Watch as Chef Greg shows how he carves a turkey. You’ll be an expert in no time!
Allow your turkey to rest at least 30 minutes before carving.
- Place the turkey with legs away from you.
- Run your knife down either side of the breast bone and remove breast meat. Repeat on other side.
- Secure the breast bone and press each leg downward until it is lying flat against your platter. Use a carving knife to remove the leg at the joint. Place each leg on a cutting board.
- Repeat technique for the wings
- Flip turkey on its side to remove the thigh. Repeat on other side.
Turkey is the most popular entrée for the holiday season, and its arrival at the table is a highlight of the meal. Carve your turkey confidently with Chef Greg’s step-by-step tutorial.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Carving a Turkey:
What tools are required for turkey carving?
Meat fork with long tines, sharpened carving knife or chef’s knife, small cutting board on the side and a kitchen towel or napkin
If roasting a turkey, what type of pan should I use? Is a disposable aluminum pan dangerous?
The danger is in getting burned while removing a flimsy pan full of hot turkey from the oven. Unless handled carefully, an aluminum pan could buckle under the weight of the turkey. Invest in a sturdy stainless steel roasting pan, which can be used throughout the year! Select the right size roasting pan for your oven…there should be 2-3 inches of air space all around (plus a little more if you’re grabbing handles).
How long should a turkey be marinated…how often should it be basted?
Marinating your turkey helps to tenderize the bird, while the acid/oils and spices put flavor into the meat. According to the Food Safety and Inspection Service, turkey can be safely marinated for up to two days in the refrigerator before cooking. Remember to turn the bird during the marinating process to ensure full coverage of flavor.
Tip: Too much acid in your marinade can make the meat tough. Follow a marinade recipe for best results.
Basting helps to produce that golden brown, crispy turkey skin; it does not improve the flavor or help to keep the meat moist. Basting requires you to open the oven, which also means that you lose oven heat. Keep basting to a minimum so as not to increase your roasting time, and opt to baste your turkey during the last hour of cooking.
Choosing your turkey – is a tom turkey better than a hen? What size turkey will feed my guest list?
Hens weigh less than 16 lbs. while Tom turkeys are larger than 16 lbs. Toms have larger bones and less edible portions, which is probably why most experts prefer a Hen turkey over a Tom, but it is truly a matter of preference. When considering a turkey for tenderness, age (not gender) is the determining factor, and commercial turkeys are young so the meat is tough meat is not a concern. No matter which turkey you choose, plan on an average of about 1.5lbs of turkey per guest.