A knife to cut meat
[A Transcript from an Instagram Live conversation with Tara Ransfer of Perfect Edge Cutlery. Edited for clarity.]
[00:00:00] Joseph: Okay, Tara, from our series here, ask Tara. We've had a couple replies last time, one of which is clearly from someone you described as a knife nerd, and I agree.
[00:00:14] He's a good friend, but here's his question. "Hey, Tara. If I wanna showpiece knife for slicing, smoked meats including brisket, parentheses, slices end up eight to 10 inches long and on the wide end and parentheses, and my preference is to buy something Japanese, which knife type should I consider and what lengths should I consider?
[00:00:43] What do you think technically?
[00:00:46] Tara: You would be using a sujihiki. A double bevel long slicer. And I know everybody wants me to say, oh, you see an yanagiba because it's so cool looking. But technically for meats, I recommend a double bevel. And the longer the blade, the cleaner, the long pull slice will be. So what we're looking for while slicing?
[00:01:13] Proteins that you've selected very carefully and paid a pretty penny for, and cooked just perfectly. We wanna have a clean slice, right? So shorter the knife you end up sawing back and forth. And I think we can all imagine, whether it's a brisket, which is gonna be larger, right? But tri-tip, I think are a pretty common thing that many people have experienced taking from the grill and slicing.
[00:01:44] If the knife is like eight inches and the tri-tip is eight or nine inches at its widest point, you'll be sawing back and forth. And though you're using a slicer, you're actually, effectively not doing one long clean pull through something. Now a brisket being much larger, which I think is more what we were talking about.
[00:02:05] He was talking about I would say minimum of a 270 millimeter Japanese Suki, but like a 300mm or a 330mm would be pretty epically memorable. And definitely be the man or the woman in your group for whipping out one of those and slicing up a perfectly ma cooked brisket.
[00:02:26] Joseph: Gals grill!
[00:02:28] Yes, I grill. I am the griller in my marriage. However, my dad. In my childhood. Right. So, absolutely. That's a T-shirt long one, long clean, full slice would be ideal. But I think even in most of the videos that people are watching, that you're seeing a wider blade that's actually a roast roast beef knife.
[00:02:51] Yeah. It's really common to see either the Dexter Russell or the Victorinox beef slicers being used by a pitmaster to carve. And though they're great, technically a brisket knife has a good length.
[00:03:13] You don't actually have knuckle clearance like you would on a chef's knife, but the blade meets the board before your knuckles due on a true and proper brisket knife.
[00:03:28] Joseph: Got it. So different knife for Arnold Schwarzenegger. Cuz he is got really big hands.
[00:03:33] Tara: Yeah, yeah. Or, or you'll end up kind of choking up on, you know, pinch gripping, choking up on the blade a little bit to get your knuckles out of the way.
[00:03:40] But sure, traditionally a brisket knife would be minimum of 12 inches. That really should be more 14 or 16 inches long. And that kind of the equivalent length that I was talking about in a Japanese Suki. If you really wanna go wild, then, then you actually do like a, a sword, right?
[00:04:02] So like the Maguro Bōchō, tuna swords, there are makers that are doing like Wagyu beef swords. Buying the real deal and taking all that time, and that's your interest, then go for it. Arguably one would be using the right tool for the job.
[00:04:30] Joseph: That's super interesting. I'm reminded in some of my research of 1873. The emperor first ate red meat in Japan for the first time, right? The first time. Yeah, it's crazy. And that's where they get the, I'm saying it wrong, gyuto. Which means cow sword. Yes. So those could too.
[00:04:52] But in this case, with a larger hunk of meat, there are these other options,
[00:04:58] Tara: correct. Super cool that that knife is really made for Westerners. It's not a traditional Japanese knife. The saying traditional Japanese knife for a lot of people sort of means the look and the aesthetic of that. Yeah, but the actual functions of Japanese knives come from a really different type of one, lifestyle and two, cuisine. So it's more vegetable produce and seafood - not a lot of red meats.
[00:05:40] Tara: My Dad carved a tri-tip with a bread knife the other day, so there are no rules.
[00:05:45] I mean, really, are you doing that in front of me?
[00:05:50] Joseph: Let's go.
[00:05:52] Tara: Did I have a problem eating that dinner? Not one little bit. Not one little bit.
[00:05:56] Joseph: Exactly. Well, thanks for joining along everybody, and if you like this follow for more. We got more.
[00:06:04] Tara: All right, see you soon.