The Washington Post

Turkey Carving 101: Tips from chef Bryan Voltaggio

All the aspects involved in preparing a Thanksgiving turkey can be nerve-wracking for the uninitiated, but carving duties seem to cause extra angst.

Several years ago, Food editor Joe Yonan joined chef Bryan Voltaggio (before his “Top Chef” and Volt gigs) and former contributor Kim O’Donnel to review turkey carving techniques. The basics remain true, as emphasized by Voltaggio:

* Let the turkey rest before you carve. Its juices need to redistribute through the meat. (If you have an instant-read thermometer, monitor the temperature and wait till it drops to 150 degrees.)

* Place the turkey on a flat surface — preferably a cutting board and not a serving platter.

* Use a very sharp knife. This will avoid having to tear at the meat.

* Stabilize the bird with a large fork (like the one that comes as part of a carving set) while you’re carving.

* To create thin slices, cut in long strokes.

Check out more tips in the full video:

Cara Kelly manages the development of editorial tools and presentation for new products and user experiences. She previously worked in the Style section, following the completion of her MA in journalism at American University.


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