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How to Carve a Turkey so Your Bird Isn't a Total Hack Job

Adriana Velez is Food Editor for SheKnows. She spent her formative years in Brooklyn, which pretty much explains everything about her. She now lives somewhere else and has discovered life after kale and kombucha. She's written for Civil ...

We promise you can carve up an elegant turkey (& keep all your fingers, too)

Nothing ruins Thanksgiving dinner quicker than shredding a gorgeously cooked turkey to pieces. OK, we lied, maybe human blood drawn during said turkey shredding kills the joy of the holiday a little bit faster. But seriously, improperly carving a turkey and cutting yourself in the process are both totally common Thanksgiving Day scenarios. Don't let it happen to you.

The good news is you can avoid a bird and finger massacre with some simple tips. We recommend using a good, sharp carving knife and a boning knife rather than an electric knife. This will give you more control and protect the texture of your meat better. Set that bird on a cutting board with wells to capture the juices you release while cutting.

More: A Soy Sauce Brine Is Totally Necessary for a Next-Level Thanksgiving Turkey

Now... where do you get started? Here's your turkey carving plan.

We promise you can carve up an elegant turkey (& keep all your fingers, too)
Image: Becci Burkhart/SheKnows

More: Alternative Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas — Because Not Everyone Loves Turkey

To separate a joint, first cut the skin around it, then grasp the pieces firmly, and pull until you hear the joint pop. Then, using a carving knife, cut through just the tendons connecting the joint. You don't need to cut through bone to remove the legs and wings from a turkey.

Originally published November 2016. Updated November 2017.

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