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Dec 3, 2008 12:27 PM

Turkey question: edible meat vs. total weight

If you don't eat skin or fat, how much edible meat is there on a turkey? I'm curious, because I will soon almost single-handedly (mouthedly?) polished off half--less one leg--of our 22-pound bird.

What would be the percentage of edible meat? Or how many pounds of meat would you expect, say, a 20-pound turkey to yield?


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  1. A 12 lb bird produced about 5 lbs of meat off the bone after cooking.

    I would say the proportion gets higher as the bird gets bigger.

    1. If you don't eat the crispy skin, you're not enjoying the best parts of the turkey-bird, IMHO. ;-)

      As for your question - a 20 lb. bird probably has - maybe 8-10 lbs. of bone? (I wouldn't know unless you weigh the stripped carcass). So you'd get about 10 lbs. of edible meat?

      1. IIRC, a turkey is about 40% edible portion after bones and skin are removed. On a 22# turkey that would be a little over 8 3/4#

        1 Reply
        1. re: DiningDiva

          And the amazing thing "outlaws" managed to polish all of it off, even though I bought a 20lb turkey and a 4lb breast for 9 people! LOL. Guess their car was bit heavier going back to New England. (OK, that included 'supper sandwiches")