The Right Tool for the Task: Carving Knives plus How to Carve a Turkey
Have you ever used your beloved chef’s knife to carve brisket, roast beef or ham, only to get uneven, shredded slices? While a chef’s knife is ideal for chopping, dicing and mincing, its thick, wide blade doesn’t excel at slicing poultry and meat.
What you need is a carving knife. A carving knife’s long, thin blade with flexible tip and razor-sharp straight edge slices cleanly and precisely. The blade should be long enough to cut through a turkey breast or large roast in a single stroke. Choose a traditional carving knife from Wusthof, Zwilling and other top cutlery brands or an electric carving knife. A slicing knife is similar to a carving knife, but is generally longer and narrower. It has a more flexible blade with a straight or serrated edge for cutting the thinnest slices of ham or brisket.
A carving fork or meat fork is a special tool that holds the turkey or roast steady during carving. With its two long prongs or tines, a carving fork holds poultry and meat securely during carving. Carving sets usually include both carving knife and carving fork. If you’re buying a separate carving fork, choose one with sharp, sturdy tines that easily pierce meat without damaging muscle fibers.
• A carving knife or slicing knife has a long, thin blade designed to cut even slices of meat without shredding
• A carving fork or meat fork has long, sharp tines that hold meat securely while you carve
How to Carve a Turkey
Are your knife skills a bit rusty or are you nervous about carving your first turkey? We think this video tutorial from Wusthof will help anyone hone his or her turkey carving technique.
Here’s a summary of the basic turkey carving steps:
1. After roasting, cover turkey with foil and let it rest for 20 minutes.
2. Set turkey, breast side up, on a large cutting board or cutting surface. For safety, use sturdy turkey lifters or wear oven mitts to move the hot bird from roasting rack to cutting board. Remove the trussing.
3. Pull one leg away from the body until the joint pops. With a sharp, thin-bladed carving knife, cut through the joint to remove the leg. Repeat with the other leg.
4. Wiggle the drumstick to find the joint between it and the thigh. Slip the knife into the joint and cut each drumstick from the thigh.
5. Pull the wings away from the body. Cut through the joint to remove each wing.
6. Remove each side of the breast. Slice downward along the breastbone, following the body’s curve. Set the breasts, skin side up, on cutting board. Slice each breast crosswise (against the grain) and on a slight diagonal.
7. Arrange carved turkey on platter and serve.