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How to Carve Turkey for Thanksgiving

By Sai Shanmuka Vangmaye Maddulapalli June 26, 2023

You've spent weeks planning for the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, and now it's time to begin cooking. You're excited to bring together friends and family who have been longing for a taste of home.

Roasted Turkey in a Grill

Before you can even start making turkey, however, there are a few things that need to be done first: carving the bird and plating it up at the table. Make sure you are prepared with a serving platter, paper towels, a chef's knife that is sharp, and tongs.

While this may seem daunting (and very much like work), we've found an easy way that will help you save time and energy on what is sure to be one of your most memorable holidays.

You'll Need:

1. A Carving Board
2. Chef's knife
3. Paper Napkins
4. Platter
5. Knife, long and flexible (or boning knife)
6. Tongs

    Read on for all of our tips on how to carve an amazing Thanksgiving turkey!

    Let the turkey rest before carving.

    Letting the turkey rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour is an important step in carving your turkey. If you don't let it sit, there will be a lot of juices running everywhere, which can get messy. It also allows time for the flavors of your meal to settle into every part of the bird.

    Turkey resting in a pan

    Letting a turkey sit on its side (rather than flat) will help keep its juices from dripping onto whatever surface it's sitting on. This means that when you're done carving and serving up some awesome Thanksgiving dinner, there won't be any drips or spills!

    Carve at a 45-degree angle, then slice straight down.

    Carving a turkey is easy. All you'll need are a sharp carving knife and a cutting board. If you're not sure how to cut up your turkey, here's how:

    1. Start by making an incision along the breastbone with a flat side of your knife (the front part), then slice down until you hit the bone. This will leave you with two pieces—the entire breast meat and some meat from between the ribs that weren't removed during this step.

    2. Gently pull them apart so they're separate, but don't remove any more than necessary; otherwise, there won't be enough room for stuffing or dressing later!

    Use a Sharp Carving Knife

    You may have noticed that even the best knives will dull over time. It's important to keep your knife sharp by turning it every few slices so that the new, sharp edge stays in contact with the meat.

    This may sound like an obvious tip, but it can be hard to remember if you're focused on carving and slicing at once. Remember: keep turning your knife as you carve.

    Carve down to the bone to separate its legs and wings

    To begin, you'll need a knife that's sharp enough to cut through the joints of your turkey. Use a heavy-duty carving knife or go for something lighter like an electric carving knife if you want to avoid putting extra pressure on yourself.

    Once your turkey is ready for divesting, use your hands and arms to lift it by its legs and wings while holding it firmly in place with one hand against its body so that it doesn't fall over when you make contact with the bone underneath.

    It's best not to cut through the skin at this point either; instead, try using some toothpicks in order not only to lift portions but also to help keep them even once separated from each other so they don't get splayed out too much during carving later on down the road!

    Take out the wishbone

    Next, remove the wishbone to make it easier to chop away the breast flesh. You may also make a wish! Locate the bird's front neck cavity (where the head would be) and cut away the skin from the neck aperture to create a window into the neck cavity. The wishbone forms an upside-down "v" along the neck cavity. Feel for the bone with your hands, then cut along the wishbone and pull it down and out of the bird.

    Debone the turkey breast

    To begin carving your turkey, you'll need a sharp knife. The best way to do this is by holding the bird's head end and slicing through the skin from top to bottom with just two or three quick strokes.

    Deboning a turkey

    This will give you access to several pieces of meat at once and make it easier for you to pull them apart into smaller pieces if necessary.

    By employing lengthy strokes, slice down on either side of the breast bone to remove the breasts. As your knife reaches the bottom, gently pull the breasts outward with your thumb, continuing to slice down and out until the breast flesh is gone.

    If necessary, slice horizontally from the exterior of the breast to assist remove it. Repeat on the other side, then set the breasts aside.

    Once all of that's done, use both hands (or one hand) and pull apart each piece of meat until they're completely separated from one another; then set aside any bones as well as any extra bits of fat/skin that may still be attached.

    Slice poultry shears through the breastbone.

    To carve a turkey, use poultry shears to cut through the breastbone. This will give you access to more meat and will ensure that your bird is cooked evenly throughout.

    Poultry shears are a great tool for any kitchen, but they're particularly useful if you want to carve a turkey or another large bird.

    They allow you to easily remove the backbone without damaging any other part of the bird, making it an ideal choice for anyone willing to take on this task themselves (or with help).

    Once you've chosen your poultry shears and cleaned them thoroughly before using them on an everyday basis—they should be washed in warm water with soap before being stored away—you can begin carving!

    Use these tips for carving a turkey and you'll be sure to impress your family at Thanksgiving dinner!

    When carving the turkey, use a sharp knife. The best way to get a clean cut is by using a sharp knife and making sure that you are cutting at an angle—not straight down on your turkey.

    Start with cutting through the turkey breast meat with poultry shears. This should be done after removing all of the legs and wings from the bird so they don't get in your way during carving later on!

    Once this step has been completed, use another pair of shears to carefully slice through all other parts of the bird until you reach where its body meets its thigh bone(the part where most people would eat).

    Cut along these lines until each leg section fits back together into one piece again; this helps prevent any accidents when eating them later on!


    With these tips, you'll be able to carve turkey like a pro. It's easy and very healthy as it has a good amount of saturated fat in it, but it takes practice and time. If you need more help in the kitchen, there are plenty of videos and articles online that can help guide you through this process. Happy Thanksgiving!

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