How to Slaughter a Turkey

There may be numerous ways to cook a turkey, but there is only one tried and true way to prepare it for the fire. If you want to give your next Thanksgiving meal a more personal touch, then you will definately be able to put this method to good use.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • A live turkey
  • Two adequately-sized cooking vessels
  • A hatchet
  • A butcher knife
  • A large chopping block
  • Strong string/rope


  1. Preparing A Live Turkey

    • 1

      Fill one of the vessels with water halfway to the top, then begin boiling it. Put on rubber gloves.

    • 2

      Stretch the turkey's neck across the chopping block, then behead it with the hatchet.

    • 3

      Give the body a few moments to stop flailing, then use the strong string/rope to hang the tukey upside down. This will allow the blood to drain out.

    • 4

      Submerge the body up to its feet in the boiling water to scald it. Dip the turkey for 5-10 minutes, depending on size.

    • 5

      Remove the turkey from the water, place in the second vessel and begin to pluck the feathers from the body. The scalding should make this part much easier.

    • 6

      Use the butcher knife to cut the turkey completely open, starting from the collarbone and ending at the rectum.

    • 7

      Pick out the entrails by hand.

    • 8

      Wash and dry the turkey in a sink.

    • 9

      Refrigerate the turkey immediately if it is not going to be directly served .

    Getting Ready To Serve

    • 10

      Cut the wings off using the butcher knife.

    • 11

      Remove the drumsticks from the thighs at the joints.

    • 12

      Cut straight down the ribcage (on both sides) to remove the breast from the carcass.

    • 13

      Cut straight down along the breastbone to separate the breast in half.

Tips & Warnings

  • A good substitute for the chopping block would be a tree trunk or stump.
  • The best places to hang the turkey would be either a low tree limb or a from the rafter of a shed or barn.
  • Make sure that you bind the turkey's wings and legs (with the string, a towel or a friend with a very strong grip) before you put it on the chopping block.
  • It is imperative that you do not leave the turkey in the boiling water for too long, since its flesh will start to cook.
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