Whenever I cook meat at home, it’s automatically a special occasion. Nothing can match the tastiness of steak and potatoes or pork chops and apple sauce.
That being said, I take great pride in the process of preparing these foods, so I’m more than happy to find equipment that reflects my high standards. After all, a great knife can allow your cut of meat to cook more evenly and produce a tastier meal.
In this article, I’ll give you an inside look at some of my favorite knives used specifically for cutting meat. I’ll also dive into some general tips for picking out a proper knife so that you can get the perfect knife for your kitchen.
Best 7 Knives for Cutting Meat
Here are my top picks for meat cutting knives out on the market.
Victorinox is known for making super sturdy products, and this knife is no exception. This 12-inch slicing knife is made out of stainless steel and cuts through thick meats with no trouble at all.
I love the non-slip grip on this knife which makes for easy usage, even when wet. Plus, Victorinox offers a lifetime guarantee from any defects, so you can be sure this knife will serve you well or you’ll get your money back.
- Comfy handle for ease of use
- Long 12-inch blade for cutting through larger meats
- Steel is designed to be lightweight yet sturdy
- The knife is dishwasher safe if you’re in a pinch, though hand-washing is recommended
- Ease of use and professional quality despite the affordable price point
- Heavy use can dull the blade as it would with any knife, so you may need to invest in a sharpener to keep this knife at its best
- The extra-long blade may make this knife a challenge to store properly
Don’t be fooled by this knife’s cheap price tag! I was surprised too to find that it cuts through meat just fine, but it does. This slicing knife comes in 10” and 12” sizes and is made of solid steel. The grip handle makes this knife super easy to use, and I love that the knife is dishwasher-safe, making for easy cleanup.
If you’re into making jerky, this is the perfect pick for you. The knife is designed specifically for this purpose, though it holds up for meat slicing of any kind.
- Modest price point without sacrificing quality
- Food-grade steel can also be used to cut fruits and vegetables
- Dishwasher safe
- Flexible sizing
- Perfect for chefs who like to make jerky
- Some customers found that the knife rusts easily, so pay close attention when washing and drying this knife
- The knife is super thin, so if you’re looking to slice thicker cuts of meat, this may not be the sturdiest pick
I love Update International’s selection of high-quality knives and this scalloped carving knife holds up to that standard. This 12” carving knife cuts meat like the pros and is made out of sleek carbon-infused stainless steel.
The grip handle feels super sturdy in your hand, and I appreciate this knife’s cheaper price point. Despite washing this knife in the dishwasher, I’ve had no problem with this knife losing its edge thus far.
- High-quality steel for smooth cuts
- Shorter slip-resistant grip handle for increased control
- Super sharp
- Dishwasher safe
- The Knife holds its edge over time
- Affordable price point
- The blade is somewhat thin
- Holds well for cutting meat, but not softer items like bread or fleshy fruit
- Requires regular sharpening to function well
If you’re serious about cooking, especially with meat, I highly recommend investing in this knife. This 10” knife is in the “Gladiator Series” for a reason, and you’ll feel like a total pro just by slicing with this fantastic tool. Notably, this knife has a slightly curved edge to assist in the slicing process.
Another great feature is the blade-lining slight divots that allow for less friction while cutting. The German-made steel and comfortable handle are both BPA free, so you can feel good about carrying this tool in your home.
- High-quality German steel made to last you for years to come
- This knife comes with a custom knife guard to preserve it for years
- Dalstrong offers a 100% money-back guarantee should you be unsatisfied
- Unique blade design serves to prepare different cuts of meat
- Excellent customer support
- The handle is somewhat thin, so you may want to opt for a different knife if you’re looking for a bulkier grip
- Some customers found this knife to rust somewhat easily, so be particularly mindful of how you wash and dry this tool
- This knife requires a bit more financial investment
For some serious hacking, I recommend seeking out a heavy-duty butcher knife like this one. You wouldn’t use this knife for multi-purpose uses like some of the alternatives, but if you’re cutting meat frequently, it’s a serious must-have.
This meat cleaver features an 8” stainless steel blade with a walnut wood handle for a classic appearance. It is a bit heavy at 1.6lbs, but it will also cut through meat and bones with ease literally cutting your food prep time in half.
This knife can be a bit intimidating for beginners, but it’s definitely worth a try if you find yourself frequently cutting meat.
- Ultra-sharp knife that hacks through bones with ease
- Reasonable price tag for the level of quality
- Strong wooden handle
- Nicely weighted blade for added control
- Ultra-sharp edges
- Definitely a heavier piece of equipment may take some adjustment for beginners
- Super sharp edges mean that this knife should be used with an extra level of awareness to prevent injury
This carving set is everything you need to get started cutting meat in the kitchen. The carving knife is 8” long making it easy for storage and serves as a great all-purpose knife if you’re in a pinch. The set also includes a 6” carving fork for extra control while slicing meat.
I love the high-quality carbon steel construction of this knife, and you can tell just by holding it that this kit was made with precision. If you have any qualms at all, Wusthof offers a lifetime warranty so you’re bound to be satisfied with this set.
- An added bonus of carving fork for maximum control while carving
- Lifetime warranty
- High-quality carbon steel
- The compact size makes it easy to store
- Great all-purpose knife with a carving specialty
- Well-balanced knife weight
- Hand-wash only
- The smaller size may make it difficult to cut certain types of meat
Not only is this knife one of my favorite all-purpose knives, but it also does a surprisingly great job at modestly slicing meats. It’s made out of flexible carbon steel and has a sturdy grip handle for easy use. Though this is a basic chef’s knife, the blade is made to be ultra-sharp so you’ll be able to use this knife while chopping fruits, vegetables, and thin cuts of meat.
Moreover, this is a great introductory knife for beginners who may feel somewhat intimidated by a large blade. The 8” size makes it easy to store and offers a lot of control for novice cooks. The handle is engraved with the WUSTHOF logo, acting as a symbol of quality among food professionals.
- Great, multipurpose knife
- High-quality carbon-infused steel
- Compact for easy storage
- The small size makes it easier to control
- Sleek appearance with an easy-grip
- Multi-purpose nature may make this knife more difficult to use with thicker cuts of meat
- The blade is likely to need regular sharpening
- The smaller size may be limiting for slicing whole turkeys, roasts or chickens
Slicing Vs. Carving Knives: What’s the Difference?
Each knife in your kitchen should have a different purpose. As you may have noticed, some of my favorite knives listed above are more suited towards slicing versus carving and vice versa.
Here are the main differences between the two so you can ensure you get the perfect blade for your kitchen.
Slicing knives are characterized by being very long, thin, and narrow blades. They either have a pointed or rounded tip and are often more flexible than carving knives. You can also use slicing knives to prepare vegetables, fruits, and fish along with slicing meat.
However, you wouldn’t use slicing knives to cut through bones as they are not sturdy enough to be used for that.
Carving knives have a much more rigid blade that is usually thicker and heavier for extra stability. The tip of these knives is curved and pointed, designed to cut the meat away from the bone. You’d use these knives to carve poultry and roasts, but their heavy-duty construction makes them somewhat limited to this purpose.
In general, carving knives are much sturdier and thicker than slicing knives and can, therefore, be used to carry out more intense cutting tasks.
On the converse, slicing knives are more flexible and their lightweight, narrow nature makes them somewhat of a flexible preparation tool.
How a Knife’s Shape Affects its Performance
When picking out a proper knife for your kitchen, it’s important to understand exactly how the different physical features will alter its performance. The edge and blade shape, as well as the thickness of the knife, all contribute to a particular tool’s niche.
- Thickness: In general, the thicker the blade, the stronger it is. For example, you should see a thicker blade on a carving knife than a slicing knife. However, stronger is not necessarily better.
Thinner blades allow for more flexibility and more precise cuts and are generally better all-purpose knives. It’s easier to slice with thin blades, which is why slicing knives characteristically have long, narrow, blades.
- Edge: The knife’s edge is essentially correlated with the concept of thickness, however, it’s important to consider the two parameters independently as you could have an overall thick blade with a thin edge or vice versa.
In general, thinner edges, or knives with more pointed, skinny tips, are used for more precise cutting but lack the strength and control of knives with less curved, thicker edges.
- Blade Shape: Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic of knives is the overall blade shape. Note that this parameter incorporates edge and thickness variations, but also serves as a quick thing to look out for when picking out your knife.
Knives are generally shaped according to the curve of their intended purpose. For example, carving knives and cleavers are generally straight-edged to produce the cleanest, straight cut possible when cutting through meat.
You’ll find that all-purpose and slicing knives have more of a curve to them to produce a more precise cut that aligns with the particular knife stroke of the chef.
Other Things to Consider When Buying a Knife for Cutting Meat
Picking out a proper meat-cutting knife can be difficult. Here are a few additional things to look out for when picking out the perfect knife for your home.
- Maintenance: Is your prospective hand-wash only? Or is it also dishwasher safe? While you should always shoot to hand-wash and dry your knives, sometimes this feature is helpful in a pinch, especially if you live in a busy household.
Moreover, some knives are more prone to rusting or wear and tear due to water damage. Make sure you include this factor in your research to ensure you have the tools you need to keep your knife in tip-top shape.
- Weight: Knives have varying degrees of weight which alters their purpose accordingly. Generally speaking, heavier knives are stronger and can cut without a lot of power on the user’s end. However, lighter knives are built for precision and are often easier to operate for beginners.
- Storage and Safety: If you’re going to invest in a high-quality knife, you’re going to want to make sure you have adequate storage. It is never recommended to store knives loosely in a utensil drawer.
Instead, look for a proper knife block or magnetic knife strip. If possible, look for knives that include custom sheaves or blade covers, especially for unusually sized tools.
Storage is especially important if you live in a house with young children. You’re going to want to make sure that these knives are stored properly and out of reach from any potential hazards.
- Kit versus Individual Pieces: Consider whether or not you’re looking for a full kit or if you’d like to get an individual piece. If you’re a beginner looking to get a bevy of knives for a number of purposes, a kit might be the more cost-effective option.
However, acquiring a set one knife at a time allows for more flexibility and ensures that each piece you bring in has a specific purpose catered to your needs.
- Grip Comfort: Grip comfort is a significant factor especially in multi-purpose knives or knives you use pretty often on a daily basis. Make sure you’re selecting a knife that feels comfortable while cutting or remaining stagnant.
Many of these knives have money-back guarantees, so be sure to take advantage of this factor should you feel at all uneasy about the grip of your newly acquired knife.
- Knife Balance: In general, high-quality knives have a proper level of weight distribution. If your handle is significantly heavier than your blade, you may want to reconsider your knife. A well-balanced knife should feel sturdy during use and will contribute to more precise cutting.
- Proper Knife Sharpening: As you should with any knife, make sure you have the proper tools to sharpen your new tool. Make sure to invest in a knife sharpener to keep your knives in tip-top shape.
In general, you should sharpen your knives every 4 or so uses, or whenever you notice it is beginning to dull. Note that this general guideline will vary from knife to knife, so try your best to handle each tool independently.
Some users prefer handheld sharpeners for added control, like this one. Are you unsure how to sharpen properly? Check out this handy how-to tutorial on Youtube.
Cooking Meat is Better with the Proper Tools
Cooking meat is arguably the most important and most fun part of preparing a meal, but the process is even better when equipped with the proper tools.
While you may be able to get by with a cheap all-purpose knife, investing in high-quality meat-specific knives will pay for itself in the long run, and help you to cook more evenly.
As you can see, each knife is unique in itself, so it’s especially important to pay attention to each tool’s specific set of characteristics.
Hopefully, this buying guide gave you some insight for picking out the perfect knife for cutting meat. Take pride in adding these special tools to your kitchen and start crafting the roast of your dreams. Happy cooking!