Field dressing a Turkey?


August 27, 2009, 11:32 PM
Hey all. Got a turkey tag for next month- thought I'd give it a try. :) So how do you that know what you're doing field dress (?) or otherwise prepare a turkey? Thanks!

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August 28, 2009, 12:44 AM
dont worry about field dressing it unless its going to be in the hot field sun for more than a few hours. otherwise just take it on home or breast it out at camp. then ice the slabs and have a beer.

if you dont have the time right then to do anything but are going to go to the house then you can stuff him or her in a garbage bag whole and uncleaned and refridge it until you are ready to clean. itll give you an extra day or so.

if you need, i can tell you a super easy (no boiling water and dunking and plucking...or plucking at all!) way to breast one out.

August 28, 2009, 02:03 AM
if you need, i can tell you a super easy (no boiling water and dunking and plucking...or plucking at all!) way to breast one out.

I'd like some info on this!

August 28, 2009, 02:19 AM
It is just like a dove, quail, or phesant... only bigger. If taste is important to you, get the guts out in 45 minutes or less... just like any other animal.

Depending on how you want to cook it, you can either remove the whole breast or just fillet the meat off the breast. Filleting is easiest, and fried Wild Turkey breast is amazing!

You can eat the legs if you desire, but make sure you have a good dentist... you are likely to lose a couple teeth in the process. ;)

August 28, 2009, 09:22 AM
I usually don't field dress turkeys right away, but I'll skin them within an hour or so. I've tried plucking a few times and hated it. I always just skin them now.

August 28, 2009, 01:51 PM
if you need, i can tell you a super easy (no boiling water and dunking and plucking...or plucking at all!) way to breast one out.

I'd like some info on this!

well its similar to what shaggy said, but here goes:

1. lay bird flat on his back and step down on his legs to break joints and give you a base to keep him from rolling. also make sure wings are out of the way. if not just push down on them too.
2. take a little bit of water and rub it into the breast feathers. this keeps them from flying about too much. i soak them pretty good with the hose but i have also used a bit of my drinking water in the field.
3. find the bottom tip of the breast bone and make a 1" horizontal slit just below it.
4. slip knife under the slit and make a cut (from under the skin) all the way up the breast bone to the top of the breast.
5. (now heres the trick!) pull the skin off of the breast to each side. now as you do this dont just flop it over because the small under feathers will sometimes get into the meat (which isnt all that bad to be honest). ROLL THE SKIN like a sushi roll or newspaper to swat a fly. i usually keep a couple of skinny 3 inch nails in my pack to pin the skin back.
6. cut out the breast meat on each side by following the breast bone. cut out the tenderloins and youre done!

once you get the knack of rolling back the feather soaked skin you will be able to have one done in under 5 minutes. also DONT puncture the abdominal cavity and spill gizzards on your meat.

you can also follow the vertical cut when you are done and take out the craw if you want to know what your tom was munching upon.

August 28, 2009, 03:47 PM
I always cut out the breast meat. Very simple, very quick, and very good eating.

Takes whole two minutes to do and saves the stench (I hate cleaning birds, IMO they smell horrible) of dressing the bird. Cut up the breast meat and fry it in butter or marinate in Italian salad dressing and grill them.

August 28, 2009, 04:09 PM
Easiest way to deal with a turkey is skin it rather than plucking the feathers. Like any animal, try not to damage the inards by cutting through intestines and so forth.

August 28, 2009, 10:04 PM
Thanks for all the replies :) This will be (hopefully) my first bird.. So then, no one takes the legs or wings (mental note). Just take the breasts and loins. I have heard they smell pretty bad..

August 29, 2009, 02:58 PM
I eat the legs.

August 29, 2009, 03:22 PM
these fellas got it right when they said skin the bird and not to pluck. Its a lot easier and less time consuming. And i dont eat the leg because to me they are a little to grainy, i just dont like them. But ill take the breast and cut them into strips and soak them in butter milk over night in the fridge. Take them out the following afternoon and flour and fry them and it is great turkey tenders. A little honey mustard and your set.

August 29, 2009, 03:24 PM
I skinned the only turkey I ever shot. I wouldn't breast a bird with drum sticks. I pick sandhill cranes, cook the bird, also, for the drum sticks, though crock potting is the only way I've found that a sandhills drum sticks aren't too tough.

August 29, 2009, 09:44 PM
some keep the legs, some dont really up to you, but the thighs can be tender and worth saving on a young turkey wich you can often get in the fall,the drum stick will be tough and will need to be cooked differently to be tender.

August 30, 2009, 05:55 PM
I cut off the fan and the wings for either mounting or adding to my fly tying material. Then skin it. After skinning you will see a seam below the chest. I cut through that seam to open the cavity with all the guts. You can then reach in and pull out all the guts. You can then throw it in the cooler, take the bird home, wrap it and put it in the freezer or go ahead and cook it.

September 1, 2009, 04:07 PM
I've breasted them and I've cooked the whole. It seemed to me that the critters I breased out lacked the fat stored beneath the skin and ended up being a little dryer that I like.

Dressing a turkey is an unpleasant task. I boil water and dunk them so I can pluck them. It works well. Then, I pretty much dress them the same way I would a deer...if that makes sense, but they are always very "foul" smelling on the inside.

When rubbed with rosemary and olive oil, covered and oven roasted, they taste like a Butterball. The legs are longer though and you may have to wrestle with them to get 'em stuffed in the pan.

This has been my experience. Hope it helps, and good luck bagging one!

September 1, 2009, 04:57 PM
I grilled out a few turkey breasts yesterday for dinner. I sprinkled a little seasoning on them, them places them in foil for a while. After they started to change color, I unwrapped them and placed them directly on the grill. They were excellent, extremely moist, and full of flavor.

Gonna have to get a few more I do believe.

September 1, 2009, 08:33 PM
May sound weird but the kids love the things and so do I. Cut the breast meat into cubes. Dip in egg and milk and then roll in crushed up frosted flakes. Fry until golden and let cool a couple minutes before serving. I don't know where you are from but around here late Turkey season conicides with mushrooms. We took a couple birds then breasted them out. Went back out and found a paper bag full of Morrells and fry them both for dinner.

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