A Simple Guide to Gutting a Turkey

The holidays are a time of festivities and delicious meals. Many people, young and old, are undertaking their very first time preparing meals for their families and the task can be a bit overwhelming. I remember the first thanksgiving I was responsible for; I was so excited, but at the last minute, I realized I had bought a turkey that didn’t come pre-gutted. After a disturbing half-hour, wrestling with the deceased bird that would become our meal, I was about on the verge of tears. Gutting a turkey, however, doesn’t need to be traumatizing and difficult. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be able to begin cooking your turkey in a matter of minutes.

Cut the turkey
The first thing you should do is forge an opening along the stomach-side of the turkey. Using a very sharp knife, cut a straight line beginning at about where the breastbone ends and ending at the turkey’s anus. This cut will help give you the room you need to gut the turkey. After you’ve cut the stomach of the turkey open, reach inside and pull the intestines up into the chest cavity. You may use gloves if you prefer. Very carefully and using a thin knife, cut a circle around the turkey’s anus, similar in size to the ones you would expect to see in a pre-gutted turkey.

Remove the innards
Once you’ve cut a circle around the anus and a line along the stomach of the turkey, you should now be free to remove the intestines, gizzard, heart and liver from the interior of the turkey. Be sure to remove everything within the cavity of the turkey.

Rinse the turkey
After the innards have been removed, rinse the turkey in the sink, removing any debris from within the chest cavity with water. Be sure to rinse the inside of the turkey very thoroughly and smooth your hands along the inside of the cavity to ensure nothing was left behind. When you’re finished rinsing the inside of the turkey, very carefully rinse the outside of the turkey, making sure not to damage the skin.

Prepare and cook
Now that your turkey has been gutted, you are now ready to prepare and cook your turkey however you like.

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