How to Get the Kids out of a Turkey: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Get the Kids out of a Turkey: 11 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Get the Kids out of a Turkey: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

Turkey giblets are the edible internal organs such as the heart, gizzard and liver. If you bought a whole turkey, it probably still has the kids in it. Start by thawing and unpacking the turkey. Then place your hand inside the bird's front and rear cavities to pull out the giblets. You can save the kids to make some recipe or throw them away. Don't forget to wash everything that has come into contact with raw meat thoroughly.


Part 1 of 2: Thawing and unpacking the turkey

Remove Turkey Giblets Step 1

Step 1. Let the turkey thaw in the refrigerator if it is frozen

It takes about 24 hours to thaw each 2 kg of turkey. See if the bird is completely thawed by inserting a thermometer in some points on the chest. The temperature must be between 0 and 4 °C.

  • For example, it will take three days for a 6.8 kg turkey to thaw.
  • You can thaw the bird faster in ice water. Place the wrapped turkey in a plastic bag and soak in a bucket of cold water. Change cold water every 30 minutes. It will take about 30 minutes to defrost every 500g of meat.
  • Do not allow turkey to thaw at room temperature.
Remove Turkey Giblets Step 2

Step 2. Place the turkey on a shallow tray or inside the sink

Don't put it in a deep baking pan to go to the oven just yet, because it will release a lot of water when opened and ideally get rid of this water. Do this by placing the bird in the sink or on a shallow baking sheet.

Remember that you will have to clean and disinfect any and all surfaces that come into contact with raw meat

Step 3. Unpack the bird

Turn the turkey upside down and cut a slit in the package with a knife. Remove the wrapping from around the entire turkey. Dispose of the package directly in the trash, as it has had contact with raw meat.

  • It's best to open the bird's wrapper from the back, because if you accidentally cut the skin, it won't stick to the chest area.
  • If the turkey legs are joined by a piece of plastic, you can leave it that way during oven preparation.

Part 2 of 2: Cleaning the turkey body cavity

Step 1. Find the body cavity between the bird's legs

She will have a big hole cut in the area between her legs. Inside you will be able to see the giblets and the neck, if they came with the turkey. The body cavity is quite big, hard to miss.

  • If you don't see the giblets pack right away, it could be below your neck.
  • If there is no body cavity, you will have to remove the turkey entrails, which is a more complex process than just getting the giblets out of the bird.

Step 2. Place your hand in the cavity to take out the giblets

Generally, butchers put the giblets inside a plastic or paper bag and leave them near the entrance to the body cavity. Insert your hand into it and take the package out.

Producers must pack the birds with giblets. If they are not present, this must be noted on the packaging

Step 3. Pull the neck out of the body cavity, if necessary

Even if there are no giblets inside the bird's body, the neck may still be there. Butchers will place it inside the body cavity or in the front cavity. The neck looks like a long stick.

  • You can use the turkey neck to make sauces, soups or smoke it.
  • You can also throw it away if you prefer.

Step 4. See if the front cavity also has giblets

Sometimes, the butcher can place the giblets package in the front cavity instead of the one between the legs. Look at the top of the turkey, between the wings. There will be a hole where the neck was. Open the hole with your hands so you can look into it. If there's a pack of giblets, take them off the bird.

If the packaging said there are kids and you didn't find them, look again

Remove Turkey Giblets Step 8

Step 5. Reserve the kids for some recipe or throw them away

You can use giblets to make sauces, broths or side dishes. Some people like to roast the turkey with the giblets underneath to add more flavor to the sauce that forms on the roasting pan. However, if you don't want to have that extra work, you can just throw the kids away.

If you throw the kids out, take out the trash a few hours later so you don't get a bad smell in the house

Remove Turkey Giblets Step 9

Step 6. Dry the turkey with a paper towel

Take a few sheets of paper towels and dry the outside of the turkey. These birds roast much better when they are dry. Remember to throw the sheets of paper away immediately.

It's better to press rather than rub so the paper doesn't fall apart on the turkey

Step 7. Wash your hands and everything that has touched the meat with hot soapy water

Wash your hands with warm, soapy water. Rub them for at least 20 seconds before rinsing with running water. Also wash the counter, sink, silverware, boards, pots, and anything else that has come in contact with raw turkey meat.

  • Do this as soon as you finish cleaning the turkey, as bacteria from raw meat are dangerous to your health.
  • You can also disinfect the surfaces with bleach and water for extra cleaning. Dilute bleach at a ratio of 1 scoop to 4 L of clean water. Let the bleach mixture sit on the counter for two minutes and then remove it.

Step 8. Prepare the turkey the way you like it

You can roast, smoke, grill or deep-fry the turkey. Get creative when mixing spices or wrap the turkey with bacon!

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