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The bird's out of the oven, whether it was your oven (and you followed our Fool-Proof Turkey Cooking Guide) or ours it doesn't matter! Beautifully golden and impressive, you bring it to the table to appreciative sighs and cheers from your waiting guests. You pick up the carving knife... Now what!?! Let us walk you through expertly carving your turkey this festive season.
Place the turkey on a carving board. Use your tongs poked into the cavity of the bird at the neck end, then a large spoon or spatula under the other end to ferry it across. Remove the string tying the legs together using the tip of your knife.
Cut through the skin that connects the breast and the drumstick. Slice down until you reach the joint. Grab the leg and push down, separating the leg and thigh from the bird. Use your knife to slice through the joint by putting your knife right on the joint and using the heel of your hand to push the knife through.
Separate the drumstick and the thigh by cutting through the joint that connects them in the same manner you just cut the last joint. 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.
Find the y-shaped 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.
With the bird's head (or where the head would have been!) nearest to you, 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.
Slice through the joint to remove a wing, and transfer to the platter. Repeat steps 5 and 6 on the other side.
Work on the cutting board. Holding the thigh bone with tongs or a clean tea towel, remove the meat from the bone with the edge of the knife. Transfer meat to platter.
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.
Stand back and accept your round of applause with grace. While you're more than welcome to beam or gloat on the inside, keeping a cool exterior will show your guests that you've done this before and you've got everything under control.