Your Guide to Buying Turkey

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, so now’s the time to start talking turkey. When it comes to buying your bird, there are several types to choose from, so let us help you determine what kind of turkey is best for you and your family. Whether you’re buying a whole turkey or just turkey parts, keep in mind that lean, skinless breast is what you want on your plate when you're following the South Beach Diet.

Here’s an easy guide to buying your Thanksgiving turkey:

Types of Turkey

  • Frozen: Turkeys labeled frozen are flash-frozen down to 0°F right after packaging. They’re every bit as flavorful as fresh ones. If you purchase a whole frozen turkey, allow plenty of time for it to thaw. The best methods are to thaw the bird for several days in the refrigerator or for up to 12 hours in a sink (or another deep container) in very cold water, making sure to replenish the cold water every 30 minutes. To avoid harmful bacteria, never thaw your turkey at room temperature.
  • Fresh: Fresh turkeys are kept at a temperature between 26 and 40ºF, and therefore, they must be purchased just a day or two before you plan to cook. However, since you don’t have to deal with thawing a fresh turkey, it can be a convenient choice for your holiday dinner.
  • Organic: Organic turkeys, often called free-range, are raised on organic feeds and are generally allowed to forage and get plenty of sunshine and fresh air. Also, they are raised without antibiotics. Organic turkeys come frozen or fresh.

How Much Per Person?
No matter which type of bird you choose, figure that you need 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of turkey per person before cooking. Once you’ve determined the type and weight range you need, find the type of bird you want. Then, clear out your freezer or refrigerator to make room!

What Not to Buy
Be sure to avoid self-basting turkeys, since they are often injected with butter or other fat and may have additives such as MSG.

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