Detailed Guide to Owning a Brisket Knife
Best Brisket Knives
- Butcher's Breaking Cimitar Knife 10" Shogun Series
- Carving Knife & Fork Set 9" Crusader Series
- Extra-Long Serrated Slicer 14" Gladiator Series
- Extra-Long Slicing & Carving Knife 14" Shogun Series
- Slicing & Carving Knife 10" Gladiator Series
- Slicing & Carving Knife 12" Phantom Series
- What Is A Brisket?
- What Is A Brisket Knife?
- Best Blade For Your Brisket Knife
- Dalstrong’s Best Brisket Knives for Slicing & Trimming
- Different Lengths In A Brisket Knife
- What To Look For In A Brisket Knife
- How To Trim A Brisket
- Frequently Asked Questions About Brisket Knives
1. What Is A Brisket?
A brisket is a single cut of meat that usually requires 6 to 20 hours to cook, depending on the degree of tenderness you want to achieve. A cow has two cuts of brisket on it, just above the shanks and below the chuck.
Pitmaster or not, you probably are aware that there’s very little room for trial and error since you can’t continuously travel back and forth to your grill to check the tenderness of your meat. It is almost as though it is the holy grail of all things BBQ.
Sure, a barbecue brisket might sound like a grueling and lengthy process, but you get to enjoy the flavor profile that this incredible cut of meat has to offer. At the end of a long day, you're going to want a brisket knife that is worthy of this accomplishment.
Call a few pals over to your backyard, get your best knife out, and devour your day's hard work!
Don't forget to serve this heavenly delight with a cool beverage of your choice. It doesn’t get better than that.
2. What Is A Brisket Knife?
Since we’re on the topic of briskets, it is only natural to talk about the necessity of a kitchen knife. However, there are so many options for the best brisket kitchen knife. There's the standard brisket knife, carving knife, slicing knife, or even an electric knife for larger cuts. Let’s get more into it.
You want everyone to eat with their eyes first, and that is perfectly acceptable!
Once you have your flavor locked into your marinade and then into your brisket, a well-balanced slicing knife is the only component left to take your meat to the next level.
So which type of knife do you pick? A carving knife? Or, any one of the many slicing knives out there?
How you slice your brisket has a great impact on flavor. To find the best knife for your brisket, there are a few key factors that you must remember before you move forward with your purchase.
3. Best Blade For Your Brisket Knife
The kind of blade on your brisket knife ultimately becomes the reason for your brisket’s failure or success when it comes to slicing. There is a variety available out there that are designed to serve a specific purpose. Here are the top 4 types of blades.
A serrated blade provides a clean and precise cut on all kinds of meats, without tearing through your protein. A knife with a serrated blade will also cut through tough muscle fibers and connective tissues.
Serrated knives have the same qualities as a bread knife, which is why the standard bread knife is also serrated.
Compared to some slicing knives and a stand-alone carving knife, a knife with a straight blade can sound less efficient. The key lies in the razor-sharp edge of the blade, so it's important to keep your favorite knife sharpener around when you’re ready to slice through your brisket.
Scalloped divots on the blade of your carving knife are crucial. When it comes down to slicing, a knife with a scalloped blade has the best of both worlds – A serrated blade and a straight blade.
Offering a much lighter touch than a serrated knife, slicing knives with a scalloped blade leave you with a clean-cut of your brisket, due to its non-stick properties and decreased friction.
4. Dalstrong’s Best Brisket Knives for Slicing & Trimming
Now that you have a vast knowledge of brisket knives and how just how important trimming your brisket is, let us walk you through Dalstrong’s best brisket knives for slicing and trimming.
Forged from a single piece of Japanese AUS-10V super steel and a total of 66 folded steel layers, you can consider this as an upgraded version of a steak knife. It is hand-sharpened with 8-12 degrees on each side, giving you the ultra-sharp edge you desire. The blade length on this brisket knife gives you the control you need over your meat while slicing it and excellent edge retention.
- 67-Layered Damascus that is sharpened under the ancient 3-step Honbazuke method.
- Triple-riveted and a full tang for maximum robustness.
- Tapered blade for decreased slicing resistance.
- Military-grade G10 handle for promised durability and an ergonomic grip.
- If you prefer a shorter or longer blade length, this knife may not be the best fit for you.
- If you don’t like a curved tip at the end of your blade, you can look for a different knife for slicing brisket.
Carving your brisket elegantly on the outside is just as important as packing it with flavors from the inside. This 9” inch carving knife and fork set are here to make the job easy for you. It is made with razor-sharp German ThyssenKrupp steel with a Rockwell hardness of 58+, delivering a sharp edge on the blade of this carving knife. The edge of each blade is honed by craftsmen who are experts at their job and have delivered a 16-18º angle on each side, ensuring precision.
- The blade on this carving knife is stain-resistant and tempered for resilience. The fuller groove on the spine provides you with the perfect balance while distributing hand weight evenly.
- The blade has a seamless transition into the handle which is made with high-chromium stainless steel.
- The ergonomic handle encourages unrestricted hand movement and easy maneuverability.
- The handle encourages free hand movement for slicing brisket.
- If you’re looking for a fibrox handle, the build of this carving knife may not work for you.
- If you’re looking for a classic such as a hollow ground brisket knife, this carving knife may not work for you.
This 14” serrated slicing knife from the Gladiator series is a must-have. Carefully engineered for all pitmasters, bakers deli-workers, and chefs, this serrated slicing knife cuts through delicate briskets without taking away any flavor or letting the juices seep out. With one slicing motion, you can get yourself a thin slice of meat without shredding or tearing.
- Full tang for robustness and resilience.
- Minimal slicing resistance for decreased friction and shredding.
- Hand sharpened to 16-18º on each side of the blade.
- If you’re looking for a smooth surface while slicing brisket, a carving knife with a straight blade would work better for you.
- The size and blade length in this slicing knife is a tad intimidating unless you’re a pitmaster.
Built for professional or equipped home kitchens, this slicing and carving knife has the perfect blade length to power through all tough cuts. It allows you to create uniform and thin slices of brisket meat with every motion of your hand. It is precision-forged with 56+ Rockwell hardness and hand sharpened to 16-18º per side. Offering full tang and a tapered design, slicing brisket has never been easier. It works as a great alternative for a bread knife or a fillet knife – Slicing through salmon and other fish.
- Premium quality ABS polymer handle for longevity and durability.
- Ergonomic handle shape that fits perfectly with the contour of your palm.
- Mirror-polished and equipped with a finer protective bolster.
- While some chefs may want this classic look, others may want a knife with a more artistic feel to it.
- A 12” inch slicing knife is better suited for slicing brisket, so perhaps, you’d want to opt for an alternative blade length. The same applies to a carving knife.
If you’ve got enormous culinary needs, this ‘extra-long’ slicing and carving knife makes slicing brisket look like a walk in the park. It has a traditional narrow tip, allowing you to create long and thin slices of brisket meat. Earning you a razor-sharp edge and scalpel-like sharpness, it has a staggering 8-12º degree angle per side. Featuring Dalstrong’s Tsunami Rose blade pattern, it is a knife you want to have in your kitchen.
- Rust and corrosion-resistant cladding to make your slicing and carving knife last longer.
- Hand-polished spine for a comfortable grip.
- Military-grade G10 handle for the durability of a lifetime.
- Intimidating blade length for the novice.
- The price could be out of pocket for you.
And, here are two bonus brisket knives that are worth mentioning!
Brisket knives from the infamous Phantom series are ingenious and versatile – Just how we like them. This slicing and carving knife is mercilessly sharp and yet again, honed by professional craftsmen to 13-15º with enhanced hardness, corrosion resistance traits, and flexibility. This powerful slicing and carving knife makes a powerful statement while resting on the cutting board beside your cooker. It is carefully engineered and designed with ice-tempered and high-carbon Japanese AUS-8 steel at a strong 58+ score on the scale of Rockwell hardness.
- The blade has high amounts of chromium for the ultimate stain-resistant body.
- A powerful tool for your slicing brisket while being low in maintenance. It cleans just as easily too.
- If you’re getting your grip around slicing and carving knives, a 10” inch blade would work better for you than this 12” inch blade.
- It has a rounded tip which could pose an inconvenience for you if you’re on the lookout for a narrow tip.
5. Different Lengths In A Brisket Knife
The length of your blade matters. This isn’t simply down to judging it by its appearance or intimidating build, but about investing in a brisket knife that provides you with an ergonomic handle, a great amount of dexterity, and decreased arm fatigue.
If you’re going to spend over 18-20 hours waiting for the meat to cook to your liking after marinating it for another 12-24 hours, it only makes sense for your brisket knife to make it easy for you in the end.
Generally, a 10”, 12” and 14” brisket knife does the job. While they aren’t massively different in size, they come with their advantages and disadvantages, purely based on preference.
Here’s everything you need to know.
A 10” chef knife tends to cut through smaller cuts of meats such as an 8 lb. brisket. It has a good length for beginners.
A 10” blade can also be used for slicing fruits, vegetables, bread loads, and smaller beef roasts.
In conclusion, a 10” knife is perfect for carving. It is also the easiest to hold without compromising the grip or injuring yourself in the kitchen.
Generally speaking, a carving knife with a 12” long blade has the perfect balance of robustness and resilience due to the sturdy spine of the knife. This length is perfect for slightly larger cuts of meats such as 10 to 12 lb. briskets.
When cutting larger cuts of meets, having a sharpened blade is important before slicing your brisket. Honing/Sharpening your knife prevents it from dulling, which makes slicing your brisket easier.
A 14” kitchen knife is better for larger cuts of meats, such as 13 - 18 pound briskets. This length is perfect if you barbecue for larger groups.
6. What To Look For In A Brisket Knife
Brisket knives are available in a wide variety. We know, it can get confusing. Here’s what you need to keep in mind before you make your purchase.
Manual Knife vs. Electric Knife
A Carving knife can be manual or electric. An electric carving knife consists of two blades that fit against each other that are held firmly in place by a small pair of rivets. The rivets allow the two blades to oscillate against each other in a back and forth motion. And the rivets are then fixed into the handle of the knife which extends the blades forward in a sturdy position.
An electric carving knife always has a serrated blade to it. So, when slicing, this allows for the knife to cut equal portions of the brisket. Electric knives have an in-built pressure-sensitive trigger as well which allows you to control the speed and the sharpness of your serrated blade. Ideally, an electric knife is used for carving and slicing ham or a turkey instead of brisket slices.
However, due to the serrations along the blade being accompanied by an electric pressure on one spot, you don’t always get a clean and precise slice of meat as you would with a straight blade, since a straight blade distributes the pressure evenly over the surface of the entire brisket.
Manual carving knives are a classic dinner table accessory. They normally have a long and sharp blade with a curved tip. The length of a manual knife makes it perfect to be categorized as a carving knife, since it assists you in longer strokes, making the process of slicing easier.
Thanks to the smooth blade, you can expect clean and smooth cuts of meat on your plate! This is why they’re preferred more than the slightly easier and time-convenient option of electric knives.
Investing in a manual knife is a great culinary decision if you're cooking a brisket since you can use them for slicing and carving other types of boneless meats, such as beef tenderloin.
Blade – Features and Material
As we’ve discussed the importance of blades in slicing and carving knives previously, let’s dig deeper and talk about how crucial the material and features are as well, to produce a smooth and finely sliced piece of meat.
If you’re a true knife enthusiast, you already know that the hardness of a knife is judged on the Rockwell scale. This is something both carbon steel knives and stainless steel knives have in common. Knives that are rated below 50 Rockwell aren’t as durable. This is why manufacturers try to reach a minimum of 65+ Rockwell.
Sure, knives that range in the mid-50s to 60s category may have a sharp edge, but they’re also more weak, brittle, and can dull more quickly than other carving knives. If you’re trying to strike the balance between sharpness and a decent amount of hardness on the Rockwell scale, pay close attention to its Rockwell number.
A carving knife has a blade that is longer and thinner than a typical chef knife. This allows for unrestricted movement and freedom when slicing through meat – Which is a crucial trait in a carving knife.
A dimpled blade, better known as a scalloped blade, creates many air pockets while decreasing friction at the same time. These tiny pockets of air between the meat and the metal is a core component if you want your carving knife to glide right through your meat and reduce dragging at any point. Then, with every slicing motion, you’re left with a stunning slice of your brisket that falls away in an even order.
There are many types of steel out there used to make an efficient knife. However, Stainless Steel and Carbon Steel are the most common types. This is what the 2 of them bring to the table. Quite literally.
Most carving knives are made with some sort of steel. But, it is wise to note that not all steel is created with the same properties, resistance, and durability.
The more carbon there is in steel, the harder it becomes. A hard piece of steel, such as a blade, can hold its shape better than others, making it much more durable.
While stainless steel is known for its anti-corrosive reputation, carbon steel has good edge retention and hardness. They do require higher maintenance than stainless steel knives and can be more expensive as well.
Carbon steel has a solid texture that prevents bending when slicing through tougher fruits and vegetables such as melons and carrots. But, keep in mind that this also indicates that the blade on your carbon steel knife would also be much heavier than the standard stainless steel knife.
This alloy of iron and chromium adds anti-corrosion properties to your knife. Chromium is the main reason why these knives are always glistening due to their high-chromium content.
While they are deemed less attractive than carbon steel, they’re a classic necessity and essential in every household since they can bring you sharp blades, handles and allow you to cut and slice in wet environments.
If you have a carving knife that already has a razor-sharp edge on its blade, congrats! But, remember that if you want to retain the edge of your blade, you need to use a knife sharpener on your brisket knife or carving knife after every 3-4 times of slicing.
Weight and Balance
When we talk about weight and balance, the first thing you want to get right on your carving knife is the bolster. The bolster is the point at which your knife should balance. This is the section that connects the blade to the handle.
Don’t underestimate this little space of connectivity on your carving knife as it determines everything about the success of your slicing knife – Hardness, tang, robustness, spine, and edge retention.
It should have just enough heftiness that gives your knife evenly distributed weight. This is a deciding factor about how quickly or slowly your blade drives itself forward and backward. However, it shouldn’t feel too heavy either that it damages the texture of your meat and tears through it.
This is why electric knives can be a hit or a miss since they have motors that are built directly inside the handle. This can cause the bolster to be lighter than expected since the handle in an electric slicing knife holds the bulk. So, make sure you know what works for you.
We’ve discussed the three most common blade lengths that pitmasters or home chefs opt for – 10” inches, 12” inches, and 14” inches. However, the core principle that is the deciding factor of the length/size you go for depends on the slicing motion that is most comfortable to you. This means you need to figure out what length/size offers you the best grip and execution.
The handles on most carving knives are anywhere from 4” inches to 8” inches. But, when it comes down to a bulky brisket, you want a carving knife that helps you attain large and thin slices of meat in a sawing motion rather than a slicing motion.
An electric knife has a blade that ranges from 7” inches to 9” inches in length. This, of course, is due to the motor-heavy handle and blade. You can slice brisket with a shorter blade than a longer one, and still get large pieces of meat than you would with a manual knife.
A manual carving knife ranges from 8” inches to 14” inches, since the blade does most of the work, especially the edge, followed by the spine. The 8” inch carving knife is ideal for slicing hams, whereas an eight to ten-pound turkey would require a 10” inch carving knife.
As for a large roast or a brisket where you need a sturdy slicing knife that gives you thin slices, you will need a 14” inch carving knife.
The most interesting aspect about a carving knife while slicing brisket is its handle. The Handle of a carving knife is available in a variety of materials like plastic or steel, and natural materials such as wood.
Handles made with natural wood need more care and attention. It is even better if you add a few drops of mineral oils to preserve it! You can choose from petroleum-based or highly-refined oils that are packed with minerals and no toxins.
Today, you would notice that many carving knives have handles made with durable plastic resin. They press and sandwich around the tang to provide an ergonomic shape into the contour of your palm, benefitting you with a sturdy hold and grip.
Additionally, a good number of carving knives now come equipped with a deep guard that wards off your hand from sliding and moving forward onto the blade while slicing.
7. How To Trim A Brisket
Now that you’re well knowledgeable about all things regarding slicing and carving knives, let's walk you through the process of trimming. This is an easy process if you have the right tools with you.
Pick your brisket. You want to go with a brisket that is tough enough to take the heat, but also one that isn’t the right size and would not fit into your cooker. The best size of brisket that is recommended is one that is between 15 to 17 pounds. Always go for the brisket with a decent marbling of fat.
The night before the cook, get your brisket out of the packaging, rinse it and pat it dry. Now, while your brisket rests on the countertop of your kitchen, it is time to get your boning knife out for a seamless trimming process.
Now, it’s time to lay your brisket out on your cutting board, fat side up. Work your way up towards the side of the brisket’s point at an upward angle. Your boning knife should now reach towards three types of fats – Leather skin-like fat, wax-like, dense fat, and a more delicate kind of fat.
At this stage, your boning knife should be parallel with the brisket. Then, make a cut that is long enough to hold the fat with a hand opposite to your working hand. The fat should move apart as you trim it.
You should continue to work from the flat side up and towards the point side. At this stage, your boning knife should meet with an accumulation of thick and waxy fat. Work through this with a little patience and you should have yourself a clean piece of brisket that is ready to be marinated.
The trimming and removal of excess fat from your brisket have saved you about 4-6 hours of cooking time, which is a bonus when it comes to cooking your brisket since it already consumes anywhere from, 12-20 hours. You can always cook the excess fat as a sausage if you’d like, otherwise, it mostly belongs in your bin.
8. Frequently Asked Questions About Brisket Knives
What type of knife is best for brisket?
Any slicing and carving knife with a straight, serrated, or scalloped blade from 10” inches to 14” inches works perfectly.
Why is a brisket knife rounded?
The rounded tip makes slicing brisket convenient with each stroke, as it acts like a little wheel to angle slices of meat in a uniform manner. The name for a slicing and carving knife with a rounded tip is called a hollow ground brisket knife.
How long should a brisket knife be?
Ideally, a brisket knife should be anywhere from 10” inches to 14” inches long.
What knives do professional butchers use?
Professional butchers use a classic butcher knife or a boning knife. It is also called a breaking knife. They allow you to tear and glide past cartilage, fat, meat, and small or large bones.
Written by Ananya Tiwari
Ananya loves the fine things in life. When she isn’t penning down poetry or song lyrics, she spends her time cooking and creating recipes while also enjoying new cuisines.