How To Remove Turkey Breast For Carving?

These detailed images and a video will teach you how to carve a turkey like a pro. Your Thanksgiving turkey platter will rival those in magazines!.

Carving a turkey can be intimidating, but I’ve got you covered with the straightforward steps you need to know to do it effortlessly, whether you’re cooking our wildly popular Oven Roasted Turkey or using your grill or smoker to cook a Smoked Turkey.


  • Let the cooked turkey rest! You’ve spent all this time preparing and roasting the perfect turkey, but one of the most important steps is to allow it about 30 minutes to rest! If you cut into the turkey before it has had time to rest the juices will run out, instead of absorbing back into the meat, keeping it moist.
  • Carefully cut the skin. If you’ve achieved the goal of crispy skin on your turkey, then be sure to preserve the skin for eating by cutting it as carefully as you can (with a sharp knife or kitchen scissors) so that each slice of turkey has skin still attached.
  • Save the leftovers. Everyone loves leftover turkey sandwiches served on homemade rolls the next day or to use in one of our many leftover turkey recipes.
  • Use paper towels. The turkey may still be very hot when carving, so use use paper towels to protect your hand and to steady the bird while you cut.
  • Remove trussing strings.
  • 1. Remove the legs

  • Start with one leg and use your knife to slice through the skin and meat toward the leg joint while at the same time gently pulling the leg back and separate it from the rest of the turkey. As you gently pull it, listen for the joint to “pop”, meaning that the thigh bone popped through. You don’t want to cut right through the joint! Then gently cut away any additional skin and meat around the joint and remove the leg from the body. Set aside the thigh and drumstick and repeat this process with the remaining leg.
  • 2.Remove the wishbone

  • Remove the wishbone next so that it’s extra easy to cut away the breast meat. Plus, then you can make a wish! Locate the front neck cavity of the bird (where the head would be) and cut away the skin from the opening of the neck so that you have a window into the neck cavity. The wishbone runs along the neck cavity in an upside down “v”. Use your hands to feel for the bone then gently cut along the wishbone and pull it down and out of the bird.
  • 3. Remove the breast meat

  • First locate the keelbone AKA breast bone that runs all the way down the center of the carcass, separating the two turkey breasts. Take your knife and cut down center on one side of the keelbone. Slice downward, following the curve of the breast bone and cutting and separating the breast meat from the bone until the entire breast is free. Set breast meat aside and repeat this process with the other turkey breast.
  • 3. Remove the wings

  • Gently pull the wings away from the body and use your knife to cut around the skin and meat and cut through the joint. Remove the wing, set it aside, and remove the other joint.
  • 4. Carve the meat.

  • Slice against the grain! The most important part of carving the meat is to cut it the correct way. Cutting against the grain means cutting the meat opposite of the direction that the natural muscle fibers run. If you look at each piece of your carved turkey meat, you’ll see its all “running” or pointing the same direction. Be sure to cut it opposite of this which will help ensure that the meat is tender and not chewy.
  • Try to preserve the skin. Cut as carefully through the skin as you can (with a sharp knife) so that each slice of turkey has its skin still attached.
  • Separate the drumstick from the thigh by placing it skin side down on your cutting board and cutting right through the natural seam of the joint.
  • Keep the turkey warm: Cover it with aluminum foil while carving to keep it warm.
  • Save the turkey carcass. Use rest remaining turkey carcass to make homemade broth or freeze the carcass and make broth another day!
  • First Things First, Let The Turkey Rest

    Don’t rush into cutting into the turkey right away after you remove it from the oven. Let the turkey rest for a good 30 minutes. As a result, there will be more juice in your turkey than on your cutting board because the juices can then be redistributed throughout the meat.

    How To Remove Turkey Breast For Carving?

    Step-by-Step Guide to Carving a Turkey

  • Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes (at least). Resting helps the meat reabsorb the juices.
  • Set up your carving station.
  • Separate the leg and thigh from one side.
  • Separate the drumstick from the thigh bone.
  • Remove the breast and wing from the same side.
  • Repeat with the other side.
  • Slice up the breast and thigh pieces.
  • FAQ

    How do you remove turkey breast?

    Cut along the rib cage on both sides of the bird, from the tail end to the neck, to remove the breast from the body cavity. Place the breast side down and make a cut through the meat and bone along the breastbone to divide it into two halves.

    How long should a turkey breast sit before carving?

    Transfer the turkey breast to a cutting board, skin side up, and allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes after it has been taken out of the oven. Resting the meat allows the muscles to unwind and the juices to penetrate. That implies that once you begin slicing the meat, they will remain inside.

    Do you cut turkey breast with or against the grain?

    Slice all of the breast meat into thick slices. Heiskell advised TODAY Food to cut the meat into crosswise slices rather than against the grain as he would have done if the breasts were still attached. Place the sliced breast meat on a large serving platter.

    Should you let turkey stand before carving?

    Before carving, always let the turkey crown rest for 20 minutes while keeping it warm to ensure the meat is juicy and tender.

    How do you thinly slice a turkey breast?

    Place the turkey in the refrigerator after it has finished cooking and cooled down until it is completely chilled (about an hour or two). Then, while holding the meat with a pair of tongs, slice it with a good, sharp knife. You should be able to cut it fairly thinly without it disintegrating.

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