How Long Should a Turkey Breast Rest Before Carving?

Use this straightforward guide to learn How to Carve a Turkey. Before proceeding to the second side, thoroughly carve the first using a sharp carving knife. Anyone can do it!.

It’s time to carve your ideal Thanksgiving bird after it’s rested and taken out of the oven. Arranging a perfectly carved turkey on a serving plate at the dinner table is a visually stunning and convenient arrangement for your guests.

It’s easy to do, too. Although carving a turkey may seem daunting, you can approach the bird methodically once you grasp the technique. You’ll finish quickly if you work on one side at a time.

A perfectly cooked turkey breast is a centerpiece of many holiday meals and family gatherings. However the carving process can be intimidating especially for those who haven’t done it before. But fear not! This guide will walk you through the process of carving a turkey breast, including the crucial step of resting the meat before slicing.

Why Resting Matters

Resting a turkey breast after cooking is essential for ensuring a juicy and flavorful result. When the turkey comes out of the oven, its internal temperature is high, and the juices are actively circulating. If you were to carve it immediately, these juices would escape, leaving you with a dry and disappointing bird.

By allowing the turkey to rest, you give the juices time to redistribute and settle back into the meat. This results in a more evenly cooked and flavorful turkey. The general rule is to rest the turkey for at least 20 minutes but 30 minutes is even better.

The Carving Process

Once your turkey has rested, it’s time to carve! Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Gather your tools: You’ll need a sharp carving knife, a cutting board, and a serving platter.
  2. Position the turkey: Place the turkey breast on the cutting board, with the breast side facing up.
  3. Locate the breastbone: The breastbone runs down the center of the turkey breast. Identify this bone as it will guide your cuts.
  4. Start carving: Place your knife alongside the breastbone and begin slicing from one end of the breast to the other, staying as close to the bone as possible. This will ensure you get the most meat.
  5. Remove the breast: Once you’ve reached the end of the breast, carefully lift it away from the bone and place it on the serving platter.
  6. Repeat on the other side: Repeat the process on the other side of the turkey breast, removing the second breast and placing it on the platter.
  7. Slice and serve: You can now slice the turkey breasts into thin slices for serving.

Additional Tips

  • Use a sharp knife to make clean cuts and avoid tearing the meat.
  • If you have an electric knife, you can use it for easier carving.
  • Save the turkey bones and scraps to make a delicious turkey stock or broth.
  • Leftover turkey can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Resting your turkey breast before carving is a simple but important step for ensuring a juicy and flavorful result. By following these tips, you can confidently carve a turkey breast like a pro and impress your guests with your culinary skills.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: Aim for a turkey weight of one and a half pounds per person (some weight comes from bones). The recipe suggests that a 15-pound turkey will serve roughly 12 people, or 1 ½ cups of turkey per person, for a total of 18 cups. The math is 12 people x 1. 25 pounds per person = 15-pound turkey.
  • Storage: For up to four days, keep leftovers covered in the refrigerator.
  • Make ahead: Use my simple Make Ahead Turkey recipe to start your Thanksgiving preparations early. First, roast, carve, and freeze the turkey in its juices. Then thaw, reheat, and make the gravy.
  • Table-side carving: If you would rather handle everything backstage and carve the turkey at the table, use this technique. Make a base cut by carving a deep horizontal incision through the breast toward the bone, just above the thigh and shoulder joints. Beginning close to the breastbone, make thin vertical slices, ending with a base cut for each slice.
  • The Ultimate Turkey Guide: Prepare the most delicious Thanksgiving meal or Sunday supper ever Learn the basics of purchasing, defrosting, brining, and cooking turkeys. You’ll also discover how simple it is to prepare turkey gravy and broth from pan drippings.
  • Because you might be cooking a slightly smaller or larger turkey, roasting times can vary. Roasting an unstuffed turkey at 325 degrees takes about 15 minutes per pound. Nonetheless, an excellent meat thermometer—165 degrees at the thickest part of the thigh—is the best tool for determining whether a turkey has been properly roasted.
  • Roasted Turkey Breast: Try my best roast turkey breast recipe for a Sunday dinner or a small Thanksgiving menu. The skin is incredibly crisp from a dry brine and basting, and the meat is juicy and flavorful.
  • Slow Cooker Turkey Breast: This recipe uses no oven space and produces a delicious, tender bird.
  • Make turkey broth or soup: Use your leftover turkey carcass to make the best leftover turkey noodle soup you’ve ever tasted or a pot of delectable homemade turkey broth.

how long should a turkey breast rest before carving

The majority of modern recipes discourage stuffing turkeys because it compromises food safety and results in a bird that cooks more evenly. Should you choose to stuff your turkey, mix the wet and dry ingredients right before stuffing the bird’s cavity. Make sure any raw meat, poultry, or shellfish that you use for the stuffing has been thoroughly cooked beforehand. Do not stuff a bird with cooked stuffing. Loosely pack the body and neck cavities using a large spoon or your hands (do not pack it tightly because the stuffing expands while it cooks). To keep the stuffing inside, use trussing pins to truss the main cavity. For the stuffing to be safe to consume, an internal thermometer reading of 165 degrees is required. For more information, see the USDA website. Stuffing chicken and Cornish hens is also discouraged.

Working with Meat and Fish

Working with Meat and Fish

Working with Meat and Fish

Stock, Sauce, and Spread Recipes

how long should a turkey breast rest before carving

How long do you let a turkey breast rest before carving?


How long should you let a turkey breast rest before carving?

First, allow your cooked turkey to sit for about 20 minutes before starting to carve. Beginning halfway up the breast, slice straight down with an even stroke. When the knife reaches the cut above the wing joint, the slice should fall free on its own.

Can you let a turkey rest too long?

The exact time period cooked turkey can sit out depends on a few different factors. As a rule of thumb, if your meat has been out in the temperature danger zone for more than two hours, even after being refrigerated, throw it out. If the turkey was just cooked and is cooling down, try to put it away within two hours.

Do you cover turkey breast when resting?

To do so, remove the turkey from the oven when it’s done cooking and let it cool down for about 20 minutes. If you cover it right away, the trapped heat will continue to cook your bird and will result in overcooked (aka dry) meat. After 20 minutes, cover the turkey with foil and then place a kitchen towel on top.

How long does it take for turkey breast to rest?

If you wait to pull the turkey at 165°F (74°C), the breasts will be overcooked and dry. Once out of the oven, let your turkey rest for 20 minutes to bring the internal temperature up and to allow all the turkey juices to redistribute throughout the breast. After 20 minutes, carve and serve the turkey breast.

How long should a turkey breast rest before carving?

Reserve the drippings to whip up a gravy, if desired, which is a fantastic task to tackle as you do another mandatory one: allow the turkey breast to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Tent the turkey with foil to keep it warm during the process. Why wait? As meat cooks, the juices rise to the surface.

How do you carve a turkey breast?

Knowing the right techniques to carve up a turkey will take you from an eager eater to an experienced expert. First, allow your cooked turkey to sit for about 20 minutes before starting to carve. Beginning halfway up the breast, slice straight down with an even stroke.

Should you let Turkey rest before carving?

The main reason you want to let turkey rest before you carve it is to give the meat an opportunity to reabsorb all the moisture. It also helps the turkey to develop a more well-rounded flavor profile. Not to mention that most meat, including turkey, continues to cook when you remove it from the oven or grill.

How long should you rest a Turkey?

Overall, how long you rest your turkey will depend on how you cooked it. For smaller or smoker birds, 30 minutes should be sufficient, while larger birds need a full 45 minutes. Either way, don’t plan to rest your turkey for longer than one hour, as this will cause the meat to cool down.

Leave a Comment