how to tuck turkey wings

How to Tuck Turkey Wings for Perfect Roasting

Roasting a turkey is a beloved tradition for many families during Thanksgiving or Christmas. However, roasting a turkey can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to making sure that the turkey is cooked evenly. One of the essential steps in ensuring an evenly cooked turkey is tucking the turkey wings before roasting. Tucking the wings is a simple technique that ensures the turkey roasts evenly, looks more presentable, and is easier to carve. If you are a novice when it comes to tucking turkey wings, this guide has you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about tucking turkey wings:

Why You Should Tuck Turkey Wings

When you cook a turkey in the oven, the heat circulates around the bird. The wings have one of the thinnest parts of the meat, and they can easily cook faster than other parts of the turkey, such as the legs or the thighs. If the wings are left sticking out, they may burn, become dry, or overcook. Also, leaving the wings hanging out can make it challenging to fit the turkey inside the oven. Tucking the wings ensures that they cook more evenly with the rest of the bird.

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Tucking the turkey wings gives the bird a more polished appearance. It’s more aesthetically pleasing to see a turkey with its wings tucked in. A tucked wing can also help the turkey maintain moisture by trapping juices inside, leading to a more flavorsome taste.

How to Tuck Turkey Wings

Tucking turkey wings is a quick and easy process that you can do before or after seasoning the bird. You don’t need any special tools or equipment to do it. Below are some simple steps to help you tuck turkey wings like a pro:

1. Remove the turkey from the packaging and pat it dry with paper towels.

2. Take a piece of kitchen twine, about 18 inches long, and fold it in half.

3. Make a small incision on each side of the turkey’s body, parallel to the wings’ joints, and close to the body. The incisions should be about an inch deep.

4. Lift one wing away from the bird’s body and fold it so that the tip of the wing is touching the bird’s back.

5. Take the twine and loop it around the wing, crossing it over the bird’s back, and bring both ends to the opposite side of the turkey.

6. Pull the twine tightly, so the wing fits snugly against the turkey’s body.

7. Tie the twine in a tight knot, ensuring that the wing remains in place.

8. Repeat the process on the other wing.


Q: Can I tuck the wings after I’ve seasoned my turkey?

A: Yes. You can tuck the turkey wings before or after seasoning the bird. However, it may be more challenging to tuck the wings after seasoning, as the turkey may be slippery.

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Q: Do I need to tuck the wings if I’m using a roasting pan that comes with a rack?

A: It’s still recommended to tuck the wings, even if you’re using a roasting pan with a rack. Tucking the wings ensures that they cook evenly, and it prevents them from getting in the way while you’re cooking.

Q: Can I use toothpicks to tuck my turkey wings?

A: You can use toothpicks to hold the wings in place, but kitchen twine works better. Toothpicks can break or burn, which may affect the turkey’s taste.

Q: Do I need to tuck the wings if I’m only cooking a turkey breast?

A: Tucking the wings is not necessary if you’re only cooking a turkey breast. However, if you’re cooking a whole turkey, tucking the wings is highly recommended.


Tucking turkey wings is a simple step that can make a significant difference in your turkey’s taste and appearance. It ensures that your turkey cooks evenly, looks more presentable, and is easier to carve. With these simple steps and tips, you can tuck turkey wings like a pro and make sure you roast the perfect turkey for your next big holiday meal. Happy roasting!

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