how to tuck the wings of a turkey

How to Tuck the Wings of a Turkey: A Step-by-Step Guide

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start preparing your turkey for the big day. One crucial step in preparing your turkey is tucking the wings. Tucking the wings ensures that they don’t burn during cooking and that the bird fits more easily in the roasting pan. In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to tuck the wings of a turkey and answer some frequently asked questions on the topic.

Step-by-Step Guide on Tucking the Wings of a Turkey

Step 1: Prepare the turkey
Before tucking the wings, you need to prepare your turkey. Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey’s cavity, then rinse the bird inside and out with cold water. Pat it dry with paper towels.

Step 2: Fold the wings
Starting with one wing, tuck the wing tip under the bird’s shoulder. Then, fold the wings behind the turkey’s back, making sure they’re as snug as possible. Repeat with the other wing.

Step 3: Tie the legs
Once you’ve folded the wings, tie the legs together with kitchen twine. This will help ensure that the turkey cooks evenly and helps keep the stuffing from falling out of the bird’s cavity.

Step 4: Season the turkey
Now that your turkey is prepared and the wings are tucked, it’s time to season the bird. Choose your seasoning mix and rub it generously over the turkey’s skin. Don’t forget to season under the skin and inside the turkey’s cavity.

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Step 5: Roast the turkey
Place the turkey in a roasting pan and cook according to your recipe’s instructions. Remember, the cooking time will vary based on the size of your turkey, so be sure to check the turkey’s internal temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure it’s fully cooked.


Q: Why do you need to tuck the wings of a turkey?
A: Tucking the wings helps prevent them from burning during cooking and helps the bird fit more easily in the roasting pan.

Q: Can you tuck the wings of a turkey after it’s been cooked?
A: No, tucking the wings after the turkey has been cooked won’t have the same effect. It’s best to tuck them before roasting.

Q: What if I can’t tie the legs together?
A: If you don’t have kitchen twine, use a skewer or toothpick to secure the legs together.

Q: Can I use aluminum foil to cover the turkey’s wings instead?
A: Yes, you can cover the turkey’s wings with aluminum foil if you prefer not to tuck them.

Q: Should I tuck the wings of a turkey breast-down or breast-up?
A: For the best results, tuck the wings when the turkey is breast-side up.

Q: Can I tuck the wings of a whole chicken too?
A: Yes, you can tuck the wings of a whole chicken using the same method as a turkey.

In conclusion, tucking the wings of a turkey is an essential step in ensuring that your bird cooks evenly and looks great when it’s served. Follow this step-by-step guide to tuck the wings of your turkey, and remember to tie the legs together too. Now that you know how to tuck the wings of a turkey, you can confidently prepare your bird for Thanksgiving dinner.

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