If you’ve spent any significant time in a kitchen, either in your own home, or in a professional sense, you probably already know that a you need a good set of knives to prepare food quickly, properly, and safely. While you can probably get away with having just a few of the really essential knives, such as a chef’s knife, a carving knife, and perhaps a bread knife, it’s the smaller, more specific ones that really round out a proper set: cheese knives, paring knives, and our topic for today, fillet knives.
Fillet knives are known for having one specific use, but they can also be used in different roles throughout the kitchen, depending on the needs of the chef. As we said before, you won’t find a fillet knife in every kitchen, but you certainly will find one (or a couple) in the home of any fisherman, camper, or anyone else that regularly prepares and cooks seafood. Designed in such a way that allows it to move smoothly through fish or other meat, the fillet knife’s main purpose is to separate the skin from the edible parts of the animal, and to do so quickly and neatly and without slipping. Today, we’ll be discussing what makes the fillet knife unique, as well as what aspects of certain fillet knives give them the edge over the others. If you don’t cook much, but would like to change that, this article on learning how to cook will introduce you to basic culinary concepts, and this course on healthy cooking will help you use those concepts to live better.
More About the Fillet Knife
If you haven’t figured it out by now, the fillet knife probably won’t be found in a vegetarian’s kitchen – it’s main purpose is for meat. If you’re having trouble picturing a fillet knife, they have a thin, flexible blade of about 15-28 cm in length, with a handle made of wood, plastic, or even rubber. It’s the blade’s length and flexibility that makes this knife unique, allowing it to maneuver into areas other knives would have problems with.
Next, we’ll discuss the various characteristics specific to fillet knives, how they may differ from one knife to the next, and how these different aspects suit the needs of the chef. For those of you in the market for a fillet knife, but aren’t sure exactly what kind is perfect for you, then you’ve come to the right place. If you’re already a seasoned cook, and would like to take your skills on the road, this course on starting your own food truck will help get your new mobile business rolling in no time.
When discussing the fillet knife’s blade, factors such as size and flexibility are important, but also worth mentioning is the material. Pretty much every fillet knife will have a blade made from stainless steel, but the quality of the steel may be up for debate. When in doubt, do your research, and purchase a knife with a blade whose integrity is well known.
We already told you the average size of a fillet knife’s blade is between 15 and 28 cm (6-11 inches), but they sometimes come even smaller. The size of the blade you need your knife to have will depend on the fish you’re going to fillet, with larger fish such as salmon requiring a blade of nine inches or more, and smaller fish, like perch, needing a six inch blade. If you can’t decide whether to go big or small, a fillet knife with a blade of 7.5 inches might be your best bet, as it can not only handle popular medium-size fish like bass and trout, but, if necessary, it can tackle larger and smaller fish if no other knives are available.
The smaller the fillet knife, the thinner the blade, and the thinner the blade, the more flex it has. The reasoning behind this is that smaller knives are used to cut smaller fish, and more flexibility is needed to maneuver the tighter angles and to make smaller cuts. The larger knives will have less bend to them, because they need more strength as opposed to thickness, but no matter the size of the blade, it needs to be able to bend. If you’re looking for a medium-size knife, with a four to six inch blade, it should be able to bend about an inch in either direction.
Obviously the blade of a knife sees the most action, but the handle must offer not only comfort, but safety to the user. There are three options you’re likely to find when looking at fillet knives. If you’d like to really put your new fillet knife to work, this course on cooking like a man will show you the knife skills needed to cook a hearty meal like (of for) a dude.
Wood has been the standby for years, but other materials have been giving it competition. Some of the downsides of wood handles are that, when wet, it becomes very slippery and dangerous. Also, the wood tends to soak up the fishy smell, leading to issues with cleanliness and sanitation.
- Plastic and Rubber
Giving wood a run for its money, these two materials provide better grip and traction compared to wood handles. They’re also easy to clean and sanitize, as well as being resistant to corrosion, which leads to a longer lasting knife.
Even if you’re not an angler or a camper, for those out there that just can’t get enough seafood, and would rather prepare the fish yourself, the fillet knife is an indispensable tool. Now that you have a good idea of what makes a good fillet knife, do some research and get out there and find the perfect knife – they have ones out there that can fit any budget. If you’re a seafood fan, and prefer it in Italian food, this course on cooking in Italian will give you the know-how to Italianize your favorite fish.