What knives do your favorite BBQ joints use? I was curious and when this happens I tend to get a little hyper focused on finding the answer. So I figured what better way than to badger a bunch of them for the scoop. Below is an alphabetical list of BBQ joints (193 BBQ spots so far) and the knives they use(in their own words when it’s been provided). As you’ll see, the answers are at times even better than the cutlery intel. Per usual, this list will be growing as I get more BBQ joints to contribute AND note that they may change their preference at the drop of a hat. These are the ones they are CURRENTLY using as of April 20th.
At the very bottom of this post is a complete list of knives that appear along with info for some custom knife companies that have found their way onto a bookmark or note. To assist in possibly purchasing a knife that your favorite spot is using I have attached links to either the specific brand website or to Amazon.com.
17th Street BBQ – Murphysboro, Illinois – We use the knives we designed with R. Murphy ~ along with others from their stock offering. Brisket knives from Victorinox and Hammer Stahl. We also have lots of inexpensive kitchen knives for everyday tasks.
Animales Barbecue – Minneapolis, Minnesota – Our chefs all have their own. No certain brand.
Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden – Austin, Texas – All of my day to day working knives are custom made from 100 year old saw blades with bone and antler handles. All butcher knives are cheap, black plastic handled Victorinox knives. I keep them like razor blades but they only last me a few months do to how much I sharpen them. My other custom knives come from buddies over the years. Ted uses cleavers when chopping hogs which are some old school antique ones . Additionally from Ted, “50% of my Custom knives come from Iron Grove Tool Company in the Hill Country Area.” From Chef Thomas: “I personally use Ceccaldi knives for my chef, boning, and paring knives, my cleaver is a vintage cleaver rescued from an antique store from the 1870’s, and my other go to knife is a Takeda Nikiri for vegetable prep.”
Bark City BBQ – Portland, Oregon – A 10 inch Japanese bread knife I spent about $ 200 on. It’s amazing.
B.E. Scott’s BBQ – Lexington, Tennessee – Honestly, no specific brand for me. As long as its sharp I’m in!
Blake’s Place – Anaheim, California – My go to for brisket is the Victorinox 10” serrated with wood handles. As far as utility chef knives we have a collection of 10” chef knives, some forged some not. We rotate consistently and sharpen daily. Prime rib I prefer a 12” Wusthof slicer.
Blue Oak BBQ – New Orleans, Louisiana – We use Down The River Forge knives. They’re local and pretty awesome. We also go to Coutelier here in NOLA which is a specialty knife store in town. They have a great selection of Japanese and American made knives as well as a bunch of specialty kitchen equipment The cleaver from DTR Forge is awesome.
Bodacious Bar-B-Q (Hallsville) – Hallsville, Texas – I use the Dexter Russell 8915 Traditional 8″ Cleaver with Walnut Handle at the block and the Dexter Russell 6″ boning knife for trimming and preparing raw meats.
Brix Barbecue – Fort Worth, Texas – We use Dexter 12” slicing knife (slicing at service as well as trimming briskets and beef belly), Shun 6” boning knife (trimming all the things), and Wuhstoff 8” Chefs knife (standard prep knife and cutting off the collar bone portion of spare ribs).
Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue – Pflugerville, Texas – My favorite slicer is the Victorinox Serrated Slicer Knife w/12″ Blade – Rosewood Handle. For trimming I use the Dalstrong boning knife.
Buxton Hall Barbecue – Asheville, North Carolina – My everyday Dexter I’ve had since 2001…I borrowed it from Chick-fil-A. I use Large Dexter Wood Handle Cleavers for chopping. Custom local cleavers for the road and events.
Cali Comfort BBQ – San Diego, California – We always used Foreschner before, that is now Victronix, but currently we use Cozzini Bros. knives through a knife service. We use an 8 inch and 12″ chef knife, we do have serrated knives for bread, we use a 6 inch boning knife And a 14″ slicer.
Convenience West – Marfa, Texas – Left to right(see below) 1. Dexter for trimming; 2. All purpose Nakiri – actually really a great knife; 3. Middleton Made 8″ Chef been using this one for 8 years; 4. Texas Sage Forge 10″slicer; 5. Texas Sage Forge giant Nakiri – That’s about it really, few small paring knifes, but those are my main ones
CorkScrew BBQ – Spring, Texas – We actually just use regular old knives from Acemart, Choice 10″ chef knives, we’ve tried all kinds of fancy stuff and these just hold up and sharpen real easy. When we need new ones we give away the old ones and start over.
Dozier’s BBQ – Fulshear, Texas – For trimming briskets we use Dexter 7″ fillet knives. On the cutting block we use Dexter 12″ scalloped slicers. Our kitchen knives are forged 10″ chef’s knives. My personal knives are a 10″ Wusthoff Ikon Classic Super Slicer and 8″ Japanese chef’s knife from Yoshihiro.
Eddie O’s Texas Barbecue – Houston, Texas – The trimming knife I use is the Tournament Choice® Classic Edition 8″ Fillet Knife and the slicing knife I use is the Dexter-Russell 12″ Narrow Scalloped Slicer.
Estrada’s Texas Barbecue – Creedmoor, Texas – For brisket trimming (pre-cook) I use a Dexter 10″ cimeter. It’s what I was always comfortable with when studying meat processing in high school. I use a Dexter 10″ scalloped knife for slicing all my cooked meats.
Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue – Brooklyn, New York- At Fletcher’s we use mostly Dexter and Victorinox. Both are indestructible, light, and have great non-slip plastic handles. Some line cooks and prep cooks have their own knives they bring, which we encourage. Your knife is an extension of your arm; you don’t use someone else’s arm to do very many things, so why use someone else’s knife?
Flores Tortillas – Whitney, Texas – As far as knives go I have quite a few chef knives including a Miyabi, Global and a Korin which are all priced over $100 but after purchasing a Misen Chefs Knife it has quickly become my favorite, even with a price tag of $65. When it comes to breaking down proteins (the lions share being brisket) I like cheaper knives that can take some abuse and if something happens to them they can be sharpened easily or replaced without breaking the bank. I like a to use a 14in. Mercer Slicer to trim briskets and a Victorinox semi stiff boning knife to clean them up and cut up trimmings to be ground into sausage. It also come in handy with any trimming/cleaning up of steaks and chops and it can break down a chicken in no time flat!
Franklin Barbecue – Austin, Texas – We use the boning knife and scalloped slicer that are on the merch page of our site. Franklin Dexter-Russel Scalloped boning knife AND Franklin Dexter-Russel Scalloped knife
Goldee’s Barbecue – Fort Worth, Texas – For slicing we use a serrated Dexter knife. We also use a 6 inch boning knife and a chefs knife for pork ribs and all other prep. And a butcher knife for chopped beef!
Guess Family Barbecue – Waco, Texas – For cooked bbq we use a 10 inch serrated slicer. We buy the cheap ones and keep them fresh. New one every month or so. For everything else I like to employ cooks that have their own knives and maintain them.
Handsome Devil – Newburgh, New York – For trimming I use a 6” boning knife something semi firm with some flex. Walton’s makes a nice one and it’s affordable. Slicing brisket I have 3 10 inch serrated knives from the good folks at post oak customs. For ribs and everything else I use a 10” cimeter from Geoff Feder of Feder Knives. It’s an incredible knife, well balanced and comfortable if you should find yourself at a festival slicing 600 racks a weekend.
Hays County BBQ – San Marcos, Texas – I personally use the 9 inch Bubba flex blade (red handle) to trim briskets and any other meats and some of my guys use Dexter brand (white handle) and Victorinox black handle…..they are all 9 inch blades.
Holy Trinity Barbecue – Portland, Oregon – I just use Dexter-Russell knives but my assistant pit dude and sides dude have very specific knives. They have trim knives, slicing knives, carving knives, the whole gambit. From my #2: “I use a 6″ Yoshikane petty for butchery, my 8″ carter cutlery Gyuto for vegetables and bulk prep, and a 240 mm Ohishi Yanagiba on the block”
Interstellar BBQ – Austin, Texas – Cheap inexpensive slicers. Serrated.
Jazzy B’s Diner – Lee’s Summit, Missouri – I don’t have anything special just your typical Sam’s club kitchen knife. A couple trimming knives I got from a butcher. But no name brand stuff.
Jon G’s Barbecue – Peachland, North Carolina – My favorite slicing knife is a 12″ Dexter 360 serrated. The blade is a little stiffer than the original Dexter 12″ slicer we started with. For trimming I turn to any of our boning knives. We have a mixture of Dexter (normal and thick) and Victorianox. No preference here, just whichever one is sharp at the moment.
LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue – Austin, Texas – 12” serrated slicer fromDexter Russel; Shun 10” chefs; Henkel 6” boning. They ALSO have their own branded LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue brisket slicing knife HERE
Liberty Barbecue – Round Rock, Texas – From the Bill Dumas: “Here’s what I use: I use: *Messermeister Germany-Solingen brand 10” filet knife for trimming and shaping raw briskets *Classic Wusthoff #4610/16cm curved blade knife for heavy trimming and boning of raw meats *Classic Wusthoff #4582/23cm Kitchen knife for general utility uses and chopping/dicing *Dexter 16” plastic handle bread knife for slicing cooked meats **All knives are held in a custom made leather knife roll made by Maka Knifeworks in Tasmania.
Lillie’s Q – Chicago, Illinois – This is the boning knife that I use for butchery day to day: Victorinox flexible boning knife. My main chef knives are Masamoto Sohonten carbon steel I have 5 that do different tasks and these are my pride and joy. Some of them I bought straight from the Masamoto Sohonten store in Tokyo and met the 90 yr old Masamoto knife maker. The style of each is: Gyuto, Honesuki, Petty, Sujihiki, & Hankotsu. The best brisket knife that I use to slice Brisket is a scalloped serrated knife, but it slices all meats exceptional. This is I found from Amazon here: Tojiro Scalloped Serrated.
Little Miss BBQ – Phoenix, Arizona – Hey Kevin! We use a 10.25” wavy bread knife. – Blue handle Victorinox.
Maple Block Meat Co. – Culver City, California – Depending on what I’m doing. Butchering I use a 8″ Dexter flexible boning knife. 6″ Victorinox boning as well. When carving I use a 10″ Victorinox cimeter. Sometimes I also use a 12″ single edge Shashimi knife (don’t remember the brand) to slice brisket. It’s not particularly for service more for a private events. My 2 everyday knives are a 10″ Victorinox chefs knife and a 220mm Sugimoto Gyuto knife.
Mason Barbecue – Texas – The knife roll has R Murphy with all the wood handles. They used to be the oldest knife maker in the U.S., but sold to Dexter last year. Those are all custom made for me. Same as the Roll. Then of course Dexter for slicing and trimming brisket.
Mimsy’s Craft Barbecue – Crockett, Texas – My slicer is a Daovua 355mm that is hand made from leaf spring steel. It’s been a lot of fun working with this knife. Super nimble, razor sharp, and extremely long cutting edge makes light work of a full day of cutting meat. I also use a 12” Global for chopping brisket, breaking bones on chicken or a stubborn rack of ribs. For trimming briskets I like a 8” stiff boning knife from F Dick, and for ribs I’ve fell in love with the kanehide stuff curved boning. The best advice I can give is maintain your cutting edge throughout the work day. Every 30 minutes of cutting or so deserves a few good passes on a steel to keep your wedge sharp. You can go several weeks without sharpening if you’re doing the required daily maintenance.
Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque – New York, New York – We use a serrated 12” blade brand agnostic for slicing purposes. They get a lot of use so we’re looking for durability over all else.
Owlbear Barbecue – Denver, Colorado – Victorianox 6″ boning knives of various curvatures and stiffnesses, and Dexter 12″ straight bread knives. For prep we all have our own various chef knives and there are a few mediocre house knives as well.
Panther City BBQ – Fort Worth, Texas – Hey Kevin, hope all is well. We mainly use Dexter 12″ and 14” knives….affordable just gotta keep em sharp. We use a sharpening service that picks up dull knives and swaps out for sharpened knives weekly so we always have the sharpest knives.
Pappy’s Smokehouse – St. Louis, Missouri – From our co-founder John Matthews: As far as the knives go, I prefer the German ones for my personal use, that is cost prohibitive in the commercial restaurant scene, but we get ours changed out (professionally sharpened) every week. A large chefs knife for trimming brisket, prepping pork shoulder. A large slicer (at least 12”) for slicing brisket, turkey, boneless chicken qtrs for cutting ribs. If you can afford it, a commercial electric slicer is very nice to have. A medium normal one for miscellaneous stuff.
Paul’s Rib Shack Barbecue – St. Charles, Louisiana – The Brisket Sword! Our main knife is the Wusthof Gourmet 14″ Brisket Slicer, which we named #theBrisketSword. We own a bunch of them. There are another dozen or so off being sharpened and not in this pic. We use this blade on the board, and we trim briskets with them. We love them! I ordered some engraved ones: @BishopofBBQ and Pitmaster Sam Turner. I’ll get on for Silas #WorkerofMiracles as soon as SwissKnifeShop.com gets them back in stock! For utility knives, trimming ribs and pork butts, our main blade is The Victorinox 6″ Flexible Curved Boning Knife. We have a bunch of these. And we bought a sanding belt sharpener to keep them ready to cut. For Chef Knives, we have a handful of we use, starting with an 8″ Wusthof Chef, a couple of Mercer 8″ Chef knives, and we’ve added a Red knife, because I thought it looked super cool, Made-In 8″ Chef knife. For cool events and occasions, we have a couple of 8″ Chef knives from Shun, one for Paul and one for Sam. We’ve bought a bunch of other knives, and they get used here and there. The cool Old Hickory 14″ knives are fun, but are a bit thicker than we like. We have a Dalstrong 14″ slicer that’s ok. We’ve used a variety of serrated knives, and they’re ok. But we keep going back to the Brisket Sword!
Podnah’s Pit Barbecue – Portland, Oregon – Murray Carter boning knife to trim and basic 10 inch Forschner chef knives for slicing. The photo below is of Podnah’s namesake, Rodney’s grandfather. He owned a butcher shop in Corsicana, Texas.
Railhead Smokehouse BBQ – Willow Park, Texas – Our slicers prefer a standard 8” chefs knife. We use a knife sharpening service who provide the knives and swab them out every other week.
Reese Bros. Barbecue – San Antonio, Texas – Hey there! We keep it pretty simple. We use a Dexter Russell curved 6” boning knife to trim briskets, a Dexter Russell 12” slicing knife for cutting, and have several 8” Dexter sani-safe chef knives. We love em for the price and durability!
Joseph’s Riverport BBQ – Riverport, Texas – We use 10″ dexter scalloped slicing knives, Dexter 8 inch breaking knives for trimming and Chinese cleavers for chopping. 8-10 inch chef’s knives for most everything else. Hope this helps!
Roegel’s Barbecue – Houston, Texas – We aren’t brand specific on knives. Everyone here has their favorite knife. They are all different sizes and types.
Rosie’s BBQ & Grillery – Northridge, California – I’m a big fan of Victorinox. For trimming the 6″ curved flexible boning knife – for everything. Best one I’ve found so far. Good for trimming pretty much everything. For carving day of sometimes I use the traditional serrated carving knife but I’ve found that a standard butcher’s knife with the fat tip is the most versatile.
Schmidt Family Barbecue – Bee Cave, Texas – Victorinox 6″ firm blade to trim briskets. A standard 10″ Kitchen Knife to trim bigger briskets, a Dexter-Russell 12″ Scalloped Slicer, S140-12SC-PCP, SANI-SAFE Series for slicing all meats, and a Forschner 14″ Cimeter for slicing prime rib and brisket with less of a peppery bark.
Scott’s Kitchen & Catering at Hanger 29 – Kansas City, Missouri – We use: 17 inch scimitar; 16 inch slicing; 7 inch boning; 10 inch chef knife; 8 inch chef knife. Main workhorse is the scimitar. We have 6 of them. All knives are set up with a knife service that picks them up weekly and swaps them out. The brand is nothing fancy.
Smoke-A-Holics BBQ – Fort Worth, Texas – As for knives we use a service called Cozzini Bros. They bring us all of our knives from trimmers to slicers sharp, and replace them with sharp ones every 2 weeks for $22
Smoke Cellar BBQ – Livermore, California – Mercer Culinary Millennia Granton Edge Slicer 14″ Black
Smokey Joe’s BBQ – Dallas, Texas – For knifes I use a Bowie knife for trimming raw meats such as brisket or ribs. We use a meat cleaver to cut ribs and a serrated knife for slicing brisket.
The Smoke Shop BBQ by Andy Husbands – 4 Boston locations – Knives are in interesting subject, to me it’s kinda like coffee, there are times only a great cup of coffee will do, others just give me some caffeine and I’ll be fine. Also I always find it funny how people talk about how sharp their new knives are. ALL new knives are sharp, every single new knife, the question is how long will it hold the blade/sharpness… and then the question is how will you sharpen them- which is a whole other conversation. I use a try-stone, but there are many way. For me, personally, I have custom knives from Adam Simha, I have 2 French or Chef Knives, I prefer the high carbon steel which holds a blade longer, though patinas- I just love it. I also have a slicer which is incredible, the latest to the collection is a serrated knife (pictured below), the green one is mine and blue is Pitmaster Chris Harts’. These are amazing for Brisket, you gotta get thru that bark But I do not always carry my knives with me and at the restaurants we are pumping out a lot of BBQ and have found it’s best to rent them, cheap plastic handled knives. They work great, us a steel on them to bring the blade back and every week (sometimes twice a week) the company we works with trades them out for a sharp set.
Smoque BBQ – Chicago, Illinois – The hardest knife to choose was the one we use to slice brisket. After about 10 years of trying ham slicers, cimeters, bull-nosed butcher knives and anything else you can think of, we discovered that the best knife to get through crusty bark without destroying the tender meat is an $18 14” serrated bread knife. Again, the ones we use are not branded. But comparable ones are available from Dexter, Forschner, Mercer, Victorinox, or any of the other commercial knife brands. I would never buy or use expensive knives in a restaurant.
Sock’s Loves Barbecue – Cumming, Georgia – A few. My daily’s are a Dexter V-Lo Filet and Classic 10” Slicer. I have a few customs from Iron Grove Tool Company. My High School shop teacher made me a knife. Had my buddy Chris tune it up.
Sticky Business BBQ – Napa, California – So I use different knives for different applications. I use Dexter for trimming and a Dexter offset for slicing (just as a pastry chef I’m comfortable using this to slice meat).
Prep work I’ve got a couple different Wüstof knives (7” santoku, 5” utility, 3” pairing knife) my other prep knife is the 12” New West Knife works which is not only a beautiful knife but is real nice to work with. The last one used is a knife handed down to me about 12 yrs ago from my pastry chef it’s a ICEL bread knife.
Sugarfire Smokehouse – St. Louis, MO(and many more locations) – Victorinox – all sizes.
Teddy’s Barbecue – Weslaco, Texas – For slicing we use a Dexter, just a regular serrated 12 “. Trimming Brisket I use a Victorinox 6” boning knife. And for trimming ribs I use either a 9” Wusthof Chef Knife or a 10” Cimeter.
Tejas Chocolate + Barbecue – Tomball, Texas – For trimming brisket we like 6- 8” Dexter Russell blades. For slicing I like either a Dexter 12” straight slicer with round end or a 15” Victorinox curved tip slicer. I sometimes use a 9 inch Bubba Blade.
Tyler’s Barbeque – Amarillo, Texas – Many different types over the years. I started with Dexter, but by 2013, the third year, I had switched to Forescnher aka Victornox the steel is harder and it keeps an edge a lot longer it is a stamped blade with a fibrox handle. When we started we used a standard butcher style knife with a 12 inch blade it is heavy enough to chop all.
Ugly Drum – Los Angeles, CA – I currently have about 4-6 of these 12″ Dexter Scalloped slicers. I have a box full of knives from over the years of kitchen work. My current favorite really is the straight 12″ Dexter scalloped roast slicer I use for briskets. I can do most everyday small stuff with it super easy. But for prep I just want, again 12 inch chef knife. Brand doesn’t matter as long as SHARP. At the kitchen we have a knife service that swaps them out every week for sharp ones. But they are cheap plastic handle kitchen knives and work better then any expensive knife i have a hard time sharpening myself.
Victorian’s Barbecue – Houston, Texas – I use custom knives from Stephen at Houston Edge Works. I’ve got the Dexter’s mainly for chopping, Rapalas are for trimming and Steve’s Custom one is for slicing.
Wright on Taco – Harelton, Texas – Currently we are looking for budget yet effective and useful tools so Dexter has been a good one. Have a couple filet/boning knives used for trimming, serrated 10” for slicing and then chef knives for multipurpose.
Zavala’s Barbecue – Grand Prairie, Texas – Iron Grove for a Cleaver. Dexter for trimming and slicing. Weige for chef knife. Not to sure in size but on Dexter I think all bbq places use the same. 😂 Weige is 7 inch.
Master Knife List From Responses
- Dexter-Russell – 14″ Scalloped Slicer
- Dexter-Russell 12” Scalloped Slicer
- Dexter-Russell 6” Boning Knife
- Dexter-Russell 7” Stainless Cleaver
- Dexter-Russell 10” Curved, Scalloped Slicer
- Dexter-Russell 8” Breaking Knife
- Dexter-Russel 9” Offset Bread Knife
- Dexter-Russel 4.5” Sheath Knife
- Dexter-Russell official site HERE
- Victorinox – 12” Fibrox Pro Slicing Knife with Granton Blade
- Victorinox 12″ Straight Butcher Knife
- Victorinox 6” Swiss Classic Boning Knife
- Victorinox 7” Chinese Classic Chefs Knife Stainless Steel Cleaver
- Victorinox 6” Curved Boning Knife
- Victorinox 10” Cimeter Knife
- Victorinox 14” Cimeter Knife – Curved Blade
- Victorinox Blue Chef’s Serrated 10.25”
- Victorinox official site HERE
- Mercer Culinary Millennia Granton Edge Slicer, 14-Inch, Black
- Mercer Culinary 12” Wavy Edge Slicer
- Mercer Culinary official site HERE
ADDITIONAL Knife Makers and CUSTOM Makers
- Artisan Revere
- Black and Decker Electric Carving Knife
- BNEX Knives
- Bubba 9” Tapered Flex Fillet Knife w/Non-Slip Grip Handle
- Case Fillet Knife 6” with Ballistic Nylon Sheath
- Cozzini Bros.
- Cutluxe 12″ Slicing Carving Knife
- Dalstrong Gladiator Series 14” Extra Long Slicing and Carving Knife
- Enso 9” Steel Serrated Slicing Knife
- Feder Knives
- Global Knives
- Hammer Stahl 14” Brisket Slicing Knife
- Iron Groove Tool Co.
- Kamikoto Knives
- Korin Nenox
- Kramer Knives
- Majimie Knives
- Messermeister Scalloped 12” Knife
- Middleton Made
- Serenity Knives
- Shanzu Knives
- Shun Cutlery Classic 12” Hollow-Ground Brisket Knife
- Texas Sage Forge
- Wusthof Classic Chef’s Knife 6” Black
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