We at Dalstrong have something in common with Pit masters – Our love for barbecue cooking. Let’s get into some of these pitmasters' picks right away.
1. What Is A Pitmaster?A pitmaster is a barbecue aficionado that knows their way around the grill or a smoker. Pitmasters also know their knives very well. People eat with their eyes first, and barbecue cooking adds rustic grunge to that. Whether that’s cooking pork shoulder, pulled pork, beef ribs, spare ribs, or pork butt, Dalstrong has you covered. Want to nail BBQ pork or BBQ chicken as a beginner? You can take courses like this ultimate online pitmaster course, or follow the tips laid out below.
2. The Best Pitmaster Tips And Tricks For BeginnersOur top pitmasters shared these insights and tactics they love when it comes to barbecue cooking.
Choosing WoodCertain woods are toxic and will destroy your barbecue pit, and no amount of pepper flakes, BBQ sauce, or barbecue and grilling trick will save it. Wood such as hickory is excellent. They give the meat a smoky aroma. If you can’t find hickory wood chips, feel free to choose oak, apple, or cherry wood chips instead.
Raw coal is a big no. When you’re at barbecue restaurants, you may have noticed lit-up coal at the rescue smokers. If for instance, you’re cooking spare ribs by yourself, try having smaller grills or rescue smokers around with smaller chunks of coal constantly lit up and burning.
Top pitmasters avoid using any fluid from lighters or charcoal briquettes that are doused in fluid from lighters. Using high-end charcoal briquettes is the first step to mastering all barbecue and grilling skills.
Barbecue And Grilling The Meats
It’s not necessary to brine meat when you’re at the barbecue pit – This is a misconception. Barbecue cooking is always slow. So, you don’t need to brine at all, as that’ll leave you with flimsy and soggy pieces of meat.
The best rub to start with when you’re a beginner is by mixing brown sugar, pepper flakes, kosher salt, juice of one lemon, and chili flakes in a bowl. This will give your meat all the juiciness it needs to make your mouth water. And, don’t fret – The meat will fall off the bone.
3. Top Dalstrong Picks By Pitmasters
When we asked Alex about his favorite tools to use as a pitmaster, he said “I really fell in love with the Omega series, if I had to choose one. It’s so big, allows me to slice and scoop veggies, very versatile. I really like Phantom and Shogun as well. For the look, price, and functionality you can’t get a better knife.” A personal favorite of his is the Kiritsuke knife from the Omega series, and we totally get it!
1. Kiritsuke Chef's Knife 8.5" Collector Set | Omega Series
This knife is for the brave. With a blade length of 8.5 inches, this knife minimizes friction and drag, which keeps you away from the hassle of stuck-on foods. This knife has a tapered blade for very little slicing resistance and a handle that offers a non-slip grip and an ergonomic feel.
- Scalpel-like sharpness.
- Full tang for all the robustness you need.
- This chef’s knife is an expensive investment, but if you spend time in the kitchen whipping up delicious meals, it’s a great purchase to make.
- You may not find the ‘LiquidMetal’ pattern appealing, although it would stop food from sticking to the blade.
When Jabin P. was asked about his favorite barbecue and grilling tools, he said “A super-sharp Dalstrong knife is essential. The Shogun Series Chef Knife is my favorite addition to my setup.” Here’s everything you need to know about it.
2. Chef's Knife 7" Shogun Series ELITE
Designed with scalpel-like sharpness, this chef’s knife has a full tang and is triple riveted for all the robustness you need in the kitchen. The blade is corrosion and rust-resistant and the handle is a military-grade G10 to last you for decades on end and is perfect to chop up some BBQ pork.
- Cleans easily.
- Hand-polished spine.
- The blade is cryogenically tempered for sturdiness.
- This knife has a higher price tag than other chef’s knives.
- You may prefer a longer blade length to elevate your culinary vision.
Just like us, Mel Chmilar, Jr. can’t live without his Cimeter from the Shogun series. Let me walk you through all the qualities of this knife.
This cimeter from the Shogun series has incredible edge retention and a blade made with 67 layers of Damascus steel. Not only is this knife rust and corrosion-resistant, the handle is made with military-grade G10 for durability. The tip of this knife is ideal to ‘break’ pork shoulder and BBQ pork in general.
- The blade is hardened at 62+ Rockwell.
- Hand-polished spine to offer a tremendous grip.
- Could be a little too much blade for the novice.
- You may prefer a handle made entirely with stainless steel or Damascus steel.
Chuck Matto’s favorite Dalstrong tool to work with is the 7-inch Barong from the Gladiator series and let us tell you why.
The blade is made with high-carbon German ThyssenKrupp steel and has the perfect balance of resilience and sharpness. The knife is tapered for comfort and flexibility. The handle has a comfortable pinch grip and is impervious to moisture, heat, and cold – Everything you want in a knife.
- Stain-resistant blade which is a must if you’re a barbecue pitmaster who’s experimenting with BBQ sauce and marinades.
- Low in maintenance and cleans quite easily.
- The appearance of this knife may feel a little out of the ordinary if you’re all about traditional cutlery.
- The blade length could be intimidating if you’re not a seasoned cook.
If you too, like Guga, love the Shogun series, you’re going to love his favorite product from the series even more.
5. Slicing & Carving Knife 12" Shogun Series ELITE
The blade has elegantly engraved divots that minimize friction significantly. With 67 layers of Damascus, this is a knife that is not only rust and corrosion-resistant but also sturdy and robust. The handle has a non-slip hand grip which is ideal for pit masters that slice and carve large beef briskets, pulled pork, pork belly, or BBQ pork often.
- Full tang blade that was designed to make this knife last a lifetime.
- The tapered bolster provides finger protection and a comfortable pinch grip.
- If you’re learning your way around the barbecue pit, the length of this blade could be slightly overwhelming.
- Since this is a premium quality knife with a long blade length, the price tag is a tad higher, too.
4. Top Pitmasters And Their Favorite Barbecue Tools
Let’s talk about the tools BBQ pitmasters like Aaron Franklin, Johnny Triggs, and Tuffy Stone used. For each of their favorite tools, we’ll list Dalstrong products that can help you at the barbecue pit.
Aaron Franklin’s name is etched into barbecue history, and rightfully so. Owner of Franklin’s Barbecue and recipient of the James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef: Southwest in 2015. Making 106 beef briskets a day, his go-to tool is a scalloped knife or a knife with divots.
So, here’s Dalstrong’s famous Cimeter knife with divots – The Butcher & Breaking Cimeter Knife 8" – that can help you achieve similar results on beef briskets, pulled pork, and beef ribs as Aaron Franklin.
Breaking knives with scalloped edges or divots along the blade create less friction and stop meats like pork belly and pork butt from sticking to it. This knife is made with high carbon German ThyssenKrupp steel and is hand-sharpened to 16-18º per side. The handle is ergonomic and cleans easily.
- Sharp tip to flip and pick up meats at the barbecue pit.
- Impervious to moisture, cold, and heat.
- It may be a little ‘too much blade’ for some folks.
- You may be looking for a shorter blade length if you don’t work with large pieces of meat.
Johnny Triggs is a celebrity chef from Texas, United States. He appeared on TLC’s TV show BBQ Pitmasters and made his mark in barbecue history. He was BBQ pitmasters grand champion twice. Johnny owns Smokin Triggers – A barbecue restaurant. When at the barbecue pit, Johnny Triggs oscillates between using an electric knife and a long carving knife.
Here’s Dalstrong’s infamous slicing and carving knife to help you perfect your barbecue cooking, not just on the smoker, but when it’s time to slice and carve the meat for the perfect bite.
This knife from the Phantom series is made with premium Japanese AUS-8 steel with chromium for stain resistance. The structure of this knife makes it very easy to clean, and the tapered blade design only adds to that characteristic. The handle is made with premium quality Pakkawood imported directly from Spain – Truly adding the ‘L’ in luxury.
- The blade’s spine has a comfortable pinch grip and is super flexible.
- Low in maintenance, thanks to its eloquent satin finish.
- Not big on barbecue and grilling? This knife may seem slightly overwhelming.
- Looking for a carving knife and fork set instead? The ultimate package of Dalstrong goodness awaits you here.
Tuffy Stone is an American celebrity chef who has appeared on the TV show BBQ Pitmasters. He is known for cooking succulent BBQ chicken, smoked brisket, and great dinner recipes. Tuffy Stone loves using a boning/filet knife for his barbecue cooking.
Here’s our boning knife that can help you achieve uniform slices of meat like Tuffy does.
8. Boning Knife 6" Crimson Red ABS Handle | Shogun Series
This boning knife has a 6-inch blade which is ideal when working on BBQ chicken wings and BBQ ribs. Made with a Japanese super steel core, the blade has corrosion and rust-resistant properties which increases the knife’s durability.
- Dalstrong’s copper mosaic enriches the striking appearance of the handle tenfold.
- Ergonomic grip that is impervious to extreme temperatures and moisture.
- If you’re aiming for the ‘top pitmasters’ spot, you may prefer a longer blade.
- Not a frequent pellet smoker? Then, this knife may seem overwhelming.
5. Frequently Asked Questions
What is a pitmaster?
A pitmaster is someone with great knowledge about working a barbecue pit or a pellet smoker to cook large cuts of meat like BBQ brisket and smoked ribs. They also have extensive knowledge about BBQ knives.
How do you become a pitmaster?
Along with a high school diploma, you would need experience of more than 2-3 years in the restaurant industry. And of course, culinary school is a great way to pave your path for the title of the ‘top pitmaster’.
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Written by Ananya TiwariAnanya 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.