Whether you’re a backwoods cook or a backyard chef, making sure you have the right gear is vitally important. Knowing what you need for your next fire cooking experience can help you conquer any meal that you are going to cook. Now, you might be deciding between the right cast iron or grill, but did you know that the perfect knife is just as important?


While you use your skillets and grill grates for many things, your knife is your best friend. This handy tool not only helps you carve your steak but also aids in filleting your steak, splitting your wood, cooking your food and helping around the house. Knowing which knife you need, however, can be tricky.


Based on my experience, I have collected details about 5 different knives and the best activities for them. Check them out below and decided for yourself what outdoor cooking knife is right for you!


Chef knife with beef tenderloin


1. The Chefs Knife


Sharp and sturdy, the Chefs knife is any fire cooks best friend. This amazing knife was designed to help slice up gourmet steak, pork and veggies with ease. These knives are usually light with a large and thin blade. This blade helps you cut any steak with perfection.


However, Chef knives are really only meant for carving food. While they might help in the kitchen, these knives are not ideal for a backpacking or hiking. With that said, I highly recommend having a Chefs knife at home or while you are car camping.


2. The Bushcrafting Knife


The Bushcrafting knife is one tough tool. These hearty knives are meant for hiking, backpacking or living in the woods. They make great wood splinters, fire starters, and all around outdoor cooking tools.


Bushcrafting knives tend to have smaller blades that are heavy and wide in order to accomplish any tough task around the campsite. These knives are perfect for any fire cook that spends large amounts of time outdoors.


However, a bushcrafting knife is not meant to carve perfect cuts of meat for a gourmet meal. Knives like this are meant for power and not finesse. I highly recommend having a Bushcrafting knife as your outdoor cooking knife if you are an avid outdoor hiker or backpacker.


3. The Filet Knife


If you like fishing and hunting, then you are going to like the Filet knife. These very nimble knives are perfect to filleting fish and wild game while in the woods. They are very sharp in order to make sure that you get all the meat off the bone.


Outside of carving up dinner, these knives can be used for small tasks around the campsite or backyard. They are not the perfect knife for heavy duty tasks like splitting wood, but they are durable and easy to use. I highly recommend having a Filet as your outdoor cooking knife if you are a hunter or fisherman.


4. The Folding Knife


Have you ever wished you had a great knife right in your back pocket? Let me introduce you to the Folding knife. The Folding knife is compact and easy to use while you are out working around the house or tending to the fire.


These knifes are great for small tasks while cooking and also make a great companion in the woods. The only downside about these knives is actually how versatile they can be. Folding knives are a great utility knife, but they are not the best in any specific outdoor activity.


The Chefs knife carves better, the bushcrafting knife is more study and the Filet knife is more nimble. However, if you are looking for an overall great outdoor cooking knife, then I highly recommend a Folding knife.


5. The Gaucho Knife


Outdoor Cooking
Buy on JVKnives.com


Traditionally from South America, the Gaucho knife is a great blend of a Chefs knife, Filet knife, and a Bushcrafting knife. These unique knives are perfect for adding a new flare to your fire cooking experience.


They are long bladed and very sturdy in order to carve through meat and bone with ease. The only downfall of these knives is that they are not easy to find. However, if you are interested in getting a Gaucho knife then click on the picture above!


sharp knives


To Conclude…


Knowing what knife you need is very important for having a great fire cooking experience. But to be honest, we all know that only having one knife is not realistic.


Whether you are cooking in the backyard or cooking in the woods, just make sure to have the right outdoor cooking knife with you. If you need more help deciding then check out my list of recommended knives!



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Derek Wolf

Derek is the driving force behind Over the Fire Cooking. He started cooking with live fire in 2016 and decided to start a social media page so his friends and family could follow the journey. Fast forward to today and Over the Fire Cooking has spread across multiple platforms with millions now following Derek's fire cooking journey. He's a southern fellow who enjoys everything from classic BBQ to Central and South American inspired dishes. Whatever he's cooking up, it's guaranteed to be so freakin' delicious!