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The Different Fillet Knife Uses – A Comprehensive Guide

Last Updated: June 15th, 2022

Whether you love cooking as a hobby or it’s your profession, you probably know that there are various knives. Some have short or long blades while others have wide or narrow blades. 

So, learning how to use the different knives is important if you really want to be efficient in the kitchen. After all, each kitchen knife has a specific main use. 

For instance, the fillet knife is best suited for slicing and cleaning fish, thanks to its thin, sharp, and flexible blade. But of course, there are other fillet knife uses that we are going to discuss in this article. So, keep reading.

Fillet Knife Uses

Before we let you know what you can use the fillet knife for, let’s first find out what a fillet knife is. Basically, a fillet knife is a kitchen knife that is primarily used for filleting fish. It features a long, thin, and flexible blade.

Additionally, the knife boasts a trailing point blade. As such, it can go deep down the skin of the fish to the bones for easy skinning. Besides, being used to fillet fish, this type of knife has other uses such as:

Skinning Fish

Skinning is simply the process of removing the scales or skin from the meat. A fillet knife helps remove the maximum amount of meat from the bone thanks to its thin blade. Consequently, this helps to reduce the amount of wasted meat close to the scales or skin.

De-bone the Fish

Another use of a fillet knife is to de-bone the fish. Simply put, the knife allows you to remove smaller bones from the cut fillets.

Generally, these are usually the smaller rib cage and pin bones. Also, a good fillet knife will allow you to cut through larger bones with ease. 

Cutting Chicken

If you want to cut thin slices of chicken breasts, you can use a fillet knife. You simply need to slice the chicken breast in half.

Then, you can use the fillet knife to remove any fat. You can also use the knife to open the chicken piece. This way, it will look as if you have a huge piece. 

Decorate Salads

If you have a creative mind and like to decorate your dishes, a fillet knife can come to your rescue. You can use it to make intricate designs on your salads or vegetables like radish, tomatoes, carrots, and even cucumber. 

Slicing Fruits

Additionally, a fillet knife can be used to cut, slice, and even cut off fruits as well as vegetables. It does a good job of removing pith or slicing thin slices of your fruits.

Also, you can use the knife to cut corn or remove peels of various citrus fruits like oranges. 

Meat Slicing

If you don’t have a meat slicer and the occasion calls for a meat recipe, you can use a fillet knife. The knife will help you cut skinny slices for your recipe.

Types of Fillet Knives

Just like there are many fillet knife uses, there are also different types of fillet knives available to choose from. This includes electric models and manual-operated knives. Of course, the best type depends on your usage. That said, let’s look at what each type has to offer. 

Manually-operated models

Also known as traditional fillet knives, these are probably the most common type. Although they can be tedious to use, manual fillet knives work exceptionally well.

Compared to electric knives, these models allow precise cuts since you are in full control. Also, they are good at extracting the maximum amount of meat from a variety of meat.

On top of that, manual knives are relatively cheap compared to their electric counterparts. The best part is that they can be used on the go because they don’t need a power source. 

Electric models

Electric fillet knives, on the other hand, tend to be faster than their traditional options. On top of that, they require less effort to use. This, therefore, makes them the best choice when working with larger fish. 

On the flip side, though, electric models are quite expensive, larger, and heavier than their manual-operated counterparts. They also need a power source to operate either from a plug-in or a rechargeable battery. 

What’s more? These types of knives require a practiced hand to operate them efficiently. Otherwise, if you’re used to traditional models, you will have a hard time conserving meat with electric knives. 

Styles of Fillet Knives

Now that you know the different types of fillet knives, the knives are also available in two styles. Here is a detailed look at each of the styles to help you make a better choice.

Scandinavian (German) style

This style of fillet knife features a double-beveled blade that can be sharpened on both sides. However, the blade is a little on the heavy side because of its thick design at the bolster. 

Also, it is made from a softer type of steel compared to the Japanese style. More so, the knife has a larger angle on the blade. This, therefore, makes it ideal for the rocking style of chopping. 

Japanese style

Fillet knives with Japanese style, on the other hand, often come with a single-beveled blade. This means that you can only sharpen one side of the blade. It also boasts a thinner blade, which makes the knife light in weight. 

Unlike the Scandinavian style, the Japanese style features a less angle on the blade. As such, it is best suited for chopping and making clean slices. Also, it is made of harder steel, thereby making the knife sharper than the German style. 

Tips for Cutting Fish with a Fillet Knife

The first thing when you buy a fillet knife, you need to know how to use it correctly. So, below are step-by-step instructions on how to create the perfect fillet. It is important to note that this cutting method can be used on almost all types of fish. 

Step One: Descale

Once you have your catch, start by descaling the fish using the back of the blade. As the name suggests, descaling involves removing the scales from the fish. 

Step Two: Remove fins

Next up, you should remove the fins carefully. Then, take off the outer skin from the meat using the fillet knife. As you remove the skin, make sure not to waste meat close to the skin. You can use a Japanese-style fillet knife to reduce wastage. 

Step Three: Get rid of entrails

After descaling and skinning the fish, the next step should be to remove the entrails. The entrails are simply the internal organs of the fish. Then, rinse the fish with clean water.

Step Four: Cut the fish

The next step after rinsing the fish is to cut it lengthwise. Then, cut each side of the meat to delineate the fillets. 

Step Five: Remove the fillets

After that, you should gently remove the fillets from the spine. However, for the best results, make sure to use the flexible blade of the fillet knife. Lastly, repeat this process on the other side of the fish to remove the fillets. 

Final Words

There is no doubt that there are so many fillet knife uses. Therefore, given the different uses of this knife, it is necessary to invest in one.

And if you already have one, then make the most out of it. Whether it is peeling, cutting, cleaning, or slicing, you definitely won’t need a separate knife for your basic cooking needs.

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Steve Thampson

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