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Nov 12, 2009 03:40 PM

Meat Fork -- Why so expensive?

We all understand why kitchen knives can be expensive. There are real differences between a good knife and a bad knife. A good knife may preform better because its steel is stronger, or tougher or greater wear resistance or more ergonomic, or easier to sharpen. Now, we may not be willing to pay extra for the improvements, but there are improvements to pay for.

Why does a meat fork cost so much? Like these:
Wusthof Blackwood
Henckels Pro S

Is there a real performance difference between a $30 fork and a $150 fork? I understand a heavier stiffer fork can hold the foods down better, but we aren't taking about huge difference, or are we?

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    1. Because you want to have the meat fork that matches your expensive carving knife - so you will pay whatever they ask. As for any difference in performance, I'm sure an old tree branch would work just as well.

      16 Replies
      1. re: tanuki soup

        tanuki soup is right, a fork is a fork. The stuff you linked to is Sucker Bait, as is much too much stuff for the kitchen.

        Buy something cheap and functional -- like maybe from Goodwill. Save your money for something really useful.

        1. re: puzzler


          I was thinking about that. Maybe they just want people with money to get good looking forks, but I have a feeling there is no real improvement in term of functionality.


          I don't even use a carving fork really. I either use a dining fork or just my hand :) I think a carving fork is only necessary if you do a lot of presentation carving (carving in front of people), which I don't. Anyway, I am don't know much about these forks, maybe there is another art to them and maybe there is a reason to buy a >$100, but I just cannot put my mind around it. I know better steel can make a knife cut better and last longer, but I don't think a fork works that way.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            I have a $10 Oxo carving fork from Target to go with my $100+ knives. I'd rather spend the money on more knives than a pricey fork.

            1. re: irishnyc

              Iris (and others).

              But does a pricey fork does anything extra? I understand when people say "I rather spend more money on a chef's knife than a pricey bread knife". That is because a chef's knife is used more often than a bread knife. Nonetheless, a pricey bread knife can perform much better than a cheap one -- even if you don't use it very often.

              The fork is something I won't use very often, but I also wonder if an expensive fork performs better than an average fork in the first place. It may not. I don't know. I am opened to any new idea.

              P.S.: I am NOT suggesting that I want to buy an expensive meat fork. I am just trying to understand the rationale, so please don't feel like you may ruin my life by suggesting there is a reason for buying an >$100 carving fork.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                An expensive fork does NOTHING more than a cheap fork. It is sold strictly as a companion item in knife sets or carving sets, and the handle materials may explain the differences in price. They are nearly all stainless steel and they ALL work identically. I have one and it rarely leaves the drawer. I forget which knife it was supposed to go with, probably a Henkels Twin Pro.

                Me? I prefer eight inch tongs with a silicon tip, just to protect the edge of the knife if I accidentally hit it with the blade. Mort stability, plus a built in transfer tool. Much easier to remove slices with than a fork.

                If I ever use the fork, it is for large roasts. But mostly, I would advise against it, as well as advise agains buying a "carving set" for yourself. You are far better off getting a decent slicer and investing in a $12 set of tongs,

                1. re: RGC1982

                  Using silicone-tipped tongs instead of a fork is a GREAT idea! Thanks, RGC1982.

                  1. re: tanuki soup

                    Tanuki Soup,

                    RGC's tong idea is great. In fact, come to think of it, I had used a tong to carve, just not a silicone tongs.

                    That being said, don't sell yourself short. An old tree branch is also a great idea. It is very cheap and we know wood is soft and kind to knives (which is why many cutting boards are made from wood).

                  2. re: RGC1982

                    I've acquired a few carving forks over the years and the only difference I notice is that some are too weak to lift a heavy roast out of the oven without bending while others are plenty strong enough. None of them was expensive, though.

                    1. re: BobB


                      Great points. That is what I am wondering too. Obviously, some forks will perform better than others, because some are thinner or flexible. Do you mind to elaborate a bit on "none of them was expensive"? Because everyone has a different sense of "expensive". My definition of expensive has changed over time as well.

                      This will give me a sense of what is a reaonably priced fork and yet functional. From some of the forks I have seen, I believe $20-30 should get me a sturdy fork (in general), but please feel free to comment otherwise.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        They're all pretty old but I'm sure none cost more than $20 or so.

                      2. re: BobB

                        Why not get a pair of turkey lifters then? Just thinking they are usually stronger, wide spaced and long tongs and are basically giant forks.

                        Just a thought.

                        1. re: grnidkjun

                          No need - I have enough strong forks to get the job done, I've just learned the hard way which forks NOT to use for heavy lifting.

                          1. re: grnidkjun

                            I agree that if you are trying to lift a roast with a pair of forks, the short wide profile of turkey lifter forks are perhaps the safest. As for a fork, I prefer a shorter handled fork for that reason too, on those rare moments when I use a fork to lift.

                            One of the other reasons I prefer to use tongs is because two tongs, if one is long enough, can generally lift any bird or small roast. You can even use one tong in the bird's cavity, and the other to grasp it around the "waist". Of course, all of this becomes much harder once you are talking a 20 plus pound bird or a large ham. Then I just go for clean tea towels and dig right in.

                        2. re: RGC1982

                          Can't remember when I last used a fork while "carving". I use tongs as well or fingers (I wash them).

                      3. re: irishnyc

                        I second the tong idea but the silicone-tipped suggestion is even better. I'll have to try that.

                        I have been using tongs for years, and they work wonderfully. They are also great for breaking down a rotisserie chicken. You can just slide one prong along the bone that divides the breasts, grip the breast and take it out almost whole with just a tug or two.

                        If you still desire a fork and don't want to purchase a new one, I'd suggest going old-school and get a unique piece from an antique store. You can usually find several options and they are often reasonably priced. They will have some character too.

                        1. re: smkit

                          I'd forgotten about my old silver "carving" set! Yes, I have one too, given to me by my MIL, who used to scour antique shops. Beautiful set. I confess, I have never used the knife, only the fork.

                2. I was just at the dollar store today and they had a meat fork that looked a lot like the Henckels Pro. Full tang and everything.

                  2 Replies
                  1. Thanks for everyone's feedback. It appears the general consensus is that a criteria of a carving fork is nothing like a knife, which I suspected but unsure. A fork made out of any steel grade will be fine as long as the fork has enough structural strength (not tensile strength) to support the foods.

                    Thanks. I think we can consider this topic closed.