The Sunday roast is one of the great British institutions, but without the right tools to cut it, it can all go horribly wrong, with great slabs of unappetising meat appearing on people’s plates. A decent carving set will provide the solution. Aim to get a set made from high-carbon stainless steel, or alternatively carbon steel.
The knife should also be long, with a thin sharp blade, while the handle should be comfortable to hold and well balanced. Read on to discover the best sets that will give you slice after slice of delectable looking meat.
1. Robert Welch Signature Carving Set: £85, Robert Welch
This brand’s award-winning knives are favoured by top chefs including Nathan Outlaw and this set, made from top-quality German stainless steel, doesn’t disappoint, making light work of even the biggest roasts. The ergonomic handles fit beautifully into the hand, while the long, ultra-sharp edge means you can produce fine, delicate slices with ease.
2. Analon Advanced Carving Set: £45, John Lewis
Analon is the brand of choice for chef Raymond Blanc, so it is no surprise its carving set is such a joy to use, putting the carver in control of the meat, rather than the other way round. Made from heat-treated, ice-hardened Japanese steel, it is resistant to rust and stains. We love the soft Santoprene handles too – it makes the set comfortable to hold and easy to control.
3. I.O.Shen Carving Knife and Fork Set: £129.99, Lakeland
This is a lot to fork out (pardon the pun), but the razor-sharp edge of the knife means you can carve all types of meat and fish in a single stroke, while the fork holds everything in place. Inspired by the centuries-old art of Samurai sword-forging, these Japanese crafters have created a blade that will see you through a lifetime of roasts.
4. Languiole by Jean Dubost Carving Set: £55, John Lewis
These retro-looking tools are great for people who like a bit of vintage in their lives. They won’t let you down either, even after years of use. Made in France using decades-old processes, there are plenty of matching implements available, ranging from cheese knives to salad servers.
5. Procook Professional X50 Carving Set: £32, ProCook
This is a bargain for a strong, hard-wearing carving set made from German stainless steel, with a stone ground blade for sharp cutting. They are well-constructed and comfortable to hold, with good weight balance. Make sure you sharpen them regularly.
6. James Martin Two-Piece Carving Set: £19.93, Amazon
Designed by television chef James Martin, this Molybdenum steel carving set is good value at just under £20 and great for anyone on a budget, or who doesn’t mind slightly thicker slices of meat. The anti-slip handles give you more control than many sets in this price range and the tools are dishwasher safe.
7. Global Two-Piece Carving Set: £174, Dunelm
If you’re really serious about roasts, then getting this set will send you skipping across the kitchen – although hopefully not with knife in hand, as it’s extremely sharp and long, carving through any meat to produce super-thin slices. The high carbon stainless steel is, as you might expect, Japanese and the balance, construction and comfort is unrivalled.
8. Robert Welch Radford Bright Carving Set: £95, Robert Welch
We had to include this second set from Robert Welch. The snazzy presentation box and high quality craftsmanship makes this a great gift and we love the timeless design, whose origins and contours are inspired by traditional 18th-century cutlery. It’s beautifully balanced and you couldn’t ask for more in the blade, which produces slice after slice of perfectly cut meat. There’s a whole cutlery set in the range if you want to complete the look.
9. Tramontina Brazilian BBQ Carving Set: £39.95, Sous Chef
If you prefer cooking outdoors on the barbie than in the oven, then this is the carving set for you. Including the obligatory knife and fork – but also large meat tongs – it’s got everything you need to present barbecued and roasted meats beautifuly.
10. Donald Russell Carving Set: £49, Donald Russell
Donald Russell is a world-famous online butcher, which carries a royal warrant, so it’s safe to say it knows a thing or two about how meat should be cut. Its carving set will do you proud when the roasting joint is presented on the Sunday dinner table, thanks to the razor-sharp forged stainless-steel blade and well-balanced riveted handles. It comes in a nice wooden box.
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