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Old 11-27-2009, 11:55 AM   #1
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What to look for.... Turkey Questions

Ok...so I had a bad turkey experience. But my question is pretty basic and I would love to hear your ideas!

Ok...

When picking out a bird (turkey) what's a good size and does it matter who the manufacturer/farm is? LIke Tyson, ForsterFarms, Butterball...ect...
Will that determine the cooking quality?

Basicly, how do I pick out a good turkey?

ahah ok so that was alot of questions in one.

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Old 11-27-2009, 12:28 PM   #2
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As for size, an 18.3 lb. turkey yesterday gave 4 of us a complete meal with 9-10 lbs. of de-boned leftovers (my favorite part).

I've never noticed a great deal of difference between brands. I do find that attention to details in cooking, rubbing with oil to crisp the skin and help prevent drying out the meat, baking covered with aluminum foil until the last 35-45 minutes or so at 325 degrees and using a temperature probe/alarm inserted into the thickest part and set to go off at 165 degrees does make a difference in a fully cooked yet tender and juicy turkey.

It's nearly impossible to apply any meaningful criteria to a frozen turkey, except the weight. Some swear by Butterball, others Tyson's. Out of economic concerns, I usually buy the inexpensive house brand... and I've never been disappointed.
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Old 11-27-2009, 12:36 PM   #3
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What was your bad experience?
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Old 11-27-2009, 12:54 PM   #4
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I bought a cheap turkey, $6 w/purchase. House brand. And it was delicious! I kept it covered loosely with foil, kept opening the oven door to baste (because I like to). I put butter/poultry seasoning between the skin and breast. It was juicy, dark meat as well as white. Stuffed inside with apple, orange, onion, celery.
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Old 11-27-2009, 01:38 PM   #5
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"opening to baste... because I like to.."

I understand completely!!!!!!
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Old 11-27-2009, 02:28 PM   #6
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When picking out a bird (turkey) what's a good size and does it matter who the manufacturer/farm is? LIke Tyson, ForsterFarms, Butterball...ect...
Will that determine the cooking quality?
When I pick out a turkey I try to get a fresh one about a day before Thanksgiving so I can submerge it in a brine. Frozen Turkeys are ok, but you need to be able to have enough space in your fridge to thaw them out for several days before cooking. In a fresh bird I can also inspect it to be sure it doesn't have an odor to it, looks very clean etc.
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Old 11-27-2009, 05:21 PM   #7
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ButterflyDancer, I usually buy the cheapest turkey I can find. I don't find a great deal of difference in the brands out there. So here is my buying criteria...

1. Allow 0.5 to 1 lb weight per person. (This assumes bones in the turkey, not just a breast)

2. No butter basting allowed.

Then I take it home and I don't defrost in my fridge, but rather in a stockpot outside my door. (LOL, my walk out fridge I call it.) I usually brine the frozen bird overnight and that does it for us. No need to put it in the fridge for a week.

Stuff it with yummy stuffing, roast it breast side DOWN (15 min/lb if +15lbs at 350) for almost the entire time and then flip for the last hour to crisp up the skin. Perfect turkey every time. Yum.
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Old 11-27-2009, 05:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrillingFool View Post
What was your bad experience?
I let my bagged turkey cook way to long after the popper popped. Cause I was -trying- to follow the package directions. Apparently they were wrong. It said for a 12-15 pound turkey that it would take 4-6 hours.
I had a 14.4 pound turkey...put in a overen bag. I set the temp at 325 degrees and set my timmer for 4 1/2 hours. After 3 hrs and 20 mins I check on the bird and the red popper thingy had popped. But I went ahead and left it in because the directions SAID! LOL So anyway...it was my frist turkey in which you can see pictures under my "IM NEW" thred that Barbara posted of my meal. It was pretty dry and i used the drippings to moisten it.
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Old 11-27-2009, 05:48 PM   #9
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Oh you guys are so FABULOUS!!! I really didn't think the brand matterd as much as the preperation. I will deffinitly be trying some of these ideas. Thank you all so much! and I am still open to alot more ideas!
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