How to Carve a Turkey

You’ve bought it, stuffed it, cooked it, and now you have to carve it. If you’re daunted by the task―some of the best cooks are―just remember that carving a turkey comes down to simple technique. Follow the easy steps in this video.

What You Need:

carving board, chef's knife (or slicing knife), paper towels, platter, cutting board, long, flexible knife (or boning knife), tongs

Follow These Eight Easy Steps:

  1. How To: Carve A Turkey Step 11Remove the string

    Place the turkey on a carving board. Remove the string tying the legs together, using the tip of your chef’s knife.

  2. How To: Carve A Turkey Step 22Remove the legs and thighs

    Cut through the skin that connects the breast and the drumstick. Slice down until you reach the joint. Using a paper towel, grab the leg and push down, separating the leg and thigh from the bird. Use your chef’s knife to slice through the joint.

  3. How To: Carve A Turkey Step 33Remove the drumsticks

    Separate the drumstick and the thigh by cutting through the joint that connects them. Transfer the drumstick to a platter; set aside the thigh meat on a cutting board to slice later. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the other leg.

  4. How To: Carve A Turkey Step 44Remove the wishbone

    Find the wishbone at the front end of the breast. Use your fingers to pull it out.

    Tip: Removing the wishbone makes it easier to carve off the breast meat.

  5. How To: Carve A Turkey Step 55Remove turkey breasts

    Find the breastbone. Position a long, flexible knife (or a boning knife) on one side of it, and slice downward, as close to the bone as possible. As you slice, use your other hand to pull the meat away from the breastbone, until you’ve cut the breast off the carcass in one piece. Transfer to the cutting board.

  6. How To: Carve A Turkey Step 66Remove the wings

    Using the chef’s knife, slicing through the joint to remove a wing, and transfer to the platter. Repeat steps 5 and 6 on the other side.

  7. How To: Carve A Turkey Step 77Slice the thigh meat

    Work on the cutting board. Holding the thigh bone with tongs or a paper towel, remove the meat from the bone with the edge of the chef’s knife. Transfer meat to platter.

  8. How To: Carve A Turkey Step 88Slice the breast meat

    Using the tongs to steady the breast, position the meat so you’ll cut it at its shorter length. Slice against the grain, taking care to keep the skin attached. Transfer pieces neatly to a platter.