5 Knives Every BBQ Chef Should Own

Butcher breaking knife beside raw meat

Butcher's Breaking Cimitar Knife 10" | Shogun Series

5 Knives Every BBQ Chef Should Own

A narrow cutting board with cooked meat next to a long carving knife against a black backdrop

14'' Slicing & Carving Knife | Shogun 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

A large bullnose butcher knife resting on a bed of uncooked pieces of beef

14'' Extra Long Bullnose Butcher Knife | Gladiator 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, skin, 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 9.5" Chef Knife - NSF Certified

        Shadow Black Series 9.5" Chef Knife - NSF Certified

        Every time I come across another entry in the Shadow Black Series, I’m even more blown away by its functionality and design. This 9.5” chef knife is an absolute cutting powerhouse and will make an impressive collection to any home cook’s arsenal.

        PROS:

        • Premium-quality blade construction: precision forged, ultra sharp, wear resistant, single-piece, high carbon 7CR17MOV-X vacuum treated steel.
        • Black, non-reflective titanium-nitride coating doesn’t just add corrosion resistance but also makes it look incredibly cool.
        • Fiber-resin military grade G10 handle, ergonomically designed to fit nicely into your palm.
        • A very low-maintenance knife, extremely easy to clean and care for.

        CONS:

        • This 9.5” chef knife is the longest blade in our list, and may be a bit big for some home cooks.
        • If you are a stickler for having your kitchen tools match each other (as well as your decor), this Shadow Black Series chef knife might stick out a bit. (But hey, maybe you should look into the rest of the series…)

          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. Quantum 1 Series 8.5" Butcher's Breaking Knife

            Butcher & Breaking Knife 10" | Quantum 1 Series

            The future of meat carving has arrived. Engineered to handle even the largest game meats at the speed of light, the Quantum 1 Series Butcher & Breaking Knife brings the cutting edge of blade technology to one of our most advanced knives. The scimitar-like curve of the blade — hand-sharpened to 8-12 degrees— creates the leverage you need to complete cuts in one seamless motion.

            Carve through flesh, cartilage, sinew, and fat at warp speeds, enhanced further with the Nova Prime blade pattern that reduces drag and boosts efficiency. Crafted with extremely durable BD1N-X steel, you can trust that your blade has what it takes to conquer new galaxies of flavor.

            To ensure optimum maneuverability on every culinary expedition, the Dragon Skin G10 carbon-fiber handle adds sleek style and ergonomic handling, while remaining nearly impervious to the galactic rigors of heat, cold, and moisture.

            Pros:

            • Beautiful design and engraving.
            • Extremely powerful, sharp carbon steel blade.
            • Ergonomic handle with non-stick grip.

            Cons: 

            • Price point may be a bit high for casual home chefs.
            • The stylish blade design might be more than some butchers prefer. 

              

            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. The Frost Fire Series 3.5" Paring Knife

                The Frost Fire Series 3.5" Paring Knife

                Dalstrong’s Frost Fire Series is a collection of light-weight, razor-sharp steel knives with an icy cold look. Not only do they look absolutely stunning, but they are absolute powerhouses when it comes to performance.

                PROS:

                • Beautiful “frosted” look thanks to a precision-based sandblast finish. 
                • Engineered with a 7-layer high-carbon steel with added cobalt and expert heat-treatment.
                • Extremely sharp, at a 16-18° degree angle per side.
                • Slender, ergonomic white-resin handle with a beautiful honeycomb finish. Feels great, looks great.

                CONS:

                • The “frosted” look might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
                • For certain uses, you might want a slightly longer blade.

                  2. Omega Series 4" Paring Knife

                  Omega Series 4" Paring Knife

                  This is what we call “a statement piece.” The Omega Series 4 inch paring knife is a masterfully forged precision instrument. Its longer-than-average blade will provide improved effectiveness, and allows it to be used as a utility knife as well. It’s designed with various tasks at hand, so if you’re only looking to buy one paring knife today, this is our pick for you.

                  PROS:

                  • Made of ultra-premium American forged BD1N-V hyper steel.
                  • Due to its size, it can double as a nimble Utility knife.
                  • Extremely sharp edge, finished to  8-12° per side by expert bladesmiths.
                  • G10 woven fibreglass handle in midnight black with subtle dark red colorings.
                  • Extremely stylish, with a “LiquidMetal” pattern on the blade.

                  CONS:

                  • If you like a cleaner-looking design, look into the Crusader Series.

                    3. Quantum 1 Series 4" Paring Knife

                    Paring Knife 4" | Quantum 1 Series

                        Carefully designed to withstand the harsh environments of today's modern kitchen, the Quantum 1 Series knife is the epitome of culinary magnificence. Boasting extra-durable, ultra-sharp BD1N-VX steel that is uniquely designed with our Nova Prime blade pattern that reduces drag and increases efficiency, the focal point of the Quantum 1 Series has always been effortless prep that will leave you wanting more.

                        Pros:

                        1. Precision forged, ultra sharp, wear resistant, single-piece, high carbon American BD1N-VX steel at an astounding 63+ HRC, with an added vacuum heat seal treatment, earning the "VX" designation.
                        2. The edge is painstakingly hand sharpened to 8-12° per side, maintaining the perfect balance between blade sharpness and maximum resilience.
                        3. Uniquely designed with our “Nova Prime” blade pattern that reduces drag and increases efficiency.
                        4. Tall blade height gives knuckle clearance to assist with food preparation and chopping activity.

                        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. Quantum 1 Series 6" Boning Knife

                        Quantum 1 Series 6" Boning Knife

                        When it comes to boning poultry, meat, or even fish, The Quantum 1 Series 6" Boning Knife goes the distance. With its high carbon American BD1N-VX stainless steel blade painstakingly hardened to achieve 63+ Rockwell Hardness and its military grade G10 & Carbon Fibre Hybrid ergonomic handle, this boning knife will cut through bone, meat, and skin with scalpel-like precision. It’s also a beautiful addition to your knife block. 

                        Pros:

                          • Razor-sharp carbon steel blade. 
                          • “Nova Prime” blade pattern reduces drag and increases efficiency.
                          • Tall blade gives you better knuckle clearance for food prepping.

                          Cons:

                            • Compared to other 6” boning knives on this list, the price point might be a little high.

                              2. Phantom Series 6" Straight-Edged Boning Knife

                              Phantom Series 6" Straight-Edged Boning Knife

                              Butchering can seem like a daunting task for the uninitiated. With all the bone, muscle, fat, and sinew involved, you need the proper tools to achieve optimal results without causing a culinary carnage. Enter the Phantom Series 6" Straight-Edged Boning Knife: a ruthless Japanese boning knife with a premium Japanese AUS-8 stainless steel straight blade that will allow you to bone, trim, skin, and fillet meat with a single, delicate motion, leaving no room for debris.

                              Pros:

                                • Ice-tempered blade for superior edge retention.
                                • Gorgeous copper and brass mosaic on the handle.

                                Cons:

                                  • Might not appeal to chefs who prefer Western-style boning knives. 

                                    3. Gladiator Series 8" Boning Knife

                                    Gladiator Series 8" Boning Knife

                                    We complete this list with this absolute all-terrain performer. The Gladiator Series 8" Boning Knife’s flexible design is perfect for finessing your way around small bones and cartilages, taking the complexity out of the meat butchering process. In addition, its luxury black G10 Garolite handle perfectly tucks into the palm of your hand, offering maximum maneuverability. You can’t go wrong with this Dalstrong knife.

                                    Pros:

                                      • German ThyssenKrupp high carbon steel blade at 56+ Rockwell.
                                      • Premium quality workmanship.
                                      • Excellent price-quality relationship.

                                      Cons:

                                        • The length of the blade might be a little large for people with smaller hands.

                                          Carving Knives

                                          1. Shogun Series Butcher's Breaking 10" Cimitar Knife

                                          Butcher's Breaking Cimitar Knife 10" | Shogun Series

                                            A welcome addition to any butcher or serious chef’s arsenal, the Dalstrong Shogun Series 10” professional breaking knife is a powerhouse in nose to tail sectioning and portioning, allowing you to glide through steak like butter, trim briskets effortlessly and break down large game without getting lost in the meat.

                                            The Shogun Series blade is precision forged from a single piece of imported Japanese AUS-10V super steel with 66 layers of folded steel and features an enhanced vacuum treatment with nitrogen cooling for the ultimate in performance.

                                            Pros

                                            • The blade is hand sharpened to between 8-12 degrees per side, ensuring an ultra sharp edge with excellent wear resistance.
                                            • The curved blade is designed to create leverage, and complete cuts in a single motion without sawing.
                                            • The knife is expertly crafted and thoughtfully designed to masterfully slice through flesh, breakthrough cartilage and trim fat from beef, pork, poultry, fish and other meats.

                                            Cons

                                            • While its size is an absolute plus for me, those of you that are in the market for a longer blade might consider cutting your meat with a 12” knife instead.
                                            • This is a top of the line knife and as such the price point very much reflects that.

                                              2. Shadow Black Series 14” Slicing & Carving Knife

                                              Slicing & Carving Knife 14" | Shadow Black Series

                                              The Shadow Black Series features an exceptional grip, screamingly sharp cutting edge, and is engineered for optimal maneuverability. Designed from the ground up to be as sleek, aggressive and muscular looking as it is effective, the Shadow Black Series is sure to deliver the highest levels of satisfaction during your culinary journey.

                                              Striking from every angle, the unique handle geometry (inspired by the F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighter) features sharp, aerodynamic lines that cut the air and tuck snugly into your palm. 

                                              Pros:

                                              • Ruthlessly sharp, the Shadow Black Series edge is painstakingly honed by expert craftsmen to 16-18°– ensuring clean, precise cuts and excellent edge-retention.
                                              • Carefully tapered, the blade’s calculated geometry ensures the perfect balance between resilience and performance, creating minimal drag.
                                              • An intense heat-treatment followed by a deep-freeze nitrogen cooling process enhances hardness and flexibility.
                                              • The handle's tapered bolster ensures a comfortable pinch grip, while the angular G10 resin material is near impervious to kitchen damage and affords lifelong durability. 

                                              Cons:

                                              • Some prefer the military grade non-porous handle to the G10 camouflage handle.  

                                                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

                                                    A butcher in a white apron uses a sharp butcher knife to slice raw meat

                                                    10'' Butcher's Breaking Knife | Gladiator 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! 

                                                    Bonus : Check out Simply Meat Smoking's delicious smoked ribs recipe!

                                                    4. Frequently Asked Questions About BBQ Knives

                                                    butcher knife cutting into a ham

                                                    Butcher & Breaking Cimitar Knife 14" | Gladiator Series

                                                    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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                                                            You can also check in with our Expert Knife Finder Quiz and get specific recommendations based on your needs. 

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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.