how to tuck the turkey wings

How to Tuck the Turkey Wings

The holiday season is around the corner, and many families will be preparing the traditional roasted turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. While cooking a turkey can be exciting, preparing it can be a daunting task, especially if you are doing it for the first time. One of the most challenging parts of preparing a turkey is tucking the wings. Tucking the turkey wings is essential to ensure that they do not burn, and the turkey is roasted evenly. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to tuck turkey wings.

Step 1: Clean and prep the turkey

Before you start tucking the turkey wings, you need to clean and prep the turkey. Begin by removing the neck and giblets from the turkey cavity. Rinse the turkey with cold water, inside and out, to remove any debris. Pat it dry with paper towels.

Step 2: Loosen the skin

To tuck the turkey wings, you need to loosen the skin. Start by using your fingers or a kitchen gadget, such as a rubber spatula, to loosen the skin on the breast of the turkey. Be careful not to tear the skin. The objective is to create a pocket to tuck the wings. Once the skin is loosened, move on to the next step.

Step 3: Tuck the wings

With the skin loosened, it’s time to tuck the wings. Start by folding the wing in a neat triangle with the tip of the wing pointing towards the body of the turkey. The wing’s tip should touch the neck cavity, and the drumette should be pointing straight up towards the sky.

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Next, take the wing and tuck it underneath the bird. Be sure to tuck the drumette and tip of the wing under the bird’s body. You can use string or toothpicks to hold the wing in place. Ensure that the wing is tightly tucked to prevent it from sticking out and getting overcooked.

Step 4: Repeat the process

Repeat the process on the other wing. Create a triangle with the wing, tuck the wing under the bird, and hold it in place with string or toothpicks. Be sure to tuck the wings tightly, so they don’t come loose while roasting.

Step 5: Season and roast the turkey

Once you’ve tucked the turkey wings, you can season the turkey with your preferred seasoning blend. Apply the seasoning over the entire turkey, concentrating on the breast and thighs. Add some butter or oil to the skin to get a beautiful golden color while roasting.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the turkey, breast-side up, in a roasting pan. If you’re using a roasting bag, be sure to pierce small holes to allow steam to escape. Roast the turkey for about 20 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 6: Let the turkey rest

Once the turkey is done, remove it from the oven and rest it for 20-30 minutes. Cover the turkey loosely with foil to retain the heat. Resting the turkey allows the juices to settle and the turkey to be juicy and tender.

Step 7: Carve the turkey

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Carve the turkey and serve to your guests. Enjoy your deliciously cooked turkey with your favorite sides such as mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, and cranberry sauce.


1. What is the importance of tucking the turkey wings?

Tucking the turkey wings prevents them from burning and ensures that the turkey is roasted evenly. It also gives the turkey a neater and more presentable appearance.

2. Can I use toothpicks instead of strings when tucking the wings?

Yes, you can use toothpicks or wooden skewers instead of strings. However, ensure that you remove them before serving the turkey to avoid any accidents.

3. Can I use this method on chicken?

Yes, you can use this method on chicken.

4. How long should I rest the turkey before carving it?

Rest the turkey for 20-30 minutes before carving to allow the juices to settle and for the turkey to be juicy and tender.

5. What’s a good seasoning blend for the turkey?

A good seasoning blend for turkey could include sage, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. You can also add some garlic, onion powder, or paprika for extra flavor.


Tucking the turkey wings is an essential step when preparing a roasted turkey. It prevents the wings from burning and ensures that the turkey is roasted evenly. With this step-by-step guide and FAQs, you can now confidently prepare a well-tucked turkey for your next holiday dinner. Remember to season the turkey, roast it until the internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and let it rest before carving. Enjoy your deliciously cooked turkey with your favorite sides and create unforgettable memories with your loved ones.

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