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Culinary Corner: The Latest Addition to the Uni Watch HQ Kitchen

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I’ve spent many an hour in many a thrift store, but I’d never seen one of these vintage spiked carving boards until longtime Uni Watch reader Kurt Rozek generously offered to send me this one, which a neighbor of his was discarding. How much do I love the box design? Let us count the ways:

  1. The product name — Hold-N-Kut — is a classic.
  2. Gotta love the guy carving a ham while wearing a suit and chef’s toque.
  3. I’m a sucker for text inside of arrows.
  4. It’s good for “any roast or fowl.”
  5. The brand name is Royal, so of course their logo has a crown.
  6. Have I mentioned that it’s a spiked carving board? That explains the holes in the box.

Packaging aside, the whole notion of the product is bizarre to me. I mean, does your Sunday roast or Thanksgiving turkey have a habit of sliding off the carving board and onto the floor? If so, then I guess this is the product for you, but I’ve never had that problem.

That said, it’s a handsome product (quarter for scale):

When viewed from the bottom up, the runoff channels look a bit like a menorah, perhaps crossed with a medieval torture device:

The original owners were apparently inconsistent about how they oriented the product in the box, because the bottom of the box also has spike holes:

I haven’t yet had occasion to cook a roast or fowl during the week or so that this item has been in my possession. But E and I shared a big ribeye steak a few nights ago, so we decided to give the Hold-N-Kut a test-drive. As you can see, one of Uni Watch HQ’s new residents was v-e-r-y interested in the proceedings:

The good news is that the Hold-N-Kut held the steak in place very securely. The bad news is as follows:

  • As I sliced the steak, my knife sometimes hit one of the spikes, which was disconcerting. (To be fair, this wouldn’t be an issue with a larger/higher item like a roast or a turkey.)
  • Although the box claims that the board is “pitched to drain juices to gravy well,” the board is actually level, not pitched. Not a crippling flaw, but it’s odd that they claimed that as a product feature.
  • The box also claims that the board “Cleans simply and quickly.” But as you might imagine, a board with a grid of spikes is actually a pain in the ass to clean, at least compared to a conventional board.

Despite these mild quibbles, the Hold-N-Kut has a fun kitsch quotient that can’t be denied, so I’ll definitely be using it again.

(Huge thanks to Kurt Rozek, first for thinking that I might be interested in this item, and then for shipping it to me.)

Comments (23)

    This is so wonderfully odd, I hope you’ll do a follow-up post when you have occasion for a proper roast or fowl at UW HQ.

    I think my parents had one of these, or something like it. I recall using it for turkeys and chickens, but not steak. Maybe to carve a ham too.

    We definitely had this (or a version of this) as a kid, but can’t remember single instance of it ever being used. It was usually stored with the other cutting boards which I’d blindly grab for, leading to a scraped knuckle every now and again.


    Wonderfully weird. I like the package better than the item itself after reading your description. But what a nice present.

    You didn’t mention one of the highlights – the guy on the label in a chef’s hat, suit and tie. Just got home after a long day selling insurance and now he’s a happy chef, even without an apron!

    I suspect that “pitched to drain juices to gravy well” means not that the cutting board is pitched but that the channels are pitched – they’re deeper towards the well. Just a guess.

    That video is hilarious. I really did laugh out loud. Was that Biscuit or Waffles (or both)?

    The writer in me dislikes that the descriptive text in the lower right corner has a comma after the first line, a period after the second, and two periods in the third. But kudos for the Cone Peg-Leg arrow semi-colon; it’s my favorite punctuation.

    Standard kit in the UK.

    I have a spiked carving plate, my parents, my in laws, all have one

    I’m absolutely thrilled that you went so far as to use the board! I did wash it before shipping it, but I cannot guarantee there weren’t some flesh-eating bacteria or something darn near as bad on that bad boy. I also love that when a pet with the balance of a cat must be removed from the table, you can just kind of gently toss him/her aside and not worry about a safe landing. Fantastic stuff!

    The funny thing is that having gotten accustomed to having a big, older boy (16.5 years now) who surely has had some level of arthritis for a while, at first when I was watching the video and Paul dropped the cat down, my instinct was to think, “Careful!”

    Of course, cats the ages of Biscuit and Waffles are perfectly fine dropping down like that. It’s just funny how your perception can be altered through years of isolated experience. Just how I came to love the Waffles-like persistence instead of being annoyed by it (except when it came to eating ribs!).

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