Carving forks, alternatively known as meat forks, are essentially two parallel metal tines connected to a handle. Essential for carving roasts and poultry, a meat fork is something every chef needs in their kitchen. Carving forks are helpful when slicing larger cuts of meat or anything that just came out of the oven or off the grill because they allow you to hold the hot meat and poultry still while carving so you don’t burn your hand. As far as options go, carving forks come in two varieties, curved or straight, each with their own particular advantages and drawbacks. The debate over which style is superior boils down largely to a matter of individual preference. Chef Pro Knives has several lengths and styles of carving forks available from Wusthof and Shun.
A curved carving fork is used to hold the meat still and to serve as a guide while slicing. Some chefs prefer curved meat forks because the tines are offset and do not get in the why while carving. The curved tines also transport meat easier from the pot to the plate, making serving easier than with a straight meat fork. A curved meat fork with offset tines may also make it easier to grip if you are carving on a high cutting surface.
These “bayonet style” carving forks are simple and efficient, allowing the chef to know exactly where the tine is in the roast, poultry, or ham, enabling precision slicing with a carving knife around bones. Many chefs use a straight meat fork for manipulating food that is baking, such as the caramelizing apple slices of Tarte Tatin. You may also see these straight carving forks called BBQ meat forks or barbecue forks because you can use them to easily slip between the spaces of a grill to move your meat, poultry, or vegetables around your grilling space.
Curved or straight, it really boils down to a matter of personal preference, with most chefs preferring the style carving fork they grew up using. Luckily for you, Wusthof meat forks are available both curved and straight. Wusthof also sells carving forks in a variety of sizes, so you can acquire one in the size best suited to your needs and the needs of your kitchen.