International Styles

Meat Cutting & Carving, How to Cut Up Meat

Tips and instructions, with pictures, for decorative food carving of various meat and other dinner dishes for those learning to cut meat. How to carve and cut up meat including the different types of meats such as turkey, ham, beef, lamb, fish, poultry + more. First orientate yourself by viewing diagrams and meat cut charts of cow meat, veal meat, mutton meat, pork diagram, and deer chart.

First up is advice on cutting up beef,
cut veal diagram,
cutting mutton,
lamb cutting,
how to carve a ham,
cutting venison,
turkey carving,
cutting fish,
carving goose,
carving a pheasant,
carving duck meat,
pigeons and partridges.

Tips on Carving Food

Carving is one important acquisition in the routine of daily living and dinner preparation, and all should try to attain a knowledge or ability to do it well, and withal gracefully.

When carving meat and food use a chair slightly higher than the ordinary size, as it gives a better purchase on the meat, and appears more graceful than when standing, as is often quite necessary when carving a turkey, or a very large joint of meat. More depends on skill than strength.

The platter or cutting board should be placed opposite, and sufficiently near to give perfect command of the article to be cut, the carving knife of medium size, sharp with a keen edge.

Commence by cutting the slices thin, laying them carefully to one side of the carving board or serving platter, then afterwards placing the desired amount of food on each guest's plate.

In carving fish, care should be taken to help it in perfect flakes; for if these are broken the beauty of the fish is lost. The carver should acquaint himself with the choicest parts and morsels; and to give each guest an equal share of those tidbits should be his maxim. Steel knives and forks should on no account be used in helping fish, as these are liable to impart a very disagreeable flavor. A fish-trowel of silver or plated silver is the proper article to use.


Gravies should be sent to the table very hot, and in helping one to gravy or melted butter, place it on a vacant side of the plate, not pour it over their meat, fish or fowl, that they may use only as much as they like.


When serving fowls, or meats, accompanied with stuffing, the guests should be asked if they would have a portion, as it is not every one to whom the flavor of stuffing is agreeable; in filling their plates, avoid heaping one thing upon another, as it makes a bad appearance.

Meat Carving Knives

A word about the care of carving knives: a fine steel knife should not come in contact with intense heat, because it destroys its temper, and therefore impairs its cutting qualities. Table carving knives should not be used in the kitchen, either around the stove, or for cutting bread, meats, vegetables, etc.; a fine whetstone should be kept for sharpening, and the knife cleaned carefully to avoid dulling its edge, all of which is quite essential to successful carving.

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