When preparing ribs (especially for competition ribs), you are going to want to square off the ribs. But what does that actually mean?
Just the facts? Victorinox Fibrox Pro from Amazon is my pick of the day.
Squaring ribs is just what it sounds like, you turn your spare ribs from an odd looking somewhat oval shape into a nicely presented square (rectangle if we are being technical). This is important for the presentation of your dish, which is half the battle in competitions because it gives the ribs a uniform look making it more appetizing.
But squaring ribs is more than a simple aesthetic practice, it also allows you to utilize the entire rib by removing the rib tip fully. Rib tips cook at a completely different pace than the actual ribs will, so leaving them ruins the tips.
So what kind of knife should you be using for squaring spare ribs? Well, there are few different schools of thought. Some like to use a chef’s knife while other people prefer boning knives. There is no right answer here, either will work, so it really just comes down to what is more comfortable for you.
But some basic guidelines must be followed:
- The knife should be sharp enough that you are not having to wrestle with the meat when cutting it. The knife should be able to do all of the work for you
- Make sure you have a knife with a sturdy handle.
These are imperative because they allow you to operate the knife safely and reduce your risk of accidentally cutting yourself.
Once the ribs have cooked, you will still want to cut them so they can actually fit on a plate. For that, you will want to use a different knife. The knife for slicing the ribs should also be very sharp. Otherwise, they will fall apart during the cutting process.
Because ribs are so tender, you can’t use just any old knife to cut them. Using a dull knife causes the meat to tear rather than being sliced, this leads to the meat looking less presentable and less appetizing. Admittedly, that probably doesn’t matter much most people, but for me, looks are very important. I guess I’m shallow like that.
Here are some of the knives are going to make your life a whole lot easier, when you are making your ribs.
Wusthof Classic 6-inch flexible boning knife
This is the go-to knife for several pitmasters and chefs alike. Boning knives are known for being very flexible, allowing you to get a good cut even in the most difficult places to reach.
The Wusthof Classic is very narrow and flexible making it great for boning chicken. We’re just making a few simple cuts for ribs, so this will do the job easily and flawlessly. It is forged of high-carbon stainless steel and honed by hand to create a razor-sharp blade that will cut your meat effortlessly.
It has a traditional build, with a three riveted handle that is meant to provide strength, performance, and longevity. Speaking of longevity, Wusthof knives are lifetime guaranteed.
Should you get this knife?
I stated earlier that some people prefer to cut their ribs with a regular chef’s knife, and that is perfectly fine considering you aren’t cutting hard to reach areas. But the slender, lightweight and flexible blade is very appealing, so I would prefer a boning knife.
I do recognize that this is a rather expensive knife, so a lot of people may be turned off by the price tag. But good quality tools necessitate that you spend a little more money. The longevity of this knife is well worth the price you play.
Victorinox 12 inch Fibrox Pro Slicing Knife with Granton Blade
The Fibrox Pro is a knife with a long narrow blade with razor-sharp edges, giving you top-notch performance. It uses a Granton blade, which allows for a thinner edge while still retaining strength. These blades are great for cutting tender meats like ribs.
It is crafted with precision and designed for people who are constantly using knives throughout the day. It makes perfect cuts and food never stick to the knife.
Another great thing about this knife is that is made to last, you will need to sharpen the blade relatively often, but this is warrantied by Victorinox for life.
Should you get the Victorinox?
If you are making ribs, then you will absolutely need a knife that will make cutting those ribs easier for you, and this is a knife that will do that. Granton blades do need to be sharpened a bit more often, but they make slicing tender cuts of food infinitely easier.
As with most high-performance knives, this will cost you a bit more money than you may be used to, but the longevity of it will be well worth the price.
With these options and knowledge, you’re sure to find the right knife for your needs.