How to Carve a Turkey

Carving Your Own Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving is here and remembering how to carve a turkey is once again at the top of your mind. Nobody wants to spend hours cooking a tender, juicy turkey, then completely butcher the turkey carving process. While a badly-carved turkey doesn’t ruin your Thanksgiving meal, presentation is still part of a well-cooked dinner, so you want to look like you know what you’re doing while you’re carving the turkey.

Here is a quick and easy guide on the art of carving a turkey. If you have a Christmas turkey, too, remember to come back near the Christmas day to get a refresher course.

1. Use a Sharp, Thin Carving Knife

You’ll need to use a long and think carving knife, since you’ll want to carve off long pieces of succulent turkey meat. Make certain the knife is freshly sharpened, to make carving easier on you. First off, cut off the turkey legs by placing the knife along the hinge of the thighbones and carving them off. This gives you easier access to the rest of the turkey, making your job a lot easier on the rest of the strokes. Keep in mind to cut the joint and not the bone. If you meet a lot of resistance, you’re cutting the bone.

2. Separate the Thigh From the Drumstick

Carve the thighbone three-quarters from the leg bone by slicing at the hinge between them, the joint. Once again, slicing through the joint is much easier than sawing through the bone. This makes two servings. Do the same to the other leg/thigh combination. Carve until the hinge allows you to open the thighbone and drumstick pieces open like a book.

3. Get the Meat Off the Bone

Run your carving knife along the bone of the drumstick, trying to take as much meat off the thigh and leg as possible. Cut this long piece of meat into turkey slices. Many turkey carvers tend to leave the meat on the bone of the drumsticks and wings for the children, which is fine if you want to do that, but learning how to carve turkey legs and wings gives you the option of carving full slices of turkey meat from all parts of the turkey.

4. Carve the Wings Off the Turkey

Slice the wings off by finding where the turkey wings connect to the bird’s body. Carve the wings off at the joint. Do the same to both wings.

Once again, this should help expose the main body of the turkey and make it easier to slice off nice slices of turkey from the body.

5. Take the Knife to the Turkey’s Body

Now that the sides of the turkey are completely exposed, you can slice down the length of the turkey on either side, carving off nice slices of white meat. Cut into the turkey sides with your long knife at 1/4 to 1/2 inch intervals, creating nice long slices of turkey meat.

Carved Turkey

Now that’s you’ve done all that, you have a carved turkey on your hands. Lay out the turkey meat for your guests, or performing your brilliant turkey carve for your lunch or supper audience. Effortlessly knowing how to carve a turkey is a part of the overall dinner presentation, and you should try to make it look like a cinch.

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