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Turkey Talk: Tips For Choosing Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Your Thanksgiving turkey is the star of the show. While side dishes are a must, the turkey is what people are gathering around the table for. But whether you are cooking for two or 20, you may be confused by how to choose your Thanksgiving turkey. Let’s take a look at how you should choose your Thanksgiving turkey.

How Big Should Your Turkey Be?

Here are some things you should keep in mind when choosing your Thanksgiving turkey this year.

  • Amount Per Person: when choosing your turkey, you should consider how many people are coming over for dinner. Generally, you should plan for one pound of turkey per person for dinner and a half of a pound if you want each person to have leftovers.
  • Light or Dark Meat?: This is the age old question. Which type of meat do your guests prefer? If your family just likes dark meat, you should consider forgoing a whole turkey and just choose to roast turkey legs instead. If your guests prefer white meat, skip the whole turkey and just get a bone-in turkey breast to satisfy your turkey cravings.
  • Size is an Issue: Oven size is definitely something you should consider. If your oven or kitchen is smaller, make sure there will be enough room to store the turkey as well as roast it.

Should You Buy Frozen or Fresh Turkey?

When buying your turkey, you will have two choices: fresh or frozen. Fresh turkeys have never been chilled below 26 degrees. These turkeys are usually held for a while before they hit your favorite grocery store so they may be a little hard to find and not as fresh as you think. Before buying for turkey, make sure to check the sell-by date. You should try to purchase one within a day or two of Thanksgiving. Frozen turkeys are flash-frozen below zero degrees. They may be sold as “previously frozen” if they have already been defrosted. But if you buy a frozen turkey, you should plan to let it thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours of thaw time for every five pounds of turkey. This means if you buy a 20-pound turkey, you should leave it in your refrigerator for four days in order for it to thaw properly.

When buying a Thanksgiving turkey, it is important for you to think about size, meat preference, and type. For more information on buying or making your holiday meals, check back for our weekly blogs!

Happy Thanksgiving From Hearn Kirkwood

Hearn Kirkwood is a private Food Service Distributor that specializes in produce, meat, poultry, dairy, and fresh seafood in the Baltimore, Washington, and Virginia area. We have been servicing our valued customers for over 70 years, and we are dedicated to providing all of our customers with the freshest and tastiest products available at competitive prices (and delivered with unparalleled customer service). For more information, give us a call (410) 712-6000 or visit us online. For more ways to transform your eating habits, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and FlickrLinkedIn.