Flatware is an essential part of any home kitchen but deciding which set is right for you can be daunting. There’s a wide variety of flatware and silverware on the market, so there’s a lot to sift through, but it also means that you don’t have to break the bank to get a durable, everyday set. A good rule of thumb is to invest in your flatware set and buy the best you can afford since it’s something you’ll use every day from your breakfast frittata to late-night ice cream.
In addition to the budget, you’ll want to consider how many place settings you need, how much storage space you have, how often you run your dishwasher (or how much handwashing you’re willing to do), as well as design and finish preferences. Most importantly, you need to find cutlery that feels right in your hand.
Choose Your Design
Choose flatware to match your personal style and complement your dinnerware. Flatware sets with scrollwork and lots of details offer a traditional look, while flatware with clean lines has a contemporary look. Ceramic or wood handles will give you an even more specific look that may appeal to you. You may want to have a set of casual flatware as well as a set of formal flatware. You will also want to consider the weight or “heft” of your flatware. This comes down to personal preference: Some people like heavier silverware, and others like lighter flatware. Be aware of flatware that is too thin. Cheap flatware is so thin that it can bend and break.
Think about How Many Place Settings You’ll Need
Flatware is often sold by the place setting. A five-piece place setting usually consists of a dinner fork, a salad fork, a dinner knife, a teaspoon, and a tablespoon. A 20-piece flatware set usually has four place settings. A 45-piece flatware set generally includes eight place settings and five serving pieces. You’ll want to have enough flatware to serve eight to 12 people, plus a few more in case a piece is dropped during the meal and your guest needs a clean replacement. You may want to buy a large set if you plan on having several guests.
Decide Which Pieces You Need
Although very formal meals include more flatware pieces, your formal meals will most likely leave out specific-use tools, such as the lemon fork or the chocolate spoon. You will most likely only need the following flatware pieces to create a formal table setting:
Basic Flatware Pieces
Forks: A dinner fork is the standard-sized fork. The salad fork is slightly smaller than the dinner fork. A dessert fork is about the same length as the salad fork but may be narrower. The fish fork is about the length of a dinner fork but is often narrower. An oyster or shellfish fork is very small and usually has only two tines.
Knives: The dinner knife is the standard-sized knife. The butter knife is much smaller and usually has a rounded tip. A fish knife is about the same size as a dinner knife, but it has a special tip for undressing a fish that is served with head, skin, or bones. A steak knife has an extra-sharp, usually serrated, blade.
Spoons: Generally, a soup spoon and a dessert spoon are the only spoons required. A demitasse spoon may be brought out with a cup and saucer for coffee, though using the dessert spoon is considered acceptable to stir within all but the most formal settings. Different soup spoons are available for cream soups or broths, but a standard soup spoon is usually enough. A tablespoon or place spoon may be set on a formal table if the meal requires it, and they are often used for an informal meal where no soup is served. A teaspoon is only required when there will be tea served.
Serveware: Service flatware usually includes a soup ladle, a large serving spoon, a large serving fork, a pie or cake wedge, and a cheese knife. Be sure that you have the correct serving utensils for the foods you regularly serve.
Whether you’re looking for a durable, everyday set or a high-end set for special occasions, Infull is the best flatware and silverware sets manufacturer to make every mealtime a pleasure.