Turkey Carving Safety Tips

The holiday season, starting on Thanksgiving and lasting through New Year’s, is a great time to get together with your friends and family to catch up, give thanks for the good things from the year past and look forward to what the future may hold. However, one part of the holidays may lead to stress and potential accidents: the carving of the turkey. Cuts can be tricky injuries, often hitting deeper than they originally appear. If you sustain a cut while carving your turkey, you should seek immediate medical treatment to see if you need stitches. Follow these tips to safely carve your bird for a stress-free holiday!

Don’t start right away

After spending between three and five hours roasting in direct heat, the meat and the moisture trapped under the skin will be scalding hot. Starting to carve immediately after it is done cooking leaves you and anyone within reach vulnerable to minor burns from splatters. By giving the turkey at least half an hour to cool down to a manageable temperature, you reduce the risk of burns and give the juices a change to settle closer to the bottom of the turkey.

Sharpen your knife before the first cut

You may not think that your knife can dull while sitting dormant in the knife block between uses, taking it out and immediately cutting into the turkey. However, sharpening it is critical to getting an even cut and preventing injuries. A dull knife can get stuck in the meat and require jerking and nudging to slice, which can lead to you losing control. Run your carving knife through a sharpening tool, sold with most knife sets, in order to smooth the edges for an easier cut, and never hold the turkey steady with your hand. Carve away from you and use a meat fork to hold the turkey in place. If you are unsure of your carving abilities, use an electric knife for a smooth cut and even slice.

Reduce distractions

When carving a meat dish with a sharp knife, the smallest distraction can have major consequences. Take the turkey away from where you are planning on eating in order to prepare it in a quiet space, and make sure the area has enough light for you to see what you are doing.

Injury Treatment in Cedar Grove, NJ

If you sustain a laceration while cutting your turkey, don’t wait to get it checked out. Visit AFC Urgent Care Cedar Grove for assessment and possibly stitches for proper treatment. We are open seven days a week, and walk-in patients are always welcome. For questions, please call 973-239-2300.