Important FAQs On Briskets and Brisket Knives

Properly taking care of your brisket knife

Without proper maintenance, you will not get optimal performance from your knife after some time. Most people just throw their brisket knife into the dishwasher after use. Which is very wrong. Here are a few things you should follow:

  • A sheath should be used to cover your beloved knife, it will protect you from unwanted accidents and protect the knife from moisture.
  • Knives should be washed by hand if possible.
  • Do not put knives with a wooden handle into the dishwasher.

Honing rods should be used more frequently than knife sharpeners. If you sharpen your knife with sharpening stones too often, it will keep losing steel chunks from its blade. Which will in result reduce the lifespan of your knife.

Different types of blades for briskets, which one to choose?

Different types of blades have their advantages and disadvantages. Today we will explain about four primary types of blades. It will help you choose which one you need.

Serrated Blade: They can cut through almost anything. They were made for tough cuts. No matter how strong your meat is, a good quality serrated knife will cut through them like butter. We don’t recommend serrated knives for brisket slicing. But you can certainly use it before grilling.

Normal Blade: Normal kitchen knives can be used to slice briskets. If the knife is sharp, it will give a pleasant result. But if the knife is not sharp enough, it will be hard to cut your briskets properly.

Scalloped Blade: If you want the best of both worlds (serrated blade and straight blade), then a scalloped blade is the best way to go. They have microscopic teeth that help them slice through meat like butter.

At first glance, you may not see those sharp teeth but at closer inspection they are visible. You can’t both cut and slice a brisket with this knife.

Hello Sandra. I’ve found HO a really friendly place, and hope you do too.

I’m a bit guilty on the “knives in dishwasher” charge. Especially on the wooden handles bit! Some of mine have been through the DW 1000 plus times and just look/feel better as years go by.

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Your knives will definitely cut a lot better and have better handles if you sharpen them and then keep them away from the dishwasher. Some good quality wood handles are truly ruined after just one time through the machine (I’ve got a ruined one to prove it), and some blades rust terribly after just one time through - other knives aren’t in quite the same danger but it’s absolutely still causing problems with them even if you think it isn’t. Stainless steel does rust, though very little - the place where the rust matters is the thin edge of the knife is gradually worn away, taking the sharpness away with it.

You’ve forgotten what it’s like to have a decent knife, that’s why you think the dishwasher is OK.

And a knife isn’t The Dreaded Lasagna Pan or something; knives don’t really get dirty in a way that’s hard to clean. The worst is when something hot got stuck to it and then cooled off, like cheese or egg - and that type of thing often doesn’t come off in the dishwasher either, so you end up fixing it by hand anyway.

There are reasons people give for putting a knife in the dishwasher - but none of them are good reasons, because it’s so hard to justify damaging the knife. People do tend to think dishes are more sanitary coming out of the machine, but unless you’re actually using a special “sanitize” cycle every time, they really really aren’t. (And if you are using it, it’s worse again for the knife.)

If someone in your house is immune compromised, then it’s worth buying the guaranteed sanitizing liquid used in commercial kitchens (definitely not the antibacterial hand-dishwashing detergent in the store, it’s just a gimmick and worse than useless in the end) and following the tricky instructions to sanitize properly without poisoning anyone by feeding them too much sanitizer. But if no one in your family has a liver transplant or that level of serious vulnerability, … just wash your knife by hand with normal detergent and dry it right away, OK? Cooking will be easier. :slight_smile:

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“You’ve forgotten what it’s like to have a decent knife, that’s why you think the dishwasher is OK."

Thanks for putting me straight. I guess I’ll just have to trash a few old friends:

The top one was found in the dishwasher of the first apartment I bought in 1987. It’s been dishwashed a minimum of twice weekly ever since, so at least 3,400 times in my ownership. It’s a pleasure to use on roasted meats, salad, pizza, bread etc., takes a razor sharp edge, and I have no doubt would be fine slicing the OP’s brisket. The other two are more recent acquisitions, both about 7 years ago, but they’re used & dishwashed almost daily. They each cost less than $10 and are pretty much my “go-tos”

I’ve given away all my “decent” knives (mainly Globals & Wusthoff) to friends and family, as I was never using them.

However, if ever I spring for a Mr. Itou, or a Bob Kramer I may just handwash them!

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Hi Sandra,

Great comments and suggestions. In my experience, brisket knives are much longer, but I have had great experiences with type of scalloping you describe in what Shun calls an ultimate utility knife–which seems to cut most anything.

My longest slicer is a 9" Ken Onion and extremely sharp. It has a surface that resists sticking. It’s not a brisket knife, but it’s pretty close.

Of course, I agree with you and DavidPF about hand washing–for many reasons, including safety.


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I don’t mean they’re bad knives, I mean that with the dishwasher they aren’t staying sharp.

Errrr…But they are staying sharp. Really, really sharp. After many, many hundreds of trips through the dishwasher.

Enough from me.