You do not necessarily need to be an expert to trim a brisket. Just like for everything else in life, a little education and some research (plus lots of practice, of course) will put you in the right position. But on the same note, there are a few secrets that you can only discover with time – the hard way.
Technically, you can trim brisket with pretty much any knife. It will be a nightmare, and it will take lots of time and hard work. Frustration will inevitably kick in at some point or another, causing you to feel like quitting.
This is when you get it – finding the best brisket knife for this operation will make your life easier. This whole venture will become a breeze, while a little attention to small details will ensure a great final result. So, what should you know?
2020’s 3 Best Brisket Knives
Mercer Culinary M13914
Mercer’s best brisket knife is built to last and deliver. It comes with a solid blade – 14 inches. It might be longer than what you need, but it is a typical size among chefs. It also features the Granton blade, which means it will not tear or stick to the meat. The knife is also rated to last for a lifetime if properly looked after.
The handle is not to be overlooked, either. You have a combo of polypropylene and Santoprene. The mix ensures excellent durability, but a comfortable grip as well. You have textured areas on the handle to prevent slipping and add to safety – even a protective guard for your fingers. The blade is made of Japanese steel.
Maintenance is easy – the knife will face corrosion and rust. It will not take stains either. However, you have to hand wash it. It is not suitable for dishwashers, as they will most likely damage the blade in no time. A bar of dishwasher soap is more than enough. Also, dry it before storing it away.
- Build to last forever
- Great size for large pieces too
- Easy to keep clean and in good condition
- Can resist rust, abrasion, and corrosion
- Given the size, you will probably have to buy a knife cover separately for storage
Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Slicing
The Swiss quality standard is a good enough reason to consider this knife. It is one of the most versatile brisket knives on the market. It can carve and slice meat like no other. The tip is round, and more importantly, the blade carries the Granton quality standards. You will have the world-renowned air pockets that will reduce friction when cutting meat.
The blade measures 12 inches – more than enough to handle most pieces of meat. The edge is super shape out of the box, so you do not have to sharpen it. You can cut through a piece of meat with a single move. The blade is made of high carbon stainless steel so that it will maintain its integrity and efficiency for many years.
Handling has never been more comfortable. The so-called Fibrox Pro handle brings in an ergonomic appearance, as well as a non-slip grip. Even if your hands are sweaty or wet, the grip will not quit on you. Once you hold the knife, it feels like everything is perfect – from the actual shape to its balance.
- Amazing handle
- Durable blade
- No need to sharpen it upfront
- You will need to buy your sheath or storage bag
Mairico Ultra Sharp Premium
Mairico’s best brisket knife is what you need if you are after value for money. Given its price, you simply cannot go wrong with it. The performance is flawless – long blade, ultra-sharp, and precise cuts with little to no effort.
This is the most common size among professionals – 11 inches. You can quickly go through most meats – big roasts too. You have a great balance due to the weight distribution, as well as a secure fit to prevent accidents.
The blade is made of durable stainless steel – no rust or corrosion. The handle feels comfortable as you hold it and less likely to sleep – even when your hands get wet. Be careful with the maintenance, though – no dishwashers, but manual washing and drying before storage.
- Great value for money
- Easy to keep clean
- Non-slip and comfy grip
- Might need sharpening out of the box
Types of brisket knives
Brisket knives have a distinctive appearance. The blade has to respect specific standards to add to the efficiency of your cut. However, the last decade brought in a few innovations that can make your life easier. From this point of view, there are two types of knives to look for when hunting the best knife for trimming brisket.
The manual knife is classic. It comes with a long blade compared to the handle. It is lightweight, but the blade has a bit of weight forb a proper balance while slicing a smoked brisket. At the same time, you will have to put some pressure on it, so the edge has particular serrations to cut brisket without rough or uneven lines.
The thing with manual knives is that they ask for you to work. You will have to move the knife back and forward, but also put some pressure on it. It is, however, the most popular option on the market. People do not always embrace change, so they like sticking to classic stuff that is proven to work.
The electric alternative is an upgrade. This could be the best knife for slicing brisket if you want convenience and an easy job. The unit gets plugged in and works without you doing too much. You have to hold the knife and guide it in the right direction – nothing else.
It will move the blade and cut without any work, so it makes a good alternative if you are cooking dinner for a dozen people. This option is also suitable in a commercial environment, such as a restaurant. Since it comes with a little motor, it will cost more than the classic knife.
How to Choose the Best Brisket Knife for You
Choosing the best brisket knife is a matter of attention to small details, popularity, reviews, and your personal needs. Here are the primary considerations to pay attention to.
The size is one of the most relevant considerations. Sure, a pocket knife is probably the most compact option you can get, but it does not mean that you can slice brisket with it – unless you are taking on a survival challenge in the middle of nowhere. What you need is a long blade that can slice through long pieces. Ideally, the blade should be 10 inches or more in length.
This is a more important consideration because there are more types of blades out there. Choosing the best knife for trimming brisket involves understanding what each type of blade can do for you.
The straight edge will ensure a clean cut. Straight edges seldom tear the meat apart so that the cut will be neat and good looking. The problem is you might find it difficult starting the actual cut.
A serrated edge is more common and will ensure a good start – forget about struggling with the hard crust. The final cut is not that neat, but it is still good enough.
The scalloped edge is somewhere between the options mentioned above. You have a clean-cut, but you can also start it without damaging the meat.
Finally, the Granton style comes from a company that invented this style. The blade has a straight edge, but it also features indentations to reduce the drag. This type of blade will not stick, tear the meat, or damage it. It seems to be the most appreciated option on the market these days.
Choosing the best knife for slicing brisket also implies considering the handle, yet this part is often overlooked. After all, a comfy handle will make slicing brisket a breeze. A problematic one will make it a nightmare.
Some knives come with a full tang. Others come with a partial tang design. There are more options when it comes to attaching the blade and handle together, and each of them has both pros and cons. Generally speaking, the fewer parts you have, the more durable your knife will be.
The material is worth a shot too. You will find lots of options – different types of plastics, even metals or rubber. Wooden handles dominate the market – more options out there. They are durable and can ensure comfortable use.
Think about the shape then. It is a matter of personal preferences, so you need something that will ensure a good grip and full control to prevent injuries.
Last but not least, the handle must have a non-slip surface – also a matter of injuries and incidents.
Materials add to the overall quality. Generally speaking, they work on the efficiency of your knife, as well as its durability. Many professional knives feature steel and stainless steel. These are the primary materials out there. It is easy to tell why. They can resist abrasion and corrosion, but also rust. Maintenance is insignificant too.
Stainless steel provides better resistance in front of rust. On the other hand, steel is much easier to sharpen and keep sharp. Both materials will last you for ages if well maintained.
There are other options out there, but they seem to be too sophisticated. While they might have some extra benefits, maintenance may ask for too much. At some point, you might feel too frustrated even to use the knife again.
Last but not least, the best brisket knife out there will have a good reputation. You need a product made by a reputable manufacturer – lots of positive reviews and an excellent overall reputation.
Can I use a bread knife as a brisket knife?
Usually, you can use any knife as a brisket knife. As long as it goes through the meat, it will work. A plastic knife might be the only thing you cannot use. The results will not be too encouraging with bread knives – uneven cuts, rough edges, and so on.
As a general rule of thumb, you will require a sharp knife and a long blade. You must be able to push it through meat, but also pull it in even strokes, without too much hassle. You do not necessarily need a fancy knife – just something that can slice through brisket without too much pressure.
How should I normally care for my brisket knife?
Most brisket knives come with simple maintenance instructions. Unless you get such a knife in one of those inexpensive sets with a million knives that quit on you one at a time, most specialized knives only require a little attention.
Typically, you should clean your knife as soon as you are done. Do not throw it in the dishwasher. Instead, wash it manually with regular dishwasher, rinse and dry it before putting it where it belongs. A proper storage area is also recommended – rather than in a drawer with dozens of other pieces.
How long should the brisket knife blade be?
It usually depends on how big your piece of meat is. Most chefs will recommend going for at least 10 inches. If you go for less than that, you will fail to maintain a straight even cut on your brisket. On the same note, longer is not always better, as a very long blade may also feel uncomfortable to use.
In the end, the best brisket knife for other people may not always be the best for you, but it is still highly recommended to go with a top-rated product. Make sure you know what size suits you (bigger is not always better) and consider the types of foods you need it for.