Types of Dinner Knives & Forks

In today’s world of fast food and meals-on-the-run, many people no longer spend time and effort to cook meals. Some individuals, however, have begun to reintroduce home-cooked meals into their homes, and some even have discovered the enjoyment of preparing multicourse meals for guests. Cooks, hosts and participants can begin to reintroduce mealtime into their homes by learning about the different types of knives and forks for cooking, serving and eating.

Knives for Preparing Food

Learn about knives and forks to prepare and serve delicious meals.

Cooks use a chef’s knife for chopping, precision cutting, slicing, crushing and carving tasks. Cooks should master the chef’s knife before moving on to using different knives. Most chef’s knives measure 25 cm. Chef’s knives have a broad blade and a long, curved edge.

Cooks use boning knives to separate meat and connective tissue from bones during trimming. The cook mainly utilizes the tip of the boning knife which must remain extremely sharp. Boning knives generally measure 12 cm long.

A paring knife, generally measuring 7 cm. long, will aid a cook during peeling, paring, cutting, turning and fruit and vegetable carving.

Knives and Forks for Carving

People who wish to purchase a carving set can find different types of carving knives and forks in the stores. Some will prefer curved pronged carving forks while others find that the straight pronged forks hold the meat more securely while it is being cut. Both types of carving forks can be used to pick up the carved pieces of meat from the plate to make it easier for the carver to continue carving the meat. Professionals prefer a strong carving fork that has been forged into shape, rather than a stamped sheet steel carving fork. Carving knives have thin, long narrow blades with sharply pointed tips that will slice meat from the bone. A good carving set can prove expensive, so cooks should maintain their carving set by keeping it clean and keeping the knife blade sharp.

Cutlery for Different Courses

The number of pieces of cutlery at a place setting will indicate the number of courses to expect. In general, while dining formally, individuals will begin the meal with the cutlery that sits on the outside of the place setting and move in towards the plate for each successive course. In a traditional three-course meal, the service knife will sit directly to the plate’s right and the salad fork will sit to the plate’s left. A small fish knife will lay next to the service knife on the right while the dinner fork will lay next to the salad fork on the left. The fish fork will sit on the outer left, and the cake fork and dessert spoon will lay above the plate. When the individual has finished eating, he should place the fork and knife on the plate, with the fork turned pronged-side down.

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