How to Carve a Turkey

It’s Thanksgiving again and we all know that “Thanksgiving” is incomplete without Turkey. Everyone may already know how to cook a turkey.  If not, check out our article on “How to Cook a Fresh Turkey” for help onHow to carve a turkey making a delicious mouth watering turkey.  One thing you will not find on the internet in abundance is how to carve a turkey professionally.

In this article, we are going to show you how to carve a turkey properly and easily.  Your turkey will look as good as it tastes when you serves it to your loved ones. Before we start, you should have the right tools, knives, and a basic knowledge about the body parts of the turkey.

The Tools

Before we begin showing you how to carve a turkey, you need to know about the knives and tools that will be needed in the kitchen. In you kitchen you should have: a pair of kitchen scissors, a flexible and sharp 10-inch slicing knife, and a carving fork for arranging and serving the meat.  You will also need a warm and beautiful serving dish and last but not the least, an apron to keep yourself tidy and your clothes clean. This is a simple list of cutlery and tools you will need to carve a turkey they should all be sharpened and in proper working order.

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Kitchen Scissors

When considering kitchen scissors or shears, they should be sharp, balanced, and made of appropriate materials. Make sure they operate with little effort because they could ruin your turkey. The handles should easily fit in your hand and one of the blades should have a bone notch, which is used to  grip the bone. Some of the best models available in the market are “The Messermeister 8-Inch”, “The Zwilling Henckels Twin Select”, The All-Clad C3220908”.  There are many others available in stores as well as online.

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Carving Knife

A carving knife should be a sharp 10 inches long blade that is not serated as a serated knife can ruin the meat. The best-recommended models are “Henkels Professional” and Messermeister Meridian Elite”.  There are many other suitable knives available.

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Learning How to Carve a Turkey

Now that you have your tools, you are ready to learn how to carve a turkey. But before that, we should cover the different parts of the turkey. This will help you to learn and master the techniques of turkey carving.

A turkey consists of six main parts: Breasts, Thighs, Drumsticks, Wings and Neck. These are the parts that you will be concerned with after skinning and cleaning the turkey. The rest of the parts are not generally used. Now we are ready to start learning how to carve a turkey properly, quickly, and efficiently. Let’s begin!

How to carve a turkey: Remove from pan

Step 1: Remove the Turkey

After the turkey is cooked, remove it from the roasting pan and place it on a carving board. Let it rest it for at least 30 minutes so that the fluids settle.

How to carve a turkey: Separate the Legs

Step 2: Separate the Legs

Find the natural separator mark between the legs and the breast of the turkey.  Work your carving knife into the joints of the legs by cutting through the skin on both sides. Now slightly pull the legs away from the rest of the body and you will see the natural space there. Now run your knife around the joints and remove both the legs off from the body.

How to carve a turkey: Separate the breasts

Step 3: Carve Out the Breast

With the legs removed, you can see all the meaty breasts in front of you. Use your sharp carving knife and cut through the wishbone starting from the edge of the breasts to the neck. Separate it slightly with your thumb and work your knife deep inside through the backbone or wishbone until you reach the joint of the right side breast. Now cut through the joint and the breast will be separated on its own with the skin intact. Now repeat on the left side breast.

How to carve a turkey: Remove the wings

Step 4: Remove the Wings

Now it’s time for the wings. Just press the wings and you will see the natural joints. Cut through the joint and you wings will be separated.  Repeat this to remove the lower parts of both the wings.

How to carve a turkey: Turkey Carcase

Step 5: Only the Carcass Should Remain

We have removed all the important parts of the turkey and now only carcass remains.   You can use it to make a stock you can just throw it in the garbage.  Feel free to find many other ideas and suggestions on the internet too.

How to carve a turkey: Separate the leg and thigh

Step 6: Separate the Leg and Thigh

Take the separated turkey legs.  You will see the joint between the drumstick and thigh. Cut through that joint and disconnect the drumstick from the thigh. Put your drumstick on your serving plate.  Take the thigh run your knife gently from one end of the thigh bone to the other and remove the bone. Repeat the same action with the other leg. It may be easier to use your kitchen scissors to separate the bone from the thigh.  Do what works best for you.

How to carve a turkey: Slice the breasts

Step 7: Slice the Breasts

It is now time to carve the breasts.  Take one breast at a time and start slicing it against the grain without removing the skin. The slices should be around 1/2 inch thick.

How to carve a turkey: Completed

Step 8: Slice the Thighs

You will need to slice both your thighs too. This should be the same as slicing the breasts in step 7.

You have now carved your turkey! Warm your turkey for a minute in a microwave oven if needed.  It will not be dried out as we have tested it before.

This is a very simple, quick, and easy technique on how to carve a turkey. We hope that our instructions help you this Thanksgiving so you can spend more time with friends and family and less time in the kitchen.