Some of different types of forks that are available include small forks to poke meats or other foods to check for tenderness. Generally, smaller forks have sharp prongs that are 2 to 3 inches in length. Larger forks may be 10 to 20 inches in length to be used to work in pots while keeping a safe distance from hot heat. Some of the larger forks are commonly used to remove or hold meats to be carved, so the heft and shape of the prongs should be sufficient to pierce the meat and hold it steady while being removed or held for carving. Larger forks typically have only two prongs that are 4 to 6 inches in length and slightly curved upward. However, "bayonet forks, which have straight prongs that may be 6 inches long, enable the fork to hold foods securely while keeping hands far from the blade of a knife while it carves the food.
Cooking forks may also be constructed with enclosed electronic mechanisms on the handle that allow cooked foods to be checked for doneness. Thermometer forks, as they are commonly called, work well for grilled and baked foods.