How to Clean a Turkey




Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Cleaning a turkey might seem like a tough job, but with a few simple steps, you’ll have a perfectly cleaned bird ready for your Thanksgiving feast. First, make sure you have all the necessary tools on hand: a cutting board, a sharp knife, kitchen shears, and a large bowl for rinsing.

Begin by removing the giblets and neck from the body cavity, often found in a small bag. Set them aside for another use or discard them if you prefer. Next, rinse the turkey thoroughly inside and out with cold water, using your hands to remove any excess blood or debris.

Once the turkey is rinsed, pat it dry with paper towels. This step is crucial to ensure a crispy skin and even cooking. Avoid using cloth towels, as they can harbor bacteria.

If desired, now is the time to truss the turkey. Trussing helps the bird cook evenly by securing the wings and legs close to the body. Using kitchen twine, tie the legs together and tuck the wings underneath.

To safely clean your cutting board and other utensils, wash them with hot, soapy water after handling raw poultry. Consider using a separate cutting board for meat to avoid cross-contamination. With these simple steps, your turkey is clean and ready to be seasoned and cooked to perfection. Happy cleaning and cooking!


  • Remove the giblets and neck from the cavity
  • Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water
  • Pat the turkey dry with paper towels
  • Season the turkey with salt, pepper, and your desired herbs or spices
  • Place the turkey on a roasting rack in a roasting pan


  • Do not wash the turkey with soap or detergent
  • Do not stuff the turkey with stuffing before roasting
  • Do not store leftovers at room temperature for more than 2 hours
  • Do not carve the turkey immediately after removing from the oven
  • Do not rinse the turkey after cooking as it can spread bacteria

Step 1

Clean the turkey inside and out, removing any giblets, neck, and excess fat.

Step 2

Rinse the turkey thoroughly under cold running water.

Step 3

Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.

Step 4

Season the turkey with salt, pepper, and any other desired seasonings.

Step 5

Place the turkey in a roasting pan and cook according to your recipe’s instructions.

Final thoughts 💭

Cleaning a turkey is an important step in preparing it for cooking. By following these steps, you can ensure that your turkey is clean and ready for the oven. Start by removing the giblets and any excess fat. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water. Pat it dry with paper towels, being careful to remove any moisture. Finally, sanitize your work area and utensils to maintain hygiene. By properly cleaning your turkey, you can enjoy a delicious and safe meal with your loved ones.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest posts

  • How to Clean brass hardware

    How to Clean brass hardware

    Brass hardware can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any space, but over time, it can lose its shine and luster. Fortunately, cleaning brass is not as intimidating as it may seem. With a little effort and the right techniques, you can restore your brass hardware to its former glory. Before diving into…

    Read more

  • How to Clean tarnished jewelry

    How to Clean tarnished jewelry

    So, you’ve noticed that your favorite piece of jewelry has lost its shine? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Let me share with you some tried and true methods to bring back that beautiful sparkle to your tarnished jewelry. First things first, gather your supplies. You’ll need a soft cloth, some mild dish soap, a…

    Read more