Carving your turkey is arguably as important as cooking it. Here’s what to keep in mind.
Once you’ve cooked the perfect turkey, the next step is carving it, and having the right tools and technique for the job is essential. Not only will your turkey look better, it’ll taste better, too. So for some tips, we hit up our friend Pitmaster Evan LeRoy from
LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue
here in Austin. Beyond using the right knife, like our
, Evan gave us what he thinks are some essential things to keep in mind as you go to serve your bird this Thanksgiving.
“I don’t think you can really carve a bird without using your hands to manipulate the pieces,” says Pitmaster Evan. “It allows you to just get in there a little bit, and move things around a little bit more.” While he says you could do it barehanded, it’s just a little bit messier that way. And importantly, using gloves will protect your hands if the bird is hot to the touch.
The bird shouldn’t be hot. According to Evan, “If it’s too hot to hold in your gloved hand, then it’s too hot to cut.” He says that If you don’t rest it, it’s going to be hard to handle and juices are going to run everywhere. But perhaps most importantly, “If you cut it when it's still hot, then steam is going to escape from the slices and you’ll end up with a drier bird.”
A lot of people slice pieces of the breast directly off the bird, but to get beautiful slices and plate it beautifully, Evan says to remove the entire breast before you start slicing. “If you don't, you're going to leave a good amount of meat on the carcass, but this way, you’re not going to leave anything on the bone.”
“If you don’t use the right knife, you’ll end up with jagged strips,” Evan says. Using the right knife is essential to carving turkey, and so Evan looks for a long and sharp knife that is kind of heavy so he can produce nice long strokes. He prefers non serrated knifes for turkey, since there is no crust to get through. “For something like carving turkey,
Made In’s Carving Knife
is perfect for the job.”