Salad Fork vs Dinner Fork - The Short Order Cook (2023)


Published:vonAngela· This post may contain affiliate links ·leave a comment

All the differences between salad fork and dinner fork are easy to understand with this simple guide. Here's everything you need to know about what a salad fork is and what a dinner fork is. This includes the order of when to use them and much more. You can also instantly tell which fork is which by size, shape and placement. Hopefully the next time you sit down in a formal place you'll know which fork to use for which dish.

I've also shared some quick tips on other forks that you can use around the house or that you'll find during dinner. Learn about the most commonly used ones, like the dessert fork, but also the more unique ones, like one of my favorites, the spaghetti fork. It's fun and helps you cook my yummy to perfectionFried spaghetti with eggs. So get ready to dive in and learn everything you need to know about forks.

(Video) What is the Difference Between a Salad Fork & a Dinner Fork?

Salad Fork vs Dinner Fork - The Short Order Cook (1)

The most commonly used forks when eating are salad and dinner forks. When you are at home, you can use them alternately. I know young children often mean they use smaller salad forks instead of larger dinner forks all the time when eating their meals. And that's okay. But for this article, think in terms of formal etiquette, formality, and customary usage.

Pair chickens:
  • What is the salad fork?
  • What is the dinner fork?
  • Other types of forks
  • buy special forks

Differences between a salad fork and a dinner fork

To find out what makes these two forks different, let's start with what makes them similar. This might help you understand why it can be confusing which is which. Both the salad fork and dinner fork have four prongs or tines. They are used in both formal and informal situations. In some cases, they look exactly the same, with a few minor differences.

Now to reveal the differences between the two. Here are the features that set the salad fork apart from the dinner fork. The main difference between these two forks is the size. A typical salad fork is 6 inches long. The dinner fork is slightly larger, measuring 7 inches long. Where they are placed on a casual or formal table is also different.

Another difference between the two is that many salad forks have one outer prong thicker than the other. This is used for cutting salads, for example. B. make a sliced ​​turnip a little smaller to fit in the mouth. Also, a salad fork may have a small notch on the tip of the teeth that makes them a little "sharper". This is for easily piercing hard ingredients like carrots or croutons, or thin items like cold cuts.

Salad Fork vs Dinner Fork - The Short Order Cook (2)

Placements for salad and dinner forks

When placing a table, you can often wonder where each fork goes. Both forks are placed to the left of the cutlery. Since proper etiquette dictates that you work from the outside in when eating, the forks used in previous dishes are on the far left.

(Video) How much does a fork weigh? Salad fork vs dinner fork

Salads are usually the first course and are eaten before the main course. Therefore, a salad fork is placed on the extreme left. Next comes the dinner fork, which should be placed directly to the right of the salad fork. The fork is next to the plate.

A side dish that you like between your salad and your main course might also require its own fork. The golden rule still applies here: work from the outside in. For example, if you are serving a shrimp cocktail after your salad, a seafood fork will fit between your salad fork and dinner fork.

** Some like to enjoy salads after the main course. I grew up eating this with my old school Italian family in Brooklyn. Then the salad fork would be on the inside of the appetizer fork and next to the plate. We often had a fruit and fish course. So many forks! **

Salad Fork vs Dinner Fork - The Short Order Cook (3)

What is the salad fork?

Salad forks are a shorter, four-pronged utensil that can be used multiple times. It is mainly used when savoring the salad of a meal. But it's great for so much more. It is often used to enjoy appetizers, fruits or vegetables with a meal. You don't need a formal utensil for every item you like at a party or dinner.

What is the dinner fork?

A dinner fork is probably the most used utensil on the dinner table. This large four-pronged fork is used to savor the main dish. It's great for meat, pasta dishes, casseroles and more. It is usually the biggest fork on the table and is placed just to the left of the plate.

(Video) What You Can Learn from a Salad Fork [4 Things]

Salad Fork vs Dinner Fork - The Short Order Cook (4)

Other types of forks

Now that you've mastered the two most used forks at the dinner table, let's move on. A formal setup can include up to 6 different forks. The more plates there are in your meal, the more fork mess you can have. Don't worry, these forks are easy to use and easy to spot once you see them here.

double pronged forks

These forks have two prongs or tines. The prongs can also be called teeth, but in general, they should do all the work necessary to pierce, chop, collect, or pick up the food you are serving or eating. Here are commonly used double pronged forks that you can own or use when serving or eating a meal.

  • slicer fork - This long-handled fork is wide and bulky to ensure a firm grip on large cuts of meat and roasts. They are used to stabilize meats such as ham, turkey and roast beef when slicing.
  • cheese fork- a small fork with a short handle. They are used to hold large slices or slabs of cheese when cutting or breaking off pieces to enjoy on a cheese platter or charcuterie board.
  • chip fork- kleinspankings of woodused to eat fish and chips helps keep your hands clean and safe while you enjoy them fresh and warm.
  • Snail / snail fork - It is about 4 ½ inches long with two long, pointed ends that are sharp. The narrow fork is ideal for removing snail meat from round shells. It differs from a seafood fork in that it does not have 3 prongs.
  • lobster fork- a narrow fork with a long handle, ideal for removing the meat from the lobster.
  • marshmallow forks- These long forks are roasting sticks that you can use to stretch them over an open fire for perfectly roasted marshmallows.
Salad Fork vs Dinner Fork - The Short Order Cook (5)

three pronged forks

Here are the most commonly used 3 prong forks. If you regularly enjoy seafood, desserts or pasta, this could be a fork to add to your utensil drawer.

  • Cocktail/oyster/seafood fork- a small fork with a slightly rounded base and narrow teeth, useful for digging up the flesh of shellfish.
  • dessertgabel - usually has 3 prongs but sometimes 4. Used to have their dessert and a smaller version of the salad fork. It can also be called a cake or pastry fork. Usually placed above the plate, but sometimes it can be between the plate and the fork.
  • spaghetti-gabel- a fork to eat spaghetti. It has grooves on the sides of the spikes to rotate and hold the spaghetti for the perfect, mess-free sip. I admit this is the funniest fork on the list and I just bought a few. Makes a great gift for any spaghetti lover you know.

Salad Fork vs Dinner Fork - The Short Order Cook (6)Salad Fork vs Dinner Fork - The Short Order Cook (7)

four pronged forks

The most commonly used four-prong forks are dinner and salad forks. However, there are some other forks that have four prongs. You might not have one, but just in case you find them at a fancy restaurant or event, here are a few to keep in mind.


  • dessertgabel- Some dessert forks have four prongs, but most have three.
  • fruit fork- Widespread in Europe and used to skewer fruit for slicing and eating.
  • fish fork- The four wide teeth are useful for separating the delicate fish flesh from the bones while eating.
  • Fork - a spoon and fork combo is one of my favorites! It has a bowl-shaped base with four small, short spikes at the end for the ultimate spoon-and-skewer tool. Everyone who has ever eaten school lunch in America has used a plastic spoon. Good silverware is a must with foods likeHula-Torte!
Salad Fork vs Dinner Fork - The Short Order Cook (8)

buy special forks

Now that you've learned about all the types of forks, there might be some new ones you'll want to buy. Here are some great deals on budget forks of all types that cover all casual and formal flatware.

Short Order Cook is a member of the Amazon Services LLC Affiliate Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission on the sale at no additional cost to you. This helps with the cost of running the blog. Thank you very much!

«Grilled Cheese Sandwich Oven Toaster

(Video) Learn How to Set a Formal Dinner Table

15+ yogurt-free smoothies (dairy free)»

reader interactions

leave a message


1. Earlywood Salad Forks
(Brad Bernhart)
2. Slow Cooking Beef Short Ribs | Gordon Ramsay
(Gordon Ramsay)
3. Eating salad with a fork
(tasty treat)
4. Table Etiquette and Protocol | Dining Etiquette | How to Use Fork and Knife | Cutlery Etiquette
(From the Inside-Out School of Etiquette)
5. Dining Etiquette: how to master the basic table manners
(Jamila Musayeva)
6. We're Doing This to Fix Our Blog Posts - Here's How You Can Too
(Income School)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Reed Wilderman

Last Updated: 06/26/2023

Views: 6097

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (52 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Reed Wilderman

Birthday: 1992-06-14

Address: 998 Estell Village, Lake Oscarberg, SD 48713-6877

Phone: +21813267449721

Job: Technology Engineer

Hobby: Swimming, Do it yourself, Beekeeping, Lapidary, Cosplaying, Hiking, Graffiti

Introduction: My name is Reed Wilderman, I am a faithful, bright, lucky, adventurous, lively, rich, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.