What You Should Know Before Buying Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Don’t make any rookie mistakes this Thanksgiving.

If you spend any amount of time in the grocery store, you are going to run across a frozen turkey. This time of year, it seems as if they are everywhere because they are gearing up for Thanksgiving.

Although most people enjoy having turkey on Thanksgiving, they may need a little guidance when it comes to buying the right one.

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Something that you may not have considered before is ordering a turkey in advance. You can order the unprepared, uncooked bird through mail order and it is delivered to you frozen. Choose the size that you want, order it online or at a local location. Some companies will start taking orders after Labor Day.

You don’t have to stick with the standard turkey, either. Organic turkeys, heritage turkeys, and even wild turkeys are available. You should realize that you are going to pay a lot extra for a heritage turkey because of how they are raised and their breed. They are an older breed from before the time that turkeys were so commercialized. That being said, heritage turkeys do have a flavor that takes some getting used to.

Another option is to purchase a frozen, precooked turkey that has already been roasted and seasoned. If you really want to save time in the kitchen this Thanksgiving, choose this option. Simply pop it in the oven and warm it up.

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You don’t have to purchase a frozen turkey, you can buy one that is fresh. It’s easier because you don’t have to worry about having to thaw it properly before you start the roasting process.

Some frozen turkeys also include injections, which makes the bird weigh a little more. As a general guideline, 1 to 1.5 pounds of meat should be available per person. Don’t forget to think about leftovers when making your estimate.

If you’re not planning on ordering a bird in advance, then be sure to wait and pick up the bird just a couple of days before you cook it. If you order it online, place your order a month in advance or more. If you’re making the local order, try to order 2 weeks in advance.

Fresh turkeys, like the frozen variety, can be purchased precooked. Whole Foods Market and similar stores offer them for preorder, and you can just pop them in the oven to warm them up. It’s a great timesaver.

One other thing to consider is the size of your oven. Nothing could be as disappointing as buying a big bird and not being able to roast it.