Turkey Seamstress

December 22, 2011

Eva Gusnowski

After spending all day slaving away at the Christmas turkey, you want it to be the best it can possibly be. (No, not that turkey, this one!)  Well, let’s be honest…gramma and mom want it to be the best they can make it, and the rest of us will eat it regardless. So to give your turkey the best chance of making it to America’s Next Top Gobbler, get yourself a stapler.


science in seconds, turkey seamstress, eva gusnowski

A group of European veterinarians has now determined the best way to close up that turkey after deboning and stuffing. Turkeys were sewn together with dissolvable sutures using four different techniques (simple continuous Lembert, simple continuous Cushing, simple continuous Utrecht or simple continuous), or were closed using surgical staples. All turkeys were baked (180°C for two hours, for those of you looking to replicate) and then analyzed for tearing at the suture points, cosmetic appearance and seam closure once the sutures were removed.


science in seconds, Verwilghen, turkey seamstress

All of the turkeys in the suture groups had significant amounts of meat pulled out at the suture sites, and the poorest seam closures. Wow…just totally unacceptable, right? Once the staples were removed, however, the seam was left intact and the least amount of meat was pulled out with the staples, rendering it the most aesthetically pleasing turkey seam of the bunch. It was noted that the polyfilament suture used has more drag during removal than, say, using a monofilament suture, but who has the time to go out and specifically purchase monofilament sutures? Christmas shopping is ridiculous enough as it is without a trip to your local vet.


science in seconds, friends, turkey seamstress

                             You're right Joey, that sutured seam is just hideous.

Staples are therefore the only acceptable form of turkey seam closure if you want to impress your dinner guests. The authors warn against one thing: just make sure you get all of the staples out before the gobbler gets gobbled.

Someone bring me my Swingline…I’ve got a 180°C date with a turkey.




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