Buying Guide to Carving Sets
5 Things to Know Before You Buy
Carving a piece of poultry or beef into appetizing, precise slices requires that you use high-quality carving tools. A carving set consisting of a sharp knife and matching fork allows you to quickly and efficiently cut and serve.
Educating yourself about the key aspects of a well-crafted carving set helps you choose the best set for your kitchen arsenal.
Fact #1: Size
Carving knife sets come in various sizes, generally ranging from 6- to 11-inches in length. For an all-purpose set to cut a piece of meat that serves four to six people, an 8-inch set often performs well. If you routinely cut large pieces of meat, however, you'll want a longer set, such as an 11-inch knife and an 8-inch fork.
Fact #2: Blade/Tines
Generally, a sharp-edged blade is best for making smooth cuts. Serrated knives are more likely to tear the meat, but they work well for cutting tough outer layers, such as on smoked meats. If you decide on a serrated knife, choose one that has a thin blade, which tends to cause less shredding. Also, look for a fork with sharp tines so you can quickly and efficiently prick and hold meat in place.
Fact #3: Materials
The quality of the materials used to construct the knife has a direct bearing on how well it functions. Knife blades sets are generally constructed of metal. Your best choice is high-carbon stainless steel, which won't rust and holds a sharp edge. Knives made solely of stainless steel tend not to hold as sharp of a blade.
Fact #4: Construction
A sturdy and secure knife blade is critical for safely cutting through tough pieces of meat and cartilage. Your best option is a knife with a full tang, which refers to a blade that runs from the top of the knife all the way through to the handle. Such a knife construction ensures that the blade stays fixed giving you more control over the piece of meat you are cutting.
Fact #5: Handle
A comfortable, secure handle makes cutting meat a successful experience free of hand cramping. Handles come in several materials, including stainless steel, wood and polypropylene. Some handles are a part of the blade, such as full stainless steel models, while others are riveted to the blades, and some are permanently bonded to the knife tang, requiring no rivets.
Whatever type of knife handle you do choose, it's important you are able to grip it well and it fits comfortably in your hand. Some knives feature what is known as a d-shaped handle, which refers to a slight contour in the handle that allows the user to more comfortably wrap their fingers around while cutting.
Take advantage of this cutting-edge information when choosing your carving set, and you're sure to find just the right set for your meal preparation and serving needs.