Holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics, loves traveling and learning new languages. Fluent in Spanish, is learning French and Czech at the moment. Enjoys exploring national cuisines every time he visits new countries.
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous online and offline grilling masterclasses runs his own BBQ accessories shop.
Last updated: June 30, 2021
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In today’s world, is it wise to own a knife that finds it difficult to slice through a thin piece of meat? We don’t think so, especially with the advent of high-quality, razor-sharp knives that are designed to smoothly glide through even the thickest of meats.
As a lover of barbecue (BBQ), you’re probably searching for the best knife that can help you in your preparation. Trust us, there is no shortage of such knives but you have to look for them in the right places. To make things much easier for you, we went looking for the best BBQ knives. After testing many products, we found the best among them to be those designed with high-quality steel for exceptional sharpness and durability. Using other important features, we’ve picked the best seven BBQ knives on the market.
Every chef loves a high-quality knife that helps them get the job done in split seconds. Little wonder that the J.A. Henckels International Classic Chef Knife is the first among the best knives for BBQ on our list. The knife is fully forged from high-quality German stainless steel. Also worthy of note is the handle material which is made from plastic. Plus, the handle is ergonomically designed and triple-riveted, thus providing balance and comfort.
Besides, the J.A. Henckels chef knife’s blade is finely honed, making the knife a great option for someone who wants long-lasting sharpness. Measuring 8 inches in blade length and 4.72 inches in handle length, this kitchen tool offers easy handling for chefs who love long knives. Furthermore, this knife is perfect for you if you want a tool that chops, minces, slices, and dices.
Why are we impressed?
The knife features a fine-edge blade that is honed for precision cutting and long-lasting sharpness. We sure liked the excellent blade. Not only that, but we also liked that the German stainless steel provided strength and durability for continued use. Plus, the knife is dishwasher safe, making it very easy to clean and maintain.
What negatives must you be aware of?
When testing the knife, the grip didn't convince us. It just didn't feel too good in our hands and we felt this could be better balanced. Also, it feels like a downgrade compared to its predecessors.
What if you don’t want a single knife for your BBQ? We have just the perfect alternative for you in the Mercer Culinary M21820 8-piece knife set. The set contains a chef knife, paring knife, Santoku knife, slicing knife, bread knife, boning knife, honing steel, and a pocket bag. The knives’ blades are made from high-carbon Japanese steel. The handles are also made from a combination of polypropylene and Santoprene.
Moreover, the Mercer Culinary M21820 knives’ Japanese steel construction makes their blades easy to maintain and sharpen for a razor-sharp edge. If you’re also on the lookout for a knife that is very easy to handle, you don’t need to look further because the knives’ textured finger points deliver grip, resistance, and safety. Another impressive feature of the knife set is the knife roll; a convenient heavy-duty case for the knives.
Why is it special?
We liked that the BBQ knife set offers us different knives to slice, bone, pare, and cut down meat. There’s also honing steel to keep the blades sharp while the knife roll keeps the knives stored in an organized setting. Plus, the knives’ textured finger points make them easy to grip and ensure safety. Lastly, we liked that the knife set comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
What are the flaws?
Although we liked that the knife set comes with a pocket bag, we felt that the bag's material could have been sturdier because the knives hardly stayed in place. Obviously, the pocket bag could be improved.
Third on our list is the equally impressive Cutluxe Slicing Carving Knife. The knife’s blade is made from high-carbon German steel. The handle, on the other hand, is made from luxurious pakkawood. We must also mention that the blade’s edge is hand sharpened at 14 – 16 degrees per side, creating a plain and razor-sharp edge.
If you want to cut through meat effortlessly, you can bet on the Cutluxe knife to deliver thanks to its razor-sharp edge that delivers effortless slicing and carving. You don’t need to worry about the balance of the 12-inch knife if you love long knives, the handle’s full tang, triple-rivet, and ergonomic design provides you great grip and exceptional stability that ensures easy maneuverability and comfort.
What are its best features?
Apart from the knife’s steel razor sharpness, it is also engineered to 56+ Rockwell hardness for durable performance as well as stain and rust-resistant. The ergonomic handle is another thing we liked about this knife. Besides, the knife is polished and laminated for a sanitary build. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty against workmanship or material defects.
What could be improved?
The knife is quite long and needs a long handle to keep the balance but it disappoints with the short length of the handle. In our opinion, the handle could be slightly longer.
In your preparation for your favorite barbecue, there’s a huge possibility of you needing to chop meat. What better way to chop your BBQ meat than using the Imarku meat cleaver? The cleaver is made from high-carbon German stainless steel (7cr17mov) for long-lasting sharpness, easy edge retention, and maintenance. It measures 7 inches in length, making it just the right size with the right balance to butcher thick meat. Also, the knife’s handle is made from pakkawood.
Besides, the Imarku knife’s blade is hand sharpened at 18 degrees on both sides, creating a very thin and ultra-sharp thickness of 2.3mm. Don’t get us talking about the ergonomic wooden handle that provides great corrosion resistance and durability. Apart from that, it gives you a comfortable grip with high maneuverability.
Why are we impressed?
We liked that this is the cleaver to turn to if you need a model that doesn’t just butcher meat but does other things. This tool helps you to handle everyday kitchen tasks such as mincing, boning, slicing, chopping and cutting vegetables & meats. We also liked the rust and corrosion-resistant German stainless steel. The comfortable and sturdy handle is another feature you can’t but like.
What negatives must you be aware of?
The primary function of a cleaver is butchering large slabs of meat and you expect the tool to be heavy enough for the work but the Imarku cleaver lacks the required weight and heft. Of course, it could be heavier.
How much do you love the idea of a sharp knife that cuts through meat seamlessly without you needing to exert force on it? We are sure you do. The Cuisinart AC Electric Knife is the best electric knife for BBQ out there. It uses a stainless steel micro-serrated blade that easily cuts through not only meat but also bread. There’s also the ergonomic handle that is designed with user comfort in mind.
Moreover, the Cuisinart electric knife features a blade release button that allows quick, dishwasher clean-up and a safety lock button that instantly locks the knife after the trigger is released. Plus the ergonomic handle is designed for comfortable left- or right-handed use. Apart from that, the electric knife set comes with a carving fork that makes serving your BBQ easy.
What do we love it for?
The electric knife features an ultra-sharp blade that cuts meats and slices bread smoothly. Then, there’s the comfortable handle that allows you to cut uniformly consistent slices, even with extended use. Also, the knife features a trigger on/off switch that turns the tool off immediately after the trigger is released, thus ensuring your safety. Plus, it comes with a bamboo cutting board.
What were we disappointed with?
The electric knife requires you to hold the large 'On' button while slicing meat and this can get your thumb tired. This button could have been made automatic without the need to hold it down during use.
What do you say about a knife that offers more despite costing less? We say, amazing! The blade of the Victorinox 47602 boning knife is made from stainless steel. It is flexible and curved, making it just perfect for smooth and clean cuts around the bone. Also worthy of mention is the knife’s pointed tip that easily pierces meat. Plus, the roll features an ergonomic Fibrox Pro handle that provides a non-slip grip.
Measuring 6 inches in length, the Victorinox 47602 boning knife is perfectly weighted and balanced for comfort and easy handling thanks to its ergonomic handle. If you love the feel of a balanced knife, this tool may be ideal for you. The curved and flexible blade provides a great working angle when cutting thin cuts of meat that are easily pierced.
What makes it special?
The knife features a non-slip, ergonomically designed handle that allows you to cut meat without resistance and also separate meat from the bone easily. The curved, yet flexible blade, also delivers accurate cuts for the perfect BBQ. Apart from being dishwasher safe, the knife comes with a lifetime warranty against workmanship and material defects.
What cons did we find?
The knife didn't hold an edge as well as we expected but this is not surprising given its stainless-steel construction. Notwithstanding, it could have been better forged.
After cooking your BBQ to satisfaction, you need the best knife you can find to get the best slices out of it. Trust us, we know just the ideal knife for BBQ slicing. The Cuisinart CGK-725 BBQ Slicing Knife is specially designed to slice through thick cuts of meat. It features a 9-inch ultra-sharp blade with scalloped edges.
With the blade’s edges, you can maximize your cutting surface and prevent meat from sticking to the kitchen tool. Also, the blade provides thin, uniform slices with minimal effort. Furthermore, the knife boasts a full-tang riveted handle that can be used to hang the tool or open a bottle. The handle is made from resin that won’t absorb moisture or stain.
What makes it special?
We liked the knife’s ultra-sharp blade for its precise slices and also the full-tang handle for providing a firm grip for great handling. Besides, the grill knife boasts a tip that can slice through difficult joints. It’s also ideal for deboning, trimming, butterflying, skinning, and filleting your meats with ease.
What cons did we find?
This knife is quite long and can be difficult to use for some people. Maybe it could have been better off without a few inches.
Things to Consider
There are several BBQ knives on the market and we understand how tricky choosing the best option can be. Thus, we’ve developed a comprehensive buying guide to help you in your quest to buy the best BBQ knife.
Types of BBQ knives
By now, you probably know that there’s no specific type of BBQ knives, instead, there are a few of them. When it comes to barbecuing, we identified the four types of knives you need to get the job done smoothly. We will explain each of them below:
Boning knife: According to Wikipedia, a boning knife is a kitchen tool with a sharp blade and a narrow point. This type of knife typically features a thick handle that provides a firm grip. The boning knife is used in barbecue preparation for trimming off meat fat and removing the bones of meat and fish.
Slicing knife: A slicing knife is another type of knife used for barbecue. Featuring a long blade and a curved or rounded tip, the slicing knife is typically used to slice your barbecue smoothly with no jagged edges.
Chef knife: A chef knife is perhaps the most popular of them all. It features a thick blade and a pointy end. Some variants feature scalloped blades. The chef knife is known for its all-purpose use, including cutting, slicing, trimming, and chopping.
Cleaver: A cleaver features a thick and heavy blade. It is known for breaking up tough, thick meat using a chopping motion. This is the kitchen tool you get if you need to chop thick slabs of meat, rather than trim or slice them.
How to pick the best BBQ knives
As we mentioned before, choosing the best BBQ knives can be tricky but it doesn’t have to be if you know the things to look for. Luckily for you, we’ve put together detailed information on the most important features to consider when picking the best barbecue knife.
When it comes to BBQ knives, there are two main materials used to design them: carbon steel and stainless steel. For them you can look up Rockwell hardness scale to determine the quality.
Stainless steel: Stainless steel is perhaps the most popular material for making BBQ knives as most of the products on our list suggest. It is easy to sharpen and doesn’t rust easily like carbon steel. However, stainless steel doesn’t stay sharp for a long time because it’s a softer metal.
NBC News quoted Frank Proto, the director of culinary operations at the Institute of Culinary Education, says:
Carbon steel holds a sharp edge but is hard to maintain while stainless steel does not hold an edge as well but is easier to maintain
So, making a choice should be based on your preference.
The handles of BBQ knives are often made from two different materials: plastic and wood.
Plastic handle: This type of handle is typically smooth and doesn’t have grooves capable of trapping dirt. It is also slightly textured for a more secure grip. This is a feature in the J.A. Henckels International Classic Chef Knife.
For a kitchen tool that you’ll be holding regularly, weight is a vital consideration. You don’t want a knife that makes you suffer wrist fatigue and you also want one that has some weight behind it to cut down thick foods.
Trust us, a lot of effort goes into making BBQ knives. You have to be quite committed to making one. For those of you who were wondering about the process of making such knife at home, watch this video for a comprehensive guide:
As we mentioned before, you can’t stop even the best knives from getting blunt at some point. To keep BBQ knives working optimally, they need to be sharpened every few months depending on the number of times they’re used.
Stainless steel BBQ knives are typically easy to maintain because they’re not prone to rust. They’re also easy to sharpen. If your BBQ knives are dishwasher safe, cleaning is easier. But if they’re not, wash them in hot, soapy water and dry them with a clean towel. Don’t leave them to air dry.
There’s no barbecuing without having the right knife/knives at your reach. As evidenced by the knives on our list, many features determine the best BBQ knife. The number one knife on our list – J.A. Henckels International Classic Chef Knife – is made from high-quality German stainless steel and features an ergonomic handle that provides the right balance. This knife is also dishwasher safe amongst other exciting features and it’s not surprising that it’s our editor’s choice.
Breathing down the neck of our editor’s choice is the Mercer Culinary M21820 8-piece knife set that includes different, helpful knives made from high-carbon German Japanese steel. Besides, the knife’s handle boasts textured finger points that provide grip, resistance, and safety. There’s also the Victorinox 47602 boning knife – our best value knife – which is made from stainless steel and features an ergonomic handle that gives you balanced handling. No doubt, you can get the perfect knife from our list of best BBQ knives.