Cutting a Turkey in Half

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Ask The Butcher To Cut Your Turkey in Half

We have often advised readers to ask the butcher to cut a turkey in half if it’s too big for your family. Then you can cook just half as much at a time.

Just so you can see, this is how the butcher will cut the turkey in half for you. My family can’t eat an entire turkey at once so we have them cut it in half. Sometimes they will wrap both halves together but just ask them to do it separately and they will. At .69 a pound that’s a great deal on meat!


Here is a picture of the tomatoes that I got from my neighbor on Halloween. They are ripening very nicely. I put them on a tray lined with newspaper and then put a newspaper on top. It keeps the gases in so they ripen faster. They don’t taste as good a vine ripened but they sure taste a LOT better than the store tomatoes!!


I like using those boxes you get at the grocery store with the 2 in. or so sides.Jill

garden tomatoes




  1. says

    We usually end up with 3 turkeys a year for Christmas.
    The mine where my husband works gives out coupons for grocery stores and a turkey voucher.
    The the political party we belong to has a turkey fund raiser. Since both of us belong we end up buying 2 turkeys.
    You are probably thinking this is wonderful but for us it is a pain. There are 2 of us and we don’t really like turkey.
    So we give 2 to friends who could use the turkey due to loss of pension when the mill closed.
    The 3rd I thaw and then cut the meat from the bone.
    The legs and wings go for stew. the carcass for soup.
    the breast is cut into bite size chunks for pies and the scraps get cut small for stir fry’s.
    I package them in small freezer bags and put them back in the freezer. It is ok to refreeze things as long as you use them in 6 months.
    Doing this I always have something in the freezer that will thaw out quickly for a quick meal.
    Turkey balls are a nice change and now I have a tempura batter recipe so it will be even cheaper for me than using the boxes of the mix.

  2. Jen says

    Well, I have had no luck getting my turkey cut in half. Wal-mart will not do it, because they don’t even have a butcher. all their meat comes in prepackaged. I tried today at Meijer and the butcher told me they can only use their saws to cut beef & pork :(

  3. says

    try an independent or small mom and pop butcher.
    We have small grocery stores and butchers who open up late just to butcher moose and deer so they are willing to cut a turkey for people.
    the big stores are not so accommodating.

  4. Gayle Balbinot says

    I bought a large turkey at Utra food in kankakee Ill I asked the bucher to cut it in half for me and he said he couldn’t because of health reasons I couldn’t see any thing wrong with it I just think he was to lazy. So I took it home and my husband cut with a saw.

  5. says

    Every home should have a large butcher knife at home to do your own cutting into pieces of large portions of meat. That is why some cuts of meat are so expensive. What your paying for is for the butcher to cut your meat or turkey into edible size portions. That’s probably why that butcher did not want to slice the turkey into pieces for you. He was not getting paid anything extra for doing the slicing…

  6. rose says

    if any of the readers have a publix supermarket near them .. they will cut the turkey’s in half and even in 1/4’s .. they do this if u ask them ..
    my mom, who is now 83, buys one turkey and has them cut her’s up in 1/4’s ..
    i normally get mine cut in half ..
    sometimes walmart will have the super tiny turkeys on sale (at thanksgiving time) and i will pick up a few of them then, so no need to have them cut in half) ..
    last yr we found really great sizes for the cheapy prices they had on sale at walmart .. only 2 to a customer .. i made my son “buy” 2 and i got 2 .. i kept the 2 and the other 2 i gave away to my daughter (1 for her) and 1 for my neighbor who was struggling .. in fact, a bunch of us chipped in and made them one of those “harvest” baskets .. turkey, dressing, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, a small ham, vegi’s, and pie .. and some gifts for the little one they have …
    one of her gifts was a winnie the pooh .. she loves winnie the pooh and has alot of them .. and i happen to come across a brand new one (tags still there too) for 25 cents .. and it was a nice size pooh too .. never had that happen b4 .. but i do think the GOOD LORD sent me there .. the yard sale was on a street that i never go on to drive and well i havent been to a yard sale in so long it isnt funny but my duaghter was with me and well we stopped .. and there winnie the pooh was just sitting there .. waiting for us to pick him up .. and the funny thing is, the sale was almost over .. one would think someone would have bought him ..
    i know it sounds odd and it really was odd but i do think it was intervention from the GOOD LORD himself .. thats all i can say about it ..

  7. says

    I never thought of having the turkey cut in half, what a great idea! We are also a family of four and sometimes have two guests. An entire turkey is simply too much for us most of the time. This idea saves money and gives you another meal in the future. I will talk to my butcher about it this year, thanks!

  8. Leah Dunn says

    I just called my favorite store to shop at “Top Foods” and the man in the meat department said they could cut a frozen turkey in half, no problem! I’m so excited because any turkey over 15lb is only .29 per pound with a 25 dollar buy (not including the price of the turkey)!!!! I’m gonna spend that anyway! Thanks for the great tip ladies!!! I might even buy two and use the other one just for ground turkey and turkey enchiladas.

  9. Flo White says

    I have asked Publix and Kroge in my area (Nashville, Tn) and they will not cut a frozen turkey in half. They will cut a fresh one.

  10. Grandma says

    If you really can’t get a butcher to cut your turkey.
    You can use a saw your husband or you have in the tool box.
    A band saw works best and butchers saws are based on them or the other way around.
    A table saw will work it just takes it one way and then turn it over to cut it through from the other side.
    Just clean the blade with soap and water then spray some bleach on it. Definetly clean it with bleach after you cut the turkey.
    Have done this a time or two and it works well on all types of frozen meats.

  11. Mac Johns says

    I live in NV and no grocery store that I contacted, large or small, will cut any poultry, fresh or frozen, due to cross contamination issues. One guy said if they did cut it and were caught they could lose their license. And if I got sick I could sue them, so they won’t even think about it.

    I did try the only “real” butcher shop in town and they will only cut their own, not birds purchased somewhere else. Since theirs are top price, it’s way too expensive, as they charge for the cut as well. I’m just going to learn how myself.

  12. Donna B. says

    I think that health laws may be different in each state. Here in our small town in NJ, the local tiny grocery store will cut a fresh turkey even into quarters (it looked pretty strange, though).

    I would think, even though harder work , you could cut up a turkey just like a stewing chicken. the parts are just bigger, but I admit I’ve never tried it! (LOL) we love our leftovers so much we just pack everything up and freeze the next day, and make the soup broth.

  13. Maggie says

    My mom used to cook 1/2 turkeys and even with 6 of us in the family, there was enough food for 2 meals and soup with 1/2. My husband and I are trying to decide if a turkey breast or a whole turkey is the best for us this T’giving, since my mom-in-law is no longer with us and there is only our son to give leftovers to. The 1/2 turkey seems like the way to go and I will see if my grocery will cut one for me. I love the dark meat but my husband and son love the breast. Thanks for the idea. Don’t know if it will work but won’t hurt to ask.

  14. says

    Just wanted to pop in and tell every one that don’t panic if you can’t get your turkey cut in half. Where we are and many other places you can get 10 lb. turkeys which aren’t that huge and sometimes at the same price or only $.10 to $.20 extra a pound which when it comes to buying meat is still not a bad deal at all especially when you think of the turkey soup, sandwiches and other dishes you can make out of it.

  15. says

    I have seen that many people ask the butcher to do the cutting. What a great idea as it can save time and the headache for us regular folks (none chefs) out here.

    I’m always stuck with doing the cutting. Even though it’s good for experience, I wish I had came across your reminder before buying this turkey. :)

    ♥♥♥ Marashor ♥♥♥♥

  16. says

    I use the same strategy on ripening still greenish vegetables or fruits. It’s a lot better than putting chemicals to speed up the ripening process as some veggie merchants are doing. I usually do it on bananas.


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