5 best knives under $50 every meat lover needs
If you're already a die-hard Meat Geek, you probably have a knife arsenal at your disposal. But for those of you still on your journey to Geekdom, here are a few tips to help you arm yourself for Meat Geeking battle.
Five knives essential to a Meat Geek’s arsenal
Butcher & Chef Knives
Before you ask, no, a chef’s knife and a butcher’s knife are not the same. A butcher’s knife is usually heavier than a chef knife. They also usually have a curved blade, which is perfect for slicing through thick cuts of meat.
While chef knives are lighter and tapered they can be used for many things in addition to slicing meat. The curved blade is designed to rock back and forth, making it perfect for chopping and dicing.
Finally, a major difference between the two knives...a chef’s knife is used for cooked meat while a butcher’s knife is used for raw meat.
Although you need a butcher's knife to work with raw meat it is not the only raw meat weapon you need. You also need a meat cleaver, and not just because they are fun. A meat cleaver is necessary to the Geek because it is designed to cleanly chop through bones, without cracking them. It's the only way to make sure no one bites into a bone shard, so meat cleavers are a must. It can also be used to mince meat and vegetables or chop large slabs of meat into more sizable pieces.
Finally, you need to pick up a boning knife. When the time comes to remove bones from meat, you can’t get a better tool that a boning knife. If fact, if you try to use a meat cleaver or a butcher's knife to take care of business you will find yourself frustrated and disappointed. The blade of a boning knife is flexible, narrow and sharp, making it easy to get into crevices and carve out as much meat out as possible.
While these are the essentials, to be a Master Meat Geek you also need to get a carving knife or a slicing knife. Both knives are used for cutting cooked meat. If you have a really good chef’s knife you can go without, but really why would you?
A carving knife has a long, narrow blade that comes to a point. It is used mostly to carve turkey and other poultry, it also works great for bone-in cuts such as lamb and roasts.
Unlike a carving knife, a slicing knife has a rounded tip. It has a long straight edge that is great for slicing large cuts of boneless meat. If the knife doesn't have a Granton edge, you know those little divots along the blade? then it's not going to be any good. The Granton edge helps prevent meat from sticking to the blade as you slice.
FORGED VS STAMPED KNIVES
A good knife should be carbon steel. And since it will be used to cut meat, a forged knife is going to be better than a stamped one, perfect for cutting, slicing and trimming meat.
A forged knife is designed from a single piece of steel; unlike stamped knives which are manufactured from a sheet of steel. Therefore, you’re getting a stronger, more balanced knife which will keep an edge longer.
A stamped knife is cheaper to manufacture therefore, you can expect to pay less but weight and balance will be sacrificed. While there are many poor quality stamped knives, there are a few good ones that made our best knives under $50 list.
BEST 5 KNIVES UNDER $50 EVERY MEAT LOVER SHOULD OWN
MEATGEEK'S BEST KNIVES UNDER $50
WUSTHOF PRO COOK'S KNIFE
You don't get much better than this for the money. While the handle is plastic it fits comfortably in your hand, cuts like a charm and the blade is designed to maintain a sharp edge.
SIZE: 8-inch but also comes in 10-inch and 12-inch
A great knife to have grill-side. While I prefer my old-fashion "Old Hickory" butcher knife, for this review I felt better about going with a knife with a polypropylene handle that repels bacteria. This knife gets the job done and is American made. Watch out, as it comes out of the box sharp as a razor.
FIBROX PRO W/ GRANTON EDGE
If you’re spending big bucks on a prime rib or taking the time to smoke a mouth-watering brisket, you don’t want to mess around with a knife that will "get the job done" – instead, knock it out of the park – clean and perfect slices. You’ll also find that this knife can also perform other duties than just slicing a roast.
J.A. HENCKELS CLASSIC CLEAVER
Henkels leads the way in cleaver manufacturing. Full-tang with triple-rivet handle. Whether chopping through hard joints or straight through bone you'll find this sharp blade has the weight and balance that rivals cleavers that cost twice as much.
WEIGHT: 11.85 oz.
VICTORINOX FIBROX PRO
Again, for the money, this knife is undisputed as the best boning knife under $50 by several of the top trusted cooking gurus in the industry. Sharp enough for the tough jobs like striping meat, but delicate enough to have the flex needed to debone fish.
OPTIONS: flexible & curved, flexible & straight, semi-flexible & straight, semi-stiff & curved