never had a chip.

    One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

  10. #10
    I think I looking for a stiff blade.
    Im leaning towards the Honesuki- but wondering which is the best metal choice and brand.

    Im trying to rotate/update my whole knife inventory, and I realized my Gyuto and Petty recently purchased may do the job, but I would love to have some more specialized knives, and I think a Honesuki might be the little gem (functional but beautiful).

    I tried to see if I could buy a Honesuki with a water buffalo horn handle (I see water buffalo pretty regularly here in HK, just wondering around when I go for hikes- I thought it would be a nice touch as a memorable token). But Hattori doesnt do custom and longer, im sure it is because he is 73 yrs old....

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