How to Truss a Chicken for Grilling or Roasting Like a Pro


Do you have an idea why do pro chefs and cooks truss a chicken? Do you ask yourself why do we need to bind a chicken and do all that criss-crossing motion with a twine? Chefs and cooks in professional kitchens truss a chicken or turkey to maintain its shape together better and for the bird to cook more evenly. In addition to that, it makes for a nicer looking bird and one that is easier to carve.


 Trussing a Chicken 101

A bird can be trussed whether you are going to stuff it or not. However, it is probably best not to truss chicken, as it is smaller in size and will most likely maintain its shape. This way, the lighter and darker meats will cook more evenly. On the other hand, with a larger bird, such as a turkey, it is better to truss it. If you do intend on stuffing the bird, make sure it has been thoroughly cleaned beforehand and then insert the stuffing into the cavities before you actually truss the bird. Trussing will ensure that the stuffing does not fall out during cooking. 

There are plenty of ways people truss a bird, and some get rather complicated! To me, this way is the easiest! We are going to demonstrate it on a chicken, you can do the same method on a turkey or a bigger bird. But do remember, this is just a basic step-by-step guide. Do what feels right for you, you may find it easier to tie if you wrap the twine around the feet several times. You are basically just trying to tighten it all together, so use this as a guide and adapt a method that works for yourself.

For you to start you'll, get some twine and cut about two arm's length long and get some water on a bowl to soak it in; set it aside. While that is soaking, rinse the bird well, inside and out, and set it in the roasting pan, or on a tray or platter to avoid transferring any juices to your cutting board or counter top. Pat dry with paper towels until the chicken is thoroughly dried. Season the inside cavity with desired herbs and aromatics.

How to Truss a Chicken
Chicken on Cutting Board


 Let’s get trussing!

1. Before trussing a chicken, the chicken wings need to be removed remove its wings. With the use of a sharp knife, cut the wings between the joint where they meet the chicken's arms. Make sure to really feel for the spot between the joints as you shouldn't feel any resistance, your knife should separate the wings with ease. Save those wings for a later recipe, or for some chicken broth. If you're not a stickler for presentation you can leave the wings intact and proceed as follows


2. To make carving easier, the wishbone can be removed by cutting it out with a sharp narrow-bladed knife, before you are ready to truss the bird, although again, this is entirely optional. To remove the wishbone, run your fingers along the breast until you find the bone. Then, using the knife, cut along the top edge and along both sides of the wishbone. Gently hold the wishbone with your fingers and pull it free from the bird.


3. For trussing, use a string that is approximately 4 to 5 times the length of the chicken. With the bird on its back (tail away from you), place the middle of the string under the tail, bring both sides up and cross over the top of the tail. Wrap each the strings around the end of each drumstick and pull to draw the legs together, crossing strings over each other again.


4. Flip the bird over so the backside is up, with neck away from you. Pull strings up over the thighs and wrapping around the upper wings, catching the tips of the wings in the loop. The string is wrapped around the wing, close to the body and then both ends are brought to the upper side. If there is a flap of skin at the neck, it is folded up and the two strings are tied over it.


5. A chicken does not have to be trussed before it is roasted. When a chicken is trussed you may encounter a problem with the white and dark meat obtaining the proper doneness. It takes longer for the dark meat in the inner thigh area to reach its proper doneness when it is trussed, which should be 175°F to 180°F. When the dark meat is cooked until it reaches the appropriate temperature, the white meat will many times be too dry. If it is important that the bird keeps its shape while roasting, it is best to truss it. If it isn't important that it to keeps its shape, it is generally better not to truss the chicken, because the white and dark meat will cook more evenly.


6. Do not forget to remove all trussing before you are ready to serve.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Share For A Coupon


Meat Temperature Guide

Meat Smoking Guide