When turkeys form the special attraction in the Thanksgiving feast, you are sure to feel confused between the fresh ones and the frozen ones. Fresh turkeys are the ones that are sold within a short time period of their killing, so that they retain their freshness. They are killed, processed and quick-chilled to 40°F or lower and then stored at temperature greater than 26°F, so that they are only partially frozen. They are usually fed a diet of natural foods or organically-grown foods, but are free of antibiotics. Fresh turkeys need to be transferred to the refrigerator as quickly as possible, after buying and should be cooked within two days.
Frozen birds are entirely different from fresh birds. These are raised in a barn with several other turkeys. They are injected with antibiotics to increase their weight. They are killed and kept in the freezer to a temperature of as low as -30°F. Such turkeys are frozen so quickly in the blast freezer that no ice crystals are formed on them (so that thawing does not damage the turkey) and then, are stored at 0°F or lower. They can be packaged tightly in plastic and stored in the freezer for a long time. However, they begin to grow drier as they are kept for longer periods in the freezer.
To thaw these turkeys, you just have to transfer them to the refrigerator and keep them there for about five hours for every pound of turkey's weight. After thawing, the turkey should be cooked within the two days Both the fresh and frozen turkeys taste great. Most of the chefs and the cooking experts will find it difficult to decide between them, with regard to their taste. However, the environmentalists go for fresh turkeys, rather than the frozen ones.
When it comes to cost, fresh turkeys are more expensive than the frozen ones. This is so because fresh turkeys are fed on organic foods, which demand a heavy price. Besides, their cost also includes the cost of special handling, which is necessary to prevent their perishability. If you have decided to go for fresh turkeys, buy them only one or two days prior to the Thanksgiving feast. You need to store them in the freezer till cooked. However, in case of frozen turkeys, you can purchase them a few weeks in advance, keep them in the freezer and gradually defrost them, to use on Thanksgiving.