While that may seem an easy job, having the sharpest of knives can make the job a whole lot easier. Whether you choose an electric carving knife or a knife sharpener to improve the knives you already have, make sure you’re well equipped for the big day. We’ve done the hard work for you (it is Christmas after all) and here are some of our favourites…
I’ve never owned an electric carving knife but with all the relatives coming to us for Christmas supper I figured I should pay a little more attention to the presentation of my three bird roast. With this in mind I volunteered to test the Kenwood Electric Carving Knife, £14.99, Lakeland (albeit on a slightly less adventurous midweek roast chicken.)
The blades are simple to fit and made easy work of carving the breast into neat, even-width slices (a far cry from my usual butcher and serve method!) It was a little noisy (you wouldn’t want to be using it at the table for instance) but if you’re serving straight to plate the finished presentation is well worth the slight inconvenience.
After use the blades pop out with the flick of a switch for easy cleaning. Simples!
I don’t know about you, but I always associate electric carving knives with poultry. So, in a departure from the norm, I tested the Prestige 55498 Electric Carving Knife from Dunelm Mill, on a beef joint. Firstly, assembly was as easy as slotting the two serrated blades into the end of the handle until I heard a click – that was it. A simple sucker can be moved along the mains cable and stuck to your worktop to avoid cutting through the trailing cable – a simple yet clever addition. The knife was lightweight and easy to operate and sliced evenly and quickly – what more could you ask for? And at just £13.99, it’s an affordable gadget that I’d definitely use again.
It may not be the cheapest knife block around at £259.99, but some things are worth investing in. If you want a set of good knives that will last you and look the business on your worktop, then the Robert Welch Signature Knife Block at Lakeland is the gadget for you. Designed with the help of professional chefs, this block contains six knives (a 22cm bread knife, 23cm carving knife, 14cm kitchen knife, 14cm cook’s knife, 8cm vegetable knife and a 12cm serrated utility knife), plus it has its own built-in sharpener. A top-notch knife block for the more advanced cook, this tool will come into its own over the Christmas period.
As knife sharpeners go, the Pro Sharp Electric Knife Sharpener from Salter, £59.99, is worth its weight in gold. It works like a dream, with 20 spring-loaded ceramic pins that rotate at 330rpm. It adjusts to each knife, so you get a perfect edge for every blade and we particularly liked how easy it is to use – plus it looks great on your worksurface too! Available from Amazon and Argos Online.
For men that like to feel as though they are really sharpening their knives, this futuristic looking pull-through IKON knife sharpener from Wusthof is a little gem. As you’ll be able to see from the picture, it has three different ‘pull-through’ stages: one with diamond-coated rods for tired or blunt knife edges; the second with ceramic rods to ensure the knife is sharp and polished, and the third is for scissors. Priced at £52 from inthehaus, this is my favourite of the sharpeners.
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