Ask any chef about essentials for home cooking, and a great set of knives will be at the top of their list. When it comes to holiday or special occasion roasts, a carving knife is quite helpful to have on hand. As opposed to the curving, sturdy blade of a chef’s knife, a carving knife is longer and thinner. The elongated, pointed blade makes it easier to cut even slices and maneuver around bones or cartilage.
Related: How to Carve a Turkey
When shopping for a carving knife, look for a blade that is at least 8-inches long (although we find 10-inches is the most efficient). If the blade is too short, it will be difficult to slice larger cuts of meat. This might not be an everyday knife, but it’s useful to have on hand and adds a fun sense of occasion whenever you bringing a large roast to the table. If you’re considering add a new carving and slicing knife to your kitchen arsenal, here are a few of our favorites to consider.
1. Berti White-Handled Italian Carving Knife
Berti knives have been handcrafted in Italy since 1895. Each knife is hand-forged for a razor sharp stainless steel blade and then stamped with the initials of the specific knifemaker who made it. This elegant carving knife has a sleek white lucite handle that feels good in your hand and a 9-inch carving blade. Pull this knife out to slice up a holiday-worthy rack of lamb, or to carve up your Friday night roast chicken.
To buy: $280 at food52.com
2. Victorinox Fibrox Pro 12" Hollow-Ground Slicing
Similar to a carving knife, a slicing knife is another style blade to consider. It has the same elongated blade as a carving knife, but there is no curve or pointed end – it’s the same width throughout and has a rounded tip. The long, even blade makes it easier to slice your meat with one smooth stroke. This Victorinox slicing knife has an extra-long 12-inch blade, a lightweight plastic handle and small divots on the blade that prevent food from sticking. These knives are best for boneless cuts like brisket, a whole side of gravlax or beef tenderloin.
To buy: $65 at williams-sonoma.com
3. Dansk Classic Fjord Teak Carving Set
We love the look of this retro mid-century carving knife set from Dansk. The combination of the smooth teak handle and the sloping stainless steel is timeless. The 8-inch blade is a good size for slicing beef tenderloin, a pork crown roast or a thick ribeye steak. Hold on to this set – the matching knife and fork are definitely heirloom-worthy.
To buy: $79 from food52.com
4. Mercer Culinary 10-Inch Genesis Forged Carving Knife
This carving knife from Mercer is the best deal for your money. It’s made of high-quality steel and has a lightweight, textured plastic handle. Also, the 10-inch blade has enough length to slice meat in one sweeping stroke, giving you clean, even slices (so you don’t butcher that perfectly roasted turkey). It’s not as sharp as the other knives on this list when you first open it, but the stainless steel blade is easy to sharpen and will hold its edge.
To buy: $37 from amazon.com
5. Wüsthof Classic 10-Inch Carving Knife
German-made Wüsthof knives are durable and will last you a lifetime with careful maintenance. They’re a classic choice and very reliable. Their 10-inch carving knife is no exception. The long stainless steel blade is very sharp and has a bit of flex to it, making it easy to get close to the bones of a turkey or giant prime rib roast. The blade is also thin throughout, reducing friction and allowing it to move through meat easily and smoothly. This knife is top of our list and worth the investment.
To buy: $110 from williams-sonoma.com