Carving Forks

Published November 1, 2012. From Cook's Illustrated.

Which ones would help—not hamper—the crucial meat-slicing process?

Overview:

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… read more

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.

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  • Product Tested

    Results Key:

    Good ★ ★ ★ Fair ★ ★ Poor
  • Prices are subject to change.
  • Highly Recommended - Winner

    Mercer Cutlery Genesis 6-Inch High-Carbon Carving Fork

    The sharp, V-shaped prongs of this curved carbon steel fork held firmly to roasts while staying out of the knife’s way, worked well for transferring slices to a platter, and didn’t bend when lifting or turning roasts. Its rounded nonslip rubber handle felt secure and comfortable.

    • Ease of Use ★★★
    • Performance ★★★

    $22.20

    BUY NOW Amazon
  • Recommended

    LamsonSharp Vintage 10-Inch Carving Fork

    The sharp, dramatically curved prongs of this sturdy fork held all roasts steady, worked like a charm for transferring slices, and stayed out of our line of sight for carving. But its rounded handle, set farther from the prongs than our favorite fork’s handle, limited some testers’ sense of control.

    • Ease of Use ★★½
    • Performance ★★★

    $72.00

  • Recommended

    Wüsthof Classic Curved Meat Fork

    With its super-long prongs, this curved fork offered weight and strength, helping us transfer and stabilize roasts of any size with ease. But its long, boxy handle was uncomfortable, and its close-set prongs gave us less control when transferring slices.

    • Ease of Use ★★
    • Performance ★★★

    $99.95

    BUY NOW Amazon
  • Recommended with Reservations

    Shun Premier Fork

    With closely spaced prongs that didn’t bend and a PakkaWood handle that was pleasant to hold, this sleek bayonet held a long, flat eye-round roast steady for carving. But the straight-set prongs got in the way of our knife and made it necessary to poke at slices of meat to transfer them from cutting board to platter.

    • Ease of Use ★★
    • Performance ★★

    $154.95

  • Recommended with Reservations

    Messermeister Meridian Elite Curved Pot Fork

    The sharp, sturdy prongs of this bayonet-style fork got a good grip on roasts and held them securely. But it was handle-heavy, so we had to work a tiny bit harder to press it against the meat, and the handle’s distance from the prongs limited our precision and felt awkward.

    • Ease of Use ★½
    • Performance ★★

    $84.95

  • Not Recommended

    Victorinox 4-Inch Carving Fork

    The prongs on this short bayonet fork flexed and bent as we used it to lift a 4-pound eye-round roast (the smallest in our lifting tests); it also proved too flimsy to prevent the roast from wiggling as we carved. Its lightweight plastic handle was contoured but too thin for a comfortable grip.

    • Ease of Use
    • Performance

    $30.00

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