Deliciously flaky, soft, and tender, briskets are one of the best roasts for special occasions and family dinners.
Everyone seems to appreciate the tenderness of a good brisket. That’s not to mention the intense flavor all the best briskets seem to have.
Many people think that preparing your own brisket is all about the cooking method, and forget that slicing your brisket can be just as important.
The way you slice your brisket can make a huge impact on how tender the meat is. It can even impact flavor since releasing all the juices in your brisket while slicing or trimming means leaching all the flavors out as well.
Since brisket is higher in fat content than many other cuts of meat, it should be saved as a treat. One you absolutely want to get right!
Briskets are also more delicate than most roasts which makes it even more important to use the right tools. Using the wrong knife can mean too much fat left on your brisket in the trimming stage. Worse, when it comes time to slice your brisket you may be unable to get perfect slices instead of shredded chunks of meat.
Having the right knives to trim and slice your brisket is critical. You may even want specialized knives just for slicing brisket since it’s so different from other roasts and large cuts of meat.
Not sure how to cook a great brisket? Learn about the process here.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- Which knives are designed for brisket
- Which features make the biggest difference in knife performance
- And much more!
Below is a quick list of my favorite knives for trimming brisket. Keep scrolling to learn more of my top tips to choose and use the best knives for brisket.
Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro Slicing Knife
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Wüsthof CLASSIC Two Piece Carving Set
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MAIRICO Ultra Sharp Premium 11-inch Stainless Steel Carving Knife
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SARUMA 3 PIECE SET - Meat Carving Knife Set
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Zelite Infinity Slicing Carving Knife 12 Inch
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What's in this Guide?
My Overall Top #1 Pick: Victorinox Swiss Army – 47645 Cutlery Fibrox Pro Slicing Knife, Granton Blade, Black, 12-Inch
Everyone knows about Swiss Army Knives, and it shouldn’t surprise you that the company behind them also produces top-notch kitchen cutlery.
Victorinox is one of those rare companies whose products deserve premium pricing, but that don’t come with that kind of price tag.
Their knives aren’t necessarily as aesthetically pleasing as some other premium brands. Instead, every detail is focused on utility.
This slicing knife is no exception. With a Granton blade to help create air pockets between the meat and the knife (learn more about granton and other critical features that differentiate a high-quality versus a lower-quality knife), a sharp edge, and incredibly gentle cutting power, this knife is perfect for even the most delicate briskets.
It’s ergonomic handle is another bonus of this design. The handle doesn’t get slippery or twist in your hands thanks to the slick-proof plastic.
While a rounded tip may not be ideal when it comes to carving knives, it’s the better option when it comes to brisket knives. Rounded tips are less aggressive. You’ll be cutting with the center of the blade instead of the tip, which also means you’re less likely to tear meat and more likely to smoothly slice it.
This knife isn’t necessarily the cheapest option out there, but it’s well priced for it’s quality and function. Overall, it’s hard to find anything to complain about with this brisket knife.
Top 5 Best Knives for Trimming Brisket
In a hurry? Check out our top 5 picks below! Keep reading to learn more about these salmon fillet knives.
- Victorinox Swiss Army – 47645 Cutlery Fibrox Pro Slicing Knife, Granton Blade, Black, 12-Inch (My Top Pick)
- Wüsthof CLASSIC Two Piece Carving Set (Best High-End)
- MAIRICO Ultra Sharp Premium 11-inch Stainless Steel Carving Knife (Best Economic Option)
- SARUMA Meat Carving Knife Set – 3 Piece, Ultra Sharp, Rustproof Stainless Steel (Most Complete Set)
- Zelite Infinity Slicing Carving Knife 12 Inch (Best for Large Cuts)
What are the Advantages of a High Quality Knife for Trimming Brisket?
Brisket is one of the most delicate and picky cuts of meat you can work with. Done right, the meat is moist, flavorful, and tender. But to get the most of your cooking skills you need a knife that finishes the job well.
Clean slices are critical for maintaining the best possible flavor and moisture in your brisket. Cheap knives tend to leave more ragged tears, which have more surface area and let more of the flavorful juices inside your brisket evaporate.
Clean slices have minimal surface area. That means that a much smaller section of the meat dries out.
It’s also important to get a high quality knife to trim or slice your brisket because high quality knives will have a little more flexibility. Flex in your knife actually gives you better control. A knife that flexes a little is easier to use cutting around sections of fat in your brisket.
It’s also easier to create the shape and size of cuts you want with a higher quality knife.
Of course, there are other benefits of buying a high quality knife that aren’t brisket-specific.
For one thing, truly high-quality knives will probably never need to be replaced as long as you take care of them.
High quality knives also use much better steel than cheaper competitors. Better steel means a better edge on your blade. A better edge means cleaner slices and better tasting brisket.
Premium knife manufacturers also tend to put a lot more time and effort into the design of their knives. Better designs make your knives longer lasting and more effective for their intended purpose.
Those designs can also keep you more comfortable by reducing hand and arm fatigue while using your knife.
In general I recommend buying the best knife you can afford, not just because you want to make sure you have a high-quality knife, but because it’s ultimately cheaper to spend more money upfront and less money in maintenance and replacement costs later.
How to Pick the Best Knife for Trimming Brisket
There are two things that people tend to think about when they think about a knife for trimming brisket. One is a trimming knife, used to remove excess fat from the brisket before cooking. The other, more common knife, is actually a slicing knife used to carve and serve brisket.
Don’t worry, I’ve included a trimming knife along with several slicing knives in my list.
While the two styles are fairly different, there are some common traits you should look for in both sets of knives. I’ll cover the common traits, as well as features you should look for in each style of knife in this section.
It’s important that you have a knife long enough to slice your brisket in one smooth motion. This is important whether you’re slicing to serve the brisket, or using your knife to trim off some of the excess fat.
Having a longer knife is important because the smaller sawing motions you have to make with shorter knives create more ragged cuts. Ragged cuts mean less juice will stay in the meat, resulting in a drier and less flavorful brisket.
You can get away with a knife that is a little shorter for a trimming knife. However, for a slicing knife you’ll want a blade that’s at least 10 inches long.
Slicing and trimming knives are both generally made from high-quality, relatively thin, stainless steel. These are knives that are used less often than your typical chef’s knives, so you’ll probably want to avoid high-carbon steel.
High-carbon steel just needs more maintenance and care than stainless. Since you won’t be using these knives as often they’ll need even more maintenance than other high-carbon steel knives.
The blade should be thin enough to flex slightly and durable enough to hold a sharp edge the whole time you’re cutting. The better quality the stainless the better edge your blade is likely to have.
Stainless steel is also a great choice for heavier knives, like meat cleavers that can be helpful for cutting though bone and processing large sections of meat. Keep that in mind if you want to process your own meat or want to learn how to cut your own brisket.
Trimming knives can be either serrated or straight-edged. They should come to a sharp point to help you work the knife into any fat or silverskin you need to remove.
Trimming knives are also often tilted up slightly from the handle to give you better leverage on the brisket.
Here’s a good video of the brisket trimming process so you can see what I mean about those trimming knives and how to use them.
Slicing knives are a little different. They should have a longer, straight-edged blade. Ideally, slicing knives should have a Granton blade because the reduced friction will make slicing faster and easier.
Slicing knives also have a curved tip since you won’t need to use the tip at all while slicing.
This video does have a little bit of an advertisement at the end, but overall the information they provide and the slicing technique is spot on.
When you’re looking for a great slicing or trimming knife for brisket it’s important to make sure it’s made from a material that doesn’t get slick when wet. Briskets are naturally higher in fat content and that fat content translates to moisture before and after cooking.
It should also be designed to fit comfortably in your hand. The better the fit the less likely it will twist in your hand and cause accidents while you’re cooking.
Flex in a slicing or trimming knife is important. The blade should have a little flex because it will bend slightly as you cut. Brisket is a naturally loose and flexible meat and your knife needs a little give to work with it well.
However, your slicing and trimming knives shouldn’t be entirely flexible, not like a fillet knife. Look for something that bends more than a chef’s knife, but not as much as a fillet knife.
Basically, a good brisket knife should be a lot more flexible than a great steak knife, which is why you shouldn’t try to cut steak with a brisket knife or brisket with a steak knife!
My Reviews of the Best Knives for Trimming Brisket
- 12 inch blade length
- Grippy polypropylene handle
- 17.4 inch total length
- 1 lbs.
This knife is a good blend of high-performance features and a high-grip ergonomic handle.
The Granton edge helps reduce friction with the brisket, which minimizes the risk of your brisket tearing or shredding while you carve.
It’s longer design (a full twelve inches of blade), also makes it much easier to cut smoothly through brisket. It also comes with a sharp enough blade to make slicing much easier.
Plus, the whole design is durable and long lasting. These knives are made by the same people behind Swiss army knives, and that means much higher durability. That durability combined with the effectiveness of the blade design make this blade easily my top pick.
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ Comes incredibly sharp out of the box, ready for use after a quick was|
+ Grippy handle for maximum maneuverability, also great for avoiding slipping on moist briskets
+ Granton ricasso for minimal friction with the brisket helps prevent accidental tearing and shredding
|– Doesn’t come with its own sheath for storage|
2. Wüsthof CLASSIC Two Piece Carving Set (Top High End)
- Hallow edge
- 6 inch carving fork
- 8 inch carving knife
- Polypropylene handles
This carving knife set comes with both the knife and a good long carving fork.
The length of the fork is important for brisket since it can help prevent the meat from flaking apart instead of cutting properly.
This is part of Wusthof’s Classic line, which are their high-end knives closest to the most traditional Western designs. This design does have one important innovation, the edge is about 20% sharper than previous versions of the knife. It also retains it’s edge longer, which means it’s easier to
The carving knife is a little different from many since it has a sharp pointed end. That’s a good option for skilled carvers though since it means that this is a more versatile knife that can also be used to help prepare brisket and other kinds of roast before cooking.
Wusthof also uses a much high grade of steel than most knife manufacturers, which means that their knives tend to outlast even other good stainless steel options.
It’s ergonomic handle is comfortable, even though this knife is a straight line knife without any angle to the blade. The high quality steel holds a sharp enough edge that you won’t need to work to carve with this knife like you might have to work with other, duller, knives.
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ Incredibly sharp blade helps reduce the risk of tearing the brisket|
+ Good German steel lasts longer and performs better
+ Ergonomic handle for added user comfort
+ Versatile blade design
+ Longer fork holds roasts better, helps reduce the risk of tearing or shredding
+ Granton blade helps reduce friction on the brisket for even better results.
|– Knife occasionally needs sharpening out of the box depending on shipping and packaging.|
3. MAIRICO Ultra Sharp Premium 11-inch Stainless Steel Carving Knife (Best Economic Option)
- 11 inch knife
- 17.9 inch total length
- 15.2 oz
- Ergonomic handle and balance
- Full tang
We all know that sometimes the prices of premium knives can be out of reach.
That doesn’t mean you have to settle for a low-quality knife to slice your brisket, or that you should substitute in another more versatile design.
This more affordable slicing knife still features all the core traits that are most important in a brisket slicing knife while still saving on cost to make it a more affordable design.
Its sharp edge is complimented by the granton blade, a full tang, and a classic handle design. The blade itself is very sharp out of the box, though you will need to sharpen it regularly for the best results.
It also comes with it’s own decorative storage container. That makes keeping this knife easy, and also makes it a good choice for a housewarming gift or other special occasions.
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ Granton design reduces friction and makes slicing your brisket easier and more effective|
+ Comes with its own storage container to help keep the blade sharper longer
+ Full tang riveted handle for added durability
+ Long enough for even the largest briskets
|– Doesn’t hold an edge quite as well as knives made with better steel.|
4. SARUMA Meat Carving Knife Set – 3 Piece, Ultra Sharp, Rustproof Stainless Steel (Most Complete Set)
- 12 inch carving blade
- 6.5 inch boning blade
- Bacteria resistant polymer handles
- Full tang design
- 1.98 lbs. total weight
This is a slightly different take on a trimming or slicing knife. Instead of just getting one, you get a full package of two knives and a carving fork. This set really does provide the most complete set of options to give you what you need for carving briskets and other roasts.
The knives and fork all have a full tang design. The tang is riveted to the handle for added durability.
Since this set is a more complete package, you don’t have to choose between a slicing knife and a trimming knife. More importantly, this whole set is relatively affordable, so a high-quality brisket and roast set isn’t out of reach.
Granton on the slicing knife helps reduce friction with the brisket, while the trimming knife is sharp and effective enough to cut through hard fat with ease.
While you probably won’t need the carving fork for most brisket, it’s still a nice addition to your kitchen set for other roasts and large cuts of meat.
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ Two knives and a carving fork included, perfect for all your carving needs including briskets and roasts|
+ High quality steel maintains a superior edge and lasts longer
+ Long carving blade is well suited to even the largest roasts
|– Trimming knife isn’t offset, can make cutting slightly more challenging.|
- 12 inch blade
- 15-18 degree cutting edge
- Hand finished edge
- Comfort grip handle
This longer carving knife is an excellent choice for families that like to eat large roasts.
It’s 12 inch length isn’t too long, it’s still comfortable and easy to use. The extra length is a good option since it makes the knife a little more versatile.
This taller design is also well-designed for larger roasts and tricky cuts of meat since it gives you a little more control. The taller design also helps prevent shredding or other kinds of damage to your brisket.
The high carbon stainless is perfect for brisket and other tender kinds of meat thanks to it’s low friction design and scratch resistance.
Extensive Granton on the sides of the blade also helps reduce the friction and makes this carving knife much easier to use.
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ Durable high-quality carbon stainless steel maintains it’s edge well for better carving|
+ Ergonomic handle design sits comfortably in your hand
+ Longer design is helpful for large roasts
+ Taller blade works better for thicker cuts of meat
|– Doesn’t come with any kind of cover or sheath|
My Top Pick: Victorinox Swiss Army – 47645 Cutlery Fibrox Pro Slicing Knife, Granton Blade, Black, 12-Inch
If you’re looking for a good slicing knife that’s durable enough to last a whole lifetime without breaking the bank, the Victorinox slicing knife is a great selection. Its 12-inch blade is perfect for slicing brisket since you’ll have more cutting surface to quickly create brisket slices.
It’s high quality steel maintains a good edge and only needs minimal maintenance and sharpening. You can sharpen this knife the same as your other kitchen knives, without damaging the granton on the ricasso.
The Victorinox Swiss Army – 47645 Cutlery Fibrox Pro Slicing Knife, Granton Blade, Black, 12-Inch is probably the last slicing knife you’ll ever need. Its biggest flaw is the lack of a sheath or cover, but with a good knife block or magnetic strip storage you’ll never need one.
Final Thoughts On The Best Knives for Trimming Brisket
Well cooked brisket is one of those things that easy to do once you know how and still impresses friends and family every time you do it. Having the right knives to help with slicing and trimming your brisket helps ensure that you get the best possible results. Without losing the flavorful juices inside the brisket.
Each of these knives is more than up to the task thanks to their sharp blades and granton.
See the results for yourself the next time you make a delicious brisket dinner!