Do You Hold The Knife With Your Dominant Hand, Or The Fork With Your Dominant Hand?

I’m American, and I was born in 1970 to a Midwestern, lower-middle-class family (if it makes a difference). I have always held my fork in my dominant (right) hand. When I cut meat, I switch to the knife in my dominant hand, then switch back.

Watching a lot of cooking videos as I do, I notice that the cooks and their guests almost exclusively hold their knives in their dominant hands, even children. So unless the overwhelming majority of YouTube cooks and their families & friends are left-handed, I’ve been doing it wrong for ~five decades.

So what is your nationality and in which hand do you hold your fork/knife?

Poll to follow.

Southern American.

Fork is in my dominant right hand. Knife in the left.

I don’t switch hands to use the knife.

I like to cut several bites before laying down the knife and eating.

Born, raised, and live in upper midwest. Fork in dominant hand but switch when cutting meat and then switch back again to eat.

I know this is probably incorrect, but I usually cut up all of my meat right away and then eat.

Depends. If I’m cutting meat and eating, the knife is in the dominant hand and I never switch. If eating softer foods, the fork is in the dominant hand and the knife, if needed for providing a backstop, is in the other.

Midwesterner here. I’m right handed. I hold the knife in my right hand, fork in left. I do NOT lay down the implements or switch hands. Some say that’s improper, but I say switching hands is silly.

Non-American, I hold the fork in the dominant hand. I don’t switch hands to eat, though. Your fork hand holds the food in place while it is being cut, then lifts it to the mouth. This is a far more natural role for the dominant hand than mere cutting.

Depends. How many times am I stabbing you with each?

(Actually knife in the right and fork in the left and then usually changing hands to take the bite.)

I do exactly this. Midwestern, lower middle class, born in 1952. The way the poll is set up, I was not entirely sure which option to pick, but voted for “American, hold fork in dominant hand.”

UK: I use the knife in the dominant hand but could easily use the for in the dominant hand. The idea of constantly switching over the utensils during a meal is grade-A crazy though.

American from West ‘By God’ Virginia. Fork in left (non-dominant for the record.) hand with the curve of the fork facing upwards, so the tines face down. Use the knife to cut and to put things on the convex face of the fork, sometimes mashing them into the tines depending upon the dish, use non-dominant hand to lift to mouth, the hands never leave the utensil that they are on.

American, but left handed.

I learned to eat watching right handed people eat, and found myself holding my fork in my right hand, like everyone else. This freed up my dominate hand to hold the knife.

I sometimes hold the fork in my left hand now, but if I am eating something that needs cutting, I go fork in the right, knife in the left. I cut a bite off, and then put it in my mouth.

I find it amusing watching other people eat, with their complicated constantly swapping utensils between hands. Seems silly and inefficient.
ETA: the poll would be more robust if there was an option for handedness.

I have to disagree. Handedness doesn’t really factor into it, IMHO. The issue seems to me a matter of dominant-vs-non-dominant hand and which utensil is held in it.

Disagree! The non-dominant hand only has to hold the food in place, the dominant hand has to do the cutting.

American here, I switch knife to dominant hand, I think every time. I don’t know if that was taught to me, but it makes sense from a practical perspective. It takes almost no strength or coordination to hold the food down with the fork, and it takes more to cut. I then switch fork back to dominant for eating. I suppose that adds an extra “step”, but i don’t think the efficiency payoff is enough.

P.S. I’m going off memory, I’ll have to take note next time. Maybe I use my non-dominant hand for eating, but only when I’m using a knife. And I only use a knife when eating steak, which is only a couple times a month.

American, fork in dominant hand, but

I’m left-handed

I never did that switchy thing most Americans do with their knife and fork.

For some reason, childhood meningitis perhaps, my right arm is stronger than my left despite not being dominant so it works out better for bearing down to saw through a chewy steak.

Except that us lefties are all a bit odd, as we are often taught how to interact with the world with our non-dominant hands.

American, upper Midwest, right-handed.

When I cut with the knife, it is usually in my right hand. When I am eating food that doesn’t need cutting, I keep the fork in my right, otherwise, I cut off two or three bites, put down the knife and switch the fork to my right and keep criss-crossing.

Yes, I know it would be more efficient to keep the fork in my left, but as my mother says, “what’s the hurry? Take your time - we aren’t going to run out. Now sit up straight, and tell us about your day.”


Pretty much this.

Same for me. Switching, IMO, is a silly anachronism well past its sell date. I will only switch if decorum demands it, as in formal situations, but it’s rare.