There are lots of different types of turkeys you can find these days. We recommend selecting a fresh turkey over a frozen turkey. Fresh turkeys are tastier because of their freshness, and you avoid the time spent during defrosting. Here is the breakdown of options you'll most likely see when you go shopping for a Turkey:
- Fresh - Fresh turkeys have been kept at 26° F or above, and they should be cooked within two days of purchase. Frozen - Frozen turkeys have been kept at 0° F or below and will be frozen solid. Frozen turkeys will keep up to four months but tend to be drier than fresh turkeys.
- Basted or Self-basted- Sold frozen or fresh, these turkeys are injected with a solution intended to make it more tender and juicy. Ingredients in the solution vary from company to company but can consist of oils, butter, or additives to improve juiciness or flavor of turkey.
- Natural - No flavoring or artificial moistening agents or oils have been added to these turkeys. Natural turkeys can include free range turkeys to commercially-grown turkeys. If brined, a natural turkey's flavor far exceeds the flavor of a basted turkey.
- Free-Range - These turkeys are allowed to roam outside the coop.
- Kosher - These can be frozen, fresh, natural, free-range, or even organic, but they have been rubbed with salt for a short period of time. Kosher turkeys can be seasoned or flavor-brined to enhance flavor.
TURKEY TIP - Most grocery stores offer fresh turkeys year-round. If you don't see a fresh turkey available at your local grocery store, ask someone in the meat department. Many times, they can order a fresh turkey for you and have it ready to be picked up within a day or two.