5 Knives Every BBQ Chef Should Own

BBQ Pitmaster Knife 9" | Shadow Black Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong ©

5 Knives Every BBQ Chef Should Own

  • A Chef’s Knife
  • A Butcher’s Knife
  • A Paring Knife
  • A Boning Knife
  • A Carving Knife

Slicing & Carving Knife 12" | Delta Wolf Series | Dalstrong ©

Slicing & Carving Knife 12" | Delta Wolf Series | Dalstrong ©

Content Gallery

  1. The 5 knives that every BBQ chef should own
  2. Our recommendations for the best knives for BBQ
  3. What to look for in a BBQ knife / The importance of owning good quality knives
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
  5. Delicious barbecue recipes

1. The 5 knives every BBQ chef should own

Long carving knife on top of sliced bbq brisket on a wooden cutting board

Slicing & Carving Knife 12" | Phantom Series | Dalstrong ©

If you pride yourself on your BBQ, or smoked meats, you already know that using the proper knives makes a huge difference in the ease and enjoyment of your experience. So, to be clear, all pitmasters and BBQ lovers ought to own the following five knives:

  • Chef’s Knife: The foundation of your knife set, and usually the first knife you pull out of your knife roll. A stainless steel chef’s knife will be your go-to during your BBQ, as well. These are your workhorses before and after grilling.
  • Butcher’s Knife: For cutting raw meat, you will want a heavy duty, stainless steel meat cleaver or butcher knife. These knives will chop through sinew, bone, and tough cuts. A good knife will make your butchering a breeze.
  • Paring Knife: The unsung hero of the BBQ, which some BBQ enthusiasts might overlook. You will not regret having a high-quality paring knife when you begin cutting up your tomatoes, onions, and other bbq vegetables. 
  • Boning Knife: The boning knife is a great knife for getting in and around the bone. These carbon steel kitchen knives are best at working with ribs, trimming the fat caps on brisket, or removing the more delicate bones of chicken and fish. The boning knife is a true BBQ staple.
  • Carving Knife: A slicing knife is excellent at making uniform cuts of meat, especially of brisket. These stainless steel brisket knives, sometimes often have a granton edge and will make quick work of your slicing needs. Don’t forget to pair them with a good carving fork, and keep the flavor in your meat after each slice.

2. Our BBQ Knife Recommendations

Chef's Knives

1. Phantom Series 8" 'The Crixus' Chef - Cleaver Hybrid Knife
Phantom Series 8" 'The Crixus' Chef - Cleaver Hybrid Knife

      This beautiful chef’s knife is uniquely designed to combine the versatility of a chef’s knife, with the weight and width of a cleaver knife. Its ability to act almost like a utility knife makes it a must have for all meat-lovers and BBQ enthusiasts.This hybrid knife has a razor sharp stainless steel blade, which will make easy work of your meat, poultry, pork, and wild game. This workhorse can take care of almost all of your BBQ needs.

      Pros: 

      1. A curved blade profile allows for clean, perfect slices through raw meat, skn, and sinew while the width and weighted front half let you chop like a cleaver for easy sectioning and portioning
      2. A classic cleaver hole near the nose allows you to easily and conveniently hang your knife on a meat hook, or store in the included PerfectFit sheath
      3. Elegant and sleek look married to power and agility.

      Cons:

      1. Not a pure chef's knife, since it is a hybrid.
      2. It is heavier and wider than many chef’s knives.

      2. Shogun Series X 8" Chef Knife

      Shogun Series X 8" Chef Knife

        This high-end chef’s knife is for precise cuts. It has been forged from a single piece of imported premium quality, high-carbon German steel. This blade will take care of all of your slicing and dicing needs. It is beautiful and functional. The Shogun series offers you a top quality BBQ knife, as versatile as it is elegant.

        Pros:

        1. Incredibly durable. This chef’s knife will last a lifetime
        2.  Super sharp blade knife with incredible edge retention and a 62+ Rockwell hardness
        3.  Premium food-grade ABS polymer handle adds comfort and elegance.

        Cons:

        1. The price tag might be over some budgets.
        2. A knife of this standard might seem overkill for novice kitchen cooks and barbecuers.

         

        3. Shadow Black Series 8.5" Kiritsuke Chef Knife - NSF Certified

         

        Kiritsuke Chef's Knife 8.5" | Shadow Black Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong ©

          A sleek beauty with a razor sharp scalpel-like edge and military-grade G10 handle. This chef’s knife is all about style, elegance, and functionality. Impress your barbecue guests, as you slice, dice, and chop with the Shadow Black Kiritsuke Chef Knife. Each blade comes with a matching black space-saving sheath

          Pros:

          1. Stainless steel, razor sharp blade with a Rockwell hardness 58+
          2. Tall blade height gives knuckle clearance to assist with food preparation and chopping activity
          3. Precisely tempered for added power and durability

          Cons:

          1. Aggressive and muscular design might not fit your personal taste
          2. Light build might not handle heavy-duty cutting as well as a heavier blade would

          Butcher Knives

          1. Butcher's Breaking Cimitar Knife 10" | Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong

          Butcher's Breaking Cimitar Knife 10" | Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong ©

            This butcher knife’s high carbon steel edge and comfortable ergonomic handle lets you cut through meat like its butter. Expert craftsmanship makes this a go-to butcher’s knife for cutting through flesh, breakthrough cartilage, and trim fat from beef, pork, poultry, fish, and other meats.  

            Pros:

            1. Tall blade height gives knuckle clearance to assist with food preparation and chopping activity
            2. Features a low-maintenance and reliable blade that cleans easily

            Cons

            1. The more traditional Gladiator might not be the look or style you going for
            2. Rather long blade, perhaps not the best option for delicate maneuvering

            2. Shogun Series 8" Bull Nose Butcher Knife

            Shogun Series 8" Bull Nose Butcher Knife

                Save your energy when using this thoughtfully designed butcher’s knife. Its razor sharp, stainless steel 8” blade will help you maneuver through flesh, break through cartilage and trim fat from beef, pork, poultry, fish and break down large game without getting lost in the meat. The rounded tip affords you cleaner cuts. 

                Pros

                1. Incredible Edge Retention at 62+ Rockwell. 
                2. Triple riveting  adds even further resilience.
                3. Tapered blade for minimal slicing resistance and non-stick properties

                Cons:

                1. 8” blade might not be long enough for the cutting you want to do
                2. It is the more expensive of Dalstrong's blades due to the quality of the steel  

                3. Shadow Black Series 10" Bull Nose Butcher Knife

                Bull Nose Butcher Knife 10" | Shadow Black Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong ©

                    A ruthlessly sharp stainless steel blade with a menacing elegance. This butcher’s knife will get the job done. This cleaver has been engineered with the right balance to minimize fatigue. This butcher’s knife also features a comfortable, non-slip ergonomic handle.

                    Pros:

                    1. The edge is painstakingly hand sharpened to 16-18° per side, maintaining the perfect balance between blade sharpness and maximum resilience
                    2. Tapered design for hardness and flexibility
                    3. Stain resistant and precisely tempered for added durability

                    Cons:

                    1. This butcher knife’s menacing elegance might not fit your personal style
                    2. You might not be in the market for a bullnose blade 

                    Paring Knives

                    1. Paring Knife 4" | Delta Wolf Series | Dalstrong

                    Paring Knife 4" | Delta Wolf Series | Dalstrong

                      The Delta Wolf Paring Knife will prove a reliable recruit to your squad, more than strong and sharp enough to take on your next objective.

                      Perfectly engineered for detail-oriented tasks such as coring, mincing, peeling fruits and vegetables, slicing shallots, and chopping herbs or a clove of garlic, and other more intricate tasks. This indispensable knife is always ready to deliver. 

                      Pros:

                      1. 4” Precision forged, ultra-sharp, wear-resistant, high-carbon 9CR18MOV steel at 60° Rockwell Hardness
                      2. Edge is painstakingly hand sharpened to 8-12°
                      3. Full tang for incredible robustness & quality

                      Cons:

                      1.  Black blade might not match the rest of your collection. (Only a con if that sort of thing matters to you...)
                      2.  Unique midnight camouflage handle might not meet your personal aesthetic

                      2. Shogun Series 3.5" Paring Knife

                      Shogun Series 3.5" Paring Knife

                        This paring knife is a precision specialist with a small narrow carbon steel blade. Its super-steel core possesses extra high carbon levels, allowing for scalpel-like sharpness with exceptionally long lasting edge retention.

                        Pros:

                        1. 3.5” precision forged blade with an ultra-premium Japanese super steel. And a  cutting core at 62+ Rockwell hardness offers unrivaled performance and incredible edge retention.
                        2. Ergonomic handle shape for superior hand control, agility and comfort
                        3. Extremely powerful and durable blade

                        Cons: 

                        1. 3.5” knife might be smaller than what you are looking for.
                        2. More expensive than Dalstrong's other paring knife options

                        3. Phantom Series 4" Paring Knife

                        Phantom Series 4" Paring Knife

                            This 4” paring knife features a razor sharp stainless steel blade. It is a precision specialist engineered for coring, mincing and peeling fruits and vegetables; slicing shallots, herbs or cloves of garlic; detailed, controlled cutting and scoring patterns and designs on surfaces of food. 

                            Pros:

                            1. Ruthlessly sharp scalpel like edge is hand finished to a mirror polish within 13-15°
                            2. Traditional Japanese D-shaped handle designed to tuck into the palm of your hand for superior hand control, comfort and agility.
                            3. Cleans easily and is low maintenance

                            Cons:

                            1. 4 inch paring knife is not as maneuverable as smaller knives 
                            2. With a 58+ Rockwell hardness, its edge is not quite as sharp as some of the other paring knives mentioned here

                            Boning Knives

                            1. Boning Knife 6" | Valhalla Series | Dalstrong

                            Boning Knife 6" | Valhalla Series | Dalstrong

                                The Valhalla 6” Boning Knife is an essential tool for deboning beef, pork, and wild game. Its 60+ Rockwell hardness, stainless steel blade makes clean separations of flesh and bone simple. A finely tapered tip and razor sharp edge marries agility and power.

                                Pros:

                                1. Tapered design for hardness and flexibility
                                2. Shock absorbance for added endurance, comfort, and grip
                                3. Stain resistant and easy to clean

                                Cons:

                                1. Unique design might not fit your personal style
                                2. Is not a curved boning knife for those looking for that type of blade

                                2. Boning Knife 6" | Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong

                                Boning Knife 6" | Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong

                                    This boning knife has been carefully designed to ensure de-boning, filleting, skinning, trimming, and butterflying all your favorite meats is more efficient and satisfying. It’s narrow blade makes easy work of separating meat from the bone. This Gladiator comes with an ergonomic handle that adds maneuverability and balance to your boning.

                                    Pros:

                                    1. Tall blade height gives knuckle clearance to assist with food preparation and chopping activity
                                    2. Premium quality laminated G10 Garolite handle for superior strength, refinement, and beauty
                                    3. Cleans easily and is low maintenance 

                                    Cons:

                                    1.  At 56+ Rockwell, its edge lacks the sharpness of the Vahalla
                                    2. The G-10 Garolite handle might not be the handle you are used to

                                    3. Shogun Series 6" Boning Knife

                                    Shogun Series 6" Boning Knife

                                        The Shogun Series blade is precision forged from a single piece of ultra premium Japanese high-carbon steel. This boning knife takes care of business, while being extremely durable and adding a touch of class to your kitchen arsenal. It has been engineered for precise de-boning, filleting, skinning, trimming and butterflying.

                                        Pros:

                                        1. 66-layers of high-carbon stainless steel cladding provides exceptional strength, durability and stain resistance
                                        2. Ergonomic handle shape for superior hand control, agility and comfort
                                        3.  62+ Rockwell hardness for unrivaled performance and incredible edge retention.

                                        Cons:

                                        1. Price might scare off budget shoppers
                                        2. Might be too much knife for a novice in the kitchen or at the BBQ

                                        Carving Knives

                                        1. Shogun Series 12" Slicing & Carving Knife

                                        Shogun Series 12" Slicing & Carving Knife

                                            This extra long 12” slicer is ideal for carving briskets, roasts, ham, turkey, sides of salmon, and other large cuts of meat. This granton edge is also expertly suited for prepping large fruits and vegetables, but is equally useful as a bread knife or cake cutter.

                                            Pros:

                                            1. Incredible Edge Retention at 62+ Rockwell
                                            2. Tapered blade for minimal slicing resistance and non-stick properties
                                            3. Ergonomic handle for superior hand control, agility and comfort

                                            Cons:

                                            1. Not for the extremely budget minded
                                            2. Features a larger blade than you might be looking for

                                            2. Phantom Series 12” Slicing & Carving Knife

                                            Phantom Series 12" Slicer & Carving Knife

                                            The Phantom Series 12” Slicing and Carving Knife is the ultimate weapon for briskets, large roasts and salmon and a favorite among professional chefs. This classic carving and slicing knife features Japanese AUS-8 steel beautifully engraved with the Dalstrong name down the spine as well as the Japanese kanji for ‘phantom’ or ‘ghost’.

                                            Pros:

                                            • Granton edge reduces friction while cutting
                                            • Very high quality knife at a mid-range price
                                            • Cleans easily for low maintenance
                                            • Full tang for incredible robustness and quality

                                            Cons:

                                            • Some prefer the military grade non-porous handle to the pakkawood.  

                                              3. Extra-Long Serrated Slicer 14" | Gladiator Series | NSF Certified

                                              Extra-Long Serrated Slicer 14" | Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong ©

                                                  This is an extra long slicing knife perfect for an expert at the BBQ or chef. This razor sharp scalloped slicer is crafted from high-carbon German steel with a hand-polished edge at 16-18 degrees. This versatile blade is best for carving roasts, slicing BBQ, shawarma, salmon, prepping large fruits and vegetables, and slicing crusty bread loaves and layer cakes with minimum crumb dispersion.

                                                  Pros:

                                                  1. Tall blade height gives knuckle clearance to assist with food preparation and chopping activity
                                                  2. Ergonomic handle shape for maximum comfort, grip and maneuverability
                                                  3. Easy to maintain and clean

                                                  Cons:

                                                  1. A 14” slicer might be too large a knife for some barbecuers
                                                  2. Not for those who are not looking for a serrated blade 

                                                  3. What to look for in a bbq knife / The importance of owning good quality knives

                                                  Man uses black bull nose butcher knife to slice raw meat on a wooden cutting board

                                                    Bull Nose Butcher Knife 10" | Delta Wolf Series | Dalstrong ©

                                                    When adding a high quality BBQ knife to your knife set, make sure that it meets the standard of any great knife. Your blades ought to be heavy duty stainless steel or carbon steel.

                                                    The edge ought to have a Rockwell hardness of 56+. You also want a comfortable ergonomic handle. Style and blade lengths are a matter of taste and task.

                                                    Your needs will vary when barbecuing. Our suggestion is to have your boning knife, paring knife, chef knife, butcher knife, and slicer all handy.

                                                    It is essential not to skimp on any kitchen knife, and particularly not to do so on a BBQ knife. Quality blades are not cheap; however, they are very durable and will last you a long time.

                                                    A great knife will not only save you money in the end, but it will also add a touch of elegance to your kitchen arsenal, as well. 

                                                    Learn more about where Dalstrong Knives are manufactured here! 

                                                    4. Frequently Asked Questions About BBQ Knives

                                                    Man uses large cleaver to chop raw piece of red meat

                                                    Meat Cleaver 9" with Stand | Obliterator | Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong ©

                                                    What is the best knife for BBQ?

                                                      The best BBQ knives are the chef’s knife, boning knife, paring knife, carving knife, and butcher's knife. All are BBQ knives you will want to have with you before and after grilling. If you deal with a lot of heavy duty meat, then a cleaver is also a good option. 

                                                      What knives do the BBQ pitmasters use?

                                                        Pitmasters use the BBQ knives mentioned above. Some might add a filet knife to their BBQ knife set. Top BBQ chefs and pitmasters prefer a high-quality knife set to cheap electric knives or run of the mill steak knives. They also might rely on other tools like a powerful set of shears.

                                                        What is a BBQ knife?

                                                          BBQ knives are boning knives, paring knives, granton edge slicers, chef’s knives and butcher’s knives or cleavers. 

                                                          BBQ knives are blades that can handle cutting raw meat, deboning, slicing cooked meat and bread, chopping vegetables, mincing garlic, etc. A BBQ chef must rely on all of their BBQ knives. So, a BBQ knife in reality is a knife set. 

                                                          5. Delicious BBQ Recipes

                                                            Once you have your knife set or knife roll filled with Dalstrong’s BBQ high quality, long-lasting knives, check out these BBQ recipes to wow your guests.

                                                            Shop Dalstrong BBQ Knives Today

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                                                            Written by Jonathan Scolnick
                                                            Born in Philadelphia and living in Argentina, Jonathan loves learning about culture through the food and conversation at the dinner table.