What brand of turkey to buy?

casiNovember 20, 2008

With grocery prices the way that they are, I was wondering what turkey to buy. I really love a Butterball or Honeysuckle White turkey but the store brands are so much cheaper. I hsve used Riverside and have heard that it is comparable. What is everybody else's experience? Is it just me or does a Butterball really taste better?

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gardenguru1950

Wherever I've lived (in 6 states), I've also been able to find a source of "fresh" turkeys from some local or near-local turkey ranch. Preferably natural, free-range or organic. They don't have "brands". Most have been available through the mid-sized supermarkets that have good meat departments but occasionally you'll find them direct.

I've found these fresh (sometimes not exactly but "on ice") turkeys always better in flavor than the big brand names.

Most of the turkey's flavor comes from the prep and cooking techniques, anyway.

So, look under "turkey" in the yellow pages???

Joe

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 9:36PM
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gardenguru1950

That should have read...

Wherever I've lived, I've ALWAYS been able to find a source of "fresh" turkeys..."

Joe

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 9:38PM
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lindac

If you are talking frozen turkey and unless you get a "direct from the grower" bird I think that's best...
the supermarket brand is best....less "solution" and most often cheaper.
However I cooked a Butterball last Sunday and it was really very good. But the only reason I bought it is it was $.69 a pound and I put it in the freezer!
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 10:01PM
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annie1992

I usually get a fresh turkey from a local Amish farmer, nothing at all like Butterball or Honeysuckle.

I just like the fresh ones, no preservatives, no "flavor enhancers", just good old fashioned turkey, hanging out in the yard and eating bugs and whatever it can find. It's a different flavor than the turkeys raised in a big barn and eating only the meal they are fed.

Annie

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 10:08PM
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centralcacyclist

After eating a few free range birds I find Butterball birds to taste odd. They are "enhanced" with injected solutions that I don't care for. I'd look for a store brand "natural" or free range bird.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 10:20PM
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vacuumfreak

I got a turkey for a neighbor at Aldi yesterday... it was 11 pounds for 8.99 (no tax on top if it, I don't know if it was already included or what)...

They had a much larger one there, but I didn't notice the price because I wasn't even considering one that big. But, they were Butterball brand!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 10:53PM
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deborah_ps

I'm unable to get a fresh turkey and thought I'd try one of Trader Joes Organic turkeys. A "natural sea salt" brined at $1.79 per lb. or the Kosher salt brined at $2.29 per lb.
I didn't realize that they would be pre brined and now am rethinking my options. Is it worth paying the extra money for either one or should I just buy a house brand grocery store one for a lot less per pound?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 11:43PM
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deborah_ps

I'm unable to get a fresh turkey and thought I'd try one of Trader Joes Organic turkeys. A "natural sea salt" brined at $1.79 per lb. or the Kosher salt brined at $2.29 per lb.
I didn't realize that they would be pre brined and now am rethinking my options. Is it worth paying the extra money for either one or should I just buy a house brand grocery store one for a lot less per pound?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 4:37AM
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kellyeng

I was going with organic free-range but then I ran across the Cook's Illustrated turkey taste test. They taste tested and had the turkeys lab tested as well. They found that the tastiest turkeys had higher levels of fat and salt. I decided to go with the kosher turkey from kosherkaddy.com. It's more expensive ($3.89/lb.) plus shipping but my curiosity got the better of me.

I'll report back after TG!

Here is a link that might be useful: Turkey Taste Test

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 9:38AM
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daylilydayzed

I bought a turkey from my local Publix(one mile from house) for .69 cent a pound last week. All other stores , Aldi included were charging more per pound. I find that Publix brands are just as good quality as name brands. I am not saying they are but I think they are equal to them in my opinion.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 9:55AM
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kathleenca

For years, I bought the frozen Butterball-type or store brand. After reading articles & comments, about four years ago I started buying the fresh (& usually free-range) turkey. I was resistant at first because the cost was more, but then reasoned that I didn't buy the cheapest beef, chicken, etc., so why was I focusing on the cheapest turkey?

The flavor & moisture is so much better in the fresh turkeys that I will not go back to frozen. Additionally, while I have not wet-brined a turkey, this year I plan to pre-salt/salt-brine it as written up in last month's Bon Appetit & the LA Times of Nov 19. ann_t discussed it & included the technique/recipe at the end of October.

Here is a link that might be useful: Best turkey techniques

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 1:21PM
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centralcacyclist

I have always purchased Willie Birds in the past but this year I am going to cook a Diestel turkey. My local grocer carries them so I don't have to order it. I'll report back. I bet Granjan is familiar with Diestel.

Here is a link that might be useful: Diestel

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 2:59PM
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robynpa

If you have a Jewish grocery try there. The kosher turkeys are really good.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 6:57PM
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jojoco

Plainville Turkeys are from my neck of the woods. While they are outstanding, I've found the best improvement over past years was the addition of a meat thermometer with an alarm. Really, forget the turkey and invest in a good thermometer.
Jo

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 8:55PM
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