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Choosing the Best Turkey for Your Table

Roast Turkey with Apples and Onions

Roast Turkey with Apples and Onions Recipe

Few entrées are as fraught (dare I say stuffed?) with significance as Thanksgiving turkey. Whether you’re a first-timer trying to impress friends and family or a seasoned cook looking for new tricks, one thing’s for certain: choosing a great bird is the first step toward success.

We asked Whole Foods Market’s Theo Weening — a man who purchases thousands of turkeys a year — for his tips on choosing a turkey.

All About Organic Turkeys

As our Global Meat Buyer, Theo keeps abreast of the latest trends in turkey. “A lot of people are choosing organic turkeys because that means the birds were fed only organic, non-GMO feed.”

And for Theo — who grew up working in his family’s artisan meat shop — choosing organic is also about the taste. “The meat is juicy and has a great depth of flavor.”

How to Make Sense of Your Options

In addition to organic turkeys, Whole Foods Market offers an array of choices for discerning holiday cooks. We asked Theo for a quick glossary to help you make the right selection for your feast:

Heritage turkeys. Rich, succulent old-world breeds cherished for flavor. Up to 22 pounds (available in select stores).

Heirloom turkeys. Robust flavor with higher percentage of dark meat. Up to 28 pounds.

Kosher turkeys. Two kosher certifications: Rabbi Babad and the Orthodox Union. 10-20+ pounds (available in select stores).

Classic turkeys. Great choice for value, quality and flavor. 8-30 pounds.

Whether classic or kosher, heirloom or organic, all of the fresh and frozen turkeys we sell meet our Quality Standards. That means they’re 5-Step® Animal Welfare rated and raised with no antibiotics, no animal by-products in their feed, no added solutions* or injections and no added growth hormones**.

Turkey with Chile-Citrus Butter

Turkey with Chile-Citrus Butter Recipe

Ready to get started? Check out our servings calculator to learn how many pounds of turkey you’ll need for the number of guests you’re expecting.

Reserve your holiday bird at shop.wfm.com, then head over to our holiday guide for advice on brining, roasting, stuffing and our favorite turkey recipes, including Turkey with Chile-Citrus Butter, Turkey with Extra Crispy Skin and Roast Turkey with Apples and Onions.

Do you have a tip for succulent, sensational turkey? Share your holiday hints in the comments section.


* Except for pure sea salt solutions for our turkeys labeled "brined."

** Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising turkeys.

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Marcia Durso says …

When are heirloom turkeys available and how can I order one? I would like one 16 pounds.

Erica says …

Just a heads up, a lot of your images are broken on your website. Just shows gray boxes.

Steven says …

Can you give a price per pound for the Diestel Turkey various types offered at the Las Vegas stores

gloria whelan says …

can I order a cooked turkey for thanksgiving. when can I pick it up thanks. Price too.

lutasha terry says …

Is it possible to order a fresh Turkey

Diane says …

Will you have fresh turkey breast? and when? thank u

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

Hey Everyone! To place an order for turkey, you can see your local menu at wfm.com/shop.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

Hello! You can find holiday menus online at wfm.com/shop to view prices and place your order!

Jerry Panelli says …

I am looking for a Bell and Evans Turkey. Their web site say you carry them. Do you have them in stock?

Toni says …

I am trying to look at the different turkeys you offer for thanksgiving but can't find that page. I need to buy a fresh turkey. It shouldnt b this difficult.

David A Nover says …

Are your kosher turkeys fresh or frozen? Are they organic? Can I reserve one for Saturday night?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@DAVID - Our options will differ between stores. You can check online at wfm.com/shop to see if your local store still has their menu up online and if not, just give them a call to help place an order.