Family and friends are gathered and waiting. You’ve brined, trussed, seasoned, stuffed, and roasted the perfect turkey. Now what? We know that carving a turkey can be intimidating. Don’t worry! The Hamilton Beach Test Kitchen can show you how to carve like a pro so that you can create a magazine-worthy turkey for your gathering.
Follow our simple steps using either a sharp slicing knife or an electric knife. Remember, if you’re using an electric knife, it does the work for you. Be sure to cut in one smooth motion.
What you’ll need
- An electric knife or a sharp carving knife.
- A cutting fork to hold the turkey in place.
- A cutting board with a generous cutting surface.
- A serving platter where you can lay the carved slices of meat.
- Extras: kitchen towel, paring knife, aluminum foil.
Carving is a process, but it’s easier than you think. Follow our simple steps using either a sharp slicing knife or an electric knife. If using an electric knife, remember that the knife does the work for you!
1. Place the turkey on a cutting board.
After allowing the turkey to rest for 15-30 minutes, place it on a cutting board. For extra stabilization, put a damp kitchen towel under the cutting board to prevent it from sliding. Have your serving platter nearby.
2. Remove the trussing string.
Cut and remove the string used to hold the legs together. (Learn how to truss a turkey here.)
3. Separate the leg and thigh from the body.
Gently pull the thigh away from the cavity of the turkey and move the knife through this area to cut through the joint. This cut separates the leg and thigh from the body. Cuts made with the electric knife should be one smooth motion. Do not move the electric knife back and forth as you would with a traditional carving knife.
Repeat this process on the other side. At the joint in the leg, remove the drumstick from the thigh using the knife to cut through. Once removed, lay the thigh skin-side down and remove the bone using a paring knife. Be sure to remove any cartilage as well.
5. Flip the thigh over and slice.
Flip the thigh over, cut into slices, and transfer to the serving platter.
6. Remove the wings.
Gently pull the wings away and slice through the joint to remove.
7. Remove the breast meat.
To remove breast meat, find the breastbone and carefully cut down along the ribcage. A cut can also be made from the bottom up for easier removal. Repeat on the other side.
8. Slice horizontally.
Slice horizontally across the breast to create slices. A sharp knife or electric knife will easily glide through.
9. Place carved pieces on a serving platter.
Transfer sliced turkey onto a platter. Use the drumsticks to accent your presentation. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.