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All you need to know
about boning knives

Features and benefits of boning knives

More commonly used in the kitchen than a bleeding knife or butcher’s knife, the boning knife is one of the essential utensils for anyone who works with raw meat.

Whether you’re a butcher, delicatessen chef, catering professional or simply an amateur chef at home, this knife will more than help you for preparing beef, pork, lamb, game or poultry…

It is called boning knife because it’s the best knife for gently removing meat from the bone, but its uses don’t stop there!

Its rigid blade, which is generally short, narrow and pointed, with a curved cutting edge (in the shape of an S), also helps to remove skin, fat, cartilage, tendons and nerves.

The rigidity of the blade also means that the boning knife can be used without risk on cartilage and ligaments, even when the cut requires a lot of pressure.

The point allows easy piercing to penetrate the meat.
The thin blade and curved cutting edge make the knife easy to handle and the cut very precise for extracting unwanted parts.

As a very distinctive short-bladed knife, the boning knife is also often used at the table as a meat knife or steak knife, especially if it has an elegant, non-slip wooden handle in colour or deep black.

Presentation of the different boning knives

The most classic boning knives are Western boning knives. They come in different sizes to suit the piece of meat being worked on. The large blades are ideal for butchers and some catering professionals.

For use in the home kitchen, boning knives with 13cm-15cm blades are generally used.

Some cooks also use the flexible blade of a fileting knife to bone meat. This is done for delicate, precise cuts, around large bones and, more generally, for trimming meat without the use of force, using only the quality of the cutting edge and the flexible nature of the blade.

Japanese cutlery also offers a boning knife: the Honesuki.
This Japanese knife can be recognised by its blade with a ‘broken’ angle at the tip.

There are two types of Honesuki:

The Honesuki Maru, without heel (the blade is entirely in the extension of the handle), like a bleeding knife, better suited to red meats.

And the Honesuki Kaku, a Japanese knife with a triangular blade with a long heel (the blade descends more than a centimetre below the handle), very well suited to poultry and small game. With its distinctive, aesthetically pleasing blade and handle – often black, sometimes coloured – the Honesuki Kaku is a great success at the table as a meat knife.

The Maru and the Kaku both have a rigid, non-flexible blade.

Boning techniques and use

Tips for safe and effective use

To use your boning knife correctly, efficiently, effortlessly and safely, it’s essential to check that the edge of your knife is sharp before each use.
If you have trouble penetrating the meat and cutting, it’s because the cutting edge of your blade needs sharpening.
You should also make sure that the handle of the knife is firmly in your hand, not too small, not too large and not too slippery.

Boning methods for different types of meat

To bone meat, you need to penetrate the flesh with the tip of the knife, where the bone is most accessible. This is usually done by holding the knife with the handle up and the tip tilted downwards.

Then slide your blade along the bone, using gentle rocking movements on the handle to bring the cutting edge into play and separate the meat from the bone.

If you observe strong resistance, do not insist and try to work around it. Do not cut the bone and/or risk to damage your blade!

If the resistance is slight, you can continue; you are probably cutting cartilage or separating a joint.

Maintenance and sharpening of boning knives

Knife care instructions

Sharpening, wiping, cleaning and storing are four key words that will ensure the long life of your boning knife, and more generally of all your kitchen knives with stainless steel, carbon or damascus blades.

Sharpen your knife as soon as it seems to be cutting a little less well.
Wipe it clean between cuts. Animal substances that stick to the blade during use can make it more difficult to cut when the edge has just been sharpened. A simple wipe with a dishcloth (designed to get dirty) usually solves the problem.

Clean your knife properly between uses.

Don’t leave your knife lying around in the kitchen without washing it. Food and moisture weaken the steel and increase the risk of oxidation.

Rinse the blade under water and wipe dry with a soft sponge and a standard washing-up liquid. Rinse and dry immediately with a clean, soft cloth.

We do not recommend washing your knife in a dishwasher, as this will weaken the steel and sharpness of the blade.
Store your knife in a place where it is not likely to be bumped or scratched. A pouch for storing your knife in a drawer, a knife block on the worktop or a magnetic bar fixed above the hob are ideal for protecting your blade and its cutting edge.


Maintaining the performance of kitchen knives :
recommended blade maintenance techniques and tools

To ensure that your knife keeps its sharpness year after year, we recommend that you sharpen it as soon as it seems to be cutting a little less well.

Sharpening a blade consists of making the cutting edge (i.e. the edge) perfectly clean. In a semi-professional or professional setting, sharpening can be done before each use with a stainless steel sharpener (Goyon-chazeau or Fisher, for example), which is not very abrasive.

Hone your knife as soon as you can no longer hold its edge and it no longer seems to want to cut. Honing maintains the knife’s edge so that it retains a good cutting quality. A little more thorough than sharpening with a steel sharpener, a strong sharpening puts the knife back in condition to ‘receive’ an edge.

For sharpening, we recommend a Fisher oval sharpener with diamond coating. This type of sharpener can also be used for honing if less pressure is applied.

Finally, grinding, which recreates the edge by removing material to refine the steel of the blade, should only be carried out if your edge is damaged.

It can be done with a grindstone, a whetstone, a sharpener or a mechanical sharpener. Be careful, the use of these tools requires a thorough knowledge of knives and steels. Incorrect use or the wrong grain can cause lasting damage to your knife.

Goyon Chazeau boning knives

You will find a boning knife with a 13cm blade in each of GOYON-CHAZEAU kitchen knife lines. Our production is 100% French.
All our boning knives are forged from a stainless steel bar, pressed and then cut. They are then worked piece by piece by hand to obtain balanced, ergonomic knives that are suitable for everyday use.

Forged steel manufacturing gives hard knives, with an ultra-high-performance cutting edge that’s easy to maintain. The handles of our knives, in wood, stainless steel or Evergreen, are designed to fit perfectly in the hand:

• Le Thiers boning knife has a long, wide handle made of juniper or olive wood with a non-slip finish;

Tradichef boning knife is also non-slip, light with a thin oak handle. Its Sabatier-style design makes it just as effective in the kitchen as it is nice on at the table alongside fine crockery;

Stylver’s all stainless steel boning knife, with forged blade and hollow handle, is particularly light, well-balanced, highly ergonomic and easy to maintain.

• Finally, the black Evergreen handle of the Audacieuse range is stain-resistant, strong and durable, perfectly suited to a boning knife. And the delicate Sabatier style of Audacieuse is perfect for slicing the finest pieces of meat after they’ve been beautifully cooked.

GOYON-CHAZEAU is committed to manufacturing quality and offers excellent value for money for 100% French handcrafted knives.
It offers top-of-the-range luxury knives that meet the requirements of both professionals and private customers.

So you can be sure of getting a knife that will last a long time.

Why not personalise your knife with an engraving?

Also worth a look: our chef’s knives, cutlery sets and pocket knives.

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