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Turkey Buying Guide

Planning a turkey this year? Let us help you find the perfect bird for your table.

Turkey Buying Guide: Types, Sizes and Storage

Buying the right turkey can mean the difference between a good Thanksgiving and a legendary Thanksgiving. And while you can’t go wrong with any of our birds, shopping for a specific size or certification can be tricky. Rest assured, we’re here to help simplify the process. Below, learn more about our birds, plus get expert buying and storing tips.

What Makes Our Turkeys Different?

Whether classic or kosher, heirloom or organic, all of the fresh and frozen turkeys we sell meet our Quality Standards. All options are Animal Welfare Certified (except kosher turkeys), which requires third-party auditing of farms for over 100 animal welfare standards. And, like all meat and poultry in the department, the animals must be raised with no antibiotics ever, and no animal by-products in feed. We know our suppliers; we know how they raise their birds.

Buying Your Turkey

When buying your turkey, go for more than what you really need (because who doesn't love turkey leftovers?). Here's how to plan your order based on the number of people you’re feeding.

Turkey Size

Serves

6 pounds (bone-in breast)

5 people

12-14 pounds

10 people

24-28 pounds

20 people

Rule of thumb is 11/4 pounds of turkey per person, but start with 5 to 6 pounds for four people. Consider the size of your fridge and oven before coming home with a huge bird.

What Types of Turkey Do We Offer?

So, fresh or frozen? Organic or heirloom? Here's what you need to know about our turkey selection when shopping our Meat department. Kosher, heirloom and heritage birds may not be available in all locations, so be sure to contact your store ahead of time.

  • Classic turkeys: These tasty, tender turkeys are a great choice for value, quality and flavor.

  • Organic turkeys: These birds get organic, non-GMO feed and are given access to fresh air and the outdoors.

  • Brined turkeys: We’ve marinated these birds in a seasoned brine for moist, flavorful meat. If I want to fry a turkey, I go with brined.

  • Kosher turkeys: Rubbed with kosher salt inside and out, kosher birds are checked by specially trained rabbinical inspectors to make sure they’re processed in accordance with kosher standards. The kosher salt preseasons the bird and gives it extra flavor. They’re also raised to meet 100+ animal welfare standards.

  • Heritage turkeys: These turkeys are leaner with a smaller meat-to-bone ratio and can be very flavorful.

  • Heirloom turkeys: A little bigger than heritage turkeys, heirloom turkeys are still really flavorful. Plus, there's lots of great dark meat.

  • Turkey breasts: Feeding a smaller group? Turkey breast is easy to brine and takes less time to prepare than a whole turkey. We offer bone-in, organic bone-in and boneless options.

All fresh and frozen turkeys from our Meat department must meet our standards for being raised with no antibiotics ever, no animal by-products in feed and 100+ animal welfare standards.

How to Store Your Turkey

Whether you’ve picked up your turkey from our stores or you’re having it delivered, it’s important to store your bird properly before cooking it. Follow these tips for success.

How to store our fresh turkeys:

Our fresh turkeys are kept in a deep chill to maintain a crust of ice on the surface. This ensures that you can safely store your bird at home until you’re ready to cook. Keep your turkey deep-chilled (35°F) in the coldest spot in your fridge, turned down as low as possible, or store in a secondary fridge. Over time, the ice will easily melt, and your bird will be perfect by Thanksgiving.

How to store our frozen turkeys:

Store frozen birds in your freezer (ideally in a secondary freezer if you have one) until you’re ready to thaw. Depending on how much time you have, you can thaw your turkey in your refrigerator or by submerging it in cold water.

Thawing Your Turkey

Plan ahead! Many of the birds we sell at our stores are fresh, meaning that they don't need to be thawed. They may have a thin layer of ice from being kept extremely cold, but they aren't frozen through. If you do choose one of our frozen birds, leave plenty of time for thawing.

Turkey Size

Day in fridge

Hours in cold water

14 pounds

3

7

20 pounds

4

10

We recommend thawing your turkey one of two ways:

Most reliable way: Put a tray or pan underneath the bird in its packaging to catch drips and place it in the refrigerator on the lowest shelf for 1 full day for every 5 pounds of turkey.

Fastest way: Short on time or fridge space, this is your best option. Make sure the turkey is sealed in a leak-proof wrapper and place it in a vessel large enough to completely contain it. Add cold tap water to cover. Change the water every 30 minutes and allow 30 minutes of thawing time per pound.

Notes:
* 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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