How To Carve a Turkey: The Video

updated Nov 15, 2019
How To Carve a Turkey
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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

So, we’ve showed you how to choose a turkey, and how to roast it. But how do you carve it? In this quick video, we show you how to slice up that big bird! We get it all done in just one minute, thanks to the magic of video (it’s OK if it takes you a little longer!). One minute, five minutes, 10 minutes — it doesn’t really matter how long it takes to carve the turkey; but in the end, we think this tutorial will help it go just a bit smoother.

Ready to get your carving skills on? Follow along!

How To Carve a Turkey

Nutritional Info



  • Large cutting board, preferably with channels to catch the juices
  • Sharp chef's knife


  1. Remove the legs: Slice the skin close to the breast; pull the leg back until the joint pops out. Press down firmly on the joint to completely sever it. (If you hit bone, shift the knife slightly. The joint should cut cleanly, with a sharp crunch.)

  2. Remove the breasts: Slice along the ribcage until the breast meat comes away.

  3. Remove the wings: Pull them back, as you did the legs, and cut at the joint.

  4. Separate the thigh from the drumstick: Twist the leg and the thigh slightly to expose the joint. Cut them apart at the joint.

  5. Slice the thighs: Cut the meat off the bone at an angle, skin-side up.

  6. Slice the breasts: Also at an angle, skin-side up.

Recipe Notes

  • If not serving immediately, tent the platter with foil to keep it warm.
  • If covered with foil, you can also keep the platter in a warm oven (200°F).
(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Is this pretty much how you carve a turkey? Or do you have another approach? Do you use an electric knife? Or a regular chef’s knife?

More Turkey Essentials