It's Spring BBQ Season! What's Cooking?

Our Favorite BBQ Knife Sets

Typically when we think of BBQ accessories, we think of things like thermometers and gloves. Heck, we did a whole rundown of our favorite smoking accessories. In that list, you may have noticed a lack of mentions of kitchen knives. That’s because we believe that BBQ knife sets deserve their …

Accessories Tools

Angry BBQ is reader supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.

Photo of author

By Jeremy Pike

on

Updated on

Best BBQ Knife Sets

Typically when we think of BBQ accessories, we think of things like thermometers and gloves. Heck, we did a whole rundown of our favorite smoking accessories. In that list, you may have noticed a lack of mentions of kitchen knives. That’s because we believe that BBQ knife sets deserve their own breakdown which is what we’re doing here.

Knives are one of the most important tools whether you’re a home cook, king of your grill, or a pitmaster. Whether you need to open that package of hot dogs, slice onions, trim brisket, or carve a ham, you need good knives. This review aims to clear the air on what you should look for in knives. 

So we’ve broken down grilling knives and BBQ knives, what should be in your BBQ knife set, and give you our favorite BBQ knife set, a high-end option, an entry-level option, and even one designed for competition BBQ. We wanted to find the best quality materials and construction to ensure that you’re getting the BBQ or grilling knives that will best serve you. After all, you don’t want to spend a lot of money only for stains to appear quickly.

Mercer BBQ Knife Set

Mercer Knife Set

Overall, a great BBQ knife set will help you step up your grilling or BBQ game while a bad set can be a waste of money and leave you angry. So let’s take a look at what grilling knives and BBQ knives a quality set should have. 

Our Favorites at a Glance…….

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
byb2-table__imageTop PickTop PickMercer Culinary 8-Piece
  • 8-Pieces
  • Perfect Variety of Knives
  • High Carbon Steel
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageRunner-UpRunner-UpCangshan S Series
  • 7-Pieces
  • Slicing Knife for Brisket
  • Carrying Case
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageBest High-EndBest High-EndDalstrong Shadow Black
  • 12-Piece
  • High Carbon Steel
  • Titanium Nitride Coating
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageBest CompetitionBest CompetitionVictorinox Fibrox
  • 7-Pieces
  • Trusted Swiss Brand
  • Carrying Case
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageBest BudgetBest BudgetRoss Henery Knife Set
  • 10-Pieces
  • Great Variety
  • Carrying Case
CHECK PRICE

What Does Every BBQ Knife Set Need?

If you’ve ever looked online for a BBQ knife set, you might have been overwhelmed by the different options available. Knowing what to look for in a set can help cut through the craziness. When looking through the possibilities, you need to pay attention to two different criteria: blade material and the types of knives in the set.

Blade Material Options

There are essentially four common blade materials you’ll come across when looking for BBQ knives. They are stainless steel, carbon steel, titanium, and ceramic. Stainless steel is the most common out of the four and for good reason. They offer the best blend of sharpening, resistance to rust and other damage, and they hold up to repeated uses. Stainless steel knives just need sharpening frequently, so get comfortable with the process.

Carbon steel is also common in grilling knives. They hold their edge for longer than their stainless steel counterparts and are able to take on razor-sharp edges. However, they are less resistant to rust meaning you need to keep a very close eye when cleaning and storing them.

Dalstrong Knife Set Overview

Dalstrom uses High Carbon Steel with Titanium Nitride Coating

Titanium knives are light and offer great corrosion resistance, so they won’t take on any sort of rust damage or other issues. However, they do not hold an edge very well, requiring sharpening even more frequently.

Ceramic knife blades won’t take on any sort of corrosion problems, stay sharp longer than steel, and are lightweight. However, they are susceptible to chipping and breaking when working with bones or being accidentally dropped. They are wonderful for cutting fish, boneless meat, vegetables, or fruit.

While all the different materials have their advantages and disadvantages, stainless steel is the most common and resilient. Just make sure you have a quality knife sharpener handy as you will be sharpening fairly regularly.

Types Of Knives

So you now have a good idea of what blade material you want in your BBQ knives, but you still have a lot of options out there to choose from. So what knives should be in the best knife sets? 

1. Chefs Knife

Regardless of what kind of cooking you do, you always want a good chef’s knife. If you’ve ever wondered what is a good BBQ knife, it’s a chef’s knife. It can be used for a lot of applications, whether you’re chopping onions or cutting up meat. It’s absolutely essential in every kitchen and outdoor cooking area.

2. Carving Knife

If you are a big fan of brisket (and we love us some central Texas brisket here at Angry BBQ,) you’ll want a quality slicer. The best slicers have straight edges but scalloped indents along the blade. A serrated knife will tear through that tender brisket, while the straight edge with the indents will give you smooth slices that fall away from the knife. You might as well call a slicer a brisket knife.

3. Boning Knife

Speaking of briskets, there’s a lot of trimming to be done before a brisket hits the smoker. A boning knife can help you shape that brisket perfectly while removing the silver skin and excess fat. If you do a lot of work breaking down whole chickens or deboning any cuts of meat, a boning knife will be one of the most important knives in your collection.

4. Paring Knife

A paring knife can help with all the little jobs that require precision whereas a bigger knife could be hard to maneuver. Got a package of hot dogs to open? Grab a paring knife. Peeling apples for dessert? Same thing. A paring knife might not be the star of the show, but it should be in every BBQ knife set out there.

5. Cleaver

A chef’s knife might be one of the most essential knives for any cook, but a meat cleaver might be one of the most iconic. In preparation, a heavy-duty meat cleaver is perfect for breaking down large cuts of meat, especially when they’ve got bones and joints to break through. If you prefer your pork chopped rather than pulled, a cleaver is the way to go.

What Are The Basic Knives A Chef Needs?

Now, the chef knife is arguably the most important, useful, and versatile knife in your kitchen arsenal. It can be used to cut meat, dice fruits and vegetables, and even chop up herbs. However, most chefs want to have more than one knife in their arsenal. If you’re looking for a small number of knives that are going to allow you the most versatility, you’re going to want a chef’s knife, a long serrated knife (carving knife), and a paring knife.

Now that we know what materials and the type of knives we’re interested in, let’s take a look at our list of the best BBQ knife sets.

Our Top BBQ Knife Sets………….

Mercer Culinary Millennia 8-Piece Knife Set Review

Mercer BBQ Knife Set

While Mercer Culinary may not be an iconic name in the knife world, this set is a great one, especially at the price point. It may not have the meat cleaver, but that is a specialty knife that the majority of us may not have a true need to use. Otherwise, this set has everything you need. It even has a bread knife and a santoku knife for when you want to do a lot with vegetables. The set also has a honing steel to help you keep that ideal edge.

Each knife also has a non-slip handle made from Santoprene, a durable rubber-like material, and polypropylene for the best combination of comfort and long-term usage. The set even comes with a knife roll for easy storage and transportation between your kitchen and your backyard cooking area.

Brisket Cutting Knife

Includes Slicing Knife: Perfect for Brisket

Boning Knife

Includes Boning Knife: Perfect for Trimming Meat

An underrated part of this BBQ knife set is the Santoku knife. If you’re doing prep work for cooking both meat and veggies, you can use the Santoku for preparing the veggies while using the chef’s knife and other knives for the meat. No worrying about cross-contamination between raw meat and veggies.

Santoku Knife

Santoku Knife

This BBQ knife set is perfect for working at home. The Japanese high-carbon steel blades hold up well and come sharp and ready to use. Regardless of what you’re preparing to hit the grill or smoker, this set has what you need to prepare your meal with ease. 

Mercer Culinary stands by this knife set, offering a limited lifetime warranty for all the knives. 

What We Like…

  • This set has a nice variety of knives to meet all your home cooking needs
  • The handles are designed to be comfortable, durable, and are non-slip
  • The knife edges are sharp and can pass the test of slicing a tomato cleanly

What Makes Us Angry…

  • If you are used to heavier knives, you might not like how light these knives are
  • If you get the white-handled set, some customers reported staining after cutting items like tomatoes
  • These knives need to be cared for properly, by handwashing and drying, otherwise, they can develop discolorations or rust over time


Cangshan S Series 7 Piece BBQ Knife Set Review

Cangshan Knife Set

The S Series BBQ knife set from Cangshan offers high-quality German steel construction across all the knives plus sheaths to protect the edges while storing them in the included case. These knives have a full tang, which means the metal from the blade runs the entire length of the knife to the end of the handle. That helps with keeping the knives stable and strong.

Like the Mercer set, Cangshan has a Santoku-style knife for vegetable prep. The slicer in this set is 11 inches long, perfect for slicing even the biggest packer briskets you’ll throw on your smoker. The boning knife has a nice curve to the blade, perfect for working through the joints of a chicken wing or trimming a brisket. It also includes a paring knife and even a carving fork.

Cangshan doesn’t include a traditional chef’s knife in this BBQ knife set and instead goes with a butcher’s knife. It’s 10 inches long, longer than most traditional chef’s knives. Also, rather than starting long at the handle and tapering down to a point at the other end, it starts fairly narrow and maintains that length before sweeping gently up to a point at the end. This butcher’s knife is also known as a bullnose knife, perfect for slicing large cuts of raw meat into steaks or just breaking large cuts down into more manageable portions.

Each of the five knives comes with a protective sheath to preserve the edge while you store them in the included knife bag. The bag has six spots for each of the included knives and the carving fork and zippers close so you don’t have to worry about anything falling out accidentally.

What We Like…

  • The included sheaths are perfect for keeping the edges safe (and our hands when removing the knives from the bag!)
  • The long slicer ensures you’ll be able to slice through any brisket without having to make multiple cuts
  • The bullnose butcher’s knife is a really interesting piece that can help tackle the biggest cuts of raw meat

What Makes Us Angry…

  • If you like using a traditional chef’s knife, this can be a big adjustment
  • No honing steel like our favorite BBQ knife set from Mercer Culinary
  • Just remember that these knives are not dishwasher safe and you need to wash them by hand and dry them immediately, otherwise you can see defects in the steel develop


DALSTRONG Shadow Black 12-Piece Knife Set Review

Dalstrong Knife Set

Typically, we look for what’s the best blend of value and quality when determining our favorite items here, and that’s no different for our BBQ knife set reviews. However, there are times when you just want to spend some extra money and get something amazing. The folks over at DALSTRONG have just the BBQ knife set for you in the Shadow Black 12-piece set. 

This set looks incredible in all-black from the knife blades to the handles to the oak storage block. Only two parts of the entire set break the motif, and that’s the full tang of the blades through the handle and the honing rod itself. DALSTRONG achieved the color on the blades by using a non-reflective coating of titanium nitride. Not only does that coating look amazing, but it also protects the high-carbon steel from corrosion and helps the blade glide through whatever you’re cutting. 

The handles are made from a version of fiberglass called G10 that has seen a lot of use in marine applications as well as knife handles due to resisting water. G10 is durable and lightweight, perfect for knife handles that will be around all sorts of meats, vegetables, and liquids. The grip is textured as well to help keep the knives securely in your hand regardless of the situation. 

Not only do you get great construction, but you also get a lot of knives in this BBQ knife set. It comes with a 9 inch carving knife, a 9 inch bread knife, an 8 inch chef’s knife, a 7 inch santoku knife, a 6 inch fillet knife, a 5.5 inch utility knife, an 3.75 inch paring knife, and four 5 inch steak knives, plus the aforementioned honing rod. 

What makes these knives interesting and so durable is that after going through the heat treatment process, they were subjected to cooling via liquid nitrogen to further increase the strength of the metal. These knives will hold a sharp edge for a long time.

What We Like…

  • These look absolutely amazing whether in the block on the counter or in your hand
  • Designed to hold up to all conditions you’ll encounter inside and out
  • The block offers perfect storage for all the knives and the honing rod so you don’t have to find a place to keep them

What Makes Us Angry…

  • Some customers reported issues with their blocks not being new and having what appears to be mold in them, but those cases are few and far between
  • A few people had issues with the block coming damaged


Victorinox Fibrox Pro Ultimate Competition BBQ Set Review

Victorinox Knife Set

Regardless of whether you’re purchasing your first BBQ knives or have been around the knife world for years, you’ve heard the name Victorinox. Now it may not be synonymous with grilling knives for you because you’ve seen the name on a Swiss Army knife. However, that doesn’t mean that’s all the company makes, because they’ve made a killer competition BBQ knife set here.

When you’re in a competition, the only looks you care about is how the meat looks when it’s going in the presentation box to the judges. These knives from Victorinox may not be the most gorgeous-looking, but they’re made to be reliable and get the job done every time without adding to your fatigue from the long hours of smoking.

This BBQ knife set comes with a paring knife, a boning knife with just enough flex in it to get into tight areas while still being strong enough to get the job done, a breaking knife for breaking down a chicken, a chef’s knife, and a slicer. It also includes a honing steel for ensuring your knives stay in working order.

The stainless steel blades ensure that you don’t have to worry about your knives corroding so you can focus on getting your boxes turned in on time instead. Just remember that even stainless steel should be properly washed and cared for or damage can still occur. The Fibrox handles are perfect for working in the high-stress environment of a BBQ competition as sweaty hands can still hold these knives without slipping. 

Victorinox Boning Knife
Mikes favorite boning knife is from Victorinox.

Victorinox is a name you can rely on since they’ve been making knives since 1884. They first came over to the US in 1937 through R.H. Forschner & Co who was the exclusive distributor of Victorinox. In fact, in the early years, that was the name on the knives. Just rest assured you’re getting the quality competition BBQ knife set you want while preparing or working through all hours of the weekend.

What We Like…

  •  Victorinox’s focus on quality versus flash with this set
  • Non-slip Fibrox grip so you can keep a good grip regardless of circumstances
  • Nice knife bag for easy storage on the competition trailer

What Makes Us Angry…

  • Some customers had issues with the set arriving with cosmetic damage as if it had been previously used and then returned, but that seems to be a very rare case


Ross Henery Professional Knives Eclipse Premium 10-Piece Set Review

Ross Henery Knife Set

If you’re just getting into buying knives that aren’t 10 or 20 dollars, the Ross Henery Professional set is a good start to getting some good knives without breaking the bank. This set comes packed with knives and tools that all fit in a handy carrying case. 

The included knives are a chef’s knife, carving knife, utility knife, boning knife, paring knife, and bread knife. You also get a meat cleaver, a carving fork, and a sharpening steel. All the knives and the cleaver even come with protective sheaths to protect your fingers and the edges while storing them in the carrying case.

The entire set from the chef’s knife to the carving fork is entirely made from stainless steel, including the handles. The steel holds up to all manners of uses, just remember to not let them soak in water or sit in a dishwasher for an extended period of time. Otherwise, you’ll get rust spots developing. One of the advantages of the full stainless steel construction is that you don’t have to worry about a wood handle getting damaged or water getting stuck inside the handle. 

Speaking of construction, these knives are all well-balanced, even the meat cleaver. They feel good in the hand if a little on the light side. They come sharp from the factory and are easy to sharpen to a razor’s edge. 

Whether you’re looking to get good knives for the first time or looking for another set, this is a great BBQ knife set that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. 

What We Like…

  • A good value for budget-conscious home chefs or beginners
  • Sheaths to keep the edges safe during transport

What Makes Us Angry…

  • Some customers received knives that were inconsistently sharp, others received razor-sharp knives across the board. Just make sure to check your edges and sharpen as needed before using
  • Some customers complained about rusting when they opened their knife set. Others complained they rusted early on, but make sure you follow the proper care instructions. Hand wash and hand dry for best results.


Wrapping It Up

A BBQ knife set can help you get everything you need for all your prep and serving work in one package. I love that there are options for every budget out there. Whether you’re looking for a basic set to get started or want something incredible and a centerpiece, there are options out there.

What’s your go-to BBQ knife set? Do you have a favorite chef’s knife? Let us know in the comments!

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
byb2-table__imageTop PickTop PickMercer Culinary 8-Piece
  • 8-Pieces
  • Perfect Variety of Knives
  • High Carbon Steel
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageRunner-UpRunner-UpCangshan S Series
  • 7-Pieces
  • Slicing Knife for Brisket
  • Carrying Case
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageBest High-EndBest High-EndDalstrong Shadow Black
  • 12-Piece
  • High Carbon Steel
  • Titanium Nitride Coating
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageBest CompetitionBest CompetitionVictorinox Fibrox
  • 7-Pieces
  • Trusted Swiss Brand
  • Carrying Case
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageBest BudgetBest BudgetRoss Henery Knife Set
  • 10-Pieces
  • Great Variety
  • Carrying Case
CHECK PRICE

FAQs

Question: Is It Worth It To Buy Good Knives?

Answer: Sure, you could walk into any big box store and buy some kitchen knives that would work okay for a little while. However, these knives will likely not be as sharp as a good knife nor will they hold whatever sharpness they do have for very long. You want knives that you can depend on and will work well each time you reach for them. In fact, dull knives can be more dangerous than sharp knives because of having to use more force when attempting to cut through anything. So for best results both short-term and long-term, invest in good knives.

Question: Why Are Good Knives So Expensive?

Answer: While you can go to just about any box store and get a set of kitchen knives that feature a chef’s knife for a relatively inexpensive price point, you aren’t going to get the same quality of knife as these sets. So why are they so expensive? There’s the quality of materials from the blade material to the handle. There’s the actual craftsmanship and construction. These knives are meant to last a while whereas a normal store-bought set might require much more maintenance to keep using. When it comes to smoking and grilling, we’re willing to pay for the quality of the meat and the quality of our grill or smoker. We should be willing to spend money on the tools that we use, especially tools like knives that get used a lot around the grill and in the kitchen.

Question: What Is The Best Material For A Knife Set?

Answer: You can find knives made of titanium, ceramic, carbon steel, or stainless steel. For our money, we prefer knives with stainless steel blades. It offers the best combination of durability and sharpness. Stainless steel knives may lack the edge retention of a ceramic knife, but they are much less susceptible to damage. As long as you have a good knife sharpener or know of a place that will sharpen your knives, we recommend going with stainless steel.

Question: What Knife Do You Use To Cut Ribs?

Answer: Well, it depends on what you mean by cut ribs. You can use a boning knife to trim your ribs up prior to cooking. If you’re talking about cutting finished ribs, there are a few options. Some people love using a brisket slicing knife if the bones are nice and straight. You can use a chef’s knife if the bones are less straight or if it’s all you have. I’ve also seen pitmasters use a butcher knife to quickly chop a rack of ribs into single bones as well.

Question: What Is The Best Knife For Cutting Raw Chicken And Meat?

Answer: This isn’t a cut-and-dried answer, because it depends on what you’re trying to do. If you’re breaking down a whole chicken or any other large poultry, a cleaver will break through any joints you need to separate. If you’re deboning chicken thighs or trimming fat off any cut of meat, a boning knife will do the trick. Otherwise, a chef’s knife will give you the most flexibility whether you’re slicing a chicken breast or cutting chuck roast, brisket, or pork belly for burnt ends.

Question: Where Can I Buy A BBQ Knife Set?

Answer: As you may have figured out, we do not recommend purchasing knife sets at a normal big box store. All these knife sets above are available easily on Amazon.com which is extremely convenient. If you want a chance to get some hands-on experience with knives before you purchase, there are chef’s stores you can check out. Williams Sonoma is another option that carries some high-end brands like Wusthof, Shun, and Zwilling.

Getting hands-on experience with different types and styles of knives is valuable. You’ll want to buy a knife that is comfortable in your hand, and there’s a lot that goes into that. You want a knife that isn’t too heavy if you’re going to be using it a lot. You want a knife with a style of handle that is comfortable to hold. So going to a store where you can hold different knives is valuable.

Leave a Comment