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Selecting a Carving Knife

A 10-inch slicing knife with a flexible blade about 1 1/4 inches wide is ideal for carving a large turkey. To judge the condition of the blade, run your thumb lightly across - not along - the knife's edge. If it is not as fine as the edge on a razor, the blade must be sharpened before it is used. Even if you have just sharpened your knife, it's a good idea to pass the blade over a knife steel. Doing so "trues" the knife by realigning the microscopically small teeth along its cutting edge, which become displaced with each use. Steeling is easy: Just hold the knife blade at a slight angle (15 to 25 degrees) to the steel and lightly draw it across and down the tool about a half-dozen times; then turn the blade over and repeat the process on the opposite side. A pair of poultry shears and a large fork should round out your equipment (some older forks have a thumb piece to protect this useful digit).