You’ve taken the time to carefully select and prepare the very best cuts of meat to serve, and with a great carving knife, you’ll be able to present perfectly sliced portions that look just as good as they taste.
Whether you’re looking for a carving knife to use for special gatherings, professional buffet use, or big, festive family meals, you’ll find that the knife’s quality makes a big difference.
In this guide, we provide insight into choosing the best carving knife for your needs, as well as reviews on five top-rated carving knives.
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Sometimes referred to as a slicing knife, a carving knife is generally longer and thinner than a chef’s knife. With a carving knife, you use a back-and-forth sawing motion to produce uniform, visually appealing slices of meat. Keep the following considerations in mind when selecting the best carving knife for your purposes.
- Length – Carving knives come in a variety of lengths, usually between seven and fifteen inches long. The knife you choose should be long enough to slice through meat in a single stroke. If you tend to serve big, traditional roasts, for example, then a long blade will work better than a short one.
- Blade Shape – While all carving knives are long and thin, not all are shaped the same. Look for a carving knife with a pointed end if you tend to serve cuts of meat that contain bones; choose one with a rounded end if you usually serve boneless meats.
- Edge Type– Some carving knives have straight edges, but many feature Granton edges, which feature shallow depressions along the lower portion of the blade. The Granton edge is designed to ensure that each slice of meat is released from the blade without sticking.
- Flexibility – A good carving knife offers a solid feel while providing a bit of flexibility. Flexibility is particularly important when you must navigate cuts of meat that contain bones.
- Blade Thickness – The thinner your carving knife, the nicer your slices will be.
- Matching Fork – You might or might not need a matching fork to go with your carving knife. Some are sold as sets, and others are sold separately. A fork helps with the serving process, and offers a pleasing, traditional look.
With these considerations in mind, you’ll find it easier to select the best carving knife for your needs.
Meat Carving Tips: How to Get Perfect Slices Every Time
You’ve taken a lot of time to select the best carving knife for your purposes; now, it’s time to use it to its full potential. Use these quick tips for carving meat and you’ll enjoy great results while impressing your family and guests.
- Remember to Let Meat Rest: Meat needs to rest when it comes off the grill or out of the oven, not only to finish cooking, but to allow for even distribution of juices throughout the entire thing. Pull your meat from the heat source when it is five to ten degrees away from the recommended cooking temperature, and then allow it to rest for at least ten minutes. Cover it with foil to retain heat.
- Use a Cutting Board with a Well: Unless you plan to cut your meat at the table, it’s a good idea to use a cutting board with a well for catching juices that escape. You’ll make less of a mess this way, and your board will not slip.
- Carve Away from Yourself: Be careful not to cut toward yourself, as this can lead to accidents.
- Use Long, Steady Strokes: Use patience and work slowly, making long, steady strokes with your carving knife while using a large fork to hold your meat in place. If you are new to carving meat and want to impress everyone at a holiday gathering, practice your meat carving technique before the big event. Practice on roast chickens, smaller pot roasts, and other cuts of meat that you serve your family. Even though it will add a little time to your meal prep, you’ll have the opportunity to improve your technique before the big day arrives.
- Cut Against the Grain: Meat contains muscle fibers that go in a certain direction. You’ll want to cut across or “against” the grain of each muscle. The slices will look nice and be more tender. If you are carving meat that contains bones, try to avoid nicking them with your carving knife.
- Watch Tutorials: Learn how to properly carve different cuts of meat by watching tutorials. Different items call for specific techniques!
- Keep your Knife Sharp: Be sure that your carving knife is sharp! Besides honing and sharpening, you can use an edge protector to prevent other objects from creating dullness. Be sure to carefully hand-wash and dry your knife to prevent it from being damaged in the dishwasher.
Paired with the best carving knife, good techniques make meals more enjoyable, and make all the time and effort you’ve put into selecting and preparing delicious foods worthwhile. We wish you success in your next culinary adventure!
Best Carving Knife Summed Up: