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Choosing Your Turkey For The Holidays

The holiday season is here and Thanksgiving is next week!

At most dinner tables the turkey will be the star of the night.  So it is important that you choose the right turkey that best fits what you want.

When looking for turkeys there are various terms that are on the labels to describe what kind of turkey it is.  If you are not familiar with what these terms mean then the information shared below is for you.

When looking for a turkey, most may already have a preference as to what kind of turkey they want but want to make sure they purchase the correct one.

Here are some tips to help.

First thing first, should you buy your turkey fresh or frozen? Well this depends upon when you would like to get your turkey.  If bought frozen then you can store in the freezer but remember to take it out days before cooking so it can be fully thawed and ready to cook. If bought raw then you can only buy it right before ready to cook but the plus in that is you do not have to thaw it out.

If you are concerned about preservatives and other chemicals in your food then you will want the turkey that is labeled “natural.” Sometimes it can even mean the turkey was raised in a more natural way with vegetarian feed and no antibiotics.

A self-based turkey have been injected with butter, broth or salt water to ensure moist meat.  These also usually come with a built in temperature sensor so you will know then the turkey is done.

Kosher birds are raised and prepped with cool water bath and pre-brined.

Organic turkeys means the turkey was not given any growth hormones or antibiotics and eat organic pesticide-free feed that does not contain animal byproducts.

When you see the label free range, this means that the turkeys are not cooped up for their entire lives.  The label should specify how much time the bird spent outdoors.  Pastured birds likely spent much of their life out in the sun eating their native diet of insects and grass, which some believe help the bird become more flavorful.

A unique breed of bird is the Heritage bird that was descended from the original domesticated turkeys and are usually grown in humane conditions.  This includes pasturing and grazing on grass and insects.  Their meat is darker and more flavorful than a standard turkey.  This type of turkey is rarely found in a store so you may have to order online for delivery.

Hope this helps when shopping for your turkey this holiday season!

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