Published November 1, 2012. From Cook's Illustrated.
Which ones would help—not hamper—the crucial meat-slicing process?
When slicing meat tableside, a carving fork is the best option for holding the turkey or roast firmly in place while keeping your hand out of harm’s way. The six models we tried came in two styles—curved, with prongs that follow the shape of a roast, and bayonet-style, bearing straight prongs that are typically longer—and a wide price range: a simple roughly $22 tool all the way up to a nearly $155 showpiece fitted with a polished wood handle.
Whether we were carving a whole bird, eye-round roast, or bone-in ham, bayonet-style forks struggled when transferring sliced meat to a platter. We had to poke at pieces with the pointed ends and marred the meat in the process. One model’s prongs felt flimsy, wiggling as we sliced and actually bending as we lifted the whole roast. The curved forks offered an advantage. Their offset tines, such as those on our favorite model, provided a better sight line and kept testers’ fork-holding arms at a closer, more comfortable angle. And thanks to the nonslip rubber grip on our winner, every task felt as secure as using our hands.