Thanksgiving is right around the corner again, so it's time to get out your carving knife and fork, along with the cutting board! If you've found that slicing a turkey or ham isn't easy with the knife you have, it might mean you should opt for a better one.
Typically, a carving knife has a blade of 7 inches or longer and tapers to a point. That way, it can get through a large piece of meat with ease.
They are often made of high-carbon steel that holds a sharp edge. However, there are other materials used that provide the same benefit. Let's learn more!
What to Consider When Choosing Carving Knives?
When choosing the best carving knives, it's crucial to consider these main points:
Manual vs. Electric Slicing Knives
You can use an electric carving knife like you do a regular one. It often has a rounded tip on both blades, which fit flush against one another. Small rivets hold the blades together, and they move in specific ways so that the blades oscillate. The butt ends fit into the handle with an internal motor.
Typically, these knives have serrated blades, so it cuts quickly and effortlessly through the meat. However, it requires you to plug it into a wall outlet and can be challenging to use at times.
Manual knives have a long and sharp knife blade curving to a tip. The curve and length let the person slice meat by making fluid and long strokes. Since it offers a smooth blade, you get a cleaner cut without ripping the meat or making marks.
A slicing knife needs a blade that's long enough to produce large slices of meat. If it's too short, you have to use sawing motions to get through the meat, which means less appealing slices that are uneven.
However, the blade can't be too long, or it's hard to use. Most carving knives have a 4-inch handle.
Electric knives often have 7- to 9-inch blades. Since they are motorized, it's easy to carve large pieces of meat.
Manual knives are often 8 inches long, which works well for small hams and roaster chickens. However, they can be used for turkeys, too.
Blade Material and Features
All carving knives feature a steel blade, and some people feel that high-carbon stainless steel is the best choice. However, Damascus steel is also a great option because it's hard and holds a sharp edge.
However, the cutting edge is dull, so you must learn how to sharpen the carving knife.
A carving knife should be long and thin with a narrow profile compared to the standard chef's knife. That way, it can get through the meat without being hung up. Most knives have divots along the blade to create air pockets between the meat and metal.
There's also the concern over stamped blades versus forged ones. Usually, a stamped blade is lighter and more flexible and can be perfect for a carving knife set.
Regardless, you want something as sharp as possible to cut smoothly.
The bevel of the cutting edge ranges from 14 to 20 degrees, and this is sufficient for clean cuts.
Handles are made of different materials, such as steel, wood, and plastic. Plastic and steel require less maintenance and can handle soapy water. Carving knives with a wooden handle requires more maintenance and some mineral oil to protect the wood.
Quality knives have full tangs, so there's one piece of metal extending from the butt of the handle to the tip. Usually, these are more durable, though they can be a bit heavier.
You should also look for an ergonomic shape from the manual knife. That way, it conforms to your hand's contours and lets you get a solid grip. Many carving knives include a deeper guard to prevent the hands from sliding forward while cutting.
Weight and Balance of the Slicing Knife
Quality carving knives have a balanced feel. The weight of the slicing knife must balance at the bolster, which is where the blade and handle are attached. With that, the bolster must be heavy enough to give the knife weight so that it can drive forward and backward through your meat. However, it can't be too heavy, or it becomes awkward and cumbersome to use.
Since an electric knife features a motor, most of the weight is in the handle. They typically weigh 1.25 pounds, whereas a carving knife weighs 8 ounces.
The 8" Damascus Carving Knife
You want a versatile knife that can tackle many things. Overall, it's crucial to get a secure grip and have the entire knife work with you instead of against you.
That's why the Damascus Carving Knife is such a great option. It's 8 inches long, so it's great for slicing roast beef into thin slices or getting through that holiday turkey.
You're sure to appreciate the Damascus stainless steel blade, which is a bit better than the high-carbon steel blade that other carving knives use. You can easily slice meat, vegetables, and almost anything else.
With the sharper blade, you can start cutting right out the box. Plus, a narrow blade makes it easy to cut through just about anything.
Though you're likely focused more on smooth blades that get through the Thanksgiving turkey with ease, you can't help but appreciate the beauty of this knife. It's easy to cut uniform portions, and you can use whatever carving fork you like, as well.
When cutting turkey, you want a long blade on your carving knife, and it needs a pointed tip. Though most electric knives are designed to make quick work of it, they often tear the meat so that it's not presentable.
Instead, consider the wood handles and beauty of the Damascus Carving Knife. You get even slices from the extra-long blade and can cut through a large roast and other boneless cuts with ease.
Carving and slicing for Thanksgiving just got a bit easier. However, don't keep it in the drawer for the rest of the year; use it for all types of cooked meats, such as beef tenderloin, large roasts, and all the rest!