A two-pronged fork used to hold meat steady while it is being carved. They are often sold with carving knives or slicers as part of a carving set.
A carving fork is a kitchen utensil designed specifically for carving meat. It is used in conjunction with a carving knife, a very sharp knife which cleanly and efficiently cuts through meats such as roasts. Whether carving is done in the kitchen or at the table, a carving fork is still a very necessary tool, since it anchors the meat, making it easier and less messy to cut. Most kitchen supply stores sell carving forks, and they can also be special ordered through companies which specialize in kitchen goods.
Although a carving fork does distantly resemble a table fork, there are a few significant differences. The first is size; a carving fork is much larger than a normal fork, since it is designed to penetrate large roasts with ease. A carving fork also only has two tines, attached to a long handle which keeps the hand of the chef clear of the meat and the carving knife. In some cases, a carving fork and knife may be sold as a set, with coordinating handles.
Carving meat can seem like a ritualistic activity when performed at the table, since it is challenging to carve well with an audience. For this reason, some cooks prefer to briefly display roasts and retreat to the kitchen to carve them. However, with a bit of practice, carving meat can be relatively easy to do, and it is a useful skill to have, especially during the holiday season.