The Turkey Carving World Record You'll Probably Never Beat

Your turkey is cooked to perfection. Now comes the tricky part — the carving. When you were a kid, your dad always made it look so simple, carving each slice with surgical precision. Still, as you look down at this picture-worthy poultry specimen, you don't know where to start. 

Thankfully, the internet is filled with tips on the right way to carve a turkey, some of which may come as a surprise. Did you know that you're not supposed to dissect a turkey in front of your guests? According to She Knows, it not only creates an unsightly mess on your platter, but it leaves hungry guests waiting. Instead, you should cut the meat before displaying it beautifully on your serving dish. 

Another rule is that you should never cut through bone. When removing the leg from the breast, it's all about pulling it from the joint. When separating the thigh from the leg, the joint should pull apart. Of course, if that doesn't work as cleanly as you hope, you can also slice through the joint. The Food Network offers that when cutting breast meat, the slices should be about a half-inch thick. And they contend that the key to an expertly carved turkey is a sharp knife that's long enough for the job. 

Keeping these tips in mind, you may become an old hand at carving a bird in no time. While it is unlikely that you will beat the world record for the fastest bird-carving time (it's astonishing), it does make for great dinner conversation. 

Imagine carving a turkey in under 3.5 minutes

How quickly will you have to carve your bird in order to overturn the current Guinness World Record? According to the Guinness site, Britain's Paul Kelly expertly wielded his knife to completely carve a turkey in just three minutes and 19.47 seconds. That feat likely took quite a bit of practice, but as the managing director of Kelly Turkey Farms, he's definitely up for the job. 

Notably, this isn't the only poultry-related Guinness World Record that Kelly has conquered. The Poultry Site reveals that the year before showing off his bird-cutting prowess, he beat Gordon Ramsay in a turkey-plucking contest. In what must have been a feather-filled blur, Kelly completely plucked a trio of 16-pound specimens and readied them for baking in a mere 11.5 minutes. 

So how does Kelly carve a turkey so quickly? In a YouTube video, he explains his technique by first removing the wings and thighs, followed by cutting into the middle of the breast. This move separates the breast meat completely from the bone. Carving the now bone-free breast meat is much easier than the traditional "carving-with-the-bone-on" method. 

While your goal is to have a presentable sliced turkey for your guests, knowing that someone can carve an entire bird in under four minutes must be a comfort. Without a ticking clock to rattle you, you can use Paul Kelly's moves in a calm and stress-free manner. You've got this!