turkey on farm at sunset

Carve a Turkey Breast

Two Methods

We have already removed the legs and the wings so that we have easy access to the breast meat.

The two carving methods shown below will produce surprisingly different results.

Method I (cutting with the grain) produces thin slices that some claim are more tender and flavorful.

Method II (cutting across the grain) produces uniform, chunky servings that are easier to use in salads, casseroles and other dishes, and are preferred by some because it is more tender and less like a traditional deli slice.


Carve a Turkey Breast Method I


You can hold the turkey in place with a carving fork entering from the front (through the arc formed by the wishbone) with one prong on each side of the back vertebrae inside the turkey.

If you need a refresher on where these bones are check back on the removing appendages page.

Make the first slice by placing the knife at the top of the breastbone and slicing over the length of one side of the breastbone.

Start carving breast

In this method you should change the angle of the knife, turning it more toward the tail of the turkey with each slice.

The slices will increase in circumference as you carve.

carving turkey breast

The last slice will be the largest and will extend from the side of the wishbone to the tail end of the breastbone.

large turkey slice


Carve the Breast Method II


This method severs half of the breast from the bird first, then slices it. Sometimes this is referred to as the "kitchen method."

Place the knife at the top of one side of the breast bone so that it will follow the bone straight down.


Removing turkey breast

Following the breast bone and then the ribs, cut down hugging the carcass with the inside of the blade so that the entire side of the breast separates from the bone in one piece.

Separating breast meat from bone

Turn your knife horizontally to the turkey body to separate the half breast from the carcass.

Continue carving


Cut the half breast into uniform pieces by cutting across the grain.

Alternatively, you can pull the breast meat apart at this time for a "pulled pork" style of barbequed turkey.

Finish carving breast


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Copyright © 2009 - 2019 The Perfect Turkey
Copyright © 2009 - 2019 The Perfect Turkey
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