Are you looking to get the most out of your turkey this year? Are you wondering how to breakdown a turkey, or make a stock from it: then this is the blog for you! It might seem like a big undertaking but we’re here to guide you through the whole process.

In this blog we’ll be covering how to properly and safely break down a turkey so that it can be cooked to perfection, while also saving all of the important leftover bones and pieces to make a turkey stock for future recipes!

Getting Started


  1. a turkey
  2. 2 large white onions
  3. 3 carrots
  4. 4 stalks of celery
  5. 4 bay leaves
  6. 1 small bunch of fresh parsley
  7. 2 bunches of fresh thyme
  8. water


  1. sharp and sturdy knife
  2. cutting board
  3. baking sheet
  4. parchment paper
  5. large pot
  6. gloves

How to Breakdown a Turkey

First, remove turkey neck from the cavity and save. Remove the plastic probe from the turkey and dont save.

The first cut is to remove the legs and the thighs. Cut through the skin to where the thigh is attached to the turkey body. With some pressure on the outside of the thighs, pop the thigh bone from the body. Cut along the back and underneath the thigh joint to release the leg and thigh.

Cut off the wings by finding the joint between the middle wing and the drumette. The drumette is staying attached to the breast. Cut the skin surrounding the cavity to remove the part of the back bone. Pull away from the body to separate the back portion and cut this section off.

Flip the remaining bird back up and smooth out the skin finding the bone that separates the breast meat. Cut straight down keeping the knife close to the bone. Pull the meat away from the knife, without tearing to follow the curve of the bones. 

Once most of the meat has been removed the joint section where the drumette meets the body has to be cut. Using the tip of the knife, find where this section is and cut it away with any other connecting flesh. 



If you are using a sturdy and sharp knife this step helps to fit the last and biggest piece into a pot for making stock.

Cut the carcass in half at is widest part this will take some pressure and both hands should be used, and with one hand on the top third of the knife and a strong grip on the handle of the knife. Cut and press on one side to crack and cut the remaining bones and after that flip over the bird and follow the same cut. Separate the pieces into two. To separate the legs from the thighs there is a fat line where the joints are attached. Cut at this line and the two pieces will separate.

Cooking the Turkey Bones

turkey bones on parchment paper

On a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, roast the bones at 400 degrees F / 204 degrees C for about 30 minutes. 

Rotate the pieces half way to evenly cook them. Place vegetables and herbs in the pot and top with roasted turkey part. Cover with cold water, about 4 to 6 quarts to cover everything. Heat on medium high and bring to nearly boiling and reduce to a simmer, cook 3 hours. 

…and that’s it!

Now that wasn’t so tough was it? Now that’ve you know how to breakdown a turkey you can enjoy an evenly cooked bird AND have turkey stock for your future recipes!

Also be sure to watch our video below to see this process in action.


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