(StatePoint) Will you be hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year? Even those with the best mashed potatoes, the tastiest cornbread and the sweetest pie can have reservations about carving the turkey.
Easy tips from the carving experts at Smith’s Housewares, a manufacturer of innovative knife sharpeners and kitchen tools, can give you confidence during this final step of feast prep:
• Schedule your turkey to come out of the oven about 20 minutes before you begin carving it. This will make handling the hot turkey easier and give the meat’s juices time to redistribute for maximum deliciousness.
• Remove the string first. Then, remove each leg and thigh from the body of the turkey, using your hands to separate and your knife to slice through the meat.
• Next, separate the thighs from the legs by pulling on a leg and using your knife to slice. Target the ‘V’ area with your knife, feeling around until you find the joint. Slice the meat away from the thigh bone and place it directly on your serving platter. Next, remove the wings using a similar method. By identifying where the joint is; you can avoid slicing bone.
• Slice each breast slightly off the midline with an even stroke. Gently pull the breast away on the side you’ve chosen. Slice each breast into quarter-inch thick slices. Place on your platter. Alternatively, cut slices of breast directly off the turkey, parallel to the rib cage. Either way, keep slices even on both sides.
• Save time and energy and be safer and neater by using a sharp straightedge knife and a carving fork to steady your meat. This will prevent tearing the meat and making a mess.
• On one of the most important cooking holidays of the year, you’ll want to make sure your kitchen is prepped to handle the work. Sharpen all the knives you will need in advance, particularly your turkey carving knife. Give yourself a present early this year by equipping yourself with a compact electric knife sharpener, an essential for everyday use, as well as major feasts. Those from Smith’s feature a manual slot for polishing a freshly ground edge or a quick touch-up of already sharp knives. They can be found at walmart.com.
• A true holiday meal should be a feast for all the senses. So, after arranging your carved turkey on the serving platter, use fresh in-season herbs, fruits and vegetables to give your main course extra appeal.
With the right, well-maintained tools and the right technique, carving can be the simplest step of your Turkey Day preparations.