turkey on farm at sunset

Selecting The Turkey Is Key

Selecting The Turkey: Your Most Important Ingredient

Whether you are preparing a whole turkey or parts and pieces, for best results you need to start by selecting a good turkey.

You actually want to select the best turkey under the present circumstances.

Here are the tools you need to decide which turkey to choose.

Sometimes your available choices will be affected by the lead time that you have to buy, prepare, and cook the bird. It can also be affected by the time of year. For example, more types of turkeys are available so you have more choices during the holiday season.

You can always make the best choice for the time and circumstances. But there are tradeoffs. Here is a list of thing that you might wish to consider when you select your turkey:


There is a huge range of per pound prices. And, you will have to decide how much you are willing to pay for the other considerations. You will pay more for a turkey raised by a local farmer than you will for a mass produced grocery store brand.

Ease of Preparation:

Some turkeys come pre-brined and pre-seasoned. Some even come frozen with stuffing inside ready to go into an oven. Others are minimally processed to allow you to make it your own by brining or seasoning with ingredients that you choose.


Your family and guests are probably used to a certain taste and texture in their holiday turkey. So, while serving a wild turkey or a heritage turkey would be appreciated by some - it would seem wrong or at least not traditional to others.


The best way to know about the bird is knowing the farmer who raised it. Next best, is knowing your butcher - who knows the farmer. Traceability is the key. If you know who raised the turkey and where it was raised - you will likely know how it was raised.

Health Considerations:

Turkeys are considered a super-food because they are high in protein and low in fat. But some are more super than others when it comes to what they were fed, whether antibiotics were used, and what type of additives were injected.

Humane Treatment of Turkey:

To some extent this is related to health considerations. Did the turkey have access to the outdoors? Was the turkey raised in cramped conditions that required antibiotics to be administered? What was the turkey fed?

The following links will help you to select the best turkey:

Select Turkey by Understanding The Label: temperature, inspection and grading, classes of turkeys

Select Turkey Based on How It Was Raised and Processed: Free Range, Organic, Enhanced

Select Turkey Based on Types and Breeds

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Copyright © 2009 - 2019 The Perfect Turkey
Copyright © 2009 - 2019 The Perfect Turkey
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