When planning your Sunday roast turkey situation, you most likely focus on the recipe, and don’t give a ton of thought to what happens after you remove the glorious, perfectly-roasted bird from the oven. Obviously you are going to eat it, but a turkey must be carved before it can be consumed, and for that, you need a big ol’ cutting board.
Since most people do not routinely make and consume 9kg birds on the reg, most kitchens do not contain cutting boards that are equipped for such a task. There’s no need to overthink it, but there are a few features you should look for when choosing a turkey-carving board:
Get a big one: Most common kitchen cutting boards are simply not big enough for a turkey, which can make carving awkward and unsafe. Your turkey should be able to fully fit on the board, with a few inches of work room on each side. Around 51cm long and 38cm wide should be large enough to accommodate pretty much any large piece of meat.
Get a wood one: Glass cutting boards are knife-dulling garbage and should never be used for anything, especially not your turkey. Nice, hard woods — like maple or teak — are not only nice to your knives, they’re naturally anti-microbial. Unlike plastic, which gets dinged up pretty quickly by slicing and dicing — a wood cutting board is made to last, and can be sanded down if it gets too scratched up for your liking.
Make some mods: Slippage and spillage are two things you have to worry about when carving a giant bird, so if you see a board that comes with grip pads on the bottom and juice troughs around the edge, go ahead and grab it. If yours doesn’t, don’t freak out, you can keep your board steady with a damp kitchen towel or piece of shelf liner underneath, and catch any runaway juice by placing the board in a rimmed baking sheet.
Also of great importance: make sure you let that turkey rest before carving (at least half an hour, maybe 45 minutes for truly big boys) so the juices can redistribute and don’t come flooding out the moment you slice into it. (A juicy turkey is a happy turkey, and the prettiest carving job in the world won’t matter if you lose the juice.)