How to Carve a Turkey

How-to Article

How to Carve a Turkey

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Things To Grab

  • Aluminum foil
  • Large cutting board
  • Large sharp knife, such as a traditional carving knife or electric carving knife
  • Serving platter

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    Of course there's more than one way to carve a turkey, but we like this tried-and-true approach.

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    1. Before carving a fresh-from-the-oven bird, cover it in foil and rest 20 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute and prevents the turkey from becoming dry.

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    2. Just before carving, remove any stuffing, strings, or clamps. Pull the legs downward and cut through the skin between the drumsticks and thighs. Cut through the joints and along the body, angling the knife toward the bone. Separate the thighs and drumsticks. 

    3. Cut down one side of the breastbone, starting at the neck and working the knife toward the tail. Cut horizontally from the side toward the breastbone, underneath the meat. Lift out the turkey breast and repeat. 

    4. Pull the wing tips away from the body and cut through the joints. Wings may pull away from the bird without cutting after the breast meat is removed. 

      Hyvee Culinary Expert Tip
      Need to steady your bird? Use a carving fork to steady the body while cutting.
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    5. Slice breast meat crosswise (across the grain). If desired, remove and slice meat from drumsticks and thighs, and remove and shred meat from wings.