3 Easy And Quick Steps On How To Debone Turkey Breast

Last Updated on March 6, 2022 by Guillermina

When preparing a delicious Mexican turkey meal, it is important to learn how to debone turkey breast. This is usually the meat that is used for taco and enchilada filling. Did know that turkeys actually originated in Mexico?

Surprisingly, one study found wild turkey bones as old as 10,000 years in Mexico! This is not strange considering these wild birds are native to North America and were hunted previously. Although most people think of Thanksgiving only, it is a big part of Mexican history.

What Recipes Use Turkey Breast?

Before we can dive into how to debone turkey breast, let’s figure out which authentic Mexican recipes use turkey breast! The thing about turkeys is although they have been found in Mexico as early as 10,000 years ago including in burial rituals with humans! It is not common to eat turkey meat in Mexico now though.

While this is true, a lot of Tex-Mex restaurants have started to make their own recipes using turkey meat. This is because turkey meat, especially turkey breast is a healthy type of meat! It is lower in calories and contains less fat.

Technically, you can substitute any type of meat for turkey breast, but there will be a major difference in flavor, texture, and thickness. Turkey meat tends to be dryer and harder to cut. Although this is true, some popular Mexican recipes with turkey breast include turkey tacos, enchiladas, flautas, and more!

 How do you butcher a bone-in turkey breast?

Do You Need To Debone Turkey Breast?

Although some people recommend learning how to debone turkey breast, it is not always necessary. The thing about knowing how to debone turkey breast is that it helps in shredding and stuffing the turkey. These small turkey bones are full of flavor and nutrients but can come in the way of many recipes.

Although it is more popular to debone a turkey breast, you can still cook a turkey with its bones intact! If you do choose to learn how to debone turkey breast, the bones don’t need to go to waste. You can make a turkey broth out of them if you boil them for hours. It is great for soups and seasonings.

Another benefit that comes with learning how to debone turkey breasts is that the meat cooks faster. However, it is harder to stuff and keep up in a consistent position.

5 Steps On How To Debone Turkey Breasts

So, how do you debone a turkey breast? This takes time and special tools. Thankfully, there is also more than one way to take the bones out of a turkey breast. Listed below are five unique steps on how to debone a turkey breast!

 How do you remove the bone from a turkey breast?

1. Clean Your Meat And Surroundings

I personally always start by preparing the meat and cleaning the surface. Before you can learn how to debone turkey breasts, you need to wash your hands with soap and water. Dry your hands with a disposable paper towel before touching the turkey.

Always clean turkey meat before cooking and preparing it. Everyone has their own way to do this. I make a mixture of vinegar oil and lemon/lime juice to kill any bacteria left on the inside and outside of the turkey. During this step, I also like to gather the materials and find a cutting board.

2. Prepare the Turkey

Before you can start cutting and pulling the bones in a turkey breast, it is better to prepare the turkey. Cut off the areas around the head and the bottom of the turkey. This way, there is plenty of room to use a knife or shears to cut the skin and meat.

It is important to make room to find the backbone of your turkey. If not, it will prove to be hard to take out the bones from the turkey breast.

 how to debone turkey breast

3. Take out the Backbone

The backbones need to be taken out before you can focus on how to debone turkey breast. To do this, use meat cutting scissors or a sharp knife to cut the backbones out. You can feel the backbone with your hands as you massage the area.

Once the turkey back is sliced open, find the backbone and pull up. It should snap up after a little bit of pressure. Try your best not to take any turkey meat or skin with the bones.

4. Cut to the Rib Cage

On the fourth step on how to debone turkey breasts, you will need to cut to the rib cage. Before you start cutting with either scissors or a sharp knife, it may be easier to feel for the rib cage. The general area is where the thighs are.

Once you feel for the ribs, slice that section open. You don’t need to immediately remove the rib cage, but you can! This will make it harder for the turkey to stay in place with the stuffing, but it will also decrease the amount of time it takes to cook fully.

5. Remove Both Thigh Bones

Following the line while learning how to debone turkey breasts will take you to the thigh bone, which is located just underneath the rib cage. You should be able to feed this bone. If you need to, move the leg of the turkey and bend it to get a clearer view.

With the knife, you can either push against the bone to remove it or use your hands to pull at it. It is easier to debone turkey breasts with a knife since you can lightly see between the meat and the bone to get it out. After you finish one side, repeat the steps to the other side. You will be left with a boneless turkey breast.


All in all, it is not hard to learn how to debone turkey breasts, but it can be overwhelming and nerve-racking! I recommend looking for a butcher that will take the bones out of the turkey breast for you. However, once you know and have tried it once, the process does get easier!

Did you learn anything new about this topic? Let us know in the comment section below. If you know anyone else interested in learning how to debone turkey breasts, share this informative article with them!



How do you butcher a bone-in turkey breast?

To debone a bone-in turkey breast, you need to start by taking out the backbone of the turkey. You will need to slice a large cut in the back of the turkey to remove this bone. Then, trace the line that reaches to your turkey's rib cage to find the thigh bone. Using the knife, lightly cut between the meat and the bone to get rid of the bone and repeat on the other side.

How do you remove the bone from a turkey breast?

It takes a lot of time and patience to remove the bone from a turkey breast. You need to start by removing the bone from the turkey's back with a long slice. After this, you will find the rib cage and remove the turkey breast's rib cage. This should give you easier access to the thigh bone which also needs to be removed.

Will a butcher debone a turkey breast?

The short answer is yes! However, keep in mind that not all butchers are the same. You will need to ask your local butcher if they can before assuming.

Should I debone a turkey breast?

Only debone a turkey breast if it is necessary! Deboning a turkey breasts decreases the time it takes to cook the meat in the oven though!