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Butchering Tools of the Trade: What You Need to Succeed

Scott Rea takes you through the knives, choppers, saws and steels you’ll need to do the job of butchering animals. As tools go, you don’t need much.

Scott Rea, from The Scott Rea Project, is a UK butcher and youtube sensation who’s made a name for himself by showing the common man or woman the art of home butchering. Rea has butchered virtually everything from chickens to whole pigs, and he covers such things as breaking down a whole animal to how to tie a good butcher’s knot.

He also shows you what to do with all of those meaty bits with videos that take you into his little home kitchen, where he shares a number of recipes and cooking techniques. His videos are humorous, to the point and show little wasted effort.

Here he gives the viewer a run-down of what edged tools you’ll need to do the basic job of butchering just about any critter that comes into your kitchen or shed.

Rea starts with choppers or cleavers. He recommends a 7-inch to 8-inch chopper, an older vintage model like you might find on eBay. This will do the trick for most of your home butchery where a cleaver is employed.

He spends very little time on steels and he recommends Vitorinox. “I’ve been using Vitorinox knives, choppers and steels for 28 years,” he says. “They are an amazing value, and they won’t let you down.”

For knives, Rea first recommends a good 10-inch butcher’s knife with a good handle. You can go with either wood or hygienic plastic. He shows two 10-inch blades: one, a curved butcher’s knife and two, a straight blade knife.

Next up are boning knives. Rea used a 6-inch Vitorinox boning knife for years, but has fairly recently switched to a Vitorinox 5-inch semi-flex boning knife with a plastic handle. You need to be careful with these knives because they are so sharp and flex when working around bone that they can slip out with pressure.

For a butcher’s saw you can go with a 17 1/2 inch cam-lock saw. These are pricier investments but will last you a lifetime if you take proper care of them.

So, you have essentially five pieces: steel, 10-inch steak knife, five to six inch boning knife, meat saw and a meat cleaver or chopper. Simple!


NEXT: Stunning Venison Guard of Honor Recipe Perfect for a Holiday Dinner

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Butchering Tools of the Trade: What You Need to Succeed