BBQ Smoker Knives | 6 best knives for boning, carving and chef

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  June 4, 2019

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In any kitchen set up, having the right kind of equipment can be the difference between having a good meal and a not-so-good one.

Of course, cooking skills play a significant part, but even the most celebrated chefs can have a rough time when it comes to cooking without the right tools.

Let’s talk about those knives, what you’ll need for the perfect carve and which brands to get.

a chef is cutting the meat with a knife

When you combine excellent cooking skills with the right tools, the results are always remarkable. When it comes to BBQ, the essential things to have are meat, fire, and a good knife in that order. This is why you need to have the right knife for the right job.

Even since knives were invented, they have evolved a great deal. The caveman was probably looking for a sharp object to help him cut the meat from animals, but today we use knives to do much more than that. You will need a knife for cutting, chopping, slicing among many other jobs.

So, when you are buying a knife, you need to consider not only its quality but also its ease of doing its job. The market today is flooded with a million and one knives, and sometimes it becomes hard for BBQ lovers to buy the right knife and at the right price. However, before we jump to that, let us look at what to look for in a knife.

Ease of Use

How to buy a bbq smoker video x
How to buy a bbq smoker video

A knife is as good as it cuts and this is why you need a knife that cuts with ease. A good knife should naturally be easy to cut, and this is one of the first things that you should look for when buying a knife. You should also consider the specific use of the knife and the types of food you will be using it on. However, the underlying factor is that a knife should naturally do its job efficiently. Electric knives were probably introduced to help ease the efforts used in cutting, but for BBQ lovers, the manual knife remains the best option.

Material Used

Another factor to consider when considering a knife is the material used to make it. Even thou there are different materials used to make the blades, a steel blade is always the right pick. The harder the blade, the better since it will remain sharper for longer. Knives that have a range of between 52 and 62 HRC are probably the best.

It is also important to note that hard steel is good, but the harder the steel, the more likely it is to break or chip. Manufacturers mainly use two materials to make the blade: carbon steel and stainless steel. The carbon steel is stronger than stainless, but it is prone to discoloring and staining.

The Knife Handle

a set of knives

Handles are also an important point to consider since that’s the point of contact with your hands. Go for knives with a good grip so that you will be able to have the right control when using the knife. There should be a weight balance between the handle of the knife and the blade. This will ensure that there is an easier maneuverability when using the knife. When it comes to the long knives, ensure that it has an extended tang. This way you will be assured that it will not break easily.

As we mentioned earlier, different knives perform different tasks, and you need to know the purpose of the knife before purchasing it. Some of the most important tasks include tanning, slicing, and paring knives. Here we will look at the specific jobs in each category and the best knives in each category. Here we go:

Also read: the most delicious smoked nova salmon recipes to try

Boning Knives

It is often said the sweetest meat is always next to the bone. However, getting that meat is not an easy task, and this is why the boning knife was introduced. These are the knives that have a sturdy handle, and the blade is thin and measures about 5-6 inches long. Since the primary purpose of this knife is deboning and probably butterflying, it can either be stiff or flexible. Depending on the type of meat you usually deal with, the blade of this knife can either be curved or straight.

Here’s how to de-bone steak:


Most’ cue lovers prefer straight and stiff blades which makes it easy to work on the blade bones in pork or on chicken meat. Additionally, the knife is excellent on ribs as well as deboning fish. Here are some of the best boning blades in the market;

Dexter-Russell 6-inch boning knife

The Dexter-Russell is excellent for deboning with the blade measuring 6 inches long. The manufacturer uses plastic handle but doesn’t worry since it has a good grip and your hands will be prevented from sliding to the blade.

To avoid contamination, the safety guard of this hermetically sealed. The NSF has also approved the blade for use; hence there is no need to worry.

Also read: these smokers are the perfect BBQ grill for smoking meats

When it comes to the blade, the manufacturer uses carbon steel which is durable and ensures that the blade will last a very long time. The carbon steel also makes the blade maintain a razor-sharp edge for a long time. The carbon steel has a BPA-free polypropylene that adds to its quality.

Removing meat from certain areas is always delicate, and this is why you need this blade especially if you are looking to remove the meat cleanly. The thin sharp blade will also ensure that the blade not only eliminates the meat easily but also efficiently.

Even thou it is considered to be a medium grade blade, the Dexter-Russell 6-inch boning knife is an excellent addition to your kitchen. The knife is easy to clean and made in the U.S.

Check out prices and availability here

Zwilling J.A. Henckels 5 inch Professional’ S’ Deboning knife

Zwilling is a well-known German manufacturer who has a rich history of making quality products. The manufacturer has combined the use of carbon and stainless steel giving you a knife that is strong, durable and one that does not get stained.

This is a thin knife that is very flexible meaning that deboning meat, especially on joints, is easy and fast. The manufacturer goes for a classic 30-rivet handle which helps distinguish this knife from the other Henckels’s. The handle is relatively small for people with small hands.

Additionally, the vendor has ensured that the blades are less weight forward, but the handles are heavier meaning the users have a weight balance when using the knife. There is also a sturdy bolster that protects the hand from slipping to the blade.

When it comes to the construction of the knife, the manufacturer uses the Sigmaforge 1-piece precision construction that ensures there are perfect geometry and better stability.

Furthermore, since the construction of this knife is precision-forged, the knife has improved cutting-edge retention, and thus the sharpness lasts longer. The manufacturer has mastered the art of hand finishing knives, and this 5 inch Professional ‘S’ Deboning knife is no different, and thus it can maintain a laser-controlled edge.

This makes it very sharp and hence ideal for deboning. The manufacturer also provides a full warranty not only for this knife but for all its products. Even thou the knife is machine washable, Zwilling J.A. Henckels recommends hand washing.

This, among other qualities, are why this knife is considered to be a top-quality knife that makes deboning easy and efficient. It will be a top addition to your kitchen on top of being a worthy investment.

Check prices here on Amazon

Slicing Knives

a chef is cutting the grilled meat with a knife

On top of making excellent food, presentation is also another major point of consideration, and this is why you need to have the best tools for it. In this category, there are several types of blades to consider such as the straight, scalloped and serrated. The latter is best for slicing, but if you are looking to slice your brisket, you will definitely need the straight knife.

However, all the three need to be long, rectangular (the shape of a ruler) and the tips should be rounded. To reduce the drag, a good slicing knife should have scallops or hallow air pockets. This way, you will be able to make clean slices without shredding the soft meat. Here is one of the best slicing knives in the market:

Dalstrong Shogun Series 12” slicer knife

This knife is not only elegant, but the manufacturer has done a fantastic job to create a strong and durable knife. The knife is made with AUS 10V Japanese super steel which makes it last a long time and giving the users a long-lasting service.

The knife is made with up to 67 layers of steel, and the steel has a scale of over 62 in the Rockwell Hardness scale. This means that the manufacturer has done so well in ensuring that this knife is hard and ready for the gruesome task in the kitchen.

The handle of this knife is Ergonomically made so that users can have a strong and firm grip. The famous G10 military grade handle is used to ensure that the handle that lasts longer. Additionally, the handle is highly impervious to heat, moisture and cold; thus it is built for the kitchen. For an even resilience, the manufacturer uses a triple rivet which is recommended for any long knife. The vendor has the end cap engraved as well as a copper mosaic for beauty and distinction from other knives.


This Dalstrong Series extra-long 12-inch slicer is a good addition to your kitchen and one that has the capabilities of slicing with precision. In most cases, slicing of briskets, roasts, turkey, ham, and other large pieces of meat requires a knife that is both long and cuts without shredding the meat. The Shogun Series 12” is preciously the knife for that. Since it is long, sharp and is ultra-thin and thus it is able to slice with a single and smooth stroke. The knife is just 2 millimeters thick; therefore it is able to provide uniform slices that have ensures that the meat is as juicy as you would want it.

The knife is also very sharp, and hence you will not have to struggle when using it. Not only is the knife used to slice meat but it also other foodstuffs such as the fruits, vegetables, bread, and even cake.

The Dalstrong Shogun Series is a great addition to your kitchen, and it will not only be used for slicing but also other functions as well. The fact that it is sturdy and durable, the knife is able to perform different tasks without the user worrying about the possibility of it wearing out easily. The knife has also been known to be very sharp and hence with a few strokes every once in a while, ensures that the knife will remain sharp for a very long time.

Check prices and availability here on Amazon

The Chef’s Knife

If there is a knife that really performs significant tasks in the kitchen, it’s the Chef’s knife. The knife has been known to help in slicing, chopping, and dicing. In fact, every part of the knife has a task it can help in. Take the tip; for instance, it is used where small slices are needed. The edge is used for making large slices together with dicing, and the heel is used for chopping.

This is a must-have knife in any kitchen set up with its length ranging from 8 inches to 12 inches thou you will find most chefs using the 10-inch knife. The main reason why most people prefer the 10” knife is because the 12” knife can wear out your hand easily and the 8 “is not ideal for making massive cuts as well as not being ideal for considerable chops.

Just like the other knives, choose a knife that has a good balance between the handle and the blade since this will help you have good control, as well as help, reduce wearing your hand easily. Additionally, go for a wider blade since this will make chopping of thick items easy as well as protecting your fingers from hitting the chopping board with every chop. Below are some of the best chef’s knives in the market today:

The Victorinox 10-inch Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife

First up in our list is this chef’s knife from Victorinox. The knife is tailored to fit with the needs of both the home and professional chefs. The knife is made with high-quality European steel. However, you shouldn’t let the lightweight fool you since the knife is built to last for a very long time

The manufacturer has gone for a tapered stainless-steel meaning that all the cutting in the kitchen is easy and fast. Since the chef’s knife has been known to perform 9 out of 10 cutting tasks in the kitchen, the vendor of this knife has specially crafted this knife to fit all these tasks. On top of the blade being razor sharp, the manufacturer has also gone with for a laser-tested blade that makes it ideal for the chopping, slicing, dicing and mincing that goes on in the kitchen.

The handle of this blade has been made with ergonomic material that makes it easy on your arm while giving you a firm grip. Most knives get slippery when wet, and this is why the maker of this knife uses TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) which helps users have a non-slippery grip. The knife has a good balance so that users can have an easy time handling the knife.

The knife has a very easy to clean blade as well as it being dish-washable. So, you don’t have to worry about damaging parts of the blade by using a dishwasher to clean it. The manufacturer of this knife ensures that their products are top notch and this is why they have a lifetime guarantee on all its products. The Victorinox 10-inch Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife is a worthy addition to your kitchen on top of being a good value for your money.

You should check this one out here on Amazon

Mercer Culinary Renaissance Forged Chef’s Knife, 10 Inch

Another top-quality chef’s knife to consider is this 10-inch knife from Mercer Culinary. The maker has gone for carbon non-stain steel from Germany to make this piece of cutlery strong and durable. The carbon stainless steel is also rust and corrosion resistant on top of it not being easily decolorized.

The knife is also made with a 1-piece precision forging construction that makes it strong and durable. For longer lasting sharpness, the vendor goes with a tapered edge which also adds to the stability of the knife. Cutting and chopping are easy and fast with this knife and chefs don’t struggle much when using it.

The handle of this knife is made with ergonomic material for superior hand control. The Delrin handle has 3 rivets that make it easy to use while at the same time offering great comfort to your hand. The Delrin handle is built to withstand the different kitchen conditions from hot to cold temperatures to kitchen oils and everything else that can be found in the kitchen. The knife has a shorter bolster that is not only easy to sharpen but also helps in strengthening the knife. The bolster also helps in giving a good balance when cutting on top of it adding to the durability of the knife.

Just like any other tool in the kitchen, the knife needs to be taken care of so as to maintain strong performance over time. The manufacturer advocates for handwashing since dishwashing can expose the handle to extreme conditions that can lead to damages. The vendor goes on to warn against the use of chlorine bleaches when washing since this can lead to decolorization.

Additionally, the knife should not be submerged or soaked over long periods of time since this can also lead to the blade discoloring. By following these and other instructions, and generally taking good care of the knife, it is a good buy, and the tasks it can perform are enormous.

Check out prices here on Amazon

DALSTRONG Phantom Series – Japanese High-Carbon – AUS8 Steel – Sheath (9.5” Chef)

Last on our list is this chef’s knife from Dalstrong Phantom Series. Dalstrong has crafted a knife that combines both design and quality to give chefs’ a top-notch knife.

The Dalstrong Phantom Series 9.5” chef knife comes in a very authentic shape known as the Kiritsuke shape. The knife has a long blade which makes it ideal for chopping veggies, cutting meats and slicing fish. All these tasks and many others in the kitchen are easier and more effective with this knife.

The manufacturer uses Japanese AUS-8 steel that makes this knife strong and durable. The blade is made up of one piece of ice-tempered steel and has a narrow width that makes it both agile and durable. The blade is sharpened expertly which makes cuts and other tasks to be swift and effortless. To enhance both the hardness and flexibility as well as the corrosion resistance of this blade, the manufacturer uses nitrogen to cool this knife.

When it comes to the handle, the vendor goes with black Pakkawood handle that is tailored with the user’s hand in mind. The handle is built to rest gracefully on the palm of the chef giving them superior control while using the knife.

This knife is made to perfection and users can expect to find a blade that is not only easy to use but also one that is gentle on the user’s hand. The Dalstrong Phantom Series – Japanese High-Carbon – AUS8 Steel – Sheath (9.5” Chef) is specifically built to help the chef to perform all his tasks with ease and comfort.

It’s the most affordable here on Amazon

Bottom Line

a chef hiding half of her face using a knife

A knife may seem to be a small tool in the kitchen, but it is one important tool. Knives are constantly evolving, and users have to be on a constant lookout for new additions in the market. As BBQ lovers continue to discover new ways and means of enhancing great ‘cue experience, there continues to be a need to have the tools to do this.

However, buyers need to be careful to get tools that have good value for money. We believe that the above knives are some of the best in the market.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.