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How to carve a turkey

During your Pre-Big Green Egg days, Grandma, Grandpa or Momma or Daddy would assume the all important 'carving of the turkey' position. Sometimes the process would be a wonderful lesson in patience for both the carver and those waiting to be served.

Not much thought was given to how ragged the turkey began to look with each stroke of the knife. Everyone was hungry.

But now it's your turn to carve the turkey. After all, you cooked it on your Big Green Egg. Yes, the turkey you have been bragging about serving for months. Well, now is your make it or break it moment.

All eyes are on you. Even the small 'first impression' eyes will forever remember this moment.

But first, let's make sure we did everything right.

1. Selected the right size turkey.

2. Followed the turkey cooking insturctions closely.

3. Took photos of the cook from start to finish.

4. Sharpened your knife.

5. Positioned yourself over the beautifully cooked turkey.

6. Made your first cut.

7. Then the second cut.

8. Then the third cut.

That's when the 'Oooos and Aaaas' start, assuming you cut it properly. Silence if you appear to be attacking that beautiful turkey you worked so hard to perfect.

You sure can't share photos of a poorly carved turkey. It would be embarassing after all the hype and anticipation. But all those eyes at the table are silently saying "He doesn't know how to carve a turkey."


You just changed the scene from a wonderful and memorable experience to just another typical Thanksgiving dinner.

So let's go back to the check list.

Oh!!! After all that prep, all that cooking, all that waiting for the magic moment you forgot to learn how to carve the turkey.

So, let's learn how to carve a turkey now, not at the table in front of all those eyes.

Here are three versions. Watch them closely and remember the steps. You will be smiling as you make that first cut because everything will be perfect.

How to carve a turkey

Alton Brown version:

Chef Gordon Drysdale version:

You're doing it all wrong. How to carve a turkey version:

You're welcome.

Spring "Cut On Dotted Line" Chicken
Spring Texas USA


  • You're the man. Just what I needed.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • BigWaderBigWader Posts: 670
    edited November 2012
    Obviously Drysdale is working with a cooled bird... no "Holy #rap that's hot" moments :))

    Toronto, Canada

    Large BGE, Small BGE


  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 7,673
    Thanks, Leroy. Helpful as always.

    Rowlett, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings


  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,658
    Nice.  Watched all three.  Last one was the best.
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,860
    Thnks!  Very helpful indeed.  I too liked the last one best.  Drysdale's method was a little too "hands on" for me! 

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • cazzycazzy Posts: 9,064
    Thank you sir!!
    Just a hack that makes some $hitty BBQ....
  • Great videos, thanks for sharing, the last one is the technique I was shown - with the added touch of removing the wish bone before the bird is roasted. Makes for a very easy carve later. 

    My son in law's family always carved the bird at the table and it looked much like the "doing it wrong" version. It took forever and looked awful. 
    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
  • LeRoy:
    You are always watching out for the folks! I appreciate the links. Now I can cook and cut this year!
    Uncle "Give my that 'lectric knife' Phil
  • Thanks... I try.

    Even with the links there will still be some not-so-professionally-carved-turkeys among our Egghead group.  And it's such a special moment that you would think folks would at least sharpen their carving knife.  Of course, the meat still tastes the same whether sliced perfectly or not.  That's because the cook had the good sense to cook it on the Egg.

    Happy Thanksgiving

    Spring "Not All Is Lost Due To A Poor Carving" Chicken

  • ParallelParallel Posts: 433
    I too liked the last one (though I'm an admitted Alton Brown fan) the only problem is that my house has such an open floor plan I won't be able to avoid the audience while carving... LOL.

    Every time my elbow bends my mouth flies open.
  • Bump for the big day!
    Jason NW GA- home of carpet and Mexican restaurants
    LBGE, MM, BS (Blackstone and the other kind)
    One sorry Labrador

    My chili did not suck. 
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