Brisket is a treat, to say the least. It’s tender, smoky, and is a favorite for many when it comes to barbecued meats. It’s also a labor, though. Many of the best brisket recipes take hours to cook, and that’s on the short side. Some even take days as they transform a cut of meat into perfection.
So, when you’re looking to serve your labor of love, it makes sense to have the best knife for the job. The first few cuts are satisfying enough to make your mouth water. After all, you’ve just spent more time cooking your meat than you do on most of the meals you’ll eat in a week! To get the best cut, you’re going to need a brisket knife.
Thankfully, there are quite a few excellent brisket knives on the market. In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know to choose the best brisket knife, and highlight a few of our favorites.
What’s a Brisket Knife?
Knives are tools, and different knives serve different purposes. A brisket knife is a specialized knife that’s been developed specifically for this culinary masterpiece. Your typical brisket knife is a long, narrow blade with divots or flutes along the length of the blade. Many who smoke meats consider them to be the most important tool in their kit, as do griller’s.
While all brisket knives take the same form, with few exceptions, that does not mean that they’re all made the same. There are a number of things to keep in mind when you’re choosing a brisket knife. These are important, as brisket knives are unique tools, and you want to make a choice that will work the best for you.
Brisket knives are well-known for being longer blades. On average, a brisket knife will have a blade reaching up to 12 inches, with some 14-inch and 16-inch variations available. These very long blades have purpose. They allow the user carving the meat to make several passes in the same groove, ensuring an even slice. It also helps to reduce tearing, and off center cuts. Brisket cutting is considered an art, and it’s taken very seriously by many.
The argument between a lightweight knife and a heavy knife is an old one. Lightweight knives make cutting several briskets at a time easier. Heavier knives provide a sense of stability and firmness when held in the hand. No matter the weight you prefer, the biggest factor relating to weight is balance. Well-balanced knives created consistent cuts. This means that slicing becomes an extension of the body, and cuts become smoother. Excellent balance is a quality you’ll find in truly exquisite knives.
While any adequately sharpened knife will cut meat, it doesn’t mean that it will do it well. There are four types of blades that you’re going to find on a brisket knife. Some are better than others. The choice comes down to the way you plan on cutting your brisket.
- Straight Blade: Knives that lack any teeth, with uniform edges. These are fine choices for slicing brisket, but the blade must maintain a very sharp edge to avoid catching or tearing the meat.
- Granton Blade: Named after the Granton Knife Company, these are often the best option for slicing brisket. They feature divots that reduce surface tension between the blade and the meat, reducing the likelihood of tearing the meat.
- Scalloped Blade: Small teeth serrated blades. They do a decent job of slicing brisket, but less so than Granton blades and straight blades.
- Serrated Blade: The blade type with the most pronounced teeth. These have their place, helping to slice tough cuts. Elsewhere, they tear the brisket, causing it to fall apart. Avoid serrated blades unless absolutely necessary.
Another one of the longest running debates when it comes to any knife boils down to material. Some prefer stainless steel, while others prefer carbon steel. When choosing a brisket knife, the type of steel used in construction is very important.
Brisket cutting is messy business, and stainless steel knives remove many worries that have to do with maintenance. They’re resilient, and are resistant to corrosion. However, the steel used for stainless steel is softer, meaning that these knives don’t keep an edge very well. What they lack in longevity they make up for in affordability – stainless steel knives are less expensive than their carbon steel counterparts.
Carbon steel is one of the best options available for brisket knives. They have a higher carbon content than stainless steel, hence their name. This makes maintaining a sharp edge much easier. The maintenance requirements of these knives are much more involved, though. Carbon steel is prone to corrosion, meaning that these knives need to be cleaned and stored properly after every use.
Related to blade material, we have blade sharpness. Sharp is a relative term when it comes to most knives, but not brisket knives. These blades have to be razor sharp for a number of reasons.
First, a sharp blade helps keep the crust of a brisket intact. When a blade is dull, it doesn’t slice through the “bark,” so to speak, and it tears it off. This presents a big problem with presentation. Torn briskets are not what people want to see. Brisket is supposed to be served in even slices.
Additionally, a dull knife means that more pressure has to be applied while cutting. This can cause the meat to lose moisture, making the brisket drier than intended. Brisket is delicate, and moisture is a must. Don’t lose any due to a dull knife.
Now, most knives can be kept sharp with effort. Sharpening is therapeutic for many knife enthusiasts, in fact. However, nothing is more frustrating than a blade that won’t hold it’s edge. High-quality brisket knives are going to stay sharp. That’s really what you’re looking for in a brisket knife.
Knife handles provide both comfort and safety. When you’re wielding a potentially razor sharp blade the length of a ruler, you’re going to want both of these things. When it comes to comfort, a handle should fit in the hand with ease, and be slip resistant. Brisket is a dish that will get your knife messy, when done right. The profile of the handle provides comfort, while the material it’s made from provides safety.
Handle material on brisket knives ranges greatly. Most of the popular options include a plastic or rubber material that’s got some grip to it. Other popular options include wooden handles, as they provide both natural beauty and grip. Brisket knives with stainless steel handles should be avoided, as they will become slippery with use.
The 7 Best Brisket Knives
If you’re on the hunt for the best knife for cutting brisket, you’re in luck. We’ve taken a look and determined which 7 are worth your money. They can be bought right now, too! Take a look at our choices below.
1. DALSTRONG Gladiator’s Series Slicer Knife
Our number one pick is the DALSTRONG Gladiator’s Series Slicer. This knife is excellent for cutting brisket all day long. The blade is German-made using a high-carbon steel. This means that you’re going to hold your edge for as long as possible. The edges are angled at 16 and 18 degrees, giving you impressive cuts that are safe. A sharp knife is necessary for brisket, afterall.
The blade itself is 12 inches in length, making it a good, mid-sized length. It’ll handle most briskets that you can throw at it. What’s more is the overall design. The knife features the coveted Granton divots that you want for achieving smooth cuts on your brisket. The handle is made from Garolite, making it grippy and comfortable.
Everything about this knife screams quality. It’s obvious that the knife’s design was important to DALSTRONG. It’s balanced, sharp, and it looks great. You couldn’t ask for a better brisket knife.
- Carbon steel blade with a razor sharp edge
- Granton blade, meaning excellent meat separation
- Ideal length for slicing brisket
- Balanced and comfortable
- Lifetime warranty from DALSTRONG
- Pricier than other options, but well worth the money
The Final Verdict
When you’re looking for the best brisket knife that you can get, you’ll find the DALSTRONG Slicer we’ve got listed here. It doesn’t get better than this. This life will last you a lifetime. If it doesn’t, DALSTRONG will see to it that you’re taken care of.
2. Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro Slicing Knife, 12-inch
In the world of knives, the Swiss Army knife is one of the most notable. If you’ve got a passion for the traditional Swiss Army knife, then the Victorinox Fibrox Pro will be right up your alley.
This is a knife that has proven itself worthy of the Swiss Army branding, as well as the reputation. All this adds up to it being one of the best brisket knives available on the market right now. The 12-inch blade is narrow and straight, with a rounded tip. You’ll see that it’s got the desired Granton divots along it, meaning that it’s going to provide excellent form while slicing through a brisket. The thinnest slices of brisket are achievable with this knife.
When it comes to comfort, you’ll find it in this knife’s handle. The material it’s made from, a thermoplastic rubber, maintains grip no matter what your slicing conditions are. The blade is balanced, and it feels good in the hand.
Maintenance wise, you’ll have to keep the knife clean, as it’s made from carbon steel. Sharpening is infrequent, as once the razor’s edge is achieved, it stays. Brisket stands no match against this slicer.
- High quality steel from a reputable manufacturer
- Ergonomic handle
- Lightweight, but still balanced
- Maintains an edge
- Granton blade
- Lifetime warranty
- We’d love to see a longer version
- Comes without a sheath
The Final Verdict
This knife is lacking nothing, and brisket carvers will rejoice while using it. It’s an excellent knife at an excellent price, and it’s backed by one of the most reputable knife makers in the world.
3. Shun Kanso Hollow-Ground Brisket Knife, 12-inch
When you’re looking for quality in a blade, you tend to look at German and Japanese manufacturers. These companies have long-standing reputations as the best knife-makers in history. When you choose a Shun Kanso knife to slice brisket with, that’s exactly what you’re getting.
Right off the bat, let’s talk about the beauty of this knife. It comes with a heritage finish, giving it a stonewashed appearance. The handle is made from Tagayasan wood, with pronounced rivets indicating how it was attached to the blade. As you continue to use this blade, it continues to become more beautiful.
Looks aside, this knife is a brisket slicing machine. The Granton blade comes hand sharpened, and capable of making cuts through paper. Brisket carves like butter, and never sticks to the knife. The edge retention is exceptional, as the blade is made from high carbon steel. The blade is rounded, for safety purposes, as well. Shun Kanso knows how sharp their knives are.
- The most beautiful knife on our list, hands down
- Comes hand sharpened, ready to use out of the box
- Includes wooden sheath
- Granton edge that’s razor sharp
- Needs maintenance often to retain finish and edge
- The most expensive option on the list
The Final Verdict
Most people like to say, “You get what you pay for.” When you buy a Shun Kanso, that statement rings true. If you can afford it, this may be the best knife for slicing brisket that you ever use. It’s certainly the best looking. We have a full review on Shun as well.
4. Dexter-Russell Scalloped Roast Slicer, 12-inch
When it comes to barbecue, there are some big names in the game. Many of them are kind enough to share their recommendations, and these recommendations shouldn’t be taken lightly. That’s why when Aaron Franklin started talking about this knife, we listened.
Of the knives on our list, this is the first that isn’t a Granton blade. Rather, this is a carbon steel scalloped blade, a design that’s proven to be well-rounded, and worthy of use. The scalloped design functions similarly to the Granton blade design, but it doesn’t tear meat like a standard serrated blade would.
While this knife comes highly recommended from a professional, it’s important to realize it won’t be for everyone. The Dexter-Russell Slicer comes with a synthetic handle made from polypropylene. This material lends itself to slipping from time to time, meaning that skilled hands are often required for sade use. However, this means it’s also incredibly easy to clean, which can be a big plus in the world of brisket.
- Scalloped design slices brisket easily
- Carbon steel blade that maintains an edge easily
- Very affordable
- Comes with professional recommendation
- Handle material is lacking, meaning more focus is required
- While looks aren’t everything, this knife isn’t particularly good looking
- Lacks a warranty, from what we could find
The Final Verdict
The Dexter-Russell Scalloped Roast Slicer is a great knife, so long as you’re prepared to use it. It handles slightly differently from a Granton, and comes with a sani-safe handle that can slip at times.
5. Mercer Culinary Millennia Granton Edge Slicer, 14-inch
If you’re all about big briskets, then you need a knife that can handle that. Every blade we’ve talked about to this point has been 12 inches, making them a good, medium knife. The Mercer Culinary Millennia Slicer breaks that trend, coming in at 14 inches when it comes to blade length. The overall length, both blade and handle, comes in at 22 inches, making this a monster.
Sometimes, though, you need a big knife for a big brisket. This blade is going to get the job done. Mercer crafted this knife from Japanese high carbon steel, and implemented a Granfort edge. This means that you get a razor sharp blade that’s going to separate meat with ease.
Surprisingly, the blade is lightweight, even at 14 inches long. Balancing isn’t perfect, but it’s very close to it, which is impressive in and of itself. The handle is made of Santoprene, making it slip-resistant, which only adds to its maneuverability. It’s got a finger guard, though, because you can never be too careful.
- A long blade, capable of cutting large briskets and other large meats
- High-quality, Japanese carbon steel gives an impressive edge
- Covered by a lifetime warranty
- Can be unwieldy for first-time users
- Feels too long when being used on smaller cuts of meat
The Final Verdict
Choose this knife if you’re in need of something that can handle larger cuts of meat. It’s going to handle even the largest briskets with ease, delivering consistent, smooth cuts. Interested in the difference between boning and a fillet knife – check it out.
6. WÜSTHOF Classic 10 Super Slicer Roast Knife
In contrast to the previous knife on our list, we’re now covering the other end of the spectrum. Sometimes, a knife can feel like too much knife. The WÜSTHOF Classic 10 Super Slicer Roast Knife takes that issue away.
WÜSTHOF has been making knives for over 200 years, meaning that they know what they’re doing. This is especially true when it comes to kitchenware. The Classic 10 Super Slicer is proof of that. With a slightly curved blade sporting a scalloped design, this knife is meant for handling smaller briskets, and anything else you can throw at it.
Of the knives on this list, this is the first (and only) knife that’s made from stainless steel. Before that receives any scoffs, the metal used by WÜSTHOF is harder than most stainless steel options. It performs far more closely to that of a high carbon steel knife.
The only lacking part of this knife is the polypropylene handle, which can lead to slipping. For the most part, the shape of the handle prevents slips, though, making it more ideal than other polypropylene handles we’ve used.
- More control can be asserted over a smaller blade
- Designed and produced by a trustworthy company
- Ergonomic handle design
- Lifetime warranty
- Excellent scalloped edge
- Can’t handle larger briskets
- Highly expensive, but for good reason
- Stainless steel
The Final Verdict
With most other brisket knives being 12 inches long or more, this knife is best used by those with smaller hands. Alternatively, it’s a great knife for people who are looking for more control than what other knives offer.
7. Saken German Steel Carving Knife, 12-inch
The last choice on our list is another Granton blade carving knife made available from Saken. This blade is the standard length of 12 inches, the same length that you’ll find on many of the knives in this roundup.
The blade itself is made from high carbon steel, meaning you get that great edge retention that you’re looking for in a brisket knife. The design also incorporates a rounded tip, meaning that you can slice, butterfly, and fillet safely. The handle is made from wood, and comes with a satin finish, giving you the grup you need to slice brisket.
Overall, the knife is exceptionally well balanced while remaining a light option. This means that you can cut brisket all day, and you’ll get smooth cuts with every pass.
- Granton blade
- High carbon steel construction
- Wooden handle with a grippy, satin finish
- Balanced well, and feels good while slicing
- Edge retention could be better
- Handle is less comfortable than other options on this list
The Final Verdict
The Saken German Steel Carving Knife is, all in all, a great knife for most people. While it does its job well, it just feels lacking compared to other options on the list. Still, it’s a wonderful knife for slicing brisket.
When you’re slicing brisket, you need a knife that matches the magnitude of the task at hand. Brisket is one of the more delicate smoked meats when it comes to presentation and slicing. The best knife to cut brisket is going to slice true with every pass, and will keep the work up for long periods of time. If you’re looking for the best knife for trimming brisket, any of the 7 products that made our top choices are going to fit the bill. All you have to do is choose!
Gary Portman is the founder and main author of knivesadvice.com Using the knowledge he has gained through the years, he aims to help people choose the best knife based on their needs. You can find more info about Gary here.