Easy Ways to Carve a Thanksgiving Turkey


Turkey is the star dish on the Thanksgiving table, so it’s important to make sure its cooked to perfection. Also, if you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner and are worried about carving the turkey, below is an easy step-by-step guide on how to carve the bird.

Carving Tools

• A carving board
• A cutting board
• Chef’s knife or a slicing knife
• Paper towels
• A serving platter
• A boning knife or any other long, flexible knife
• Quality tongs
Now that you have all the necessary hardware, here is everything you need to do to turn a whole cooked turkey into an array of delicious cuts.

Remove the String

Lay the turkey out over your carving board and use the edge of your chef’s knife to sever the string keeping the bird’s legs in place.

Remove the Legs and the Thighs

Slice through the connective tissue linking the breasts and drumsticks. Keep bringing your blade downward until it hits the joint. Use a paper towel to keep your hand clean while also granting you the leverage necessary to break the leg off from the thigh with your hands by pushing down. With the joint weakened, you can now use the chef’s knife to slice through it and fully sever the leg.

Remove the Drumsticks

Sever the drumstick and thigh by slicing through the joint connecting the two. Move the drumsticks over to your platter while transferring the thigh meat to your cutting board. Repeat steps two and three for the other leg.

Remove the Wishbone

The wishbone is located along the front of the breast, feel around for it with your fingers and then yank it out. Not only does this set it aside for the usual holiday antics, excising the wishbone will make carving away the breast meat easier to do.

Remove the Breasts

Find the breastbone, place your boning knife to one side, and cut at a downward angle as close to the bone as you can get. During this process, use your other hand to peel away the breast meat until all of the breast meat has been removed in one piece. Move the breast meat to the cutting board.

Remove the Wings

Use your chef’s knife to slice through the relatively weak joint connecting the wing to the body and move it to the platter. Repeat steps five and six for the bird’s other side.

Slice the Thigh Meat

Move over to the cutting board. Grip the thigh bone with either your tongs or a paper towel and use the edge of your chef’s knife to remove its meat. Move the thigh slices over to your platter.

Slice the Breast Meat

Use your tongs to give you something to keep the breast still and arrange the meat so you can cut it from the shorter end. Slice against the grain of the meat while doing your best to keep the crispy brown skin attached. Move your breast pieces to the platter.


Bring your platter to its final destination and bask in the complements of your excellent knife work.


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