Cooking & Recipes

Secret to the perfect turkey

October 23, 2016
Secret to the perfect turkey

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! It's no surprise that the center of everyone's attention during this special day is on the selection and preparation of the turkey. While it is important to properly prepare the turkey, it all begins with making sure that you select the right turkey. With such importance applied to the turkey, it's essential that great care goes into choosing the right one. Following are some key elements to consider while you're deciding.

Fresh vs. Frozen

When it comes down to choosing between a fresh or frozen turkey, you first need to recognize that neither one is better then the other. However, there are some distinct differences between the two that are worth your consideration. While a fresh turkey will have a gamey flavor to it, a frozen turkey is likely to be more sweet.

One upside to getting a frozen turkey is that they tend to be less expensive. You also have the convenience of being able to store it in the freezer for however long need be. If you've decided to go with a frozen turkey, then you'll want to make sure you choose a plumb round bird. This means that there is a lot of tender meat on the bones.

If you've decided to take the fresh route, then you can either go to a local grocery store or butcher to purchase the turkey or you can take a trip to a turkey farm. The advantages of visting a turkey farm are that you can inquire information of how the bird was raised, it's age, and more.

Organic

The term “organic” means that the turkey was raised on real grains that did not contain chemicals and pesticides. Additionally, organic birds are not fed any type of growth hormones or antibiotics. While you will achieve a more natural taste with an organic turkey, you will pay a higher price for the pleasure.

Free-Range

Free-range birds are not cooped up in closed quarters, which can elevate stress hormones in the animal — negatively impacting the taste of the bird, as well as making the meat unhealthy. Additionally, having the ability to move around leads to a leaner, better textured meat. The texture of the meat is important when carving and eating it.

Speaking of carving, the last thing you need is to butcher the meat on thanksgiving. Evidentially, you are going to need a quality carving knife, as well as a quality wood cutting board, which you can order from Wood Cutting Boards. Having a good wood cutting board will make the carving process must easier.

Weight

The best way to choose the weight of the bird is to calculate 1.5 pounds per guest that will be partaking in the turkey dinner. Keep in mind that the larger the bird, the longer the cooking time. One way that you can shorten the cooking time is to get two mid-sized birds, instead of one large one.

Alternatives

There are times in which a turkey simply does not make the right fit, but there are some reasonable alternatives, including turkey breast, which is great for a more intimate dinner. If you are a vegetarian, you may opt for a tofurkey or mock turkey. A turkey roll is a good option as well, however it may be easier to buy one than make one.

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