Marinating, seasoning, grilling, and smoking the perfect brisket is an all-day (sometimes several-day) affair. When the process is complete, there are few sensations as rewarding as cutting into that outstanding piece of meat. But slicing gets even more satisfying when you’re doing it with the best brisket knife.
Brisket knives feature long, narrow blades with flutes or divots along the side. They create perfectly sliced slabs of brisket and can be an important part of the best smoker’s and griller’s toolkit. This guide will explore several of the most important features to consider as you shop for this choice slicing tool and then delve into some of the top products on the market to help you choose the best brisket knife for your next feast. Keep reading to find out more.
- BEST OVERALL: Victorinox Swiss Army – 47645 Cutlery Fibrox Pro
- RUNNER-UP: MAIRICO Ultra Sharp Premium 11-inch Stainless Steel
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: SpitJack BBQ Smoked Brisket Knife
- BEST UPGRADE: DALSTRONG – Slicing Carving Knife -12″ – Granton Edge
- BEST FOR LARGE BRISKETS: Mercer Culinary Millennia Granton Edge Slicer
- BEST SET: DALSTRONG Carving Knife & Fork Set
- BEST BONING KNIFE: Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Inch Boning Knife
- ALSO CONSIDER: WÜSTHOF Classic 10 Super Slicer Roast Knife
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Brisket Knife
Before adding the best brisket knife to your collection of kitchen necessities, a bit of homework will help you develop a better understanding of these unique knives. Important points to consider are the length, material, and type, among others. Read each section carefully, so you’ll be able to choose the best brisket knife for your needs.
There are a few types of knives that will cut meat, but some feature blades that are better suited for slicing brisket than others:
- Straight blade knives feature straight, uniform edges free from serrations or scallops. They’re excellent for slicing brisket but only if they have a very sharp edge.
- Serrated blade knives have large teeth that tear through meat. While they’re suitable for tougher cuts, they will rip a tender brisket apart faster than they’ll cut it. Avoid serrated blade knives, if possible.
- Scalloped blade knives look somewhat similar to serrated blades, but they have smaller teeth. They do a good job of slicing brisket and are worth considering.
- Granton blade knives actually refer to a blade style trademarked by the Granton Knife Company in England, but many manufacturers make their own versions. These knives feature small divots along the side that help limit friction with the brisket by reducing surface area and tension. They’re often the best knives for cleanly slicing brisket.
A brisket knife should be kept as sharp as possible, so it can cut perfectly smooth, uniform slabs of brisket. However, even the best brisket knife might not come out of the box as sharp as it can be. A dull blade will mash or shred the “bark”—the dark crust formed by smoking and seasoning—and can actually squeeze moisture from the meat.
Any knife can be sharp with enough effort, but maintaining that edge does require some attention to detail. Using a high-quality knife sharpener or a sharpening stone is an excellent way to keep a razor-sharp edge on a brisket knife.
There are a few points to consider when it comes to the weight of a brisket knife. First, a lightweight knife might be easier to use for cutting several briskets, while a heftier knife might feel more stable while using it.
Most importantly, the best brisket knife requires well-balanced weight from handle to tip. It might seem trivial, but a knife with well-balanced weight will create smoother, more consistent cuts, requiring less thought and effort while carving. This balance is achieved during the design process.
Brisket knives tend to be very long compared to most other knives in a kitchen setting. They can often be up to 14 or 16 inches long. But these long blades aren’t just for show.
Obviously, the larger the brisket, the longer the blade should be, but that’s not just common sense—there’s a reason. Cutting pieces of brisket is an art, and a uniform slice is the goal. A longer blade allows the carver to make several passes with the knife remaining in the same groove, reducing tearing, off-center cuts, and uneven slices.
There are two main types of steel used in the creation of high-quality brisket knives: carbon steel and stainless steel. They’re both excellent materials with different strengths and weaknesses.
As the name suggests, carbon steel has a higher carbon content than stainless steel. This makes it easier to maintain a sharp edge on these knives. However, as carbon is the element that causes rust, these knives do have a tendency to become rusty if you aren’t careful with them. It’s especially important to immediately wipe them dry after washing.
Stainless steel brisket knives are far more corrosion-resistant than carbon steel, but they’re a bit softer, so maintaining a sharp edge isn’t as easy. The benefit is they require much less maintenance and are more affordable than high-carbon brisket knives.
Handle Comfort & Safety
Being able to safely and easily cut brisket for any period of time often comes down to the knife’s handle. The best brisket knife should fit comfortably in the hand, have some thought put into the ergonomics, and be relatively non-slip in texture. After all, briskets with perfectly rendered fat can become a bit slippery, and you don’t want a sharp knife slipping around in your hand.
Grippy plastics and rubber handles are popular, and they help maintain a solid grip. Wood is also a popular choice, as it has a naturally grippy texture. It’s best to avoid stainless steel-handled knives for carving a brisket as they can become very slippery.
Our Top Picks
For new barbecue artists and smokers, choosing the best brisket knife might still be a bit confusing. The following is a list of some of the top options on the market to help make the decision a bit easier. Be sure to keep all of the above-mentioned shopping considerations in mind when reviewing and comparing these products.
When it comes to slicing a pencil-thin piece of perfectly smoked brisket, a knife like the Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro is worth checking out. This well-balanced knife features a high carbon content, stainless steel blade that blends razor-sharp edges with durability and a bit of corrosion resistance.
This knife features a non-slip grip made from Fibrox, which is an especially grippy mineral fiber. It also boasts a Granton blade with divots along the sides to promote meat separation with cleaner cuts. The blade is narrow and measures 12 inches long, while the handle is just under 5.5 inches long, helping to achieve well-controlled slices and cuts.
Barbecue pros and amateur grillers should check out the Mairico Ultra Sharp Premium Carving Knife. This knife features an 11-inch, Granton-style blade that helps reduce friction while slicing and promoting better meat separation. Made from stainless steel, the blade is easy to sharpen and resists corrosion, requiring very little maintenance.
This well-balanced knife also offers a polished, wood-handled head attached to the full-length blade with three rivets, providing both comfort and an ergonomically-designed grip while also making an attractive addition to your kitchen tools. The blade’s rounded tip also helps maintain safer work conditions, as carvers are less likely to poke themselves or others while they’re reaching in for the perfect slice of brisket.
Slicing expensive, time-consuming briskets into deliciously perfect slabs doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg when it comes to the knife. The SpitJack BBQ Smoked Brisket Knife offers an affordable option for slicing briskets, roasts, and even cured meats, saving money without sacrificing quality. It even features an expertly-honed edge out of the box—a plus for such an affordable knife.
The stainless steel blade features Granton-style divots along both sides to promote meat separation for finer, smoother slices. It measures 11 inches in length for controlled cuts, and the plastic handle provides a textured finish for maintaining a safe and solid grip.
Slicing a large brisket with a small knife won’t yield the results that hard work deserves. For those over-sized cuts, a knife like Mercer Culinary’s Millennia Granton Edge Slicer is worth a good look. This knife features a 14-inch blade with Granton-style grooves that promotes fast, easy slices with excellent meat separation—a true challenge for large briskets.
Mercer uses high-quality Japanese stainless steel with a high carbon content for the blade. It takes an edge easily, but maintains it even better. The knife also features a non-slip handle made from Santoprene—a high-performance thermoplastic material to help ensure the carver can keep a solid grip—combined with polypropylene for durability and textured finger points for safety.
Dalstrong makes some of the best carving tools in the world, and the Carving Knife and Fork Set is a prime example. Dalstrong uses high-quality ThyssenKrupp high-carbon German steel in the construction of its blades, providing a precision-ground edge that stays sharper longer than some other knives.
This set features a Granton-style brisket knife, a carving fork, and a honing rod for maintaining that precision-ground edge. To protect the 9-inch blade, it also includes a sheath. As for the handles, all three tools feature Pakkawood grips, which are incredibly durable and waterproof—ideal qualities for a high-carbon content knife and carving fork set.
When it comes to preparing a brisket, trimming excess fat isn’t always easy with a typical brisket knife. In those cases, an option like the Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-inch Boning Knife might make a better choice. Its short blade more easily tucks into tight or awkward spots, while the Santoprene handle helps promote a secure grip.
This boning knife features a high-carbon steel blade, which is ideal for maintaining an incredibly sharp edge to trim stubborn fat. Since the full tang runs the length of the handle, it’s also well-balanced, which is important for ensuring a safe grip on a smaller knife. The blade’s edge boasts a special precision grind for a long-lasting edge that’s also easy to hone when it eventually dulls.
Dalstrong’s Slicing Carving Knife is certainly worth considering for fans of barbecuing and smoking meat who are looking for an incredibly sharp and capable knife. Dalstrong constructs this 12-inch knife using high-carbon ThyssenKrupp German steel, allowing carvers to hone and maintain an ideal edge with very little effort. It also comes expertly hand-sharpened out of the box.
The Granton-style carving knife slices through meat quickly and easily, thanks to the divots along both sides of the blade that help promote meat separation. It also features a Pakkawood handle riveted to the tang for durability and water-resistance, helping the knife remain as corrosion-free as possible.
With no expense spared, it’s difficult to beat Wusthof’s Classic 10 Super Slicer Roast Knife for slicing briskets and other barbecue meats. This knife’s 10-inch, stainless steel blade contains a high amount of carbon for achieving—and maintaining—an excellent edge. And, in regard to that edge, the scalloped blade makes slicing through both delicate and tougher meats an easy task.
The knife’s handle is resistant to fading, discoloration, heat, and impact, meaning Wusthof built this high-end knife for the long haul, which makes it more of an investment than a simple upgrade.
FAQs About Your New Brisket Knife
Even though you’ve done your homework, you might still have questions about purchasing the best brisket knife for your next backyard barbecue. If that’s the case, this section is for you. It contains several of the most frequently asked questions about brisket knives, so be sure to check for your answer below.
Q. What is the best way to cut a brisket?
A brisket has two parts: the flat, which is the thinner, single layer of muscle, and the point, which is the fatter, double layer. The best way to cut brisket is to first slice the flat section with the grain and then slice the point against the grain.
Q. What is the difference between a slicing, carving, and trimming knife?
Generally, slicing and carving knives often look similar, but slicing knives are for bread while carving knives have smaller teeth or flat edges for cutting meat. Trimming knives are small, and they’re generally used for trimming fat.