What's Most Difficult About Cleaning Turkeys?

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Ben Sobieck
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What's Most Difficult About Cleaning Turkeys?

Postby Ben Sobieck » February 8th, 2010, 9:51 am

When I clean a bird, I always get stuck around the neck. I could just breast it out, but I just can't bring myself to do something that easy.

What about you? What's the most difficult thing about cleaning turkeys?


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RE: What's Most Difficult About Cleaning Turkeys?

Postby Gobblerman » February 8th, 2010, 10:29 am

Ben, if you are getting stuck around the neck, my recommendation would be to put the turkey down a little lower, keep your knife a little farther away from you, and be more careful!! .....If that doesn't work then get you some of that chain-link armor that knights used to wear and put that on before cleaning your birds!!  That ought to do it!  [:D]

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RE: What's Most Difficult About Cleaning Turkeys?

Postby Ozarks Hillbilly » February 8th, 2010, 10:45 am

I would say getting them to stand still in the warsh tub while you use a scrub brush on'em.[:)]
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mark hay
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RE: What's Most Difficult About Cleaning Turkeys?

Postby mark hay » February 8th, 2010, 12:48 pm

Most difficult ?  ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,makin' 'im dead ! The ones I'm aquainted with usually run off or stand at great distance with all their teeth shining in the morning sun , sportin' that Meleagris Gallopavo Grin .
I just peel off the breast skin ,,,,,fillet off the breast meat,,,,,,remove thighs and legs at the upper thigh joint ,,,,,,,,,,,,DONE.

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RE: What's Most Difficult About Cleaning Turkeys?

Postby MzlHunter » February 8th, 2010, 1:50 pm

I do the same as Mark. A lot of guys throw away the legs which is a waste IMO.

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RE: What's Most Difficult About Cleaning Turkeys?

Postby turkeydoghunter » February 8th, 2010, 3:12 pm

What about you? What's the most difficult thing about cleaning turkeys?
....well it depends on how im perparing my bird if its for fryN , grillN ,or crock pot i do the easy thing like thor and mark ....if im roastN the bird or deep fryN the bird its the hard old fashionway i pluck the bird ....i boil water add a squirt of dawn dish soap it degreases the weather proofN on the feathers and makes it easy to grip the feathers all 3400 of them its a pain...but the finsihed product is well worth it,,,truly gourmet....i have skinned the bird whole i hang its by the feet and remove the winggs leave the humuorus bone and skinn it like a deer....then cook in a oven bag on a bed of celery and onions...put bacon on the breast and legs...
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RE: What's Most Difficult About Cleaning Turkeys?

Postby Treerooster » February 9th, 2010, 6:56 am

Not sure what you mean about getting "stuck around the neck area".

If its getting the crop out that would probably be the most difficult part for me. Its hard to find sometimes but use the esophagus as a tracer to it. It is important to get the crop out as it can harber bacteria and spoil easily.

If its the breast sponge, well I just leave that in the bird. I think it helps keep the breast meat moist.

I pluck most of my turkeys. Just dry pluck them soon after I kill them. You just can't be greedy and take a bunch of feathers at a time. The sooner you pluck the bird, the easier it is as a general rule. Interestingly, some birds are just harder to pluck than others. I have yet to figure out why though. Doesn't seem to matter if its an old tom, 2 year old, or jake. BTW When I cut the head off I pull the skin up and cut just the skin a bit below the waddles. Then I cut the neck off near the body. This leaves extra skin so the bird doesn't dry out during cooking when the skin shrinks up.

The secondary feathers on the wing are tough to pluck also. I only pluck to the 1st joint on the wing. Not much meat on the rest of the wing and it can be a real PIA to pluck those feathers. If I am not going to save the secondary feathers I bend them in my fingers so I can get a better grip and pull then out. If I want them for decorative purposes, I may slit the skin at the base of the fesather to make them easier to pull without damaging the quill. If you cut the wing off at the base you again risk the meat drying out here as the skin can shrink during cooking.

I will sometimes fillet the out breast of a bird but I never throw out the legs. What a waste, and illeagal in some states too. If I want the legs for smoking (they are excellent smoked BTW) I end up plucking about 2/3 of the bird anyways to keep enough skin to cover the legs during the smoking process. I do skin a few legs though and make a sort of Italian hot beef (turkey) out if them.

I have never skinned a whole turkey.

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RE: What's Most Difficult About Cleaning Turkeys?

Postby Bobbyparks » February 12th, 2010, 6:16 am

As long as my knife is sharp and I have a pair of snips, I don't consider any real part of cleaning the turkey, difficult just time consuming.

I think I do know what you mean about working around the neck though.

I cape every gobbler so this combined with cleaning totals a fair amount of work per bird.

I will say that it is mentally draining when I'm hunting in Texas and I'm tired from the afternoon hunt and we have a pile of em to clean...which is a common occurance there.

What I really like is when we're there, cleaning birds at night under a light, with 10 million insects flying all in my face when I have blood on my hands and can't do anything about em[:)]
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RE: What's Most Difficult About Cleaning Turkeys?

Postby shaman » February 12th, 2010, 7:16 am

The hardest part is getting them to lie down and accept it.  The rest is relatively easy.
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RE: What's Most Difficult About Cleaning Turkeys?

Postby gblrsrst » February 12th, 2010, 7:38 am

Come hunt with us at "Gobbler's Roost".

We give Clinics on Cleaning and Plucking![:)]




All Part of the Hunt!

BTW -- the hardest thing is Getting The Wife 2 do the Cleaning![;)]
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