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How to Properly Carve a Piece of Meat

Carving meat is a skill that is reasonably easy to pick up. However, very few of us are ever taught how to do this ‘properly’. Most of us just wing it and hope for the best. Picture this, a person is standing in front of a table full of hungry mouths, the pressure is on. They get to work sawing, spilling juices and cutting uneven pieces all over the shop. If this sounds remotely like you, then take a couple of minutes out to learn how to properly carve meat, whilst definitely impressing everyone.  
Here are some top tips on how to avoid this and become a pro at carving meat:

Allow the meat to sit

As much as you want to dig into the delicious cut of roast beef or whole turkey that is fresh out of the oven, before you do you should cover the meat in a loose layer of foil; and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. This allows for the temperature of the meat to continue and let the meat finish cooking. 

This also helps the meat have a better texture and taste due to the juices being able to redistribute throughout the meat. Which nobody is going to complain about. 

Don’t let this time go to waste. Instead of checking the clock, every 30 seconds, see if there are any last-minute jobs that need doing. Such as putting together a side dish, warming plates or getting cutlery out. There’s always something you can be doing; even if it’s making a start to the pile of dirty pans on the side.

How to Properly Carve a Piece of Meat

Prepare to Carve

There are very few things you need to have in order to properly carve a piece of meat. One of the most necessary pair of tools is a carving knife and fork. This is pretty standard in the majority of homes. However, that knife that you’ve been using for years without sharpening once may not ‘cut it’ quite like it used to. There are many videos and easy to use pieces of equipment out there that you can get your hands on to give a noticeable breath of fresh air to an old, dull knife. 

Remember the old 1970s electric carving knife? Which of our parents still has one?

You’ll also need a carving board with a well to collect any juices coming off of the meat. An optional feature you can get is a board with spikes, this will stop the meat from moving around on the board as you’re cutting it.

Starting to Carve

Finally, the time has come to slice into that juicy roast. Using the fork to hold the meat in place, take your sharp carving knife and carefully slice it into the meat. The keyword there being slice. The last thing you want to do is to fight with the meat as you saw through it. The action wants to be as graceful and uninterrupted as possible if you’re looking for the best cut. Be sure that you’re using the full length of the blade and as little pressure as possible. In order to get the cleanest cut, you want to slice across the grain of the meat, or perpendicular to the muscle fibres. You also need to keep in mind to remove any string or squers in the meat as you go. That’s it – easy. 

How to Properly Carve a Piece of Meat

After Carving

There are a number of things that you need to do after you’ve cut the meat. The first of which is deciding how you are going to serve it, whether that is by putting the cuts onto a sharing platter or individual plates. If possible, the plates should be pre-heated in the oven to help keep the meat warm as people eat throughout the meal. The final step is to collect any juices from the carving board using a spoon and then apply it over the meat – delicious. or perhaps even add it to the gravy which makes it rich and wonderful.

Sourcing High-Quality Meat

Here at Burts Catering and Butchers, we have a wide range of cuts for a variety of meats. All of our meat is 100% British and is tracible back to the farm it was reared on. The quality of the meat makes all the difference to how easy it is carved. Great meat, from a great farm, that’s hung by a quality butcher will make for the perfect roast.

Feel free to take a look at our extensive range of meats available for delivery here. Or if you’d like to talk to us about an order, to discuss your needs, or just to ask us a question; please call 01424 730417 or fill out an enquiry form here.

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