Turkey String Lift – How to Do It

Turkey String Lift – How to Do It
By Norm Huffnagle

Have you ever found yourself in this predicament?

You just cooked a beautiful, 20+ pound turkey, and now it’s time to slice it and serve it. But how to get that bird from the cooking vessle to the carving board?

Especially hard is when you’ve wrapped that bird in foil. Now you find the foil sticking to the bird, and as you try to lift it, there’s a definite chance that a whole lot of very hot, steaming turkey juice will cascade out of the foil and onto you and/or your floor.

What to do?

The most convenient method of moving a cooked turkey from its place in the wrapping foil to its place on the carving dish is through the use of a String Lift. While double carving forks can be used, the possibility of dropping the steaming hot bird are still high. Using gloves is definitely out of the question, too!

The answer is an ancient technique, known as The String Lift Technique. A String Lift is exactly what its name implies: a lifting sling for picking up large, heavy, awkward items like a cooked turkey!

The String Lift acts as a protective sling, surrounding the bird and making it easier to lift and to transport from cooking pan to carving dish.

Commercial String Lifts are available, however, it is our experience that most stores don’t carry the Lifts because people are unfamiliar with them, don’t know how to use them, and as a result commercial string lifts are not a great seller.


Cut an 80″ length of heavy cotton Butcher’s twine.

Knot ends together to make a loop. Put a single knot in center of loop.

Place second figure eight knot 3″ to right of first knot.

Place third figure eight knot 3″ to the left of first knot.

Center bird on center knot.

Draw string loops around and up over bird’s wings and legs during cooking.

To Use:

Unwrap the foil from the turkey breast and the legs and wings.

Grasp a loop in each hand.

Gently lift the turkey straight up off of the foil sheet.

Ask a helper to loosen any foil that tries to cling to the turkey as it is being hoisted.

Move the turkey to the cutting board and drape the Sling Lift away from the turkey.

It is not necessary to remove the Lift from under the turkey while carving the bird.

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