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  • The Best Japanese Knives for Barbecue & Brisket

    April 25, 2023 1 min read

    The Best Japanese Knives for Barbecue & Brisket

    Barbecue is a huge passion of mine. Before working at Knifewear, I worked at a little Barbecue joint in Vancouver. Learning to smoke and grill food was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my short time on Earth. I’ve smoked over 1000 briskets, and my pulled pork is always a hit at a dinner party. The most important aspect of making great smoked meats is your rub and the wood you use to create smoke. Once that smoking is done, preserving the delicious juices you worked so hard to maintain and having a nice, smooth cut is critical to good barbecue's delicious flavour and texture. I can’t tell you what goes into my secret brisket rub, but I can tell you the secret to getting an incredible texture on each slice! It comes from having a skinny, razor-sharp knife that causes little friction against the meat and has the length to slice through the whole slab without a bunch of back-and-forth sawing. The product of that equation (skinny+sharp+long knife) results in an incredibly smooth slice that locks the juices into your meat and creates a fantastic mouth feel for whoever is lucky enough to eat it. In the world of Japanese kitchen knives, these blades are called Sujihikis. Here’s a short list of a few of my favourites (in no particular order) based on my experience with barbecue: 

     

     

    Haruyuki Shiso Sujihiki 240mm - $264.00

    The Shiso is both a staff and customer favourite. With Aogami super as the hard core steel and a softer stainless outer layer, chefs love these knives as their daily drivers due to their incredible edge retention and their rustic look. The rough hammering on the side of this knife is called "Tsuchime" and in addition to making the knife super beautiful, it also helps keep friction to a minimum. They are also super easy to keep sharp due to their carbon steel core! If you want a knife that looks great and is easy to keep an edge on, this is your guy.

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    Masashi Shiroshu Sujihiki 270mm - $793.00

    I love this knife so much because it really embodies the sexiness of meat slicing. A beautiful brisket deserves a beautiful blade. Its mirror-polished damascus finish reduces friction against the meat and makes an incredibly smooth and juicy texture. A bonus is that Masashi uses SLD Semi stainless steel, which CAN rust but is relatively easy to take care of. This knife’s edge also lasts an insane amount of time due to the hardness that Masashi can achieve with his steel. I swear he’s a wizard. 

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    Fujimoto Nashiji Sujihiki 270mm - $211.00

    The Big Bang (for your buck). The Fujimoto Nashiji is perfect for folks who are “ballin' on a budget”. It’s a crazy versatile slicing knife with a badass slanted ‘kiritsuke tip’. With a carbon-steel core made out of Aogami #2 steel (blue #2), this knife sharpens up really nicely and hones even better. Plus, like the Koishi, it has stainless steel cladding to keep that carbon steel nice and safe! Seriously, for 265 buckaroos, you’re getting so much more than just a basic slicer. If you love barbecue, then this is a knife you’ll treasure forever.

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    Sakai Takayuki Brisket Knife 300mm - $154.00

    This big guy is the ultimate brisket-slicing knife. It’s 300mm long, and only the heftiest briskets can’t be cut in a single stroke of this blade. It’s nothing fancy, but if you’re a barbecue connoisseur who values function over form, this is your knife. Very simple and sleek, with a super flat profile for the optimal slice straight through your meat cake (it was originally designed for cake, but it's perfect for brisket). I also love this knife for any kitchen tasks requiring a long knife, like cutting up a watermelon or carving a turkey, so it’s great for people that don’t dothatmuch smoking. It won’t hold its edge for as long as the other knives on this list, but it is much more durable. If you need a solid knife that just works, grab this guy.

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    Of these four knives, I’m confident every barbecue lover will find a fantastic knife that fits their style and does exactly what they need. Briskets are my specialty, but roasts, turkeys, and other large cuts of meat don’t stand a chance against any of these knives. From putting on a show at the head of the table to serving delicious food to friends and family, these knives will help you do whatever it takes to impress!

    Snag A Sujihiki!

       Jacob Sawatzky-Ohama
    Jacob Sawatzky-Ohama

    Meet Jacob! While bouncing around national parks and the west coast of Canada, one thing remained constant for him, his love of Barbecue. If you see him, feel free to ask him anything smoking related, because he loves a good brisket. Hailing from Calgary, Jacob came back from his adventures to be closer to family, and to go to marketing school. His love of food and sharp things eventually landed him a job at the Inglewood location, where they needed someone to reach stuff off the top shelf. If you see him, you’ll be greeted with a smile and wave, and he’s happy to help you find something that fits you perfectly!