You Are At: AllSands Home > Howto > How to carve meat
The ability to neatly slice a roast or turkey can appear to be a special art when you do not know where to begin. These tips will help anyone to slice all types of meats and poultry in perfect portions every time. There are thousands of long, thin strands of muscle in meat and poultry. When you carve across these strands or what is known as "against the grain" of the meat or poultry, the meat will in most cases be more tender than it is when you cut parallel to it. It is always important when carving any type of meat to use the proper carving equipment. Try to find a good two-pronged carving fork that has a thumb guard and a carving knife that is well sharpened.

When carving a beef rib roast, you should begin by removing one slice from the end to form a flat base. To do this, you will need to slice the meat across the top and then cut vertically along the rib to remove the slice. Pick up the slice by placing your carving knife under it and then using your fork to hold it against the knife while you move it. Using this technique, you can slice this type of roast in very thin slices or as thick as half an inch. To slice a whole ham or a leg of lamb you will need to begin by steadying the meat with your fork. Slice several length-wise slices from the thin side of the meat to create a flat base. Rotate the meat so it is sitting on the base and then cut parallel to the bone to detach the slices. Next, turn the meat over and remove the remaining meat from the other side in one large piece. Slice the remaining meat on your carving board. If you prefer, with lamb, you can remove the length-wise slices down to the bone on the first side and then turn it over and repeat this action on the other side. Since lamb is tender enough, it works well to slice it with the grain.

Turkey is one of the greatest carving challenges but if you simply remember that all fowl have the same basic anatomy even though the portions are different, you will be able to carve any bird using this technique. To begin carving your turkey, you will need to remove the drumsticks. Be sure when you do this that you slice through the second joints as well. Holding the bony end of the drumstick, slice downward and parallel to the bone. Then slice the meat from the thighbone and remove the wings by slicing through their joints. Working on one side of the breastbone at a time, slice thin slices of meat until you are down to the bone. When carving small birds such a chickens or game hens, you will follow the exact same procedure. It may be simpler to use a smaller carving knife and fork for these types of fowl. A pork loin roast is much easier to work with if you ask your butcher to remove the backbone before you take it home. When the meat is ready to carve, slice down the center between the ribs so that there is a bone in each serving. As an alternative, you can also slice right along each side of each rib bone and make thinner slices. When you do this, alternate the slices so you have one with a bone and one without.