Alternative uses for honesuki

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by Cksnffr, Feb 13, 2020.

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  1. Feb 13, 2020 #1

    Cksnffr

    Cksnffr

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    I think honesuki are some of the coolest-looking knives. I also will probably go the rest of my life without boning a chicken. So a honesuki is the one type of knife I've never owned.

    Are there any other unusual uses for them? Maybe they're amazing for gourds or something. I'm just looking for an excuse here....
     
  2. Feb 13, 2020 #2

    minibatataman

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    Japanese knives tend to be pretty good at what they do and only that. I have a Hiromoto SLD honesuki that I absolutely love, but only for breaking down chicken and frenching racks of lamb. It's not really useful for anything else, as it is much thicker than a comparable petty. If you really like the way it looks you're better off with a kiritsuke shaped petty (like the Ginrei) or something, because honesukis are built to be tough and go through joints and near/around bones, not for slicing or dicing.
     
  3. Feb 13, 2020 #3

    Nagakin

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    Only use I found besides that and frenching is when I want to stab and twist aggressively into something, like two boxes of romanesco when the banquet team is behind and the line has to catch them up. It's nice being able to torque without worry in those situations.
     
  4. Feb 13, 2020 #4

    ian

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    I’ve seen vids of professionals using them as all purpose butchery knives, e.g. for trimming silverskin. But there are professionals out there committing all sorts of sins, right?

    I have a friend who uses a Shun honesuki as her main knife. She was surprised when I saw it on the wall and asked her if she broke down a lot of chickens.
     
  5. Feb 14, 2020 #5

    Illyria

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    Chef of a place I worked at used his honesuki for everything.

    World's 50 Best list guy, too.
     
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  6. Feb 14, 2020 #6

    M1k3

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    I use my Honkutsu for silverskin, breaking down sides of swordfish, plastic ties around aprons and towels and cardboard boxes. Oh and deboning.
     
  7. Feb 14, 2020 #7

    ian

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    what do you use your honesuki for then?
     
  8. Feb 14, 2020 #8

    M1k3

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    Seeing as I don't have one, carrots.
     
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  9. Feb 14, 2020 #9
    Why not chickens? I've bought them just to use my honesuki if it's been too long.

    In my pre-knife days I would buy the chix cut up or just the pieces parts I was wanting to use at the time. Now all I buy are whole birds. They can be spatchcocked for the grill, cut into 4 piece, airline, or other for all kinds of braise, steam, fry or roasting. Backs, necks and wing tips into stock.

    If you like knives enough to hang out with this crowd, you probably cook a bit. Great way to up your poultry game.
     
  10. Feb 14, 2020 #10

    mise_en_place

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    I think it depends on the style/maker of the knife. I have a couple honesuki and garasuki (and have owned a couple more). I have a Rinkaku that gets the job done with small fruit, cutting cheese, scoring bread, and dicing bacon. I have another that I know would be awful at anything but meat. 50/50 edge and fat. Can cut tofu and meat. That's about it.

    We all buy knives we don't need here. So justify your knife purchase that way...
     
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  11. Feb 14, 2020 #11

    Danzo

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    You should bone chicken. It’s saves money, and you get the carcass, so you get soup too. And you get to use a honesuki, which is a perfect knife for this task.

    Or are you a vegan
     
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  12. Feb 14, 2020 #12

    Simonsimon

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    Used a honesuki for all types of protein, from butchering Whole lamb, deer, pig and so on to fish. Realy good compliment together with a cleaver and a suji/yanagiba.
     
  13. Feb 14, 2020 #13

    mise_en_place

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    Other than anything on a chicken, I only would use honesuki for silverskin removal and portioning/trimming very small pieces of meat (like duck hearts, livers, breasts).

    I'd much rather use a hankotsu when dealing with whole critters/primals from the animals you mentioned above. Hankotsu were developed to break animals from a rail. Surprisingly they surpass the chicken knife in generalized butchery tasks.

    Sounds like @Cksnffr should get a hankotsu as well.
     
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  14. Feb 14, 2020 #14

    tgfencer

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    I agree, I like my hankotsu much more for all-around animal related tasks. Works fine as a petty in a lazy pinch too.
     
  15. Feb 14, 2020 #15

    MrHiggins

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    I use my Hattori honesuki a fair amount, typically to bone out chicken thighs and part whole chickens (except for the back, which I remove with shears). My Hattori can be (and often is) also used as a general kitchen knife (trimming meats, portioning proteins, mincing herbs, opening boxes, etc...). It's a 95:5 asymmetrical grind, so I don't use it to slice potatoes and tasks of that sort where steering is a major factor.

    I got as a gift a hankotsu, which, by its shape and grind, is a total one trick pony.
    20200214_062245.jpeg
     
  16. Feb 14, 2020 #16

    tgfencer

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    I think, as in all things knife-related, maker and grind dictate a lot of a given knife's usefulness.

    For instance, my hankotsu has more sweep to the blade than yours and the overall angle of the handle in relation to the blade curve is greater, making it better while using reverse-grip and maneuvering around bones. In regards to meat, I will almost always prefer knives that have more curve to the blade, or rather, a continual curve, simply because I find it fits better with my cutting strokes.

    My honesuki meanwhile doesn't have a big primary bevel like yours at all, just some light convexing and then a 90/10 at the edge. It's thin stock as well, which makes it useful for petty type tasks, but also means its fairly light and flexible, not necessarily something I personally prefer in boning knives, but does make it good for silverskin and other such tasks. However, the sharp, almost k-tip shaped tips that sometimes come on some honesuki /garasuki aren't great for removing skin or layers of fat, in my opinion, though do have some application toward maneuvering through a joint or thin cartilage.

    It's all relative to the knife and the user.
     
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  17. Feb 14, 2020 #17

    MrHiggins

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    Yeah, totally agree. My Hattori, by its profile and grind, is well-suited for a variety of different tasks, including board work. My hankotsu, not so much. Could be the exact opposite for other users, given their individual knives...
     
  18. Feb 14, 2020 #18

    mise_en_place

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    Yeah, that Hattori looks a lot more like a honesuki inspired petty than the more triangular style I like for getting in chicken joints. I can see why that would be much more handy for other tasks.

    edit: grammerz
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
  19. Feb 15, 2020 #19

    Simonsimon

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    Yes, sometimes uses a hankotsu aswell. Have worked with My honesuki for 20 years or so. Alot of steel grinded down. So its quite short on the heel. Im realy used to work with it, so i guess for me its optimal. Even though it more looks like a hankotsu these days[emoji4]
     
  20. Feb 16, 2020 #20

    Panamapeet

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    A honesuki also works wonders on some fish. I love filleting mackerel with my honesuki (actually a garasuki)
     
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  21. Feb 18, 2020 #21

    Paraffin

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    I don't take apart chicken that often. I use my honesuki mainly for trimming fat and silverskin from steaks I buy for grinding into ground beef. The point and profile are perfect for that. Also great for fileting fish where I'm working around bones. It's not a super expensive knife, so if I'm trimming around bones I don't worry about it, like I would with my other Japanese knives I reserve for soft protein.
     
  22. Feb 18, 2020 #22

    GorillaGrunt

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    I like mine for a lot of general protein stuff, the geometry is good for it and it’s pretty tough (Takayuki Grand Chef, AEB-L I think?)
     
  23. Feb 18, 2020 #23
  24. Feb 18, 2020 #24

    ian

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    For a minute there I thought you’d found a 80mm honesuki.
     
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  25. Feb 18, 2020 #25

    lowercasebill

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    I wondered if people would think it was chicken
     
  26. Feb 18, 2020 #26

    ian

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    Yea, the color of the meat is different, but with all the filters people use nowadays who knows if that means anything. :)
     
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  27. Feb 19, 2020 #27

    zizirex

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    I use it to debone a leg of lamb
     
  28. Feb 20, 2020 #28

    btbyrd

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    My Anryu hammered honesuki has a 50/50 bevel that lets it function pretty well as a general purpose petty. The triangular shape even provides some knuckle clearance on a board. That said, I'm not sure that I'd buy any honesuki if "I would probably go the rest of my life without boning a chicken." They're poultry knives, after all.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
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  29. Feb 25, 2020 #29

    gman

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    don't even think about using a honesuki on hard veg. yes, they are tough, but they will wedge like crazy due to their spine thickness.

    besides chickens (which i usually buy 3 or 4 at a time, part out, and freeze), i also use mine for de-boning various cuts of beef, pork, and lamb (ribs, shoulders, legs/hams, etc) as well as frenching, removing silverskin, and trimming excess fat.
     
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  30. Feb 26, 2020 #30

    Tonycast

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    Going from a single bevel to a dual bevel honesuki has been such a huge improvement for me. Maybe I was underutilizing it a ton, but a honesuki shaped petty just is so much better for me
     

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