chef making the first cut on a whole turkey

How to Brine and Carve a Thanksgiving Turkey

Preparing a turkey is an important Thanksgiving holiday event. You’re facing family and you want to impress. Well, we at Public Storage have got you covered, thanks to expert turkey brine recipe and carving tips from our pal Richard Hanna, a lead chef instructor at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts near Los Angeles.

If you’re using a frozen turkey, start thawing it in the fridge now and leave it in for two days, depending on its size. Then brine the thawed turkey, breast down, for one to three days in a bucket of salt water in the refrigerator, weighing it down so it stays submerged if needed, said Richard. Brining a Thanksgiving turkey by soaking it in one pound of salt for each gallon of water makes the final cooked turkey moister. It absorbs the liquid, and the salt solution actually changes the makeup of the turkey muscles, converting a portion to liquid. Cook using your favorite recipe, then get ready to impress your guests with your carving prowess!

The way Richard sees it, there are two ways to slice a turkey. There is a deboning technique that creates thicker, juicier filets, and there is the traditional method you may have seen growing up and that he demonstrates below. You shave thin slices off the breast until you reach the bone. Cut against the “grain”, in other words, across and down.

chef demonstrates how to carve a turkey and says to cut against the grain

Deboning the turkey, which he favors, is easier, he said. It simply calls for cutting the entire breast off the bone at once.

chef demonstrates deboning a turkey cutting all the breast off at once

Then remove it.

remove the turkey breast after you cut it off

Slice into inch thick pieces.

slice the breast into thick slices

Remove the legs by cutting between the inside of the leg and the body of the turkey. Slice to separate the thigh and the drumstick. Then cut along both sides of the bones to remove them. Then cut into fillets.

remove the legs by cutting at the base

Once you've removed the breast, remove the wings by cutting where they meet the body of the turkey. Use as garnish on your turkey tray.

Enjoy, and be thankful for time with friends and family!

Chef Richard Hanna shows off his carved turkey

Do you have special Thanksgiving or other holiday memories? Please share with us below or tell us on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter!

by Ann Griffith

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