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How To Carve Turkey Like A Chef

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How To Carve Turkey Like A Chef

If you don't know how to carve a turkey, let us make it easy for you. Below you'll find helpful videos from famous chefs and experts who know their way about a bird. By watching them carefully you'll be able to decide which technique you like best. This way you can carve your Thanksgiving turkey with the confidence of a pro.

What You Need To Know

There's no easy way around it so we're just going to come right out and say it: carving a bird can be a messy task. While some may like the elegance of using a carving knife and fork, other cooks like to get hands-on with their bird and break it down in the kitchen away from holiday guests. 

Here are the rules of thumb to keep in mind:

  • Let the roasted turkey rest at least 30 minutes before carving.
  • Make sure to use a sharp knife so you don't hack your turkey.
  • For an elegant look, remove the breast in one piece.
  • To ensure tenderness slice meat across the grain.
  • Save the carcass for stock or soup.

How To Carve a Turkey: The Daniel Humm Method

Want to know how to carve turkey like one of the world's best chefs? Watch Michelin-starred chef Daniel Humm from Eleven Madison Park in New York tackle a roasted bird. The chef prefers to use three tools for the job: a meat fork, a boning knife and a carving knife for slicing.

Here's his zen tutorial for stress-free carving:

How To Carve a Turkey: The 'What Not To Do' Method

If you really want to know what not to do when it comes to carving your turkey, here's a great guide from Chow's popular video series You're Doing It All Wrong.

Chef Mark Dommen from One Market Restaurant in San Francisco shares his tips for how to get it right to ensure a beautiful presentation:

How To Carve a Turkey: The Top Chef Method

If you're inclined to use a carving fork you may appreciate this method from Hosea Rosenberg of Top Chef fame.

In this video from Whole Foods Market, the chef shows you how to carve a turkey his way and offers a cool trick for slicing meat off drumsticks (if you're into that type of thing):

How To Carve A Turkey: The Master Butcher Method

Then there's the Ray Venezia method, which doesn't require a carving fork. The New York master butcher likes to switch between two knives - one for boning and the other for slicing.

Venezia recommends you avoid cutting through the skin because it will cause your knife blade to dull. See how he does it in this video from the New York Times:

Have more Thanksgiving conundrums? Check out our handy holiday guide for helpful tips.

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