Thanksgiving is a few days away! Are you ready to cook your turkey? It is a challenging bird to prepare but shopping for it should definitely be easy. Here are some tips to follow if you still have to get your own.
1. Buy frozen.
If fresh turkey is already out, do not be afraid to buy frozen. There is no real quality difference. In fact, fresh turkeys can be several days old when you buy them, and are infinitely more expensive.
2. Check the breast.
A well-rounded breast on a turkey means it is juicier. Flat spots can indicate thawing and re-freezing!
3. Try generic.
Brands and generics often come from the same place. The only difference is the seasoning and the price – store brands are more affordable.
4. Do not buy enormous birds.
Turkey over 18 lbs are likely to have been treated with chemicals. They also take longer to thaw and cook and are likely to bake in an uneven way. If you are feeding a big group, just cook two smaller turkeys. Your life will be easier.
5. Smaller turkeys are tastier.
They tend to be tenderer and are much simpler to cook. Go for smaller birds, especially if you are not super confident about your skills.
6. Buy early.
Make sure you give yourself enough time to thaw your bird. The general rule is one day for every five pounds.
7. Get a basted turkey.
If you want to save yourself some time seasoning your turkey, buy a bird labeled basted to self-basted. It has been marinated and flavored to keep your turkey moist and tasty for Thanksgiving.
8. Go all white or dark.
You can buy a turkey breast if your guests prefer white meat or pick up extra drumsticks if they love dark meat. In this way, you can please everyone.
9. Buy free-range.
Check the label and buy turkey that is free-range, free-roaming, or cage-free. These birds tend to be leaner and more flavorful, definitely a good investment.
10. Cook enough!
For a smaller feast, you can get one and a half pound of turkey for each person. For a larger one, one pound per person should be enough since you are probably buying a larger bird for Thanksgiving.