Help with processing a turkey

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by MandyH, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    I've got a BIG Blue Slate jake that has taken the notion to attack us everytime we go to the pasture and today he got my 4 year old. She's OK, just has minor scratches but he's gonna have to go. If I cannot get him sold in the next couple days I want to try my hand at processing. I have never processed a bird in my life besides quail or doves and all we do to them is split them open and pop out the breast meat. I would like to process him whole so I can cook him on Christmas or freeze him. Is it as simple as slit, scald, and gut?
     
  2. Buster52

    Buster52 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Geronimo Oklahoma
    Quote:I'd probably pluck the feathers while I was at it. [​IMG]

    And chill in ice water when done.
     
  3. DCS

    DCS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 26, 2008
    I butchered my first turkeys this fall, and if he's really that big, don't mess with scalding. I dry-plucked mine, and it went much faster than I thought it would. I whacked them in the head with a wrench, strung them up by the feet, slit the throats and plucked them still hanging. It was surprisingly easy.

    Good luck!
     
  4. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    My main concern is getting all the guts out. After I pluck it where do I make my cut so I will be able to reach in and pull everything out?
     
  5. Buster52

    Buster52 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 28, 2009
    Geronimo Oklahoma
    I don't know if I do it right, but I pinch the skin, pull it out, make a small slit below the bottom of the breast plate where it is obvious there is no bone, making the slit large enough to fit a couple of fingers into and rip it open to reveal the entrails. The less cutting I do in that area the safer I feel, as I don't want to cut the guts or other innards with the knife.

    Once the hole is large enough for me to easily get a hand in, I move it around the inside of the rib cage to loosen the guts and such, then doing the same all the way around the inside and pull it all out the hole I created in the belly.

    Once that is all out on the table but still hanging onto the bird, I cut all the way around the anus so it all comes out clean without ripping the guts and getting feces all over the place.

    Like I said, I don't know if I'm doing it right, but that's how I do it.

    Here are a couple of videos illustrating proper evisceration...



     

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