DIY A Mess-Free Turkey Carving Board From Items Already In Your Kitchen

When roasting a turkey in the oven for hours, whether for a decadent dinner or Thanksgiving feast, the aftermath of letting it rest, transferring it to a board, and carving can often yield quite a mess. If the board is too small or doesn't have a juice groove, those golden juices tend to flow off the board, lending to sticky countertops and lost moisture in the meat. When in a pinch and don't have time to buy a bigger board, it's possible that you can create a make-shift that works just as well.

According to America's Test Kitchen, if you're working with a smaller wooden or plastic cutting board, as long it fits inside a rimmed baking sheet, you've got the perfect setup for a make-shift carving station. The rims along the baking sheet help contain all the excess juices, allowing you to save them and incorporate them into gravy while also keeping your counters clean.

With baking sheets not having much grip, it's easy to slide and risk cutting yourself while carving. To prevent this, an easy save is placing a damp paper towel or non-slip drawer liner underneath the baking sheet to create the ideal stabilizer.

Extra helpful tips for successful carving

America's Test Kitchen emphasizes how important it is to let your turkey rest before attempting to carve. The resting period is crucial for all of the delicious juices to stay intact, creating a tender turkey every time. Scientifically, the cells within the musculature need time to relax so that they can be re-absorbed into the meat, providing all the moisture that was lost during cooking. America's Test Kitchen suggests resting your bird for at least 45 minutes, uncovered. Tinting the bird with foil will prevent the skin from staying crispy.

When ready to carve, Kitchn recommends setting the turkey on your carving station with the cavity facing you, first making cuts on one side of the turkey and working your way around instead of flipping or turning it. Some other supplies to have nearby that will make carving much easier are tongs and paper towels.

Lastly, if you're planning on being the "hostess with the mostest" every year for Thanksgiving, it may be worth investing in a large carving board with a juice groove (via America's Test Kitchen). This will prevent you from dirtying up extra dishes and will ease up the task of carving.