Skip to main content

How to Truss a Turkey the Easy Way

Do you and your Thanksgiving turkey have truss issues? Let's discuss. There are many different ways to truss turkey for roasting, and some are a lot more complicated than others. I'm going to show you a very easy way to get the job done, and go briefly into why cooks bother to do it in the first place.

Thanksgiving Turkey

Photo by Meredith

Why Truss Turkey?

Let's deal with the why part first. Trussing a turkey turns it into a compact shape before roasting and creates that photo-ready turkey we've all come to associate with classic Thanksgiving imagery. But is it strictly necessary? Some cooks say that trussing a turkey so the legs are drawn up tightly against the breast helps prevent the breast meat from overcooking. And some cooks say that leaving the legs untied helps air circulate around the legs and thighs, resulting in more areas of beautifully crispy skin. To truss or not to truss is ultimately up to you, but most cooks can agree that a trussed turkey looks better on the platter.

How to Truss Turkey the Easy Way

Some cooks like to fill the chest and neck cavities of the turkey with stuffing before roasting, and some don't. Either way, these basic steps will work for you.

You'll Need

1 whole uncooked turkey
Stuffing (optional) or aromatics (chopped onion, carrots, herbs)
Sharp wooden skewer
Kitchen twine
Scissors

Step 1. Close the Neck Flap

How to Truss a Turkey | Close the Neck Flap

Photo by Meredith

Turn the turkey upside down and loosely fill the neck cavity with stuffing or aromatics, such as chopped onions, carrots, and herbs. Pull the neck skin neatly over the filling and use a long wooden skewer to fasten the flap to the underside of the turkey. Filling the neck cavity is optional, but it does make for a more attractive, rounded shape for your roasted turkey.

Step 2. Tuck the Wings

How to Truss a Turkey | Tuck the Wings

Photo by Meredith

Turn the turkey breast-side up. Tuck the tips of the wings firmly under the shoulders. This keeps the tips from scorching, and helps creates a flat surface to stabilize the turkey when you're carving it later.

Step 3. Tie the Legs

How to Truss a Turkey | Tie the Legs

Photo by Meredith

Turn the turkey so the opening of the chest cavity is facing you. Loosely fill with stuffing or aromatics (optional). Cut a long piece of kitchen twine and position the mid-point between the turkey legs. Bring the legs together and wrap the twine around them a couple of times. Tie firmly and cut off most of the excess twine.

Now you're ready to get on with the business of roasting turkey. Need a little guidance? We've got you covered:


Follow me to more cooking tips, hacks, and recipe inspiration.


Vanessa Greaves

About Vanessa Greaves

Good food, friends, and fun are always on the menu. Check out things that make me go yum: foodelicious On Instagram On Twitter @vanessa_greaves