What’s a Thanksgiving without a proper turkey? To get the best results from your big meal, use proper carving and slicing techniques.


Follow these simple directions for successfully carving your turkey:

Allow turkey products more than 10 pounds to stand at room temperature from 10 to 20 minutes after cooking and before slicing. This allows the juices to distribute evenly throughout the turkey.

Netting and cooking bags are easier to remove after the recommended 10 minutes’ standing time. The maximum standing time should be 20 minutes.

Immediately after the 10 to 20 minutes’ holding time, carve the turkey from its carcass into major sections (e.g., breasts, thighs, drumsticks, and wings).

Slice or carve on a sanitized cutting surface. Knives, pans, and covers should be sanitized, too. Resanitize board and knives every 30 minutes.

Wear disposable food-handling gloves while carving, or thoroughly wash your hands frequently.

To serve turkey hot, place sections in pans. Cover with film to retain heat and moisture and to minimize the possibility of contamination. Hold at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or higher in a hot holding device (e.g., cabinet, steam table, bain arie).

Turkey must be at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit when placed in the holding pans. The heating device will only maintain temperature. A maximum holding time of 20 to 30 minutes is recommended.

Slice the sections into serving pieces, put them on a plate, and add garnish.

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