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 - 47645 Cutlery Fibrox Pro Slicing Knife
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DALSTRONG - Slicing Carving Knife - 12" Granton Edge
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MAIRICO Ultra Sharp Premium 11-inch Stainless Steel Carving Knife
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SARUMA Meat Carving Knife Set - 3 Piece, Ultra Sharp, Rustproof Stainless Steel
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Victorinox - 47645 Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Curved Boning Knife, Semi-Stiff Blade
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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, 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)
- DALSTRONG – Slicing Carving Knife – 12″ Granton Edge – Gladiator Series – German HC Steel – w/Sheath (Best High-End)
- MAIRICO Ultra Sharp Premium 11-inch Stainless Steel Carving Knife (Best Budget)
- SARUMA Meat Carving Knife Set – 3 Piece, Ultra Sharp, Rustproof Stainless Steel
- Victorinox – 47645 Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Curved Boning Knife, Semi-Stiff Blade, 6-Inch
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.
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.
My Reviews of the Best Knives for Trimming Brisket
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.
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.
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ Comes incredibly sharp out of the box|
+ Grippy handle for maximum manuverability
+ Granton ricasso for minimal friction with the brisket
|– Doesn’t come with it’s own sheath|
Dalstrong is another company with a sterling reputation for their knife designs and durability.
This 12-inch long blade also features a slightly longer, ergonomically designed handle for better grip.
Each knife has a full tang, riveted to the handle materials for improved durability.
It also has a slight Granton in the ricasso, perfect for reducing the friction between the knife and your brisket.
It’s also incredibly sharp when it arrives, like all the knives in the Gladiator series.
With a knife this long it’s easy to have too much flexibility. Fortunately, this slicing knife has just enough bend to it’s design.
It also comes with it’s own sheath, making storage easier and much more effective. The sheath will keep the blade’s edge sharper, and prevent damage to the metal of the blade.
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ Extremely sharp design|
+ Holds a better edge that knives made from cheaper steel
+ Durable stainless steel design
+ Riveted full tang in the handle
+ Comes with it’s own sheath
|– Longer design can be harder to store in small kitchens|
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.
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|
+ Comes with it’s own storage container
+ Full tang riveted handle for added durability
|– Doesn’t hold an edge quite as well as knives made with better steel.|
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.
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. |
+ High quality steel maintains a superior edge
+ Includes everything you need to serve brisket and other large roasts.
|– Trimming knife isn’t offset, can make cutting slightly more challenging.|
The last knife on my list is focused on trimming specifically.
You won’t want to use this knife to slice your brisket, but it can manage all the pre-cooking prep work.
This is another Victorinox blade, with a sharp edge precise enough to help you shave off exactly the fat you want to get rid of and nothing more. Its handle is designed to help improve grip.
Made from non-slick coating the handle is designed to prevent twisting and accidental slips.
The most important feature of this knife is the slight upward tilt to the blade. That tilt gives you a lot more leverage to trim fat off the brisket. It’s also designed to help you see what you’re doing and where you’re cutting more easily.
Being able to see what you’re doing is important when you’re trimming brisket, especially when there is a layer of fat between you and the knife as you trim.
All in all, this Victorinox knife is a fantastic, purpose-built, addition to any home cutlery set.
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ Durable high-quality steel|
+ Non-slick handle design
+ Upward tilt to the knife gives you added leverage
|– 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!