How To Debone a Turkey

Every year I debone, marinade, and stuff my turkey for Thanksgiving.  Why?  Because it makes the turkey juicy and it only takes  2 hours to cook a nine pound turkey.  It is not easy and it does take some knife skill, but hopefully with my tutorial and patience you can do it.

First, wash the bird, then lay it on its back.

Make an incision in the middle between two breasts.

Try to go along the rib bone like you are going to cup out the breasts.

The rib bone is attached to the wing bone on top and the thigh bone on the bottom.  Look for the joints and cut in the middle to separate the carcass.

Repeat the process on the other side.
Now, the trickiest part.  The back bone is very close to the skin, there is almost no meat, so, you have to be very careful, not to cut through the skin.  Carefully, along the back bone try to cut the carcass out. I use the carcass later for the turkey stock.


I rub the turkey with salt, pepper, garlic, paprika and mayonnaise on both sides.
Place it in a large bowl, cover and store in a refrigerator until ready to cook.

When it is time.  Take your turkey, lay it on its back, put in stuffing or apples or oranges.  Close both sides together, then gently turn the turkey on its belly.  Sprinkle paprika, thyme, sage, and rosemary on top.  Cover the pan with foil and put it in the oven for 375F degrees for about 90 minutes.  In 90 minutes, take the turkey out, take off the foil, check the temperature (it should be less 175). take a large spoon and pour the turkey juice from the bottom of the pan to the turkey back and tights. Leave the foil off and place the turkey back in the over for another 30 minutes.  Once the turkey’s temperature reaches 175F, it is ready.  Carefully transfer the turkey the plater, decorate it and serve it.

2 thoughts on “How To Debone a Turkey

  1. Way to take it to the next level! I did remove the backbone and did the spatchcock method that is all over the web this year. I cooked two 18 pound turkeys in about 2.5-3 hours- with a bit of finagling of the racks- But I like the idea of deboning the whole darn thing! Happy holidays… wendy


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