In advance of even taking out the carving knife, you need to make sure your Thanksgiving turkey is fully cooked. Undercooked birds can lead to upset tummies after the feast.
Before everyone knew about meat thermometers, one tested the doneness of a turkey by either piercing a drumstick to see if the juices ran clear or wiggling a drumstick to see whether it moved easily.
Using a meat thermometer nowadays, check to see if the breast meat is between 165 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Williams-Sonoma. To be supersafe, you can let it go a bit higher, but once you get into the 180s, the bird begins drying out. Dark meat should be about 175 degrees.
Carving a turkey takes practice. For starters, remove the wings and drumsticks. Then carefully cut the breast meat away from the bone and place it on a plate where you can cut slices with a carving or electric knife or use a meat slicer. The Food Network has a helpful video here.
Here’s another video showing the approach of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver:
Now, go make the gravy.