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Best Carving Knife

Often referred to as a slicing knife, the carving knife requires a little bit of practice, but is well worth the effort and investment.

For the purist that swears by fresh ground coffee beans, loose leaf teas, and farm fresh vegetables, carving the family turkey, ham, or roast of beef by hand is the only way to go. The results far outweigh those you would achieve from a cumbersome electric knife that works with two blades to essentially saw through foods. The longer, thin blade of a carving knife dis capable of delivering finer, more precise cuts that won’t crush foods and deplete flavors and texture. Often referred to as a slicing knife, the carving knife requires a little bit of practice, but is well worth the effort and investment.

What Are the Benefits to Using a Carving Knife?

Let’s start with the longer length of the blade which is typically 8 to 10 inches from tip to hilt and extremely thin to easily slide through large cuts of meat such as whole turkeys or roasts of beef, pork, or game. As a result, this type of knife doesn’t require a great deal of pressure when cutting, but slice thinly and evenly with a few easy strokes. Not having to saw back and forth means you preserve meat textures and prevent the roast from losing both juices and flavor.

What to Look for When Buying a Carving Knife

Design Function

You can expect the blade of a top-quality carving knife to be longer than a chef’s knife and much thinner to allow for even, consistent cutting of thinner meat slices. The tip of this knife is typically pointed and upturned to help the carver navigate around bones and cartilage without having to saw of use extra pressure. And while a slicing knife is often considered interchangeable with a carving knife, its rounded tip makes it unsuitable for bone-in roasts.

Blade Construction

Quality carving knives are typically constructed from steel – often stainless which is great for kitchen work where it’s continually exposed to foods, juices and oils. But while stainless is fairly standard, high-carbon steel is what will get you that razor-sharp edge, so important for carving off thinner slices of meat. And for top-of-the-line quality, opt for a forged blade that has been constructed from a single piece of steel, hammered and then tempered before polishing. Its typically thicker than other blades and considered a higher quality.

Handle Construction

Handles are as important to the carving knife as the blade and require a design that is comfortable, durable, and ideally slip-proof for when hands get greasy. Wood offers the softer feel, however can be difficult to clean and sanitize. Laminate is gaining in popularity because it looks great, offers the same hand-to-blade balance as wood, but is much easier to sterilize. Today’s synthetic options offer quality along with thermal resistance and easy maintenance but fall short in offering the same weighted balance as other materials. Contrarily, a stainless-steel handle looks great and is easy to clean, but is heavier so not ideal for volume carving.

Top 6 Carving Knives

Mercer 10-inch High Carbon German Steel Carving Knife with Triple Riveted Handle

Best Hard-Wearing Carving Knife

When carving the ceremonial roast, nothing says “I know what I’m doing.” better than a finished platter full of juicy, perfectly sliced portions. And that comes with a little practice and a top-quality carving knife like this beautifully forged design made from high-carbon German steel. While its 10-inch length makes quick work out of any cut of meat, the rust-resistant German steel construction delivers a blade that’s harder and more durable than standard steel. It also allows the taper-ground edge of this knife to be continually honed to a razor-sharp finish. An ergonomically designed handle is constructed from hard-wearing Delrin thermoplastic for added resistance to the grease and oils that come with frequent use. And the full tang with triple riveting means this carving knife is built for fail-proof carving that will stand the test of time.

Who Should Buy This Carving Knife?

This is a great investment piece for the home chef who appreciates top quality knives and enjoys hosting those big, special occasion meals for friends and family.

Pros:

  • High-carbon German steel
  • Forged construction
  • Triple rivet, full-tang handle
  • Taper ground edge

Cons:

  • Requires regular sharpening

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Victorinox Swiss Army 12-inch High Carbon Stainless Steel Carving Knife with Scalloped Granton-Style Blade

Best for Volume Slicing

When duty calls and its time to slice up a volume of brisket, ham, corned beef or other boneless cuts of meat, you want a top-quality carving knife that can produce wafer-thin slices of all those deli favorites. And this is it. The extra-long 12-inch blade of this high carbon stainless-steel knife is ideal for long, single stroke slicing and those uniformly sized portions that are ideal for sandwiches and party platters. Best of all, the uniquely scalloped sides of this Granton-style blade prevent meats from sticking, breaking down, and losing their juices – so you don’t lose moisture or flavor. And this knife’s patented Fibrox Pro handle is ergonomically designed to deliver not only optimal blade-to-handle balance for more efficient slicing, but a non-slip grip for when hands become wet or greasy.

Who Should Buy This Carving Knife?

This knife is a great choice for those who entertain and find themselves slices volumes of meats, cheeses, or vegetables to prepare platters. A Granton blade prevents sticking for foods that are more flavorful and a cleaner, uniform cut.

Pros:

  • High-carbon steel blade
  • Granton-style, non-stick blade
  • Non-slip Fibrox Pro handle
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • Not suited for bone-in roasts

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HENCKELS 8-inch German Stainless Steel Carving Knife with Forged Blade

Best for Smaller Roasts

If your culinary creations lean more towards smaller roasts, briskets, and hams, you may want to consider a more compact carving knife that can get the job done without the unwieldy extra-long blade. And that’s where this beautifully designed 8-inch knife steps up. Forged from superior-grade German Steel for added durability and razor-sharpness, this no-fail blade can easily carve through meats, slice fish, or prep vegetables. The pointed tip of this satin-finished blade is perfectly suited to work through tougher cuts of meat with bone or cartilage that could slow a lesser knife down. And when it comes to a comfortable hold, the handle offers a gentle curve for better ergonomics. A full tang and triple rivet construction deliver a solid, reliable carving knife while the handsome stamped endcap counter balances the blade and adds a professional aesthetic.

Who Should Buy This Carving Knife?

This is the perfect blade size for those who typically cut smaller roasts over entire turkeys and want something that is highly effective, easy to maneuver, and looks great on the dining room table.

Pros:

  • Extra hard German stainless steel
  • Forged construction
  • Full tang with triple rivet handle
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons:

  • Too small for larger roasts

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TUO 12-inch Carbon German Stainless Steel Knife with Scalloped Blade

Best for Form and Function

For the home chef that loves to make a great impression when entertaining, this dramatic looking carving knife is truly a show stopper. Forged from hard-wearing high carbon German stainless steel, the extra long blade of this knife has a long-lasting, razor-sharp finish and is ideal for carving larger cuts of meat such as whole turkeys or sides of beef with fewer strokes than would be required from a shorter blade. And with the scalloped, Granton style sides that prevent food from sticking as you slice, you preserve the textures, flavors and juices of your favorite meats and vegetables. A stunning, full-tang pakkawood handle is gently rounded for a more comfortable, ergonomic grip that offers the weight and feel of real wood but is water-resistant and won’t warp or split.

Who Should Buy This Carving Knife?

The dramatic styling and practical, hard wearing construction of this carving knife make it an ideal option for those who enjoy entertaining and want a high-quality utensil that looks as good as it works.

Pros:

  • High-carbon German stainless steel
  • Extra-long blade for larger roasts
  • Non-stick scalloped sides
  • Water-resistant pakkawood handle

Cons:

  • Hand-wash only

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DALSTRONG 9-inch High-Carbon German Steel Carving Knife with 2-Prong Fork and Honing Rod

Best Carving Set

Whether you’re newly designated to carving the family roast or are a seasoned home chef that appreciates a little extra help, this 4-piece carving set is about to become your go-to solution. Constructed from superior grade high carbon German steel, the 9-inch, razor-sharp blade and pointed tip on this carving knife make it ideal for slicing through heavier cuts of meat and working around bones and cartilage. The scalloped sides of this blade prevent foods from sticking and losing their flavors and texture while the full-tang, triple-riveted Garolite handle is both comfortable and hard-wearing with a steel end cap for optimal counter balancing. The premium-quality, laminated handles on both carving knife and fork make it easier to clean up and sanitize after each use.

Who Should Buy This Carving Knife?

For an excellent all-in-one set that offers both quality and functionality, this superior-grade high-carbon German steel carving knife, fork, and accessories is the way to go.

Pros:

  • High-carbon German steel construction
  • Non-stick, scalloped blade sides
  • Includes sharpening rod and carving fork
  • Full-tang, triple-rivet handle

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher safe

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MAIRICO 11-inch Stainless Steel Carving Knife with Full-Tang Handle

Best for Larger Roasts

For flawless carving of larger cuts of meat, you need a razor-sharp knife with a longer blade that can slice through heavier foods in just a few easy strokes. Meet that knife. Crafted from premium stainless-steel, it offers a generously sized, 11-inch cutting edge as well as Granton-style scalloping that prevents foods from sticking to the sides and losing juices, moisture, and flavor. It’s ideal for processing perfectly uniform, wafer-thin slices of everything from ham, brisket, or your favorite deli meats and cheeses for platters and sandwiches. A full-tang, triple-rivet handle is well balanced with the blade for an always comfortable grip and more efficient cutting angle.

Who Should Buy This Carving Knife?

The extra-long blade on this knife may be daunting for those not familiar with the carving process. As a result, this knife is well-suited for the seasoned home chef that requires a top-quality, highly functional blade for volume production.

Pros:

  • Premium stainless-steel
  • Extra-long blade
  • Full-tang, triple-rivet handle
  • Stick-free, scalloped blade

Cons:

  • Not suited for bone-in roasts

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Bottom Line

For carving the seasonal turkey, a Sunday roast, or just a wide range of deli meats and cheeses for sandwiches and charcuterie, the blade you use will make or break your presentation. A true carving knife is designed to slice through larger cuts of meat with minimal effort and no loss of texture and flavor. Their handles are designed to stand up to the rigors of cutting through bone, cartilage, and gristle, and their blades will often feature the dimpled texture that prevents drag when foods stick. For a modest investment, this is an absolute essential for those who consider a great cut of meat, to be the hallmark of special occasion dining.

Photo credit: Natalia Lisovskaya/Shutterstock

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