How To Skin A Turkey – The Best Way To Prepare A Turkey!

Thanksgiving is one of the most important holidays in US culture. It is when families gather around and have delicious traditional meals, including the famous turkey dish.

Preparing different chicken dishes like smoked chicken drumsticks may be simple, but Thanksgiving turkey is a different story. If you have to prepare the turkey this year, don’t take it as pressure because we will give you detailed instructions on how to skin a turkey – the first step in preparing Thanksgiving’s essential dish!

How To Skin A Turkey For Eating In Detailed Steps

How To Skin A Wild Turkey For Eating In Detailed Steps

Option 1: Skinning And Quartering

Skinning and quartering is the most used method when it comes to skinning a turkey. A beginner can skin a turkey using this method in less than 5 minutes with proper learning and practicing. Not only can this method help you on how to clean a turkey wild, but it also helps reduce fat and cholesterol in the skin.

so, how to skin a turkey by skinning and quartering? – Here is a detailed instruction!

Step 1: Use a big pluck to hang the bird with its head towards the ground. Use a cutting knife and chop off the wings at the first joint.

Step 2: Locate the turkey’s beard and pull it out to remove it. If there is some loose skin at the base, you should cut it off too.

Step 3: Continue to remove the turkey’s legs. Find the joint connection between the legs and the body, then gently separate it by snapping around the joint.

Step 4: Expel the cape another by, to begin with embedding a cut into the neck skin where the quills begin on the back of a gobbler’s neck. Move your knife between the back and the breast feather to cut down the neck and separate the neck from the body.

It would help if you continued cutting on that way until you reached the tail’s feathers. Locate a part called the pope’s nose and cut it. Remember to keep the cape and the fan because you will need them after you finish butchering the turkey.

Step 5: Try to remove the skin by using a knife to woosh out the unnecessary parts. If you have come to the legs’ skin, a tip to perfect this process is to roll the turkey down as far as you can, then use a knife cut in the circular motion to sever the skin out.

Step 6: The upper wings and legs can be removed using the carcass removal under the condition you start at the neck’s base.

Step 7: Cut the distance from the tail to the breastbone and around the anus to remove the turkey’s entrails. By this point, you will see the turkey’s organs.

To clean a wild turkey, you should remove the organs by hand since any non-manual action can cause the turkey to ruin its internal texture.

Step 8: Finally, insert the blade along the turkey’s breastbone extension (or so-called keel bone) to get out the breast fillets. Just like when you are cutting chicken breast, according to your dishes, you should determine the breast’s size to cut it sharp and clean. And that’s how to breast out a turkey.

Option 2: Plucking

Plucking is the option to choose if you don’t want to remove the bird’s skin. Here are two plucking styles that you can choose depending on your preference or your surrounding condition for skinning a turkey. Moreover, with plucking method, you can reheat the leftover turkey easily without change dish taste so much.

Wet plucking

If you have boiling water nearby, you should try out wet plucking to skin a turkey. Here are the steps to follow if you choose to wet pluck a turkey:

  • Step 1: Push the turkey’s head into the water until you can still see the turkey’s thighs.
  • Step 2: Put the whole turkey into the hot water in 10 seconds and get it out.
  • Step 3: Hang the turkey upside down and use a plier or your hands to pluck it.

Dry plucking

If there is no water to support in the first place, you can try the dry plucking method. It would take more time, but as soon as you follow our methods correctly, it will then  not be a big deal:

Step 1: Starting by hanging the turkey upside down and disjoining the external wing bones at the joints using a sharp knife.

Step 2: If you have a plier, only use it to pluck out the large feathers. With the small remaining feathers, you should pluck them by hand.

Step 3: Get rid of the entrails and wash the entire turkey’s body with warm water.

This step can be done either with dry or wet plucking; it is too the hair-like feathers at the bottom of the turkey. To remove these feathers fast and effectively:

  1. Use a lighter or a small torch and run the fire through these feathers to burn and automatically fall off the turkey.
  2. Be cautious not to burn the turkey by accident in this process.
  3. Remember that the skin should dry when you do this method, or else if the body is wet, then your effort would be a waste.
  4. After you finish, wash the turkey with water 2-3 times to remove the debris and dirt; ensure that the turkey is clean for preparing and cooking.

You can choose to skin a turkey in many methods, but you should choose to execute with how to clean a wild turkey step by step instruction that you feel most comfortable with.

Whatever option you go for, bear in mind not to burn the turkey in high heat for too long, and always be cautious when working and handling sharp blades.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Wash My Turkey Before Cooking It?

You may ask, “How do you clean a wild turkey?” Contrary to what you may think, when you expose the turkey’s meat, our advice is not to wash it. Otherwise, bacteria can have a bigger chance of exposing your raw meat.

According to the USA Food Safety Service, washing raw poultry, including chicken, beef, pork, etc., or cleaning a wild turkey is not recommended because washing will not help eliminate the existing bacteria in the meat, but instead may accidentally create a moist environment for them to spread.

When you have cut the poultry into pieces, for example, chicken breast halves, the chicken will taste odd later, and that is the thing you don’t want for your turkey or how to breast a wild turkey correctly.

The only time you should wash your turkey when it has the meat on is after brining it. Brining a turkey is a conditional step where you dip your turkey in saltwater and let it sit for a day before cooking. After the brining process, your turkey is more absorbent to spices and herbs, making the later food tastier. Before cooking, brining and washing a turkey is the secret to having excellent turkey dishes later!

How Long Before Cooking Should I Take The Turkey Out Of The Fridge?

You should get the turkey out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour before you start cooking it. This waiting time will allow the turkey to cook more efficiently later, whether you cook it in the oven or frying pans.

If you want to stuff your turkey, then you should stuff it immediately, then wait for the right time to put it into the oven.

Should I Season Turkey The Night Before?

Seasoning the turkey the night before cooking will make the bird lose its texture while the flavors will not remain on it for too long. Instead of seasoning the turkey the night before, you should do some other things as you will have spare time tomorrow seasoning the turkey.

  • Prepare the seasoning ingredients carefully. The best spices that can go with a Thanksgiving turkey are butter, rosemary, lemon, onion, thyme, sage, etc. And don’t forget chicken stock if you want to make your turkey more flavorful!
  • Prepare your chicken one night before by thawing it completely if you put it in the freezer the day before.
  • After drying out the turkey, spray it with some salt.
  • Place the turkey in the oven pan, and place it in the fridge. This small technique will make the turkey’s skin crispier tomorrow.

The Final Word

And that’s everything we can instruct you on how to skin a wild turkey. We understand that it is not easy to prepare such large poultry for an important dining evening. 

Still, as long as you follow our guide on how to skin a turkey step by step, we can confirm that it is an easy and entertaining process.

Thank you for reading our article, and good luck with skinning a wild turkey!

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