Thanksgiving is celebrated with complete zeal and enthusiasm by people all over the world. Like most of the other festivals, feast forms an integral part of the celebration and turkey forms the main attraction of a Thanksgiving feast. Choosing best turkeys for Thanksgiving is a tactful work and needs experience. It is important that you get good turkeys, as they form the main dish of the day. In this article, we will discuss the best ways to shop for turkeys and tips to buy good turkeys. It will help you in selecting the most delicious turkey, which deserves to be the table centerpiece for your Thanksgiving dinner party.
Tips To Buy Good Turkeys
In the list of best turkeys, basted turkey secures a prominent place. Basted turkeys are the ones which are injected with a sodium-based solution, to increase their juiciness. They have a high salt content and may also be injected with flavor enhancers, fat, broth or stock. They are juicier when roasted directly and taste differently from the normal turkeys. According to US law, the labels on the package of such a turkey must include a statement enlisting the total quantity and common name of all the ingredients in the solution injected. If you are going for an un-basted turkey, make sure to brine it for a few hours before cooking.
Fryer or roaster turkeys are very tender and usually less than four months old. They weigh about 4 to 8 pounds. Then, you have young turkeys, which are about 4 to 7 months old and quite tender. These two types of turkeys are best for roasting purposes. Turkeys that are about a year old are known as yearlings and their skin and meat are moderately tender. They cost less and can still be used for roasting, but mature turkeys that are above fifteen months of age have tough meat and should not be avoided. You should buy about ¾ pound of turkey for each person, so a turkey for eight guests should weigh about 6 pounds.
Female turkeys or hens usually weigh less than 15 pounds and male turkeys or toms generally weigh more than 15 pounds, but their gender makes no difference on their flavor, texture or tenderness. Kosher turkeys are the ones that are prepared under Rabbinical supervision and often have a coating of salt on them, which increases their juiciness and saltiness. You need not brine these turkeys, but you can certainly soak them in water to make them tenderer. Minimally processed turkeys mean the same as their name, but their processing may include traditional processes to prepare meat, such as smoking, roasting, freezing, drying and fermenting. They do well for roasting.
Natural turkeys mean that there are no artificial flavors, food coloring, chemical preservatives or other artificial ingredients added to the turkey. They often taste best when roasted, but may cost more. The label 'no antibiotics' is allowed on the turkey only when the turkey farm has raised it without using antibiotics. The inspectors check them and keep a tab on them. Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in the poultry; so 'no hormones' turkey means that turkeys have not been given hormones to raise them. Knowing all these terms will certainly help you in making a wise choice, while buying your turkeys.