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How to use a Fillet Knife

How to use a Fillet Knife

A fillet knife is a special knife with a long thin blade, around 11 inches on average, and is very flexible. While it is ideally used to fillet fish, there are several other purposes for which it can be used in the kitchen.  Following are some things you should consider whenever you use a fillet knife.

Using The Fillet Knife Safely

A fillet knife has a long blade which because of its flexibility can bend and cut anywhere if proper care is not taken. Whenever you use a fillet knife, take care of these things to keep yourself safe from any cuts or wounds.

  • When you chose a fillet knife use one with a sturdy wooden handle. They also come with handles of stainless steel, but these are quite slippery if your hands are wet. Therefore, we prefer wooden handles.
  • To help use it effectively, get a better grip on the knife by gripping it at the midpoint of the knife so as to keep it stable when you use it.
  • Use a sharpened knife. Using a blunt knife will make you exert the extra force which increases the chances of the knife slipping away and resulting in mishaps.


While fillet knives have become a favorite for the use of filleting a fish, we have tried it for other purposes too, in the kitchen and outside, such as:

  • Cutting cakes into horizontal layers of icing
  • Cutting steak into pieces where serving
  • Cleaning the residue stuck at the base of the oven or microwave
  • Used its sharp, thin end for opening small screws in appliances

Filleting Fish With A Fillet Knife

Here is a quick guide how to use a fillet knife to fillet your fish.

  1. Remove the head first by placing a diagonal cut along the part where the head joins the body.
  2. Remove the tail by placing a straight cut where it joins the body at the lower end. Exert greater force here as this is slightly hard to cut because of the bones here.
  3. Insert the knife along the rib cage of the fish and slide it out, neatly through the bones until it is split into two.
  4. Now pull back the fillet carefully from the rib cage. Cut through the areas where it remains attached to split it nearly.
  5. You may even cut the fish into thin pieces and serve them in several ways. You can bake them, fry them or grill them. A fillet knife cuts thin pieces easily and therefore allows you to serve them in various ways.

After using the fillet knife, way it thoroughly with warm water and soap. You can even have it sharpened easily, it does my have any specific requirements or so.

So keep a fillet knife around your kitchen at all times, whether you use it for fish or beef or chicken, it will prove to be highly useful.

Tips for Keeping Your Fillet Knife Sharp

Nobody likes to cut the fish with a blunt knife. Imagine a situation in which you will have to use a blunt knife to prepare a fish. It is really disturbing for all of us to deal with a blunt knife. You can fight or push the fish with a blunt knife but you never are able to cut the fish into slices smoothly. Let me tell you the basic tips to keep your knife sharp.

Remove extra steel dust accumulation to sharpen your knife

The feather on the edge bends if you continuously use your knife. The best way is to use a diamond impregnated stones but keep in mind that these stones are pretty costly but they do the job perfectly. However, you can use a good stone in this context along with oil or water. I actually prefer water. Try to sharp the edge of the knife by rubbing it against the stone. But keep the motion in a single way. Don’t try to make a back and forward movement as it is useless. If you are using a stone with water, keep the stone inside the water for ten minutes before use. In the case of oil, use the kerosene oil as it is also not too much expensive. Diamond stones are used as wet or dry depending on the nature of the diamond stone.

Use ‘slice the cheese’ technique

In this method, you must hold the knife at 20 degrees to the stone and move down the knife in a way as you are trying to cut tiny slices of the cheese. Repeat the whole process for three to four times on each side of the knife. If you want to prolong the process, there is no issue.

Use a circular method:

On the other hand, the circular method is also very good to sharp your knife. In this method, you hold the knife again at 20 degrees and move the knife on a circular path around the stone. You should start from the coarse side of the stone and end at the smooth side of the stone. Keep a cloth with you to clean the steel dust from the knife.

Use the steel at the end:

Steel dose not sharp the knife but keep the edges aligned. Try to rub the knife over a piece of steel at the end of sharpening process.


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