How to Carve a Turkey: A Step-by-Step Guide

Carving a turkey is a skill, not an art, which means you can learn it. Follow these easy steps for mastering the technique, then watch the how-to video.
Related To:

Let your turkey rest for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on its size, before beginning to carve. This settles the juices.

Step 1: Leg and Thigh
Slice the skin near the thigh to separate the leg from the body. Pull the leg downward, away from the bird. Cut through the joint and along the body, angling the knife toward the bone as you cut.

Step 2: White Meat
Next, remove the wing. Then, to remove the breast, make a long, deep cut along one side of the breastbone. Follow the curve of the bone, using long strokes with the tip of your knife and gently pulling the meat away as you go. You want to feel the bones against one side of your knife as you cut.

Step 3: Slicing White Meat
Cut across the breast meat into nice slices for serving. Cut the wing in half.

Step 4: Slicing Dark Meat
Separate the thigh from the drumstick by wiggling your knife in the joint until you feel the sweet spot. Remove the bone from the thigh and place the boneless thigh skin side up to slice.

Step 5: Finishing Touches
Now that your turkey is perfectly carved and sliced, garnish your plate with hearty things that complement the flavor of your bird. Use woody herbs, fruit, citrus or chiles — anything that won't wilt from the heat of the turkey. Then it's time to dig in! Remember to save the carcass for turkey stock. Watch this how-to video for more.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Turkey Buying Guide

How to choose the perfect holiday turkey

Top Turkey Tips

Guidelines for tackling the big bird.

Mix-and-Match Turkey

Make the bird the way you like it: This step-by-step guide from Food Network Magazine leads to thousands of possibilities!

How to Know When Your Turkey Is Done

Say goodbye to serving a dry turkey on Thanksgiving. Use these tips to ensure you cook the bird perfectly on the big day.

Latest Stories