How To Cut A Roasted Turkey With A Knife

How To Cut A Roasted Turkey With A Knife (Step-By-Step)

Knowing how to roast a turkey, either whole or in pieces, is essential. However, cutting a roasted turkey with a knife without causing a mess on the dinner table is key. So, how do you cut a roasted turkey with a knife?

Remove the backbone using a knife by cutting along the backbone on both sides and spread the turkey to expose the breastbone.

Again, use a sharp knife to slice through the breastbone from the neck to the tail. Carve the legs and wings as a whole and serve as drumsticks.

You can then slice the meat into more refined pieces according to your preference. For more ways to carve a roasted turkey, read this article step by step.

Factors To Consider While Cutting Your Roasted Turkey

There are several ways of serving a roasted turkey. You cut your roasted turkey based on a few factors, as listed below.

The number of dishes you will serve – You need to cut the turkey into pieces for every dish on the table.

Meals accompanying the roasted turkey – Some meals will go well with drumsticks, while others will be better off with slices of the stick.

Your preference and taste – Some chefs and consumers have a preferred taste. Cut the meat to the customer’s satisfaction.

The mode of preparation, whether whole or while cut in pieces – If your turkey is roasted whole, you will have to cut it into pieces for every member. You won’t have to cut turkey roasted in parts or half-cut.

How To Cut A Roasted Turkey With A Knife?

It would be best to professionally cut the turkey without causing a mess or even injuring yourself. Allow the roasted turkey to settle and cool down before carving.

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Prepare the following tools for ease of cutting.

  • Kitchen scissors
  • A set of kitchen knives
  • Edged cutting board
  • Paper towels

Step 1 – Remove The Trussing String

Use the pair of scissors to cut loose the turkey. The trussing string is used to hold the turkey together while roasting.

Step 2 – Cut Through The Skin To Remove The Legs And Wings

Use a sharp knife to slightly cut through the skin without cutting through the bone.

Once the portion is separated from the skin, use your hands to firmly but gently pull the leg till you expose the joint.

Pull until you hear a pop sound of the joint dismantling. Cut in between the joint without cutting through the bone.

There you have your thigh and drumstick. Repeat the same for the other leg and wings. The wings and legs will have the drumstick attached to the thigh and the wing.

Step 3 – Separate The Drumstick From The Thigh Bone

Place the cut leg on a cutting board and cut through the skin in the middle to locate the joint. Do not cut through the bone.

Use your hands to separate the two parts gently until the joint pops. You can use a kitchen paper towel if the turkey is still hot to hold.

Cut in between the joint and separate the drumstick from the thigh. Serve the drumstick as a whole. Repeat the same for the other leg.

Step 4 – Remove The Thigh Bone

The thigh bone is located vertically on the thigh. Cut around it and gently pull it out. You can now slice the thigh stick enough for every dish.

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Repeat the same for the other thigh.

Step 5 – Separate The Wing From The Drumette

Cut through the skin in the middle and pull the two parts apart to expose the joint. Open the joint and cut in between it to separate them.

Step 6 – Remove The Wishbone

Cut the neck open and cut around the wishbone. Pull the V-shaped wishbone out and remove it to pave the way for cutting the breast meat.

Step 7 – Remove The Breast Meat

Trace the breast bone and cut in between the meat and the bone. Be guided by the ribcage to ensure you don’t cut through bones.

Repeat the same for the other breast side. For serving, slice the breast meat into small pieces holding your knife at a diagonal angle.

Step 8 – Cut The Bones Into Small Sections

Pick all the remaining bones and cut them into small pieces. Use a strong knife that will cut through without breaking the bones. For bones with joints, cut in between the joints.

You can use the bones to prepare turkey soup to supplement the meat. The meat is now ready to serve as a single or supplemented dish.

For presentability, arrange the meat portions in an intelligent order with some herbs synonymous with the event or occasion.


For a better carving and serving experience, the following questions and answers will help.

Which is the best way to carve a turkey breast?

Slice the breast meat across the grain, maintaining the brown skin on each slice. Slide the pieces a little bit apart for easy picking.

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How long should the turkey cool down before cutting?

Allow it to cool for 30 minutes to allow the soup to flow down to the cutting board as it cools down for handling.


Cutting a roasted turkey can be challenging, especially if it’s your first time preparing one.

However, by reading the above method step-by-step, you can cut it into small pieces in a presentable way.

Allow the roasted turkey 30 minutes to cool down on the cutting board. Use the right tools to make your work easy.

Avoid cutting through bones, as that will leave some sharp and dangerous pieces in the meat.

Of importance is to make sure you cut the turkey into pieces enough to serve every dish equally.

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