Do you ever wonder what kind of turkey to buy? Organic, natural, kosher, fresh, frozen…the list goes on and on. I remember when growing up the only thing we worried about was buying the turkey at precisely the right moment, so as having enough time for it to thaw!
Nowadays most of us like to pinpoint exactly not only how our turkey was raised, but by whom. It is easier than ever to find heritage, local and farm raised turkey’s right in our own backyard, for some of us, literally.
I’ve listed a few popular kinds of turkeys below and the descriptions of each, in the hopes this will help you decide what kind of turkey is best for your family this holiday season.
Fresh Turkeys have never been stored at a temperature below 26 degrees. These types of turkeys should be refrigerated and cooked within two days of purchase.
Natural Turkeys have been minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients (yep, some birds are loaded with extras) or colors (yep, again…I know. Gross).
Frozen Turkeys have been flash frozen to a temperature of 0 degrees F. Contrary to some beliefs, this does not affect the quality of the meat at all. However, many of these types of turkeys have added ingredients like salt, oils or seasonings. If you choose a frozen bird, then choose a naturally grown frozen bird.
Free Range or Free Roaming Turkeys have been allowed access to the outdoors (In many cases this simply means a space more than 4X4 feet). Don’t be fooled into thinking this also means natural or organic. You need to ask or read the label. Many think this is the most humane choice, but let’s face it, in the end…it’s still curtains for the turkey.
Organic Turkeys have eaten only certified organic feed with no antibiotics or growth hormones. Again, you may want to be sure your organic turkey is also free range! Organic turkeys are smaller…if you want one larger than 14 pounds, then an organic turkey is not for you.
Kosher Turkeys are prepared under rabbinical supervision and are usually salted, which often maximizes tenderness. You may skip the brining if you end up getting a kosher bird.
Heritage Turkeys (or rather the “heirloom tomatoes” of the turkey world) are smaller turkeys raised on smaller farms across the US. Heritage turkeys are usually old fashioned breeds and buying one may help preserve small farms in your area. These turkeys go fast as there are a very limited amount, so order early.
Last year I ordered a “Thanksgiving Box” from Out of the Box Collective, stocked full of everything you need for up to 12 people. It came with recipes, prepared local pies and everything you need for an amazing feast. To contact Out of the Box Collective, please go HERE. Tell them Bonnie sent you! Oh, and they will deliver to your home if local!
This year, I am opting for a locally raised, organic, fresh turkey. I will of course be using my signature brine and herb combo pack, which you can order on-line HERE or if you are local, you can purchase the combo pack at PC Greens.
Local Farms That I Support:
Hats off to you if you will celebrating with a vegan Thanksgiving! Many of my friends are, please let us know what you will be making!
Please share with a friend!