What is a Cooking Fork?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

The basic cooking fork is usually made of stainless steel and comes with two longer prongs that are ideal for spearing and moving around foods that are bulky. Often, the handle for the fork is constructed of wood or is a resin coating that has a high tolerance for heat. Typically, the cooking fork will be much longer than the standard fork used at place settings. These allows the cook to easily reach into ovens or pots and quickly move or turn roasts, meat loaves, turkeys and other foods that are in the process of baking or broiling. Versions of this utensil that are meant for use outside for grilling may be anywhere from eighteen to twenty-four inches long.

A grilling cooking fork is long enough for the cook to reach and turn meats on a hot grill.
A grilling cooking fork is long enough for the cook to reach and turn meats on a hot grill.

A cooking fork may go beyond the kitchen and find its way to the serving table as well. Used to hold meat or other foods in place for cutting or carving, the cooking fork will usually be used with the left hand, while the right hand is used to control the knife during the slicing process. The ability to keep the food stationary during the slicing process makes it much easier to carve uniform sections of meat for serving.

While the traditional cooking fork is simply for moving food around during the preparation process, there is a newer version that provides another level of assistance. The thermometer fork has made its mark over the last twenty years, especially since the advent of LCD displays. With a contained electronic display on the upper part of the handle, thermometer forks is a great way to make sure the foods are cooking at the desired temperature, as well as helping to signal when the food is done. Thermometer forks are a great way to help newer cooks get into the swing of preparing meals, since it serves as one more way the nervous cook can check on the status of a new recipe.

Both the traditional stainless steel cooking fork and the newer thermometer fork can be purchased in just about any retail outlet that carries kitchen utensils. While discount models are available that will fit tighter budgets, there are higher quality types that can be found in kitchen shops and boutiques around the country.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


When I was a kid the big all family thanksgiving meal was always at out house. My mom would use this opportunity to use some fine china and utensils that she had inherited from her grandmother. I don't think they came out of the cupboard on any day except Thanksgiving but they became kind of a tradition in our family.

I remember that there was this really ornate silver serving fork that was always used to serve the turkey. I can remember seeing it catch the light as it was used to shovel turkey on to everyone plate. I'm not sure what happened to that fork, or any of that China for that matter after all these years. It would be a nice reminder of Thanksgiving as a kid.


Cooking forks are great but cooks need to be sure that they are using the right tool for the right job. I have seen lots of home cooks that will use their cooking forks to endlessly stab and manipulate cuts of meat. While this might be handy, the only thing it really accomplishes is letting all the juices run out of your meat. You end up drying it out. Keep your cooking fork close at hand but only use it when you need to.

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