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All the Titanic fans out there, give me a shoutout! So do you all remember the scene where Jack looks at the cutlery at the fancy dinner party with utter confusion? Who needs 5 forks? Why is there so much on the table? Arghhhhh. If you are Jack or have been Jack in such situations, you won’t be anymore.
Cutlery can get confusing but I’m here to clear up one segment of it right away. If you thought 5 forks were a stretch, the number listed below will BLOW your mind. So are you ready to prep for potential fancy dinner parties? Let’s get started on…
16 Types of Forks:
1. Table Fork
Starting with the simplest.
Go to your kitchen and open the drawer where you keep your spoons and forks. Now pick up the fork and examine it. This is a table fork- you use it every day but you did not know its name.
This kind of fork will never confuse you in fancy or posh situations because you won’t find it there. Table forks are not meant for fine dining, they’re there for midnight noodles. They have four tines (the pointy prongs with which you spear ravioli) and are used for informal daily settings.
They’re the simplest kind out there but you can get fancy variations for your table. It’s easy to confuse these with dinner forks and sometimes they are interchangeable. You can get them online or at a store nearby because every shop has these.
Table forks will be there for you through your midnight cravings, movie marathons, and pajama parties, as you shovel mac and cheese in your mouth!
2. Salad Fork
Because health is wealth (not at all overused).
As you’ve probably guessed, a salad fork is used in combination with a salad spoon to eat salad. These forks are longer than usual because you’re supposed to use them with the salad spoon to toss the salad and dressing. You could say that these forks are in good shape because they eat healthily.
Now, most people use these forks for eating everything and there’s nothing wrong with it. These forks are also a tad sharper because blunt ends must not get in the way of your veggies and you. Remember Titanic? You’re supposed to work your way in with the forks in fine dining, and since a salad is served first (generally) the salad fork goes on the outermost side to the left of the plate.
Salad forks have four tines and the left-most tine is used for cutting vegetables. When in polite company, this fork will ensure you maintain your grace while eating lettuce.
3. Dinner Fork
Aka the ‘place fork’. The most important part of any meal- the reason we endure salad- is the main course. And the dinner fork makes the experience of eating beef, chicken, turkey, tofu, or whatever, 10x better. These forks are pretty large in comparison to the others and are longer too.
They have four tines and are available in a variety of styles. You can get them in designs elegant enough to host the Queen or basic enough to host…well, yourself.
Does your mum own a fancy silverware set? If yes, then the largest fork in there is the dinner fork. You should extend all your love out to these because your meal is not going to be a meal without these.
4. Carving Fork
No more awkward attempts of trying to carve your meat. You’ve heard of carving knives and are probably wondering what a carving fork is. Usually, we carve meat with a knife as we hold the meat in place with a skewer or fork. Then we begin carving. And the meat doesn’t stay in place. It moves.
This gives us awful, terrible, uneven slices of meat. Moreover, the person trying to keep the meat stable gets his or her fingertips scorched from touching it. And what if the person didn’t wash their hands (*gasp*)? To avoid this chaos, please do yourself a favor and get a carving fork.
It’s two tines are long and run deep in the meat, keeping it stable during carving. The carving fork is even used to turn meat or to lift and retrieve it from the oven.
5. Ice Cream Fork:
A fork for an ice-cream? Am I kidding you? No.
We live in a world where presentation is everything and ice cream forks are the pinnacles of elegance. Allow me to draw a scenario- you’re at home on your couch, watching TV. The doorbell rings. You open the door to find the King (any king, you pick) standing there and he wants ice cream.
Are you telling me that you will offer the KING, a spoon? Of course not. You will offer him a three-pronged fork which has a tiny bowl shape so the king can break the ice cream and scoop it too. You should also know that this fork can be used for a sherbet too.
Definitely keep one of these in your kitchen because it is truly convenient for eating ice creams. No need to fear surprise royalty visits- you’re well equipped.
6. Deli Fork
Imagine a dish so popular that a fork is created for it. Say hi to the Italian prosciutto and also to our Deli fork. This two tined fork is used for the cured ham Italian dish but if you improvise a bit, you can serve any deli meat or cheese with it.
This can be helpful when you’re serving a meal buffet style and have self serve counters. But this fork isn’t a must-have and you can do without it. Unless you love prosciutto.
7. Dessert Fork
Anyone who doesn’t think that dessert is the BEST can fight me.
Aka the ‘pastry fork’, dessert forks give off positive vibes because they represent all that is good in food- cakes, brownies, tarts, okay I’ll stop before I order something. Now I agree that you don’t HAVE to eat cake with a dessert fork, a cake is wonderful anyway.
But the reason dessert forks are important is that they make the process of eating better. Allow me to explain. Pastries are small and exquisite. You cannot eat them properly with monster-sized forks or with microscopic forks either. You need the perfect sized fork to eat better.
A dessert fork has 3-4 tines, with the left edge a bit wider and sharper so you can cut through the cake. If you love hosting dinner parties, get dessert forks. If you love desserts, get dessert forks.
8. Fish Fork
I promise I’m not trying to pass off a table fork as a fish fork, they are two completely different things. A three or four tined fish fork might look ordinary, but appearances are deceiving. If you disagree, just examine the left tine of the fish fork. It’s wider than the rest, right?
This width allows you to tear the fish from the skeleton better. You can pair it with a fish knife and make things easier. It’s okay if you don’t get yourself a fish fork for daily use, but fine dining settings call for it.
9. Toasting Fork
Nothing beats the flavor of meat cooked over an open flame. Grills and fire pits turn out the best charred and smokey flavor which makes our mouths water. But there’s no point of open flame cooking if you’re going to be in the hospital because you didn’t take the right precautions.
You can be a MasterChef for all I know but you’re about to have it if you don’t own a toasting fork. What happened to fire safety?
A toasting fork is going to prevent burns by holding the meat in place without you getting your hands dangerously close to the flames. It’s also going to make the cooking easier by helping you maneuver the meat. It’s two long tines will pierce the meat well and the long handle will give you control.
You have to have these if you’re a fan of charred meat. And no excuses, because it’s very easily available.
10. Spaghetti Fork
There’s a fork for spaghetti?!!!
Since everyone loves spaghetti, a wise person decided to dedicate a utensil to it. If you are a pasta lover then you probably hate it falling or slipping off your fork. If you want a surreal pasta experience, say hi to this fork.
Don’t be alarmed if you haven’t heard of this before because a spaghetti fork isn’t used very widely (but you can get it online). What makes it unique are it’s ridged tines (wavy prongs). While a regular fork can work too, I personally would never take a risk with pasta.
11. Oyster Fork
You can’t go wrong with this one, because it’s always right. Literally. It’s always placed on the right side of the plate. These forks are the pearls of your Oyster eating experience. If you’re a seafood buff and love gorging on lobsters, shellfish or oysters, I’ll be very disappointed if you don’t already have this fork with you.
I agree that it might not be suited to daily use, but it’s great for seafood. It’s considered quite posh and you can remove meat from the tail and claws of a lobster elegantly.
It has three or two tines and a narrow design which makes it multipurpose. Oyster forks often double up as cocktail forks where they are used to place olives in martinis. If you’re one of the cool people who have bars at home, you should definitely get oyster/cocktail forks. I somehow think that this fork has a dainty grace which makes it Titanic worthy.
12. Fruit Fork
It just does a fancier job of its cousin, the table fork. But you do get a taste of Europe.
Fruit forks are short cuties used to spear fruits or cut them. They might seem a bit unnecessary and honestly, table forks can do their job too, but in refined settings fruit forks are going to be your BFFs.
Your grapes won’t roll around the plate as you unsuccessfully try to poke them with a long fork. This shortie will make your job precise and will prevent any fruit chases. The Europeans take their fruit seriously, and so should you.
13. Extendable Fork
Joey Tribbiani invented this fork.
After all the reading on formal forks, here’s a tickler. This fork is an excellent gag gift because you can elongate it to sneak food off people’s plates. You can even use it literally when you’re hosting friends and watch the alarm/outrage on their faces when they find their lasagne missing.
But please don’t be silly with it in serious settings. Imagine having your boss over and stealing his food. Not funny.
14. Granny Fork
A piece of history!
Forks that help you eat pasta are important but so are forks that help you make pasta. Not only does it stir your pasta- it drains and tosses it. It is quite inexpensive and its utility is splendid. You can even use it to serve food. It has three to five tines and is a half spoon, half fork.
A very small problem is that it isn’t widely available, especially not in stores. So switch on your laptops and get this fork. A step closer to becoming an expert pasta chef.
Sounds like a robot but it is actually a very useful multipurpose utensil. Every product today strives to make our life more convenient. Anything which is simple and hassle-free is an ideal choice for our hectic routines. The key is simplifying.
The same goes for the spork. Why have a spoon and a fork when you can have one fork which accomplishes both their functions? While having a meal you shouldn’t have to alternate between two utensils. However, an ongoing debate about sporks is whether they’re suitable for formal settings or not.
If you believe that efficiency > aesthetic, then get yourself a bunch of sporks. You can get these easily and in a variety of materials.
16. Baby Fork
Even babies want elegance. It’s all in the name and baby forks are forks for babies. They’re super-duper adorable (the forks, obviously) and small. The tines of these forks are blunt to suit the soft baby gums.
They’re available in bright colors and are generally made of plastic so please buy high-quality non-toxic plastic only. It’s important to be baby safe everywhere!
THERE ARE 16 KINDS OF FORKS? WHAAAAAAT?? Yes, there are. And all of these will be available in different materials and styles. You also have the option of disposable forks which you can use once and throw, no cleaning hassle yay. You now know all the forks, so you better not be using your salad fork as your dinner fork. And chances are that you will never encounter them all together, 5-7 at once in a worst-case scenario.
But you must not fear cutlery because all forks are trying to do is make your dining experience easier. Consider their feelings, don’t be ungrateful. And on the bright side, you will never have to face what Jack did (I mean the dinner etiquettes, not the drowning in freezing water).