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Electric Knives


Smoke Blower
Joined Dec 20, 2012
Hey all,

Taking a consensus here to see if I should broaden my horizons a little bit. Now I know some people swear by their cutlery set for cutting meat but, I am seeing some of the people in competition BBQ and other professionals using electric knives. Now I know of the downside of needing some type of electricity source but I usually do all my cutting and final steps indoors after I have taken my meat out of the smoker. Would using an electric knife be a beneficial tool. 

Please weigh in with pros and cons of why you do have or wuld use one. I have been against them but my father swore by them as I was growing up but I don't really see what the big deal is. 
 I could use some help here. I'm always looking for new tips tools and tricks to make my cooking and food presentation better.

Thanks all  


Master of the Pit
Joined Dec 19, 2011
I use a Kitchen Aid electric knife for all my slicing needs (at home, at comps, ribs, briskets, hams, turkeys, etc.), but I have also never owned a great set of knives, so I really can't compare.  It's on my to do list (buy a good slicing knife, maybe a 10" or 12" Victorinox or Messermeister with granton edge) since there have been a number of comps I do that have limited power access.  This way if I ever get to one with no power, I've still got all my bases covered.  I am interested in others takes on this subject as well.  However, to me, for presentation, I can't imagine a standard knife making as good a cuts as I get with my electric.  Clean cutting, no tearing, no jagged edges on the meat, but like I said earlier, I have never used a "quality" knife.
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tsquared bbq

Joined Jan 26, 2013
I find my electric invaluable for brisket, but brisket is the only meat I slice so fanatically

Consider this:

you are already covered in fat and possibly gloves, an electric has a larger handle due to the motor

you can rest the knife blade on your knuckle like shooting pool

cuts are actually less ragged

an electric is the only way I can not pull that little bit down on the edge of a brisket off the slice

I personally think they are safer when I am exhausted like I am after cooking briskets by the batch :-)

Just my overblown 2 cents :-)



Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Group Lead
Joined Apr 23, 2010
I see no problem using an electric knife.  I have a very good set of knives and would not hesitate to use an electric if it could save some work.

In other words, I don't let my pride override my good sense!  

chef willie

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Dec 31, 2010
Interesting thread in as much as I have just, in the last few days, picked up an electric knife, like new, at a local thrift store for 5 bucks. I have seen the 'masters' on TV comps using the electric knife and was surprised as they seemed to been a fad from back in the day. However, I used to volunteer cook at an American Legion monthly prime rib nite and we would do 15-17 full primes in a coupla hours, cutting all with an electric knife and I must say...the cuts were beautiful. It had been years since I had seen an electric knife much less used one but I became a fan doing those primes. So, I have a rib feed happening tonight here at home and a prime rib dinner to do next week at the Elks. I know the knife will work well on the primes and will road test it tonight on the BB's.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Jul 2, 2012
Electric knives work great. They work really well for cleaning larger fish. I think there are cordless models available.

chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Group Lead
Joined May 12, 2011
I would like an Electric even though there is nothing I can't slice with a good sharp knife. I have yet to find one that gets great reviews...JJ


Master of the Pit
Joined Sep 8, 2012
I see no problem using an electric knife.  I have a very good set of knives and would not hesitate to use an electric if it could save some work.

In other words, I don't let my pride override my good sense!  


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Oct 4, 2012
I have a really nice sharp slicer knife that I use and I think that it does just fine for what I do. I guess I have used an electric knife if a sawzall counts, works good for filleting blast frozen Albacore!


Meat Mopper
Joined Aug 20, 2012
I personally like thick sliced bacon, but my wife likes thinner.  Can anyone comment on using an electric knife to achieve thinner cuts with bacon.  I have a good set of knives, but don't seem to be able to get any consistency in cutting bacon.



Meat Mopper
Joined Jun 2, 2011
I find that the Sawz-All is a great electric knife.  I can go from cutting drywall, to cutting the chicken, then to cutting a steel pipe without ever having to to change the blade.  Then I use my Ginsu knife for the more delicate cuts.

But seriously, I have a decent set of knives and a Black and Decker electric knife.  If I need accuracy I will use my hand knives, but for big items or lots of cuts I lean towards the electric knife


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Apr 22, 2011
I have one I got for slicing bread. I can't even get close to the straight, even slices I get with the electric with a regular bread knife. The one I have is fairly cheap, vibrates like a divorcee's nightstand and has a really annoying safety switch, but it gets the job done. I also used it for spatchcocking chicken recently, which kind of changed my life. It goes through those back ribs with almost zero effort. For regular slicing of meats and veggies, I can't see the use, but for the things I mention above, as well as filleting larger fish and breaking down large cuts like pork butts or shoulder clods, it really makes life easier.

bad santa

Meat Mopper
Joined Feb 20, 2013
If you are going to get an electric knife, I would highly recommend the Cuisinart CEK 40, they cost about $50 bucks. I have been comp. cooking BBQ now for 8 years and had a catering company, so an electric knife has a big advantage over the Granton slicer or scimitar blades for precision cuts, esp. when you are cutting  large amounts of briskets or racks of ribs for crowd service, partys etc. Have also used Mr.Twister electric fillet knife from Academy which run about $20 bucks that work like they are suppose to also. I own full sets of Messermeister and Henckels Pro's that I used for years in restaurant kitchens and I love them too, but the Cuisinart is a knife that you'll love using.


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Aug 1, 2008
I have an electric knife.  I have had one as long as I can remember.

Not sure where it is?  There are times when I like it? Can't think when right now.?  Maybe it was for the dreaded dry turkey breast my mother in law always made?

As to brands?  I don't have a clue.  I bought my last one at a thrift store for about $2.

Good luck and good smoking.


Joined Feb 17, 2013
Both are good to have.  Knife sets (steel and ceramic, which are "the new rage" in knives, given ceramic is actually HARDER than steel knives) work really well for most all culinary tasks and meat cutting.  But when it comes to carving a turkey or slicing a ham (or any large meat cut), electric seems to make the task a little easier.  I use both, and while the electric knife isn't necessary, if you often carve big pieces of meat (or maybe even need to cut up a dead body), it's not a bad toy to have around.



Master of the Pit
Joined Jan 4, 2012
My guess would be scale. Pretty good idea, most everyone knows how big a tennis ball is.
Hehee Yah, my brothers send me a lot of fish pics..we're a little competitive and we all have retrieving dogs so the closest scale/measuring devices we have around are tennis balls... or beer bottles / cans.
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Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Sep 30, 2010
I have used and have both. It really depends on what you are looking for. When we do finger sandwiches the electric knife gets best results. It also takes the wear and tear out of your hand when doing a lot of cutting.

But with either one it takes practice for the accuracy....... I mostly use my traditional knives...just habit...had Chef's that would have
 if i had brought an electric knife in the kitchen......

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