Processing knives


12 Years
Feb 16, 2007
Peoria IL
What do you use for knives to process your chickens with? From the artery cutting at the cones to the processing table..... what do you use?

Second and perhaps most important.... How do you keep them sharp?
I use a very sharp meat cleaver style of knife to chop the head off. I then hang the bird upside down for about half an hour before giving it to DW for processing. She uses any smallish knife for everything.

Sometimes when I slaughter, I hang the bird outside in an area where it won't be in the sun for about a day and a half prior to plucking. When I pluck, I scald for about two full minutes as I've found this works best with the Thai game birds. If I just can't be bothered plucking, I simply skin the bird instead, but I don't like don't that really because we often use them for soup, and the skin adds a lot of additional flavor.

I know some on here will frown at me hanging the birds for so long without refrigeration, but these are game birds I'm dealing with, and believe me, I've tried several different approaches. You can hang a chicken for a few days and it will still be safe to eat, just as you hang most types of meat, and especially game.

Talking of which, here in Thailand, Thai beef is incredibly tough, or at least I thought it was until someone explained why. The reason being, is because when a cow gets slaughtered, it's cut up and on sale at the markets within minutes. The Thais don't seem to have caught onto this whole "aging" thing. Now when I buy beef here, I let it sit in the fridge for days on end, or if I'm in a hurry for it, I tenderize it with unripe papaya. If I'm cooking it only for myself, toughness is not an issue because it barely get's time to warm up
Nothing like a huge steak which is only lightly cooked over some hot coals. The rest of the family prefer it well done, so most times I'm out-voted

BTW, just use whatever knives work best for you
I cheated a bit when I did my roosters - I have a scalpel with a box of blades, and I used those. Just pop a blade out and put a new one in when it's dulling out.

As for knives, I have a lot of them. They all cut well, some hold a blade longer than others. I use a two side cheap sharpener from Walmart. I like shorter curved blades (4-5") that are fairly flexible. I use a cleaver to take the head off.
I use a filet knife to cut arteries. It's thin and makes a nice cut. At the table we use a clever to take off the heads and just regular meat cutting knives for everything else. Keep them sharp w/ a steel at the table and use a wet stone at the beginning of the season.
Well I use a filet knife for my part. My DH uses a small knife for his part. We process on a stainless steel table so we have to keep a sharpener close. As for the neck I use my filet knife cut all around the neck & just twist it off.
Thanks for the responses.... but..... i was hoping for some specifics as to "its a walmart knife" or its a xzy boneing knife .... i was thinking about something like

artery cutting knife seems to need sharping about every 8 birds. Currently a 8" "sandwich" Wusthof knife. (aka kitchen knife) Im currently putting an edge on by hand with a hard wet stone and touch up with a Wusthof steel. I can truly feel a difference between a freshly touched up edge and one that has done 6-8 birds. But to put an edge on by hand is time consuming to get right and processing table is slow as it is without having to wait on me to touch up a knife.

Ive heard the hunter honer is a really good quick sharpener.
dont have one but am SERIOUSLY considering getting one for processing table. It would keep the knives sharp and *I* wouldnt have to touch up the knives on the wet stone....

same here but i dont know how much time the knife spends in contact with the table. Its not like we are chopping veggies on table or anything....

I like a larger thicker knife for legs and head. I cut around the head and break off, feel its much more consistent than swing and pray method of a cleaver.

anyone know how to find the knife used in this vid?

its a "bucher" style knife with that curved blade. but if you look for "bucher" knives you get blade designs like that but with blades usually in the 10" long size (for breaking down large quarters of meet)
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Well we keep a sharpener close because I do sometimes hit the table with the knife, & my hubby when cutting their heads & feet off sometimes hits the table, lol We have this knife sharpener that is a smith's & it only takes a moment to resharpen a knife. Otherwise I have a knife set that costs about $40 from Walmart & that's what we use!
I have Walmart and Cutco sets, and pretty much, the only difference (other than the PRICE), is that the Cutco holds an edge about twice as long as the Walmart set - but they both go dull and need sharpening. I'll probably not buy more Cutco, but I will buy more Walmart sets

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