Carving a Turkey Article -
Add a Comment

Carving a Turkey

With these easy-to-follow steps, learning how to carve a turkey is easy.

Sit Tight

When the bird is done roasting, remove it and let it stand for 20 to 35 minutes, depending on its size. This gives the proteins time to relax and allows the juices to redistribute throughout the bird, resulting in succulent slices of meat.

Legs First

Arrange the turkey, breast side up, on a cutting board. Steady the turkey with a carving fork. Using a sharp knife, slice through the meat between the breast and the leg.

Next, using a large knife as an aid, press the thigh outward to find the hip joint. Slice down through the joint and remove the leg. Cut between the thigh bone and drumstick bone to divide the leg into one thigh piece and one drumstick.

To carve the drumstick, steady it with a carving fork and cut a thick slice of meat from one side, along the bone. Next, turn the drumstick over so that the cut side faces down. Cut off another thick slice of meat. Repeat, turning the drumstick onto a flat side and cutting off meat, carving a total of four thick slices.

To slice the thigh, place it flat side down on a cutting board. Steady the thigh with a carving fork. With a knife, cut parallel to the bone and slice off the meat. Be sure to place all the cuts on the warmed serving platter as you work.

Wings Take Off

Remove the wings before you carve the breast meat. Slice diagonally down through the edge of the breast toward the wing. Using a knife as an aid, press the wing out to find the shoulder joint; cut through the joint, remove the wing, and place on the serving platter.

Carve the Breast

To carve the breast meat, hold the back of the carving fork against the breastbone. Starting parallel to the breastbone, slice diagonally through the meat. Lift off each slice, holding it between the knife and fork, and layer them on the warm serving platter. Continue until you have carved all the meat on one side of the breast. Carve the other side of breast in the same fashion. And let the feasting begin!

For step-by-step instructions on how to carve a turkey, see our Photo Tutorial.

Dec. 26, 2011 6:02 pm
Try and add diffence kind of cheese to change the taste.and yourmouth will water with a new taste.
Apr. 1, 2012 10:01 am
To properly carve the breast I find it easier to remove the breast completely before carving. Cut down along the breastbone, separating the breast from the carcass. Lay breast half skin side up and cut across the grain. Better presentation and SO much easier!!
Jan. 17, 2013 9:37 am
I have to agree with COTEGARY on this. This past Christmas, my cousin (who happens to be a chef) showed me the difference in carving it as described above and as described by COTEGARY. He found that it just looks better and doesn't risk falling apart as easily. His brother, who also happens to be a chef, but rarely ever does turkeys, always cuts it as above and it just doesn't look good ever. I wouldn't say it has anything to do with knife handling technique because of this, but rather the meat just stays more composed by going across the grain. After seeing the difference side-by-side, I'll never do it any other way. It looks great in the pictures of all those old Betty Crocker cookbooks, but it just doesn't work that well.
Subscribe Today!

In Season

Chicken Breast Recipes
Chicken Breast Recipes

With our 2,700+ chicken breast recipes, you'll never serve the same old chicken again.

Zucchini On The Grill
Zucchini On The Grill

The firm, juicy texture of zucchini make them a perfect side to toss on the grill.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

Related Videos

How to Thaw a Turkey

Watch the correct, safe ways to thaw your frozen turkey.

How To Carve a Turkey

See a few simple tricks for carving the holiday bird.

Chef John's Boneless Whole Turkey

Watch Chef John bone, stuff, roll, and tie up a turkey.

Recently Viewed Recipes

You haven't looked at any recipes lately. Get clicking!
Quick Links: Recipe Box | Shopping List | More »
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States