Choosing a Perfect Turkey

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated November 14, 2011)

Have you ever wondered how you can choose the perfect turkey? Despite what many people would like to think, there is more to it than simply picking up a random bird from the local grocery store. Rather, there are a few things that you need to stop and consider first. While many of these may appear to be rather random, this couldn't be further from the truth. Each of these items will have a great impact on whether you end up choosing a bird that is simply OK, or you choose one that is down right perfect.

  • Fresh or frozen? This is perhaps the single most important part of choosing an outstanding bird. Just as with any meat, or even vegetable, there is a huge difference between a turkey that is fresh and one that has been frozen for a long period of time. If you absolutely want the best tasting turkey that you can possibly get, then you need to get it as fresh as possible. If at all possible, get it freshly prepared from your local butcher. However, if you need to go with a bird that has been frozen, then go with one that was frozen as recently as possible. You can usually tell this by seeing how far out the "best used by" date is from now.
  • Bone in, or not? Whether you are going to have the bones in your bird, or going with a processed turkey roast is largely a personal one. That being said, while there are some decent tasting turkey roasts, they do not compare to the actual turkeys that still have the bones. If you are looking for a quick meal then simply go with a boneless turkey roast. However, for the best possible meals then go with the real bird.
  • Size. Despite what many people would like to say, this is definitely a case where size really does matter. For example, if you are having a Thanksgiving meal where there will be about 4 adults and 6 children (often there are many more at a Thanksgiving dinner) you will need a bird that is at a minimum 14 pounds. This will ensure that there is enough meat for everyone. However, keep in mind that the larger the bird, then the larger the oven you will need.
  • Preparation time. Preparation time can be a hassle in and of itself. If you use the same example as listed above, a 14 pound turkey can take up to 3-1/2 days to thaw out in the refrigerator (if you are using a frozen bird), or 7 hours of sitting in cold water. This is on top of the average cooking time of 15 minutes per pound at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (for a 14 pound turkey that would be about 3-1/2 hours of straight cooking.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

MORE FROM LEE

What is a Blue Book Value?

If you are looking to purchase or sell a car, then chances are you have heard about blue book value. But what is a blue book ...

Discover More

Removing Tree Pitch from Your Car

If you have trees anywhere near where you park your vehicle, then you know just how easy it is to find tree pitch on it. ...

Discover More

Garter Snakes

Garter snakes, also known as garden snakes, are a common garden pest that can be seen in many homes across the country. ...

Discover More
MORE COOKING TIPS

Tender Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is always good and it's even better if it's homemade. Learn how to make tasty, tender fried chicken and impress ...

Discover More

Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is one of the easiest salads to make, and beloved of light sandwiches around. Not only is it exceptionally ...

Discover More

Ostrich Meat

Ostrich meat is surprisingly low fat and healthy. Unlike most bird meat, it is a red meat and tastes surprisingly like beef. ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured cooking tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured cooking tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

Links and Sharing
Share